Home Travel Industry know-how: travel tips you’d be silly to miss

Industry know-how: travel tips you’d be silly to miss

by LaurettaCWright

Working in travel, I’m in regular contact with people who really know their industry. So once in a while, it’s great to be able to pass on some great insider tips. This time, the Editor in Chief of money.co.uk, Hannah Maundrell, shares her top travel tips…

Set yourself a budget

Decide what you can afford to spend and shop around for the best holiday you can get for your budget. Don’t overstretch yourself as it’ll mean stress on your return.

If you’re going for a package deal then find travel agents that offer identical breaks and play them off against one another. Negotiate to see who will give you the best deal – if they can’t drop the price then ask for extra perks.

Shop around for essential extras like airport car parking, travel insurance, car rentals and even your holiday wardrobe so you get more bang for your buck.

DIY V package deal

With companies like AirBnB and Couchsurfing on the rise, accommodation doesn’t have to be a big financial drain and it could be cheaper to build your holiday yourself. If you truly want to experience a country staying with the locals could enhance your experience and save you so much money. House swapping is another option worth considering.

If you choose to fly with a budget airline keep your eyes open for all the added extras and travel light. You will face hefty penalties for going over your luggage allowance and some airlines will even charge you extra sit together.

Do your research with an open mind and, if you’re travelling on a shoestring, be prepared to compromise. Prices can vary hugely and if you don’t mind stopping at an airport overnight you could save yourself hundreds on flights.

Get protection

Travel insurance is a must, but going for the cheapest policy without looking at cover is a mistake that could leave you uninsured. Be honest about your health though as insurers won’t cover pre-existing conditions unless you declare them.

Get an EHIC if you’re travelling within the EU but you will still need insurance too. EHICs are free from the NHS – don’t get duped into paying for one. They have a time limit so check yours doesn’t need renewing before you travel.

If you go away more than twice a year go for annual insurance – it will generally work out cheaper then single trip. If you’re going for single trip then sort your insurance as soon as you book so you’re covered for cancellation. Joint cover tends to work out cheaper but if one traveller is significantly older, or has a health condition and the other doesn't then consider getting separate policies to save money.

campervanThe best way to spend money abroad

Most debit and credit cards charge hideous foreign use fees so don’t be tempted to use your regular accounts when you travel. Get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees instead – just make sure you pay it off in full when you get home. Banks will be suspicious of any unexpected foreign activity, so it’s best to let them know you will be going away so they don’t block your card.

An alternative is to top up a fee free prepaid card when you see a decent exchange rate – you’ll lock in the rates and can use it to spend or withdraw cash while you're abroad. If you get the choice opt to pay in the local currency when purchasing goods or services as it works out cheaper.

Take foreign currency with you too, but be smart about it. It’s cheaper to get it exchanged before you go than at the airport. If you’ve left it until the last minute then order online for an airport pick up as you’ll still get a better deal.

Use a travel money comparison website to find the best exchange rates as they do vary dramatically. It’s best to pay for your travel money with cash or a debit card otherwise you might get stung with a cash withdrawal fee.

Say no to ridiculous mobile phone charges

If you choose to take your mobile with you abroad don’t fall into the trap of coming home with a hefty phone bill.

If you are traveling to the EU, costs of using your mobile are much cheaper than the rest of the world but it still costs. Check whether your contract gives you free calls and data; if not have a back up plan.

Elsewhere in the world it is best to avoid using your mobile unless you are hooked up to Wi-Fi. Turn your data roaming off to limit the damage, use Skype or WhatsApp to make calls over Wi-Fi and download maps and travel guides in advance.

See more easy ways to get a bigger and better holiday for less



30 comments

Leslie Hernandez 16th November 2017 - 8:43 pm

Awesome travel tips. I totally agree with budgeting yourself!! I have never gotten travel insurance, but I see how important this is and will look into it.

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LaurettaCWright 22nd November 2017 - 7:04 pm

Thanks Leslie – it’s a peace of mind thing…

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WhatLauraLoves 12th November 2017 - 11:37 pm

I always make sure that I have travel insurance whenever I go away. A girl I know had a horrendous accident while travelling abroad and she didn’t have insurance and it really frightened me xxx

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LaurettaCWright 13th November 2017 - 12:10 am

It’s peace of mind isn’t it Laura? You just never know…

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Shahneela 11th November 2017 - 9:15 pm

Nice post with great tips. Yes budgeting and insurance is really important. We use local sim to call,for internet we use hotel wi-fi.

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LaurettaCWright 11th November 2017 - 11:40 pm

Ah yes – hotel’s WI-Fi can always be relied upon!

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Madeeha 11th November 2017 - 2:36 pm

So many great tips. I agree totally with not using regular credit card abroad. My friend was hit by a huge amount of fees for doing that and she used it twice only.

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LaurettaCWright 11th November 2017 - 6:04 pm

Crikey… it just goes to show…

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Emily Underworld 11th November 2017 - 2:26 pm

Lots of great tips! I need to travel more, Airbnb is awesome.

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LaurettaCWright 11th November 2017 - 6:04 pm

Thanks Emily. I think I’m going to have to try airbnb one day!

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes 11th November 2017 - 2:03 pm

Fantastic tips, I try to shop around for travel money and insurance well in advance.

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LaurettaCWright 11th November 2017 - 2:17 pm

It’s a great idea Jemma … you’ll save yourself a small fortune doing that.

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Lilinha 11th November 2017 - 8:19 am

We always change our money before we travel and start looking for the best currency as soon as we book our holiday.
Lilinha recently posted…3 Career-boosting Hacks for Busy MumsMy Profile

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LaurettaCWright 11th November 2017 - 10:46 am

Sounds like you’ve got exactly the right idea on how to save yourself money!

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Linda Hobbis 10th November 2017 - 9:28 pm

Very useful. Need to get a new EHIC (and passports for the kids). I find the idea of travel so daunting somehow.

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LaurettaCWright 11th November 2017 - 11:00 am

I think travel hasn’t become as enjoyable as it once was – especially with all the security restrictions we have to go through. But….better safe than sorry I guess.

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jill conyers 10th November 2017 - 9:01 am

Great tips. I don’t think I’ve ever considered travel insurance. I need to look into that. Thanks!

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LaurettaCWright 10th November 2017 - 1:53 pm

Thanks Jill – insurance really offers that peace of mind especially when there’s a spate of natural disasters, safety threats and airlines going bust!

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Claire 10th November 2017 - 8:51 am

I am a traveler and that mobile phone charges is sooo relatable. I mean nowadays there’s wifi everywhere so. Great tips though.

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LaurettaCWright 10th November 2017 - 1:54 pm

Thanks Claire – I can’t live without my power bank personally!

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five little doves 9th November 2017 - 10:45 pm

Setting a budget is a great idea, I think far too many people over spend when they are travelling and arrive home to debt!

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LaurettaCWright 10th November 2017 - 1:55 pm

Totally agree – and then they have to try and claw back money and end up depriving themselves when they get back!

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Joanna Bayford 9th November 2017 - 10:11 pm

Such great tips budgeting and getting travel insurance is so important. As for mobile charges I didn’t use mine abroad last year as i knew that I’d end up with a hefty bill. We had internet at the hotel we stayed at in Cape Verde and that was pricy too though.
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LaurettaCWright 9th November 2017 - 10:25 pm

Shame that hotels (and airports) etc are stll charging for Wi-Fi isn’t it? In this increasingly connected world we live in, it should be free. Fortunately, more hotels are starting to realise this.

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Starlight and Stories 9th November 2017 - 8:35 pm

Such great tips, we did a prepaid card for the first time this year and it worked out really very well.

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LaurettaCWright 9th November 2017 - 8:44 pm

That’s great to hear – always worthwhile being ahead of the game – can do wonders for the bank balance!

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Joanna 9th November 2017 - 3:20 pm

These are great tips! I love how inside the European Union roaming is free which means you can use your phone same as at home, at no extra cost. Setting a budget is very important as well and know exactly the expectations of how much things will cost you.

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LaurettaCWright 9th November 2017 - 3:53 pm

Absolutely Joanna – what’s that they say….preparation is key?!

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LaurettaCWright 9th November 2017 - 8:34 am

Thanks Lisa – it’s nice to put something together yourself though….nice achievement!

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lisa prince 9th November 2017 - 7:54 am

i cant believe how simple it is i would never have thought about a diy deal , how awesome is that idea

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