The hidden costs of holidays

Summer holidays are a time to relax and have fun in the sun with loved ones. The last thing you want on your mind is money worries when you’re chilling on the beach.

But hidden holiday costs can catch you unaware and leave you totting up your holiday fund last minute. Forget that. This useful guide will show you how to prepare for travel costs in advance...

Change currency beforehand

You know what it’s like – you’re in such a rush packing for your holiday and finishing work projects, you forget to exchange currency. This is a BIG money-loser. Set a reminder on your phone to change currency before arriving at the airport, as rates are often much cheaper elsewhere. Use moneysupermarket.com or moneysavingexpert.com for the best rates and 0% commission deals.

Pre-book airport parking

It’s all too tempting to chance it with airport parking, but leave it too late and you could be stung on price. Try to pre-book your car parking space online weeks in advance to secure the best rate possible. Remember to use a price comparison site like parking4less.com and a cashback site such as topcashback.co.uk to get more money off your booking.

Excess baggage deals

We’ve all been there. You arrive at airport check-in only to discover that your suitcase is 5 kilos overweight. Spare yourself the embarrassment of rifling through your undies in public and pre-weigh your case at home. If you do need to increase your hold luggage, do it online. Flybe, for example, states on its website that they offer a saving of least 60% on hold luggage charges if you add it online. It’s a no-brainer.

Clever car rental

It’s holiday time and you want to go with the flow. That’s fine, but not with car rental. Expect to pay much steeper prices when booking a car at the airport or resort. Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis says “It's possible to get holiday car hire for £3.50/day by booking early”. He recommends using a comparison site like skyscanner.net or kayak.co.uk  to find those early-bird deals.

Hotel room tax

This is a nasty one. You’ve prepaid for your hotel and think that’s all done and dusted, but on arrival at your accommodation there’s a shock in the form of ‘tourist or city tax’. Many European hotels and resorts charge this tax, which ranges from one to seven euros per person a night for over 16s. Don’t be caught out – budget for this beforehand.

Hiring sunbeds on beach

Surely lying on the beach is free? Not always. Unless use of sunbeds is included in your hotel package, prepare to pay a daily fee for a lounger. Ten Euros a day, for example, is a big hit on your holiday budget. Instead, buy a cheap beach umbrella and borrow towels from the hotel to lie on the beach.

With just a little bit of planning and preparation, you can get ahead of these forgotten holiday costs and turn them into a part of your annual holiday budgeting and nothing to worry about.

Happy travels.