It’s coming to the time when many people will be thinking about their summer holidays. Before heading off on your travels, take a look at our tips on how to save money.
1. Make sure you have the right insurance
This tip is so important we’d like to highlight it. Even if you’re travelling within the EU and have an EHIC card, it’s still very worthwhile considering taking out extra medical insurance as well, particularly if you don’t speak the language of the country you’re visiting. If you’re going outside the EU then it’s crucial to have medical insurance as a minimum and this needs to cover both the country or countries you intend to visit at the time you intend to visit them and also any and all activities you could possibly wish to undertake. Remember that lower-priced insurance policies may have restrictions which could invalidate your policy so be sure to check. If you do have an accident or fall ill on holiday, having the right insurance could make a world of difference to your situation and prospects.
NB: EHIC cards expire so check yours is valid before you travel.
2. Keep your browsing clean
You can be tracked on the internet. Websites might not know who you are (unless you register) but they can generally tell when a particular computer is making repeat visits to them and get an idea of why based on the user’s activity, for example their searches. They may then use this information to adjust their offers and prices to encourage the user to spend the most money. To avoid this, keep your browsing history clean. If using Google Chrome avoid this by right-clicking on links and choosing “Open link in incognito window”. For other browsers, check the internet to see how to clean your browsing history.
3. Avoid getting caught out by add-ons
Low-cost airlines have become somewhat infamous for this, but there are plenty of other culprits including car-rental companies, insurance companies and hotels. Make sure you compare prices which include everything you need rather than just looking at headline prices.
4. Turn off your data
Even if you’re travelling within the EU, data charges can add up for the simple reason that there’s a temptation to use more data, for example to look up online maps. A bit of advance-planning can put a stop to this. For example, you can use an app like Navmii to download maps to your phone. Admittedly it’s more basic than true satnav but it does the job without the cost of data. Similarly an old-fashioned paper-dictionary and/or phrase book doesn’t need a data connection. If you don’t want to carry one, download an ebook to your phone. If you’re travelling outside the EU, data charges can be very expensive and turning it off completely is arguably the best way to avoid nasty surprises when you get home.
5. Check any local laws
This is particularly true if you’re planning on driving. Again, if you’re planning on driving within the EU, your UK driving licence should be accepted in all member countries. There may, however, be local rules to which you are still expected to adhere. For example, in many EU countries it is compulsory for motorists to carry a warning triangle in their car and some require other equipment as well such as a reflective vest and/or first aid kit. In France motorists are also required to carry an approved breathalyser. While this is only likely to be checked if you are stopped for any reason, a bit of prior research can help to avoid problems with local law enforcement. If you’re travelling outside the EU, you will need to check if you need an International Driving Permit. If you do, make sure to use a reputable source such as the Post Office to get one. Please note most countries require an IDP 1949 but Brazil, Iraq and Somalia still require an IDP 1926. You will also need to check up on other local laws related to driving.