publication date: Mar 19, 2009
author/source: Anne Coates
Make your holiday money go further with Anne's top ten tips:
- Getting to a London airport - returns on Gatwick Express and Heathrow Express are far more expensive than the southern service and underground respectively. To Stansted the bus outside Liverpool Street Station takes a little longer than the train but costs half as much.
- Foreign currency – buy with cash at Post Offices. Using debit cards mean an extra 2.5 per cent charge. Dollars and Euros are available on the same day but for all other currencies you have to order two days in advance.
- Holiday insurance – check your home contents insurance as you may be covered for losing/damage to your belongings abroad and this could cut the cost of your holiday policy. If you have an annual holiday policy only renew it when you are about to go on another trip.
- When to go – midweek flights are less expensive than Friday and Sunday dates.
- Tourist information – make the most of the wealth of information available free from tourist information offices either in the UK or in the country of your destination. Don’t buy maps, get them on arrival and download any directions you need from the web.
- Travel guides – read up about your destination by borrowing books form the library or going on line. Remember any book you buy will be about a year out of date on prices and opening times etc.
- Inflight food – if it isn’t provided free of charge by your carrier, buy your sandwiches and drinks in the departure lounge outlets. You’ll have a wider choice and they’ll be cheaper.
- Credit cards – the Post Office credit card has a 0 per cent commission on purchases overseas. It is worth using a credit card when buying jewellery or expensive items as if there is anything wrong with the product you are covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and should be able to get your money back.
- Mobile phones – it’s cheaper to send texts than make calls. You will be charged for calls made to your mobile so switch it off and make sure you don’t have the voicemail service activated unless it really is important for you to receive calls.
- Sterling – don’t be tempted to pay for goods in sterling – the exchange rate will be uncompetitive and will cost you between one and five per cent more.