20 pounds notes and 50 pence coins

Travelling to Europe in these uncertain times

20 pounds notes and 50 pence coins

The European debt crisis affects not just Greece which has been continuously under the spotlight but also Italy, Ireland, Spain and Portugal. In addition, Belgium made the news recently with its bank Dexia on the brink of collapse while the wolves are now nipping at the heels of France. Cyprus is not faring too well economically either and Hungary’s rating has been downgraded to junk status by Moody’s.

Politicians have no clue how to get us out of this mess and only seem to be able to come up with meeting after meeting that only serve to draw out the situation like a terminally ill patient who refuses to die.

But what does all this mean to travellers anyway? With the euro on the brink of collapse, travellers have to be prepared for this and for any other eventualities if ever this turmoil turns to chaos. Here’s how to be prepared.

Beware the mighty euro

With the imminent collapse of the euro, travellers had better not change all their money into this currency, especially too early in advance. While you will certainly be able to get rid of your euros when the time comes, the exchange rate with definitely not be in your favour when everyone will be trying to ditch their euros too. So wait at the last minute to change your money and even then, don’t buy more than what you need. And a word of advice: if you still have some euros left and you don’t intend to use them any time soon, you’d better change them.

Travel insurance
With all this uncertainty across Europe, there has never been a better time to get covered with travel insurance. For peace of mind and to make sure you are prepared for anything unexpected, travel insurance will hedge your bets and a Europe-wide policy is not expensive.

ABTA

Your travel insurance might cover you in case your airline goes bust or even your travel agent goes bankrupt suddenly but it never hurts to have additional protection, especially if it is free. The recent financial woes of Thomas Cook, the second biggest tour operator in Europe, are a stark reminder that even giants can fall. So make sure your travel company or travel agent is registered with ABTA, that way you’ll get your full money back if the worst happens.

Binge on credit cards

Alternatively, you can also make your bookings and purchases with a credit card as you are automatically covered if the amount is greater than £100.
If you plan your holidays yourself and book flights, hotels and car rental separately, then one or more company may not be covered by ABTA, especially if it’s a hotel. So your credit card will come in handy for extra protection. But beware of fees and commissions if you are using your credit card abroad and remember the minimum purchase amount.

Start shopping

Finally, it is not all doom and gloom. There are plenty of great deals to be had as businesses fight tooth and nail for your custom.  So if you are looking for a good deal, whether it’s clubbing in Faliraki or skiing in the Alps, start shopping around for the best prices and as long as you are well-protected, you can book your holidays in advance and look forward to them with peace of mind.

Bundle of notes

Going on holidays in times of recession

Bundle of notesMany people are worried about their finances at the moment due to the uncertain economic climate and life’s little luxuries such as holidays can be one of the first things that are sacrificed. With us all working hard, holidays are important to ensure we have at least one opportunity to relax and unwind from our daily stresses.

Here are a few tips on how to make your money stretch further to ensure your holidays can still happen during times of economic crisis.

Travel Insurance

Now you may think when trying to save money that any extras such as travel insurance can be overlooked however this is one extra that could actually end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. Taking out an adequate travel insurance policy will give you piece of mind should anything go wrong during your holiday, lost travel documents and lost luggage can result in large costs and cancelled or delayed transport without travel insurance can leave you stranded forcing you to pay for alternative transport. Using price comparison sites such as moneysupermarket.com to compare travel insurance policies can help reduce costs further to make sure you are getting the policy you need at the best value for money.

Shop around

A great way to save money when travelling can be done before you even leave the house and it’s all in the preparation! Never book the first holiday you find, always do your research and make sure there are no tour operators out there that are offering your holiday cheaper. If booking at the travel agents, always ask what extras they have added on, small things like in flight meals can soon mount up and travel agents will often offer a travel insurance policy that you can get cheaper elsewhere if you do your research. Don’t be afraid to ask if they are giving you the best price, a sea view room for example may cost more than a garden room which are also available; if you ask your travel agent can help you get the best value for money.

Prepaid cards

Where a lot of people blow their holiday budget is not when they are booking it but instead whilst they are away on meals, days out and souvenirs and presents for people book at home, prepaid cards provide a fantastic way of limiting what you are spending. The cards are loaded with money before you leave home so you can choose exactly how much you want to spend and the fact that they aren’t credit cards means you don’t have to worry about any debts when you get back. If you were too lose your card your money is protected just call the provider as soon as possible to cancel it. Do be careful when using the card to withdraw cash as many have extra charges that you wouldn’t want to incur.

Go All Inclusive

Where a lot of people overspend on holiday is through dining in different restaurants every night, if you don’t mind staying in your hotel to eat going all inclusive can save you a great deal of money. Plenty of hotels have not just one but several great restaurants to choose from and an all inclusive option is not only convenient but also means you won’t overspend on expensive meals. Another great aspect of going all inclusive is that your alcoholic drinks are also more often than not included; buying alcohol can result in a lot of over spending on holiday, if this is included in the costs it can end up saving you a substantial amount.