There’s a lot to organise before you go on holiday. At Resolver, we totally understand how busy you are, so we’ve pulled together some of our top tips to help you get the best deal and avoid any uneccessary travel trauma.
There are bargains galore to be had on holidays and packages online if you hold your nerve and are willing to be a little flexible. So shop around on the many comparison travel sites. But remember that when you spot something you like, it is best to try and buy directly from the holiday company – it will almost certainly be cheaper without additional booking fees added on.
The Consumer Credit Act covers you for goods and services that don’t turn up or are misrepresented. That doesn’t mean you can get your cash back if you don’t enjoy your holiday. But if you’ve been fundamentally misled or encountered problems, you will be better protected.
The same goes for getting a decent travel insurance policy – it may not prevent problems arising but will ensure you don’t suffer more financial hardship.
Print it, snap it, save it! Whether it’s a hotel booking confirmation, plane tickets or travel insurance documents, save, print out or store all relevant information where you can access it easily.
Lots of people who contact Resolver have been stranded as a direct result of the internet going down with all their info. So if you’ve got e-tickets, make sure that you have back-ups on paper, and that your phone or tablet is fully charged!
Don’t wait to buy foreign currency at the airport. You get the best chance of a decent rate by checking what’s on offer online each day in the weeks before your trip. Once you’ve found a good rate, you can then use a ‘click and collect service from your local station or pick up point’.
There are now many overseas spending cards that can help you save enormous amounts on bank charges for foreign transactions.
Normally, if you use your debit card to make a purchase or withdraw cash from a foreign ATM your bank will hit you with a charge of up to 3% for the privilege – and the interest rate you get will be when the item is presented to the bank, which might not be for weeks.
With overseas spending cards you may still get some ATM charges, but overall they’ll help you avoid most extra charges. You can also get a pre-paid currency card if you want to avoid carrying around a lot of cash.
Don’t leave at the last minute. Security checks are taking longer, no matter which airport your flying from or what your destination is. So add some extra time to get to the airport.
Many airlines are now using automated bag drops. While a check-in assistant might have overlooked that extra pound or two, a machine won’t negotiate – so make sure you leave a kilogram or two to spare when packing your suitcase.
Using your mobile phone abroad shouldn’t be a headache. But the rules covering what firms can charge you for using your card abroad have changed and got much more complicated.
You will likely receive a lot of warnings about your spending limits, but you can still get hit with high charges for photo messages, downloading, and even voicemails that you haven’t even listened to.
If you don’t want to get a pre-paid SIM for your trip, you may want to speak to your provider to find out how their policies work.
Make sure you have a decent travel insurance policy and that you have disclosed any medical issues you’ve had before.
If you’re going to Europe make sure your EHIC card is up to date. While this is not an alternative to travel insurance, it really does help to have it if you have a medical problem.
Watch out for the copycat websites that will try to charge you. Ignore them, it’s free. Here’s the correct link: www.ehic.org.uk
We’ve got loads more holiday tips and advice at www.resolver.co.uk/news so why not get in touch with yours? Remember, if something goes wrong and it isn’t your fault then you have every right to make a complaint – and we can help you get things sorted. www.resolver.co.uk