The average Briton spends around £1393 per holiday and takes an average of 121 holidays throughout their lifetime.
This may seem like an extraordinary amount, but many people forget to factor in all of the costs, such as currency exchange, pet care and insurance, amongst others. These factors can be broken down into smaller, manageable costs. Click the icons to discover some useful hints and tips to take into consideration before you book your holiday.
It pays to be a member of a Frequent Flyer program, even if you are not a ‘frequent’ flyer!
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan – Partners include AA, BA, Cathay Pacific, Delta Airlines, Emirates – these together don’t have a program, but you can pool your points together with Alaska Airlines.
British Airways Executive Club – great for short haul flights (8000 avios points return London/Paris) – part of One World Alliance, which includes American Airlines and Qantas.
"Pre-paid currency cards beat airport currency exchange rates by 8% and those offered by the bureau de changes and travellers cheques by 4%... The main saving on a prepaid card is not on purchasing but withdrawing"
- The Guardian -
Prepaid currency cards are most cost effective in shops and restaurants, as opposed to being used to withdraw cash from ATMs. Some cards have ATM fees.
Advantage: a currency card is not linked to your bank account, and is easy to replace if lost or stolen.
Disadvantage: don’t leave balance on a pre-paid card for your next holiday, as most have an inactive fee, sometimes as much as £2 a month.
Always choose/ask to pay in local currency when using a credit or currency card in a shop or restaurant.
Further Reading: skyscanner.net
Halifax Clarity: Worldwide no exchange rate fee; free cash withdrawals abroad. However there is interest, even when repaid in full, which can work out about £1 per month per £100 withdrawn.
There are several different options to choose from with regards to mobile or cellular charges. It is free to receive texts worldwide, but it costs to receive calls.
Turn off data roaming and 3G, otherwise you could rack up a bill worth hundreds of pounds.
Don’t forget to switch your voicemail off, as receiving a voicemail message is still regarded as receiving a phone call.
If you’re travelling for an extended period of time, consider purchasing a local, pay-as-you-go sim card. If you’re travelling for a short period of time consider adding temporary add-ons to your contract.
Vodafone Passport: free for pay-as-you-go customers only. Calls cost 75p for connection and then standard home rate charges. 75p connection charge for receiving calls, and then free for 60 minutes, after which it becomes 20p per minute.
T-Mobile World Class: free for all contract customers. Calls cost 55p per minute.
It can often work out cheaper to purchase annual cover than single trip cover. Check in which countries you are covered. Some insurance companies don’t automatically include North America.
Depending on who you are travelling with, you might want to consider purchasing a family, or couples plan. These plans can often cover you individually as well, so if you were travelling separately at a later date you wouldn’t need to purchase more insurance.
Some bank accounts include a travel insurance package. Nationwide Flex Account is one such account.
Always take your travel insurance documents with you. Scan them into your email before you leave, so in case you misplace them you can access them easily by going online.
If you’re a UK citizen travelling within Europe register for a free EHIC card. Apply here.
If you are under the influence of alcohol and have an accident this might invalidate your policy. Always check the small print.
For travel insurance advice, visit http://www.essentialtravel.co.uk
Remember to consider pet care costs.
The average cost of a kennel per day is £13
The average cost of a cattery per day is £8
Check the cattery and dog shelter opening times. You may need to book an extra day either side of your trip if you’re leaving early in the morning, or arriving home late at night.
Check which countries require which vaccinations.
NHS - Travel vaccinations
Visa cost. Not all countries require visas. However you may be refused entry on arrival at your holiday destination if you have not previously applied for the required visa. Check here to see which countries require which visas: projectvisa.com
There are often several different visa types for some countries, so make sure you have organised the right one.
Weekend, Edinburgh to Paris,
British Airways avios points, 2 people:
- earn 2156 points (return)
- spend 18,000 points, £0.00 + taxes, fees and charges (return)
- or spend 9000 points, £25.00 + taxes, fees and charges (return)
Insurance: Covered by free EHIC card.
Dog in the kennels for 3 nights = £65
Budget around £180 (€210) per day (including hotel)
Mobile costs on Orange Europe Traveller £5
Average total Cost of trip (for 2 people): £635
2 weeks in Bangkok, Thailand,
flying from London Heathrow.
- earn 11,838 avios points, British Airways (LHR-BKK)
- spend 60,000 points, £0.00 + taxes, fees and carrier charges (return)
- or spend 30,000 points, £240 + taxes, fees and carrier charges (return)
Travelling alone (age 24) Travel Insurance £26.77
Cat in the cattery for 16 nights = £128
By Thai law any traveller arriving into Thailand is supposed to be carrying a minimum of $125 (£80) to $250 (£165). Budget around £40 (1860 baht) per day (includes hotel cost)
Mobile costs on Orange £5
Hepatitis B £30 on NHS, however Hep A + B together = free on NHS
Average total Cost of trip: £1230