Common mistakes we all make when booking holidays according to a money expert – and why they could end up adding to y
Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
A money expert has revealed that Brits could be missing out on holiday deals due to common mistakes we all make when booking getaways.
Picking the wrong flights, booking too early (or too late) and simply shoving too much stuff into your suitcase could actually leave you facing unnecessary extra costs when planning your trip.
Luckily Jonathan Merry, CEO at MoneyTransfers.com, is on hand to reveal how to avoid some of the common mistakes made by holidaymakers, from the moment you start planning to when you’re actually away on your holiday.
Check out his advice below…
Sign up to the Mirror’s travel newsletter for more tips, deals and news.
Booking your flights too early – or too late
Booking your flight too early could actually wind up costing you more, with airlines often reducing their flight prices nearer the departure date. However, you don’t want to wait too long, or you could see prices jump back up due to demand in the week prior to the holiday.
The sweet spot? Research shows booking around three to four months ahead of time could help you avoid paying more than necessary.
The day you fly on
Friday evenings and weekends are known to be the most expensive days to fly, with most airlines charging more for flights on these days.
Arrange a flight that leaves midweek, and you could make some significant savings.
Not taking out travel insurance
Travel insurance is essential; although it feels like an extra cost up-front, it could save you cash in the long term.
You can find cheap policies that cost less than a coffee, and will still cover you for the likes of illness, injury, valuables being stolen and cancellations. Not having insurance at all could leave you risking bills of thousands of pounds if things go wrong.
Not comparing prices of hotels/flights
You may have a favourite airline, but shop around as you could be missing out on some great deals elsewhere.
If you don’t mind a longer journey time, opt for non-direct flights. Clear your browser history regularly and start monitoring prices months in advance to get a good idea of the deals out there.
Using the wrong currency
When travelling you should avoid paying in sterling and instead always pay in the country’s local currency to avoid being hit with high exchange rates, which can be as high as up to 5% more than the cost.
When abroad, always check which currency you are going to be using before paying and insist on paying in the local currency to avoid such charges.
Not checking your bank card
You should always check to see if your bank charges you for using your card abroad, as some do charge for transaction and purchase fees; all of which can quickly add up.
Another option may be a prepaid card, which you can transfer money onto before travelling, in order to avoid fees when paying abroad.
If you are planning to be abroad over a long period of time, a money transfer provider could be the answer. Shop around as not all providers are the same, and due to the involvement of large sums of money, you need to find a provider that not only offers attractive exchange rates but is also regulated and safe.
Exchanging your currency at the airport
Yes it’s more convenient, but you will most likely end up paying more. If you’ve left it last minute and have no choice but to use the airport currency exchange services, check if you can buy your currency online.
The majority of airports offer this service and you can pick up your cash once you’ve arrived – not only does this mean you can sort it the night before, but you can also get better rates than in-person on the day.
Ignoring baggage fees
Check your airline’s luggage rules, for both hand luggage and checked luggage.
Fines for overweight bags can be costly, so you should always weigh your bag at home before arriving at the airport to avoid the frantic redistribution of your overweight luggage at check-in. Try and wear all bulky items of clothing and footwear such as jackets or trainers, to avoid having to pack them.
Visiting attractions at peak times
Booking a holiday over a weekend is usually more convenient, but it does come with a cost.
Often tourist attractions will charge more during peak hours which tend to be weekends. Some countries offer free entry to museums on specific days as well; for example, Barcelona offers free entry to most museums on the first Sunday of every month.
Check details for your chosen attractions before heading abroad so you can be smart about how you plan your itinerary.
Dining in tourist hotspots
Go where the locals go; it’s usually better value and also makes for a more immersive travel experience.
Although you may want to sit and admire the tourist attractions whilst dining, restaurants in tourist hotspots will pretty much always have higher prices.
There are already plenty of deals for summer 2022 to be had including hotspots such as Greece, Spain, France and more. Here we’ve rounded up some of the best ones:
- TUI has free kids’ places including the school holidays – book here.
- Loveholidays has all-inclusive packages from £165pp – book here.
- First Choice has free kids’ places for all-inclusive holidays – book here.
- Jet2holidays has various offers including infants going free – book here.
- Mirror Holidays has some dreamy escorted tours – book here.
You can also sign up to the Mirror’s travel newsletter for a weekly dose of deals, news and holiday inspiration.
This article contains affiliate links, we may receive a commission on any sales we generate from it.Learn more
Explore a city on foot where possible – it can be a great way to soak up the history and culture in the process. Other alternatives include bike rentals or public transport; all of which often work out cheaper than getting taxis everywhere.
Oh, and if you need to book an airport transfer, make sure you do this well in advance to avoid having to pay the high prices on the day.
Splurging on tourist or travel passes
Before splurging out on tourist or travel passes, always calculate whether they will actually be worthwhile. Try to plan a rough itinerary before travelling so you can see exactly how often you will need to hop on public transport or how much sightseeing you will realistically fit into your holiday, as you may not actually get your money’s worth.