25th June 2015 at 2:34pm
There’s nothing more exciting than going on holiday but travel is full of pitfalls and putting a foot wrong could ruin the entire experience. From an overpriced hotel to a wasted afternoon queuing at a tourist attraction – make sure you escape these common holiday mishaps by reading our top 10 travel tips and tricks.
1. Get a good deal on travel insurance
It’s boring but essential – then you can enjoy your holiday knowing that if something goes wrong, you’re covered.
The typical plan should cover emergency medical expenses, baggage loss and delay, and recover at least some of the cost of your trip if you have to cancel or cut your holiday short. Compare holiday insurance quotes from leading insurers so you get the best deal. You could have travel insurance built into some loyalty programmes, check with your providers and see if you’re already covered.
2. Read user reviews
Websites like TripAdvisor offer fantastic insight. You can evaluate hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions but remember user reviews are useful, they aren’t sacrosanct. Generally the more reviews, the more valuable the ratings.
- Check the date – establishments often change, move or close down.
- Look at photos posted by users – a picture is worth a thousand words.
3. Save on accommodation
Hotels aren’t the only option – there are all kinds of cheaper accommodation options out there you just have to know where to look. Airbnb is a trusted online marketplace where people can share their homes with travellers for a fee. Staying with a local is a really good way to experience a country and its people.
4. Keep an eye on extras
Many airlines and hotels unbundle services you would expect to be included. This can include snacks, breakfast, checked bags, entertainment and WiFi – basically there’s a fee for everything. Check what’s included and what’s not before you run up a massive bill.
5. Learn the language
Learning just a few words goes a long way – locals appreciate when you make an effort to communicate in their own language.
6. Check attractions
Always check online if you can buy tickets in advance. It might cost a little bit extra but it’s better than standing in a queue for hours. Timed entry is a great option if it’s available.
7. Don’t carry too much cash
Unless you’re really traveling off the beaten track most places have cash machines so it’s unnecessary to carry more money than you need for a couple of days.
8. Shop around for best exchange rate
Look around for a credit or debit card that doesn’t charge for purchases abroad and avoid exchanging money in your hotel.
9. Avoid mobile charges
The shock of a high phone bill on your return could leave a bad taste so make sure you read up on the charges before you go. Ask your provider about a separate roaming package or you could buy an international SIM card that lets you make cheaper calls abroad.
10. Book the airport lounge
This is great for long-haul flights. There is a fee but you’ll get a peaceful place to unwind with complimentary drinks, food, magazines, newspapers and WiFi. When you think about how much you’d spend in the airport otherwise, you might find it’s actually a cost-effective, not to mention relaxing, way to start your holiday.
These are just some tips that show how a little know-how and planning can make your holiday a success. If you’re a seasoned traveller and know any travel tips we’ve missed, please tell us in the comments.