The countdown to the summer holidays has begun and if you’re about to book your summer holiday, it’s time you thought about all the added extras you’ll need too.
- Travel insurance
Regardless of what anyone says, travel insurance is an absolute necessity when travelling abroad.Yes, it may seem like an added expense that you could well do without – how many times have you or your family had to claim for anything?But, if anything were to happen to you or your possessions on holiday, could you afford to stump up the cash to replace stolen items or medical bills?Bearing in mind that the cost of treating a sprained ankle in Corfu would set you back around £500, emergency surgery for a broken leg in Palma, Spain would cost around £6,145, or an air ambulance from southern Spain would be a budget-busting £25,000, you’d be wise to take out travel insurance.
Always book travel insurance when you book your holiday to ensure that you’re covered for issues such as the weather or a health emergency that prevents you from travelling – leave booking your insurance until a few days before your holiday and you won’t be covered by issues such as the weather.
Don’t forget to inform your insurers of any existing medical conditions, otherwise you could find your policy isn’t valid.
If you’re travelling in Europe, don’t forget to take your EHIC card with you. The EHIC card enables the cardholder to get free, or reduced cost, medical treatment in state operated hospitals within any European Economic Area (EEA), including Switzerland.
The card is free to obtain but be aware that the EHIC is not a replacement for travel insurance.
- Airport parking
If you intend to drive to the airport, make sure you book your parking in advance, ideally when you book your holiday.With most companies, the earlier you book, the cheaper your parking will be. Never just turn up and pay at-the-gate prices as these will be far more expensive than pre booking. Even if you book just a couple of days before your holiday, you will still save money.Be aware, that if you intend to use meet and greet parking, you will need to book at least 24 hours in advance, and always use a company that has the ParkMark Safer Parking Award.
If you’re using Gatwick meet and greet parking, always use a Gatwick Approved Operator – Gatwick Airport recommends that passengers only use official airport parking or a Gatwick Approved Operator.
With a Gatwick Approved Operator, you’re guaranteed to be parking with a company that has been checked out by Trading Standards and awarded their Buy With Confidence award and that your car will be parked in a ParkMark awarded car park.
- Foreign currency
If you’re travelling to Europe, you’re in luck as the pound is at a seven-year high against the Euro, so you should see your holiday money go further. In fact, there are some great places to visit where your money will buy more than a year ago – Brazil, for example, where the value of sterling has risen by 23% and Russia where the pound is up 29% on last year’s value.
You may wish to buy your holiday money now, or wait and possibly see the pound grow stronger – the choice is yours – but whatever you do, for the best possible rates, buy your currency before you get to the airport.