3 More Things to Tick Off Before You Go on Holiday

Published: 8 July 2011 By Julian Stone Leave a Comment

We all have our holiday checklist – but does yours cost a fortune or save you money? If you want to cut your budget while enjoying a fantastic holiday, read the second part of our money saving holiday checklist.

Holiday travel moneyOur holiday budgets are getting squeezed more and more these days, so it’s even more important to save money when you head for your annual break.

In our first holiday checklist feature, we came up with some great tips to save you money on vacation. So, if you’re interested in saving cash on travel insurance, flights and hotels or exchange rates, go and take a look now.

But if you’d rather learn how to avoid getting caught by unexpected holiday costs, then the following tips will be just what you’re looking for.

1. Don’t get caught out by mobile phone roaming fees

If you travel abroad with your mobile or smartphone, don’t fall prey to the phenomenon known as ‘bill shock’.

This can happen when you make calls and use data abroad, unaware that it is costing you a small fortune. Some unsuspecting travellers have come home to be greeted by a mobile phone bill that runs into thousands of pounds.

While the EU has taken measures to cut the cost of mobile phone voice calls and to cap data roaming charges, you still have to be careful not to rack up major bills.

You can do this by making sure that data roaming is switched off when you are abroad, and by only making calls that are strictly necessary. Another option is to fit your phone with a pay-as-you-go SIM card from a telecoms provider in the country you’re visiting.

However, some UK mobile phone services offer special international call costs – but you have to arrange them in advance. For example, O2 offers bolt ons that can cut the cost of your calls – its My Europe Extra package costs £10.21 per month and cuts the cost of calls to 25p per minute.

2. Check your car insurance is valid abroad

If you’ve got fully comprehensive car insurance, don’t assume it will give you the same level of cover when you take your car abroad.

In fact, many insurance providers downgrade your insurance to third party cover from the moment you arrive in another country. 
That means you could be liable for a huge bill if you’re involved in an accident.

Check your policy before you venture abroad, and – if you’re not covered – check with your insurer to see whether you can upgrade your policy to cover the duration of your holiday.

Depending on your insurer, you may also qualify for some good travel insurance deals as well.

3. Pay big bills before you travel

In our last article, we suggested using a prepaid currency card, such as those offered by CaxtonFX, to get a favourable exchange rate on your foreign currency and give you additional safety and convenience in your spending.

It’s a good idea. However, it can be wise to pay for expensive items like car hire and hotel bills using your normal credit card or other means of payments.

That’s because, if a hotel or car hire company swipes your prepaid currency card (whether you later use it for payment or not), it can freeze a substantial amount of money for up to 14 days. That can cause major cashflow problems while you’re abroad.

The tips in this article are all about avoiding unnecessary charges before they happen. But also remember to research your holiday thoroughly in advance – the more you know about the area you’re visiting and the providers that serve it, the better chance you have of enjoying a fun and cost-effective annual break.

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