With the peak travel period nearly upon us, here are a few common sense hints and tips to making the most of your holiday before and during your trip.
Is your Passport valid?
Oddly enough, many people head-off to the airport, bags packed, tickets in their purse and passport in their back pocket and it’s not until they arrive that they realise the darn thing has expired. The fun but expensive way to avoid this problem is to holiday on a regular basis, however, not all of us can afford that.
Thankfully, most, if not all booking services these days insist upon your entering your passport details prior to confirming your purchase, so the chances of an embarrassing and costly awakening at the airline check-in desk are minimal…but it’s best to check first.
Passport renewals are around £70 (£72.50 to be precise) and take on average 3 weeks to process and be returned to you. For those of you in a hurry, there are express services available, but it is almost double the cost.
Are you going to be driving abroad?
Similar to the above issue, it’s worth checking that you are valid to drive or ride mopeds even abroad. An International Driving Permit
(IDP) may be required. Click here to see every country that requires you to have an International Driving Permit.
Shampoo, toothpaste, body lotion or what-have-you, travel sized toiletries are the way forward. In the lead-up to your holiday, start to collect those freebies or trial-sized mini-bottles and then decant into them your recently purchased big bottles of that super-duper name brand product you simply can’t do without. Of course, if you’re reluctant to bother or simply don’t have the time, try our friends at Travel Toiletries 2 Go
for a bargain pack of holiday essentials.
Woohoo, the summer has arrived! And then disappeared and then come back again! But no matter where you’re holidaying, be it Greece, Croatia or your back garden, there is something that you positively, most definitely, absolutely must not neglect to use - sun cream! Our article on Sun Cream Do’s and Don’ts
might be of help and clear-up a few myths.
They can be awfully expensive. Famous tour guides, while laden with information can be quite weighty and cost in excess of £15 each, especially if it’s a last-minute purchase at the airport. Our tip, before you head-off, have a quick search on the internet for the country/city you’re visiting. Many local tourist sites have invested their time and knowledge into local guides and can be of tremendous use…many are also free or substantially cheaper. Here are a couple for Slovenia
you might find useful.
Before you even leave for the airport, we’re talking a few days in advance, get online and check-in! It takes all of five minutes, you pick your seats, virtually check-in your bags and then you can concentrate on packing and other pre-holiday activities. Bear-in-mind that the sooner you check-in, the better your chances of finding a seat away from the toilet and with that extra leg room…if it really exists.
Liquids and Security
Like water and oil they are destined to stay separate…but that’s not to say that you have to pay over the odds for airport water. Just take an empty bottle with you and fill it up at the water fountain after you’ve cleared security. Sure, this particular hasn’t trickled the streams from a highland mountain or been sourced from a particularly joyous valley, but it is FREE! You can also use a filter bottle if you prefer.
How many of you have stepped aboard your budget flight and felt the pang of hunger? Well, depending on your destination, you may be able to wait-out the flight and eat upon arrival, but likely as not, the rumbling will continue and you’ll be forced to start the holiday spending early with an overpriced sandwich.
The funny thing is, airport security say NO to liquids, but YES to snacks. Take a packed lunch or pop by the local supermarket and get a ‘meal deal’. It’ll save you money and is almost guaranteed to taste better…almost.
Tell your mobile provider you're going abroad
Give them a call before you travel and let them know you’re off on hols or at least turn-off your ‘roaming’. Likewise, tell your Credit Card or Debit Card Company that you’re off to get a tan. If they don’t know you’re going to be using their service abroad, there’s a very good chance they’ll flag any transactions as suspicious and possibly even place a block on its usage until told differently.
Extra Hint: Turn-off your power and water at home prior to heading to the airport. The last thing you need is an extra bill upon your arrival back home or a burst water main.
Visit eurochange prior to going to the airport. Rates of exchange at airports are notoriously bad and it’s not just a biased opinion on our part, travel tip expert Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert
thinks so too.