Top travel tips


MoneyPlus Features Team

20th July 2016 at 2:31pm

Everybody loves a holiday – it’s undeniably one of life’s pleasures. But travel is full of pitfalls and if you put a foot wrong it could ruin the whole thing. Don’t worry though because we’ve got you covered. Whether it’s a cancelled flight, a dodgy exchange rate or an unexpected phone bill – our handy travel guide can help you escape these common holiday mishaps.

So read these top travel tips and ensure you next holiday is one to remember – for all the right reasons.


1. When to book?

Don’t always believe the hype about booking early:

  • Prices are at their lowest between 30-70 days before departure – then they go up in the last month
  • Prices are higher at the weekend and cheaper by Tues and Wed

2. Is your EHIC up-to-date?

If you are visiting Europe a European Health Insurance card is useful:

  • It can get you free or discounted medical treatment in state-run hospitals
  • And, it’s free

Apply at But remember this doesn’t replace travel insurance.

3. Why would you get annual travel insurance?

Well if you’re going to be away on more than one trip a year it will be cheaper.

Get your travel insurance as soon as you book so you’re covered for any cancellations and changes.

4. Take a packed lunch

Liquids over 100ml are banned going through security at the airport – but food isn’t.

So why not take your own food with you for the flight so you don’t have to rely on airport or plane food?

5. Has your flight been delayed in the last six years?

You might be eligible for 100s in compensation.

A European Court of Justice ruling means that you can claim up to 600 € if the airline is responsible for the delay of three or more hours.

You can claim as far back as 2005.

6. Check out the best rates

There are plenty of big shops and online sites that do currency deals- the airport will never be the cheapest!

Try the TravelMoneyMax comparison site to see some of the best deals.

Shop around.

7. Are you ATOL protected?

If you book a package holiday you will be. And if you book your flights, hotel and car hire together from the same travel website you will be.

But if you book directly through the airline you won’t be ATOL protected.

8. When does your passport expire?

  • When did you last check? You don’t want to get to the airport and told you can’t travel
  • Check the requirements for the country that you’re visiting – some may require six months of validity

And it isn’t true that you can travel to Europe without a passport.

9. Want to avoid shock charges?

Using the internet abroad can be costly on your mobile – so avoid any shocks by turning off your 3G/4G and data roaming.

But if you do have to use it there are ways to slash costs including data roaming add-ons, free wifi hotspots and even switching your SIM.

10. Why you should pay with a credit card?

If your flights or package holiday costs more than £100, and you pay for them with a credit card, you will automatically have some extra protection as your credit card company has equal liability, thanks to section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

11. Don’t leave your car hire to the last minute

  • Decide what class of car that you need and if you’ll need any extras like sat nav that you don’t automatically get
  • Compare different company’s prices – there are many comparison sites like

And book early – because the earlier you book the more you’ll save.

12. What else do you need for car hire?

  • An excess policy – if you take it from the car hire company you’ll pay a premium price so shop around for a standalone one (either single trip or annual)
  • A code from DVLA – it’s part of the new Share Driving Licence online service

13. What should you have when you drive abroad?

  • A valid UK driving licence if you are driving within the EUEEA
  • If driving outside the EUEEA you also need an International Driving Permit (IDP) – you can get this from the Post Office
  • Insurance – check your insurance still covers you when you’re abroad. Some policies only cover you for third party if driving outside the UK
  • Breakdown cover – will this work when you’re abroad? Check the policy

14. Having a big day out when you’re away?

Check the prices for your excursions before you go. Are there web vouchers or cheap deals around?

Specialist ticket agents can undercut buying direct too. So if you’re going to Disney USA or Paris, use the theme park’s own site to benchmark prices against the ticket agents and deals.

15. Pay with the local currency

What to choose – pounds or euros?

When you make a payment abroad, you’ll often be asked to choose which currency you’d like to pay in – pick the currency of the country that you’re visiting and your own bank will usually give you a better conversion rate.

16. When is a phone a sat nav?

If you’re away and you have turned off your roaming data then your navigation apps won’t work.

But here is an app that does work on its own. It is called Navmii and once it’s downloaded on your phone you can access routes and maps because they are all stored offline.

And you can use this in 178 countries.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading these hints and tips for your perfect holiday. And if you’ve got more why not let us know by leaving a comment at the end?

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