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New research from Admiral Travel Insurance revealed that “hidden” or unexpected charges could add a huge £1,083 to the cost of a holiday this summer. These include £252 on just flight-related extras including hold luggage (£67), reserved seating (£78), infant charges (£44) and onboard snacks (£63).
Other “hidden” costs include an extra £46 for a week’s parking at the airport. The airport charges are followed by ATM or credit card charges at their destination.
This takes the total unexpected holiday costs to £1,084 for a family of four. Admiral’s holiday budget influencer, SkintDad, shared some advice for travellers who want to take the holiday costs down.
Take a packed lunch
Travellers should take a snack if they think they will fancy one on the plane. In terms of onboard drinks and snacks, “the airline can make a decent profit,” the money experts warned.
They advised: “Instead, buy some food slightly cheaper after you go through security or consider packing a sandwich, fruit and cakes in your luggage before you set off. While solid foods are allowed on flights, it’s best to declare what you’re taking to security staff so it won’t slow down checks.”
Exchanging currency at the airport works out more expensive, and it can work out just as costly to use an ATM abroad.
Britons should “swap any cash they want to take well in advance and use an online service to find the best deals”.
The experts at SkintDad also recommended “opening up a new bank account to use when travelling, which offer zero percent fees and allow you to pay in the local currency”.
Get travel insurance early
It is essential that travellers don’t leave buying travel insurance to the last minute. It’s always best to get a quote and buy insurance as soon as they book their holiday.
“Rather than just covering for any loss while you’re away, it means you may be covered for cancellations from the moment your cover starts. So, if you lose your job, are too ill to travel or suffer a bereavement, your insurer may cover the holiday costs,” the experts explained.
Watch out for car hire extras
The experts explained: “If you are planning to hire a car, there can be a lot of extra costs added that you might not have expected. Some airlines allow you to take a car seat and store it in the hold at no additional cost, which saves you hiring a seat abroad.
“Even hiring a GPS will cost you more, but you can save money by packing a car phone holder and downloading a map app before you arrive. Be sure to check on roaming costs if you use data to check live traffic updates,” they advised.
Taking baby stuff
If Britons are travelling with an infant, “instead of packing bulky things such as powdered baby milk or nappies in your hold luggage (adding extra weight and losing space for other things), buy them from the airport pharmacy after you’ve gone through security”.
“You can then carry it on with your hand luggage. Some stores also offer click and collect direct to the airport shop to speed things up,” budget experts at SkintDad said.
It may feel easier to park in the airport’s short stay car park, but travellers can save by leaving their car at off-site parking and travelling by shuttle bus or taxi to the terminal.
Consider a train
Another option is to leave the car at home.
A return train journey to the airport (particularly if passengers have a Family and Friends Railcard) may work out cheaper than the cost of fuel and parking costs.
Apply for UK GHIC
It’s free to apply for UK Global Health Insurance Card (UK GHIC) or EHIC, and it can give travellers peace of mind in the EU if the worst happens when they are away. The card will give Britons access to either free or cheaper state emergency treatment and visits to A&E.
Check your passport
The budget experts at SkintDad warned: “Double-check that the dates on your passports are well within the travel limits. When you know they are, keep your passports in a safe place – away from potential hazards of toddlers ripping them or dogs chewing them in the days before you travel.
“While you can fast track a passport renewal, it’s just another cost you could do without!”
Cosmin Sarbu, head of travel at Admiral Travel Insurance, commented: “For many of us, this is the first summer that a week in the sun feels within reach for a couple of years, so it’s easy to forget just how much those hidden extras add to the overall cost of your holiday – over a thousand pounds for a family of four.”
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