5 Travel Rip-Offs To Look Out For and How to Avoid Them
Holiday season is upon us, and everyone’s excited to get away. But often times, travellers will opt for convenience while abroad or in transit, and unfortunately, this convenience usually comes at a hefty price. However, with a little bit of research and smart thinking, you can save a lot of money. Not only will you benefit from your efforts, but your friends and family may buy you a drink or two with the money they save too. Below are 5 travel rip-offs to watch out for and how to avoid them.
1. Exchanging Money at The Airport
Airport currency vendors offer the worst exchange rate for travellers. They try to lure customers in by offering 0% commission, but in turn, give a terrible rate to make a profit. For example, did you know that €1,000 at Travelex Heathrow would cost you £951.29, whereas using the same company’s online service would only cost you £890.95? The best advice is to compare rates and exchange money before you leave.
2. Organized Tours
Nearly every tourist destination will offer some sort of package that bundles in several sites to be seen for a fee. These tours are not always a bad deal, but a lot of times, they are. The packages generally include 2-3 of the most popular sites along with several of the less popular, fringe sites that you may not care to visit. Many of these sites will have free entry, but by paying for the ‘package deal,’ you have now paid to get in. These organized tours may provide you with transport to several different tourist locations. However, a little research may indicate that transporting yourself is a cheaper option.
3. Airport Parking
Waiting until the last minute can cost you dearly to park at the airport. Simply booking ahead can cut the cost in half. Even better rates can be found at private car parks that surround the airport, which offer a shuttle to and from your terminal. You can check sites like Airport Parking or Parking4less. You can also avoid airport parking completely by taking public transport or asking a friend or family member for a ride.
4. Buying Travel Insurance Through Your Airline or A Travel Agent
Airlines and travel agents will try to entice you to simply ‘add on’ travel insurance when you are purchasing your tickets or hotel. It seems convenient to simply buy everything at once. However, these travel insurance policies are typically more expensive and offer poor coverage. A simple search on Moneysupermarket will offer a family of four over £2 million in coverage (medical, personal liability, cancellation, baggage, etc.) for a mere £40.
5. Mobile Roaming Charges
Even if you are travelling within Europe, South America, or Asia, roaming rates are fairly cheap now. However, your roaming costs can still be high if you use your phone frequently. Your cheapest option is to simply get a new sim card and pre-pay for usage. You will need to confirm that your phone is unlocked in order to use this feature. Also, turn off your data and use Wifi whenever possible.
You could also get a local sim card once you have reached your destination. What you will find is if you are with a group of friends or family and you all have a local sim, you will be subject to local charges calling each other within the country. Make sure before you buy a pre-paid sim card that you are aware of the charges to determine if you will save money during your holiday.
Going on holiday should be fun and rewarding for all the hard work that has been done to save up for it. Therefore, the last thing you want to do with your holiday money is to squander it unnecessarily for an easy life. The key to making the most of your holiday savings is to take the time to research and compare prices, so you don’t become a victim of travel rip-offs. By following our tips, you can save a lot of money and enjoy your holiday to the fullest. Bon voyage!