Many of us are guilty of booking a holiday and then not thinking about any of the other details until just before we leave.
According to a new survey from HolidayExtras.com, our last-minute attitude could be costing us some serious money.
Euronews Travel spoke to travel expert Lisa Minot to find out the biggest money mistakes we make when booking a holiday.
Book your airport parking in advance
One of the biggest areas UK travellers could be saving money is airport parking. 10 per cent of holidaymakers wait until the week of their trip to book parking. 7 per cent of people wait even longer and just pay upon arrival at the airport.
Long-stay airport parking pricing can often vary according to demand. By booking in advance, instead of paying on the day, travellers could save an estimated £155 (€175) per trip.
“A couple of trips a year, that’s £310 (€350). That’s the same as a flight to New York or even a London theatre break,” says Lisa.
Buy your travel insurance at the same time you book your holiday
If everything goes smoothly, it won’t make a difference when you buy your travel insurance. However, if something goes wrong, you want to make sure you have the best level of cover possible.
Buying your travel insurance at the same time as you book your holiday means you’ll have a greater level of cover if anything is cancelled, rescheduled or you can no longer go due to illness.
Lisa also advises travellers not to just go for the cheapest insurance.
“Have a look at those ones that are about the midway [price] point and get one of those.[…] And make sure your policy covers you for any kind of extra special sports that you’re doing.”
Don’t exchange your currency at the airport
Waiting to exchange your money at the airport could cost you a lot more than doing it in advance.
The most competitive exchange rates can be found online and many companies offer an airport collection service. This means you’ll get more for your money and it’s really convenient.
Lisa also urges travellers to check their international charges before using their credit or debit card abroad.
“Make sure that you know exactly what your bank is going to charge you if you’re going to use your cards abroad and if they do have punitive costs involved.”
Lisa suggests getting a currency card when travelling as they often offer much better exchange rates and don’t incur any international fees.
Book an ATOL-protected package holiday
According to Lisa, the best way to protect your holiday is by choosing an ATOL-protected package holiday. This scheme protects your money, whatever happens.
An ATOL-protected trip is anything that involves a flight and one other element – a hotel, villa, car hire etc.
“That way you’re going to get the added protection of knowing should any part of that holiday chain break down, should the hotel go bust, should the airline go bust – you will be covered under the government’s ATOL scheme,” Lisa says.
Buy your fast track or airport lounge pass at the airport
If you’re thinking of getting a fast pass through the airport or enjoying the comforts of an airport lounge – it’s best to book in advance.
Though pricing for these is pre-set so you won’t save any money, it will stop you from missing out as lounges have limited capacity. It will also save you time queuing to buy the pass on the day.
Watch the video above for more ways to save money on your holiday.
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