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Avoid These 10 Common Blunders When Booking a Holiday

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Your holiday is booked, all that’s left to do is pack those bikinis and swim shorts. So, how could things possibly go wrong? Well they can, in fact you would be surprised at the amount of schoolboy errors that travellers make. However many of these errors could be avoided, let’s see how.

Is Your Passport Valid?

Obviously you’ve booked a holiday so your passport is valid isn’t it? Actually you would be surprised how many travellers book a holiday without checking their passport is valid, and some have even turned up at the airport with an out of date passport.

With this in mind, it is also important that you check with the relevant country you are travelling to, as some countries require you to have 6 months validity left on your passport even on your return date. Remember check, check, and double check.

Check Dates and Destination before You Hit the Confirm Button

You may have put the correct dates in that you want to travel, however some companies default to the cheapest date, and before you know it, you’ve confirmed a holiday you’re unable to travel on. We would advise you to read out loud all your details, as this can sometimes help highlight errors.

Some destinations and resorts can sound familiar, for instance, you don’t want to end up in a situation where you think you’re travelling to Puerto Rico in the Caribbean, but end up in Puerto Rico in Spain. Trust us, it does happen.

While we’re on the subject of passports, make sure it is your passport you take to the airport. We know of one traveller who turned up at the airport with her Grandson’s passport instead of her own.  Obviously she couldn’t travel with that passport, so had to drive all the way home for the correct passport and book a new flight for the next day, a very costly error.

Can You Really Spell Your Own Name Wrong?

After hours of searching for that perfect holiday, you find it, and so you don’t lose it, you quickly tap the names into the computer and book it.  Whoops… you’ve mistyped one of the surnames. Depending on which airline you are travelling with, the charge to correct this will vary, so this could end up being a costly mistake.  If you prefer to book over the phone with a Travel Advisor, make sure you listen carefully when they phonetically spell check your names.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

No one expects or wants to take ill on holiday, unfortunately though sometimes these incidents are unavoidable. We often hear stories in the news about travellers who have fallen ill or have had an accident abroad and as a result of no travel insurance, have end up stranded in another country without medical assistance or a way of getting back home. Travel insurance is really important, and as with all types of insurance, it is important that you select the right one to suit your needs.

I won’t Print my Boarding Pass at Home, I’ll Just Pick it up at the Airport

Times are a changing when it comes to check- in and boarding passes. Some tour operators and airlines require you to print off your boarding passes before you travel, whereas some now have a mobile app allowing you to have everything you need to hand. Always check with your airline or tour operator to see if if you need to print your boarding pass before you travel, as failure to do this could cost you at the airport.

Don’t Over Pack

Let’s face it, we all like to save a penny or two, so it’s easy to think at the time of booking that you won’t need much  luggage allowance, however, there can be a hefty penalty to pay if you weigh over at check-in.  If you are unable to travel light, it’s always cheaper to add luggage on at the time of booking, rather than pay an overweight fine at the airport. Why not invest in some travel scales? These can come in really handy for your return journey.

Do I Need a Visa?

Whilst many countries don’t need you to apply for a visa before travel, there are many that do, especially destinations such as Florida, India and Turkey. Ultimately the onus is on you to do your research and make sure you have the relevant visa, failure to do so will mean you are refused entry into the country.

Understand your money

You’ve worked hard for your money and we understand how easy it can be to get in a muddle with your foreign currency. Why not download a currency app or if you prefer, print out an easy to follow currency converter, so you don’t get short changed.

Don’t Go Around the Bend with Transfers

Whilst a lot of tour operators include your transfers, many travellers prefer to make their own way to their accommodation. If you do choose to take a taxi, make sure you agree a price before you set off. Another common mistake can be to misjudge how far the transfer is, this again could end up making a hefty dip in your holiday funds.

Avoid Data Roaming

Something else we have seen all too often in the news are travellers returning from there holidays to huge phone bills. This is usually caused by data roaming. Data roaming is a term used for accessing the internet abroad. Make sure you switch off your data roaming on your mobile and make use of the free Wi-Fi when available.

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Have you got any hints and tips you would like to share with us?

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