Don’t forget to budget for these travel extras
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If you’re a budget-conscious traveller, you’ll already know the best tips and tricks for finding low-cost flights and accommodation. However, it’s always the little extras which seem to stack up and catch you off guard.
To ensure you get the most out of your travel budget, you’ll want to ensure you’ve got everything covered. Before you jet off on your holidays in 2020, be sure to factor these travel extras into your budget…
Before you depart on your long-awaited holiday, you’re probably going to treat yourself to a few luxuries. Everyone wants to look their best while they’re away and many people opt for a haircut and/or spray tan to ensure they’re beach-ready the minute they arrive.
Of course, you’ll need to ensure you’ve got sunscreen ready if you’re going somewhere hot, and everyone needs a book or two to read by the pool. When you’ve factored in these little extras, it could increase your budget by a significant amount.
Credit card fees
Although it’s useful to have some cash on hand when you’re away, paying for things by credit card can make things easier. As most major card providers are accepted all over the world, you can avoid the risk of carrying large amounts of cash around with you. What’s more, if you get cashback or incentives every time you use your card, you can build up a nice amount while you’re away.
Of course, travelling with a credit card means you can cancel it straight away if it gets lost or misplaced too. With so many advantages, it’s easy to see why most people rely on their trusty plastic friend when they’re away.
However, it’s important to look out for credit card charges. When you withdraw money or make a purchase on a credit card abroad, your provider might charge additional fees. On some cards, you’ll pay around 3% extra when you make a payment in foreign currency, which can add up to a tidy sum over the course of your holiday.
Before you leave, be sure to check what charges your provider enforces and see if there are any alternative deals available. Some credit cards advertise no fees on currency exchanges or foreign withdrawals and purchases, so you may even want to consider taking out a new card before you go away.
Roaming charges have got the better of all of us at one time or another but there’s no need to be caught out twice. If you’re on a contract plan, check whether your free texts, minutes and data will still be applicable when you’re abroad. Most of the well-known providers state that your free allowance applies in the UK only, so you’ll want to double-check this before you jet off.
Fortunately, there are a variety of ways you can avoid expensive data charges when you’re on holiday or travelling. With a sim from SMARTY, for example, you can use free allowances in Europe and benefit from low-cost data, texts and calls when you’re outside the EU. In addition to this, you can look out for free WiFi at your accommodation or in public spaces.
If you do plan to use free internet when you’re away, take all the same precautions as you would at home. Public internet isn’t as secure as your home setup, so avoid entering confidential information or visiting your online banking site. To increase internet security when you’re away, look into mobile internet security software and VPNs.
Wherever you’re heading on holiday, you’ll probably want to buy a few new garments before you get there. You might not get much use out of a sarong during a British summer, but you’ll certainly need one if you’re travelling to a warmer climate.
However, it isn’t just beach holidays which require some alternative gear. The mild climate in the UK means we aren’t really prepared for any extreme weather conditions. If you’re heading to colder climates, like Iceland, Finland or Canada, you’re going to need something to wrap up warm in.
From sandals and swimwear for the beach to woolly socks and double-layered jackets for the snow; you’ll need to ensure you’ve got the right gear for your destination. Of course, people rarely factor this in when they’re booking a holiday, but it can increase the cost substantially. If you’re travelling as a family, for example, you might need to buy multiple holiday wardrobes to ensure you can make the most of what’s on offer at your destination.
While you’re enjoying yourself on a city break, a beach holiday or an adventurous excursion, you’ll want to make sure that everyone left at home is well looked after. If you have pets, it’s important to plan their care well in advance of your trip. If you’re holidaying at peak times, for example, reputable catteries and kennels will fill up first.
With many pet care companies charging around £50 per night, the cost of caring for your pets while you’re away can be almost as much as the holiday itself. If you’re lucky, you might have kind-hearted family members or friends who can step in and take care of your pets while you’re away.
If not, be sure to consider the cost of pet care before you book your tickets and start packing your bags. As one of the most expensive travel extras, being prepared for the additional cost means you won’t be left short when it comes to holiday spending money.
Preparing for your trip
As your date of departure approaches, you’ll be eager to grab your passport and hit the road. Whether you’re travelling by car, train, boat or plane, however, there’s lots to do before you leave. As well as double-checking that you’ve got your essentials – passport, tickets, medication, phone and keys – you’ll want to make your property secure, turn off electricals, dispose of uneaten food and set the timers for your lights and thermostat.
With all your last-minute jobs done and your travel extras accounted for, you can relax, scroll through social media, perhaps even check out the latest bingo sites, and enjoy a long-awaited holiday in your dream destination.