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Holiday money spending mistakes to avoid at all costs

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22/08/2017
Your annual summer holiday is expensive enough, particularly this year when the pound is weak. Here are some money-wasting activities to avoid.

Research from GoCompare Money asked Brits about their holiday money spending mistakes and found many are wasting cash on avoidable charges and poor deals.

The top three holiday money mistakes were: paying a premium to eat or drink in cafes and restaurants in main tourist hotspots, incurring charges for using an ATM abroad and, poor foreign currency exchange rates. Other money mistakes include exceeding the airport carry-on rules for liquids and having bottles of drink, make-up, sun-cream and toiletries confiscated, charges for excess baggage and, rip-off fees charged by car hire companies.

The table below lists all the holiday money wasters:

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Matt Sanders from GoCompare Money, said many of the holiday money leaks identified relate to relatively low value items but others such as excess charges from hire car companies, can leave a sizable dent in holiday budgets.

He said: “Many holidaymakers are happy to pay extra to enjoy a stunning view while sipping a coffee or glass of wine but, forking out for avoidable bank fees or unplanned mobile phone or data charges can be expensive and really take the shine off your holiday. The good news is that ‘Roam Like Home’ legislation came into force this June, abolishing roaming fees across the EU. Holidaymakers need to be aware that they may still be caught out by a shock bill when they get home if they exceed their regular phone or data allowances or, travel outside EU territories.”

Travel money saving tips

Currency and cards: Foreign currency exchange rates and charges vary widely. Don’t take the easy option and take time to shop around for the best deal. In particular, check your debt and credit card provider’s charges for withdrawing cash abroad, as foreign usage fees can significantly increase the cost of access currency via an ATM.

Travel insurance: Always buy travel insurance for a foreign holiday, but check whether you are covered on a credit card or with a bank account. Travel insurance provides financial protection against a range of unexpected events – such as illness, injury, theft and loss of baggage and personal belongings, as well as travel delays and holiday cancellation. Also, if you are travelling within Europe make sure you take a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you.

Mobile phones and data roaming: On 15 June 2017, intra-European Union roaming charges were abolished. This means that wherever you are in the European Union your mobile phone operator will charge you the same for calls and texts as though you are in the UK. However, special ‘fair rate’ rules and rates apply to data use. For non-EU countries (including Switzerland, Iceland, Norway) check your mobile operator’s roaming charging policy.

Know your limits at the airport: Familiarise yourself with your carrier’s luggage allowance rules, otherwise you will be faced with hefty excess baggage charges. Whether you are checking luggage into the hold or travelling with hand baggage only, weigh and measure your bags and cases to ensure they are within the permitted allowances.

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