Top Travel News

nigel woollsey

Nigel Woollsey

Online Writer
Published: 30/10/2019

According to Post Office Travel Money, fluctuations in the value of the pound so far in 2019 have not deterred UK travellers from enjoying foreign holidays. In fact, long haul destinations seem relatively unaffected by the recent economic uncertainty, with winter sun and exotic destinations continuing to prove popular.

Largely due to the Rugby World Cup, Japan has seen a rise in popularity, with the Japanese Yen registering a 42% uplift in sales over the last year.

The Trinidad & Tobago dollar has likewise seen an increase in sales of some 53% year-on-year in 2019 – even without a major sporting event to boost figures – and have accelerated by a massive 205% in September, emphasising that Caribbean holidays are enjoying an upsurge in being the customer’s choice for winter sun destinations.

Bansko in Bulgaria has been named as the cheapest European family ski resort, according to the Post Office Travel Money Family Ski Resort Report, produced in partnership with Crystal Ski Holidays. However, while prices have fallen in six of the most popular resort destinations in Europe, Italy leads the way in terms of the best value overall.

Out of 25 continental ski resorts, Bankso beat popular skiing locations in France, Austria and Switzerland, costing just £1,530 for one week’s ski resort costs. Overtaking last year’s survey leader, Bardonecchia costing £1,622, the Bulgarian ski resort has regained its place as king of the mountain when it comes to pound-stretching, on-piste purchasing power.

Italy stands out as one of the best value countries for families keen on heading to the snowy slopes. Four Italian resorts dominate the top five value ski resort destinations in this report. Sestriere, Passo Tonale and Claviere are placed in third, fourth and fifth places respectively, after the overall runner-up Barconecchia in the number two spot.

Nick Boden, head of post office travel money, said: “While Bansko offers unbeatable value overall for families on a tight budget, resorts in the Italian Alps are a great choice for a pound-stretching ski holiday. With few exceptions, we found that Italian ski resorts were cheaper than in Austria, France or Switzerland.”

As the Bank Holiday weekend draws near, many holidaymakers will be looking to use the break for a trip abroad – so now is the perfect time to revisit their financial checklist to see if they have everything organised. Whether consumers feel fully prepared for a trip away or have yet to make a start, Moneyfacts.co.uk has drawn up some top tips on how they can save a bit of cash.

"Holidaymakers might be caught up in the excitement of a trip abroad, but it would be wise for them to take some time out to ensure their money goes as far as it can for their break," said Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk. "Whether taking spending money or relying on a debit or credit card, it's important that consumers take the necessary steps to avoid wasting their hard-earned cash."

Gather foreign currency sooner than later

The first tip requires a bit of forward planning, and if you've yet to get your foreign currency sorted, now's the time to do so! "Avoid airport currency exchange kiosks, as the convenience will come at a cost," said Rachel. "Instead, even with just a few days to go, consumers would be better off checking online for current exchange rates to find the best deal. It's also worth keeping in mind that click and collect rates are usually more rewarding as you can secure the rate of exchange in advance; as an example, M&S Bank offers €227.98 per £200 for click and collect, but only €224.96 for home delivery or as a bureau rate."

Be wary when using a debit or credit card

"Using a debit card abroad to withdraw cash may seem convenient, but it can be a costly expense," warns Rachel. "A typical debit card can charge as much as £9.50 (NatWest Select Account) for the equivalent of a £200 cash withdrawal abroad, while a typical credit card can charge £11.96 (HSBC Classic Credit Card) for the same transaction*. Clearly, it pays to be more prepared, and it's also wise to inform the bank of the upcoming trip." There are exceptions to the no credit or debit card rule, however, and that's if you've got a card that's specifically designed to be used abroad. Which brings us onto…

Pack a more cost-effective card

"To avoid paying out on unnecessary fees, holidaymakers would be wise to apply for a credit card designed specifically for use abroad, or even switch their current account to a cheaper alternative," said Rachel. "Many travel credit cards do not charge a usage fee when used overseas, such as the Creation Everyday Credit Card and Halifax Clarity Credit Card. Those customers looking to save on interest charges will also find the Santander Zero Credit Card appealing, as it offers an introductory 0% purchase deal for 12 months – together with fee-free foreign use – giving borrowers time to pay off their holiday purchases without being charged interest."

Download an app to save a transport headache

Preparing for your trip in other ways could also pay dividends, particularly when it comes to transport, which can often be difficult to get the hang of in a foreign country – and it could end up being a pricey expense. "There are free apps such as Citymapper that list public transport and can help consumers avoid relying on last-minute taxis when travelling," said Rachel. "Not only this, but these types of apps allow consumers to plan any sightseeing tour of their choosing, without the expense of a tour package. Transport apps also have the added benefit of allowing holidaymakers to change their plans at the last minute, due to unpredictable factors like the weather for example, giving them peace of mind that a new route is close to hand."

Check your travel insurance cover

One of the most important things you can do ahead of any holiday is check you've got the right kind of travel insurance in place, whether it's part of an existing package or a standalone policy. "Consumers don't always have to pay for travel insurance, and not all travel insurance policies will cover everything, so it is important to carefully check all the terms and conditions before travelling abroad," said Rachel.

"For example, there are current accounts that offer worldwide travel insurance cover as an add-on to their package, with Barclays Bank charging £12.50 per month on its Bank Account with Travel Pack and Nationwide charging £13 per month on its FlexPlus. These are some of the cheapest on the market and they include baggage and delay cover, which could prove beneficial to many travellers. The latter also includes worldwide mobile phone insurance and UK and European breakdown cover, plus the debit card allows free cash withdrawals abroad too."

However, if you don't have travel insurance included in your current account, it's important to source it elsewhere. You can compare travel insurance quotes, ensuring you've got the cover that's right for you and giving you peace of mind that your finances are protected this Easter.

*Typical debit card example is the NatWest Select Account, which charges a transaction fee of 2.00% and a conversion fee of 2.75% on cash withdrawals. Typical credit card example is the HSBC Classic Credit Card Visa, which charges a 2.99% usage fee and a 2.99% cash withdrawal fee.

So, you've booked your summer holiday and are counting down the days, planning what to pack and how much spending money you'll need. There's always the nagging feeling you're forgetting a crucial item, but it's important to put your mind at ease about one of the most vital preparations – your safety.

Spending a small amount of time and effort arranging your holiday spending money could see you making significant savings. Using your credit and debit cards abroad may appear to be the easiest and most convenient way of transacting, but costs can soon mount up if you're not careful.

Search News

Search News

Recent News

news icon
Quarter of income spent on holidays

1st June 2018

As another holiday season approaches, Nationwide’s latest Spending Report has revealed that Brits can spend up to a quarter of their annual disposable income on trips away each year, and many seem to have no desire to curb this spending.

As another holiday season approaches, Nationwide’s latest Spending Report has revealed that Brits can spend up to a quarter of their annual disposable income...

Read More
news icon
Longer holiday planning doesn’t help wallet

10th April 2018

You may think the longer you take to plan your holiday, the more you will save, but new research shows that longer planning times don’t necessarily make for cheaper holidays. Indeed, those who take less than 24 hours may spend the least.

You may think the longer you take to plan your holiday, the more you will save, but new research shows that longer planning times don’t necessarily make for...

Read More
news icon
Half-term holidays £121 more expensive

9th February 2018

Compared with last year, families taking off on a half-term holiday can expect to spend £121 more on average, with the cost of ski holidays costing an average £130 more, while winter sun escapes have a price tag that is £111 higher.

Compared with last year, families taking off on a half-term holiday can expect to spend £121 more on average, with the cost of ski holidays costing an...

Read More
news icon
53% travel without insurance

29th January 2018

A survey from Moneyfacts has revealed that 53% of travellers have gone on holiday without taking out travel insurance, leaving them vulnerable to not just medical expenses, but also emergency travel and lost luggage costs.

A survey from Moneyfacts has revealed that 53% of travellers have gone on holiday without taking out travel insurance, leaving them vulnerable to not just...

Read More
(showing 1 to 4 of 28) (showing 1 to 4 of 28)

Most Popular Travel News

news icon
Bulgaria and Italy best for budget ski trips

15th October 2019

Italy and Bulgaria top the chart for the best bargain ski holiday locations

Italy and Bulgaria top the chart for the best bargain ski holiday locations

Read More
news icon
Weaker pound not deterring Brits from winter sun

30th October 2019

According to Post Office Travel Money, fluctuations in the value of the pound so far in 2019 have not deterred UK travellers from enjoying foreign holidays.

According to Post Office Travel Money, fluctuations in the value of the pound so far in 2019 have not deterred UK travellers from enjoying foreign holidays.

Read More
news icon
Don't be caught out by overseas card charges

25th March 2019

Don't be caught out by overseas card charges

Read More
news icon
5 Top Travel Money Safety Tips

25th March 2019

5 Top Travel Money Safety Tips

Read More

More Money and Finance News

Get our weekly newsletter

Weekend Moneyfacts is available free by email to all Moneyfacts.co.uk users.

Please send me Weekend Moneyfacts, Savers Friend and selected third-party offers.

Cookies

Moneyfacts.co.uk will, like most other websites, place cookies onto your device. This includes tracking cookies.

I accept. Read our Cookie Policy