From bulging baggage to the last-minute currency cash dash, Brits can throw away around £773* unnecessarily for every trip they take abroad, foreign exchange experts FAIRFX has found.
In fact, with the average Brit spending £587.50** while on every trip overseas, travellers are throwing their spending money away before even reaching the departure gates.
Commenting on the 10 silly ways to make your holiday more expensive FAIRFX currency expert Darren Kilner said: “Most of these mistakes are things we’ve probably all done without thinking, so it’s no wonder companies are tempted to rip off travellers when they get the chance. Some of these traps are so easy to fall into such as thinking you can just get your travel money at the airport for the same price as elsewhere whereas in actual fact it could cost you £106 more.*** Most of us have also probably overstuffed our bags and paid the price at the airport. As a currency provider we are all too aware of the pitfalls and want to help people enjoy their breaks without getting stung.”
Ten silly ways to make a holiday more expensive:
1: Bag humbug
Have you ever been in an airport where people aren’t desperately re-packing, or trying to cram big bags into those little cages that show what carry-on luggage you can have? Ignoring your baggage allowance is an ever-popular way to ramp up the costs of your trip pointlessly, while everyone else gets to see what’s in your case and marvel at your holiday smalls.
Cases in point:
British Airways: For an extra 23kg bag pay from £36-£40 online and £40-£65 at the airport
Emirates: For an extra 5kg pay £113 or for an extra 10kg pay a whopping £225
For full list see: http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/2200/Comparing_airline_charges.pdf
2: Name shame
Sloppy form-filling when booking your trip could cost you, so make sure you get your names right if you don’t want to be hit with an unnecessary bill. Most airlines, even the low-costs, are helpful if you’ve mixed up your ‘Stephens’ and ‘Stevens’ but it can get tricky if you’re booking for a friend who doesn’t use their real first name – everyone calls him ‘Bill’ but his passport reveals his parents’ preference ‘William’. If you’re booking flights for a stag or hen party, make sure those William’s come out of the woodwork before it gets expensive.
No more Bills
Cost of changing name on ticket:
Ryanair: £110 online or £160 at airport or call centre
For full list see: http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/2200/Comparing_airline_charges.pdf
3: Rushing Roulette
The night before you travel, pack in a last-minute rush then celebrate with a late glass of wine, before sleeping in for your flight. Then it’s time to play Rushing Roulette and find out just how you’re going to lose a wad of cash. Thanks to that extra hour in bed, will you A) try to convince a cabbie to put his foot down? B) take your own car to the airport and park in the first available space without checking the vast difference in drive-up versus pre-booked parking fees online first? Or – best of all – C) miss the flight altogether? A combination of B and C is the height of travel wastefulness and a surefire way of achieving wasteful wanderer status.
How much do you pay to play?
Example of airport flight change fees:
Wizzair: £49 missed departure fee (Passenger must be no more than 30 minutes late for the scheduled departure time to qualify)
BMI regional: BMI’s website explains that a new ticket must be bought.
If booking online via Heathrow’s own site you can throw away £70 by driving up to the airport carpark without pre-booking (total cost £149) or be organised and park in that same spot for just £79. (Long Stay Terminal 5 from 1-8 June pre-booking.) If you want to throw even more money away, opt for short stay at Sofitel (T5) for £312.
4: The cash dash
Ignoring the need for holiday cash until you’re at the airport is one of the most popular ways to pointlessly raise the cost of your holiday. Exchange rates can be over 10 per cent worse than elsewhere, and that will put a significant £106*** hole in your spending money on every £1,000 you change. Almost as bad is using your plastic abroad without checking the fees – many cards will have a poor exchange rate, a foreign exchange fee and who knows what other nasties. Check online for the best currency deals, or cut the risk and opt for a prepaid currency card which allows you to lock in great exchange rates before you travel.
How much cash could you splash?
If you’ve forgotten to order your prepaid currency card in advance, the best case scenario is you realise 24 hours before you go away that you need your holiday cash and order online from FAIRFX to get top rates. Go to the high street to not only battle the dreaded queues, but pay up to £38.34 extra for the privilege.
Here’s what you’ll lose by going to the top high street offenders:
Marks & Spencers: £34.22
Post Office: £31.69
Last and definitely least, leave it to the very last minute and go to Travelex at Heathrow airport and and lose £106*** of your valuable holiday money. Some regional airports are even worse offenders where you can pay up to £118 more.
5: Rush to the crush
A surefire way to ramp up those holiday costs is to ensure your trip coincides with a major event. You might not be invited on to the red carpet at Cannes, but if your ‘budget’ trip to the south of France happens to fall at the same time as the film festival, you’ll be competing for airline seats with people whose luggage costs more than your car. Hoping for a hotel bargain? Not likely, the whole area is full. Major sporting events and the like will also drive up prices, so check before you book.
The price of popularity?
If you want to visit Monaco’s Formula 1 Grand Prix this year then staying in Nice and travelling into Monaco on the bus or train – for a bus fare of around €30 a day – could make the trip less jaw-droppingly pricey. While we’d probably all love to stay in Monaco, the price difference of almost £8,000 may convince some of us otherwise:
Example of hotel room price differences***:
Hotel Novotel Monte Carlo, Monaco 21-24 May 2015 Executive double room £8,533
Novotel Nice Arenas Aeroport, Nice 21-24 May 2015 Executive room £550
If you want to visit Monaco but Formula 1 isn’t your thing, then going a month later, staying in the very same room, in the very same hotel will also save you almost £8,000:
Hotel Novotel Monte Carlo, Monaco 18-21 June 2015 Executive double room £627
6: The best bar none
The hotel mini bar. Need we say more?
Mini cash disasters
In 2014, TripAdvisor revealed the average cost of a club sandwich in a 4 star hotel in Helsinki is: $38.16 with peanuts in a 4 star hotel in Oslo costing an average of $15.75
7: Wheels of steal
Ah, car hire. Yes, you could get a juicy discount and a great deal by booking online and you could save a small fortune on those Collision Damage Policies by doing the same thing. But who can resist the lure of the car hire queue at some random airport, after your luggage was the last to be offloaded? If you want to pay twice as much as you have to on holiday, this is a great place to start.
Hiring a Vauxhall Astra from Heathrow airport via Avis for a week (1-8 June) costs £215.00 online versus £248 for the same car if you pay at location.
8: Selfie destruction
Just because you’re abroad doesn’t mean you can’t be ripped off at home. In the days before you go on holiday, hit Twitter and Facebook for a spot of boasting, followed by tagging yourself in at the departure lounge so that local ‘looter’ knows exactly when to call round and relieve you of all your worldly possessions.
Share and share alike
Cost = Being burgled and/or losing your car while on holiday
9: Insurance: Stupidity not covered
OK, we don’t need to tell you that it’s bonkers to travel without insurance. But have you ever been tempted to save a few quid on a policy by ‘forgetting’ to mention a medical condition or a previous claim on your application, thus paying good money for a policy which you have immediately invalidated? In terms of finding ways to spend too much on a holiday, this is utter genius as it can actually work out more expensive than not paying for insurance at all.
Cost = Invalid insurance
10: ET don’t phone home
Mobile roaming charges. That is all.
Dial M for Moolah
Some providers charge as much as £3/min to make a call and £2.50/min to receive a call while on holiday overseas.
Bonus tip: Pet peeves
If you’re taking your dog or cat on holiday, never check its paperwork is up-to-date, thus ensuring it’ll be quarantined and you’ll get a bill. Should you decide to holiday without your furry friend, again, it’s worth checking their paperwork is up to date. If they’ve missed their last booster, it’s unlikely the cattery/kennel will accept them so you could be left holidaying at home.
Money fur nothing
Cost per day of putting a dog in quarantine, approx £15 – see list of kennels and catteries provided by gov.uk.
Notes to Editors
FAIRFX is a leading travel money and international payment services provider, offering services to customers in the UK since 2007. Its customer offering includes Prepaid Currency Cards, Travel Cash and International Money Transfers to both personal and business customers.
FAIRFX was named as one of 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain by London Stock Exchange in 2013 and registered on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in August, 2014.
Sharon Flaherty: 07951 327 364 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Davies: – 07966 023 136 – email@example.com
Cost of making silly travel mistakes: *£773:
● Excess baggage, £113
● Name change, £160
● Car hire, £33 more per week ((price correct as at 17 April 2015)
● Not pre-booking your parking space: £312 more (Source: www.airport-parking-shop.co.uk).
● Missed Departure fee with Wizzair: £49
● Money exchange: ***Based on £1,000 changing to EUR with Travelex London Heathrow Airport on April 13th at 9am vs FAIRFX online: £106
** Source: Office for National Statistics
● Table 2 : UK Residents Expenditure (35.7 billion) divided by number of visits (60,890,000) = £587.50
*** Novotel Monte-Carlo, Monaco prices correct on 20th April 2015 http://www.novotel.com/
All prices and exchange rates correct on 13 April 2015 unless stated otherwise. Please check individual websites for latest prices and fees.