If you live in England, you will undoubtedly be aware that the government imposed a second lockdown from the 5th of November to the 2nd of December.
In a bid to give the nation a semblance of a ‘normal’ Christmas this means that travelling away from home in any capacity is restricted except in limited circumstances.
Since the pandemic started earlier in 2020 there have been limitations on both national and international travel. Some people managed to squeeze in a break overseas when the first lockdown was lifted but were faced with country specific limitations and a quarantine period on return to England.
With many people missing out on their usual winter sun and dreaming of sunnier climes when life returns to normal, we wanted to compile some of the best ways to save money when planning to travel abroad once again. With many people struggling financially throughout 2020 we know how important it is to make your money go further.
Shop around for the best holiday package
Whilst the general rule of thumb is the nearer to a departure date the cheaper the holiday, we know this doesn’t suit everyone. The likelihood is you have specific dates you jet away from work so securing something way ahead of schedule is key.
Fortunately, most airlines and travel agents have ever changing discounts and sales throughout the year, resulting in you saving some pennies. Typically, you can filter down your options by location, board level required, star rating and budget. You can then browse various holidays to see their perks and whether transfers are included. A standard package holiday deal will often include your flights, transfers, accommodation and meals (if you opt for all inclusive). There are always savings to be had on package holidays so don’t be afraid to shop around online.
Avoid spending extra money on your flight
Before you’ve even stepped foot on the aeroplane one of the biggest unnecessary holiday expenditures is going over the baggage allowance. If you have selected cabin baggage only your airline will have details on the size and number of bags you can bring onto the aircraft itself. Similarly, there will be weight restrictions on hold luggage too. Failure to comply with the airlines measures will often result in fine, making what was a cheap flight now more expensive. Investing in some luggage scales can pay off in the long run.
When you’re on the flight itself it can be tempting to indulge in some duty-free gifts from the catalogue or have a few drinks and snacks. This can seriously amount up and there are savvy ways to avoid these extra costs. Remember to bring your own headphones and stock up on snacks and food before you enter the airport to avoid the high prices – you can take your own food through security. Furthermore, if you fancy a celebratory drink on the plane grab a couple of alcohol miniatures in duty-free and your favourite mixer as the cabin crew will be more than happy to give you a cup.
Sidestep expensive car rental fees
Driving overseas is a fantastic way to see more of the country you’re staying in. Whilst public transport is often cheap, having the freedom of your own vehicle can really benefit a holiday. Normally rental prices are competitive, and you can typically save money by opting for a standard vehicle or booking for an entire week as opposed to a few days.
The one instance where vehicle hire companies overseas can sting you is with the excess charge – as high as £2,000 in some cases. Most people don’t worry about this as the likelihood of having an accident overseas is unlikely. However, facing a bill of up to £2,000 is you are unfortunate when driving abroad can be very stressful, especially if you don’t have the funds available.
Investing in car hire excess insurance can be a fantastic way to give you peace of mind overseas. For a very small fee, sometimes just even pence per day, you can protect yourself with the specialist excess insurance. This means if you do have an accident whilst in your hire car on holiday the insurance will pay the excess or reimburse you the fee. This means you will not be out of pocket and can enjoy your trip.
Keep an eye on your roaming data
Nothing can prepare you for the horror of a phone bill post-holiday. As of June 2017, your data can be used within the EU at no extra cost other than if you call or text. Many of us forget that our roaming data will pop an extra £100+ on top of our phone bill that month if used outside of the EU depending on how much you use it.
If you’re travelling outside of the EU make sure to turn your data off before you take off. Use your data in emergency situations only and make use of any free Wi-Fi in your accommodation or when you’re out and about. Alternatively, you could purchase a cheap one month only SIM plan with a good data allowance that covers the country you’re travelling too. You will have a different number whilst on your travels but will be able to leave your roaming on if needed.