Be a savvy traveller
Posted on: 30 August 2012 by Laura Wilkins
Being ignorant of hidden charges and failing to plan ahead can mean a single person paying an extra £400, or a family of four paying over £1,000, on top of the basic cost of a ticket for return flights on a, so called, ‘low-cost airline’. Does this mean the days of budget airfares have passed us by or is it still possible to grab a cheap flight to somewhere sunny for a long weekend?
Don’t forget to get travel insurance when booking your holiday, but make sure you shop around and watch out for the insurance add-on option when booking cheap flights. If you are wondering what this insurance covers, usually it will include holiday essentials such as medical expenses, loss and damage to personal possessions and trip cancellation, but will not be as comprehensive as other better value insurance that you can find online. If you already have travel insurance you won’t need to get the airline’s insurance, and if you make more than two trips a year it’s worth considering annual travel insurance to cover all your trips.
For low cost airlines, which won’t include food and drink on your flight, you can take food on-board (apart from hot drinks). You will often find something nicer and cheaper in the terminal shops before boarding, or if you’re on a budget, you can take your own picnic from home. Many people don’t realise that restrictions only apply to liquids so you can take food through airport s ecurity.
Check-in fees can be quirky depending on the airline so make sure you don’t get caught out. When possible always check-in online before you arrive at the airport and make sure you print off your boarding pass, as you may be charged to do this at the airport.
Don’t leave it to the last minute to think about how you are going to get to the airport or where you are going to park your car. If not planned properly, travel or parking expense can easily double the cost of your ‘cheap’ flights. If you’re choosing between airports, remember to consider petrol, taxi or train fare costs for travel to the airport at the time you will be travelling. If these are going to be expensive it might be worth looking at flights from an airport closer to home.
Parking and train tickets will be much cheaper if booked online in advance. Off-site car parks are often cheaper than on-site airport car parks, for instance a week’s parking at Heathrow starts at £53.95.