How to avoid hidden holiday costs

Jenai Laignel ( 09 January 2019 )

We all want to get value for money from our holidays, but it's important to watch out for the hidden costs that can suddenly make that cheap deal an expensive break. Here's how to beat them.

Airport parking

Most of us will drive to the airport at the beginning of our holiday, and airport parking can really eat into your budget before you've even stepped onto the plane.

The secret is to plan ahead – Which? claim that it can be three times cheaper to book your parking in advance than turn up and park at the airport.

Stop and unwind in an airport lounge with 10% off when you book with Saga. Find out more here.

Car hire

Hiring a car really helps you to explore your destination at your own leisure and often seems very inexpensive, but watch out – many car hire companies are resorting to Ryanair style add-ons to get more money from you.

For example, if you want to add an additional driver so that you can share the hard work, you may end up paying another £50 or more for the privilege.

Again, booking as far in advance as possible will help you get the best deal and check whether you really need the extras before signing up to them.

Save 15% on global vehicle hire with our partner Hertz, plus free additional driverFind out more here.

Travel money

There are many great things that you can buy at the airport for your holiday, but foreign currency certainly shouldn’t be one of them – you'll pay more commission and get a worse exchange rate to boot.

Make life easier for yourself and your wallet by ordering foreign currency and travellers cheques from the comfort of your home, at 0% commission on foreign currencies and from a company you trust. Saga Travel Money offers a fast, secure service delivered straight to your front door.

8 ways to save money on your last minute holiday

Credit and debit card payments

Many of us never even realise that we're being charged extortionate rates every time we use our credit or debit card abroad. Most card providers apply a fee of around 3% to all purchases made abroad. Withdraw some cash and you'll be charged up to an an extra 3% (or a minimum £3 transaction fee).

You can avoid these unnecessary costs by using a credit card that doesn't add this additional cost, meaning you'll get perfect exchange rates and save yourself a great deal of money over the course of your holiday. Do your research and apply in plenty of time so you have your card before you go away. 

Debit or credit card - which should you use for holiday spending?

Airport transfers

Many companies include transfers in the cost of the holiday, getting you from the airport to your hotel by bus or taxi service. But if that service isn't included then you may find yourself paying exorbitant fees to taxi drivers taking advantage of tired holidaymakers.

Pre-book your holiday taxi to ensure that you enjoy a safe and affordable service for the last leg of your journey.

Get your holiday off to a flying start with Saga's great range of travel extras. With unbeatable discounts negotiated exclusively for Saga customers, you can rest assured that you've avoided those nasty hidden holiday costs.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.