Saving Money on a Javea Holiday
It’s almost that time of year again, when we dig out the flip flops, dust off the factor zero sizzle cream and start planning our summer jollies. The problem is that many of us have less disposable income than ever before, and are having to take the belts in a few notches at a time. We are making more cutbacks and making more savings than ever before, yet there is a distinct reluctance for us Brits to give up our holidays, we are just getting more savvy about saving money in this area too.
Now over the past few years there have been dozens of lists appearing online offering great money saving tips when on holiday, and whilst this is all well and good, there tends to be a lot of padding involved to make a top ten list than really only includes 4 or 5 decent tips, the rest being such no brainers that those who weren’t doing them as a matter of course should not be let loose their home country never mind being given a passport and being allowed to travel overseas.
Don’t leave home without it
No that doesn’t mean your passport, it means your travel insurance. This is one of the most vital components of travelling abroad, yet thousands every year run the risk of the going away without it, or booking the cheapest insurance available at the last minute then finding out to their detriment that it covers nothing that they actually need. There are simply too many things that can go wrong when you go on holiday to risk not taking out insurance, as those left stranded and broke are all to quick to testify.
Before you rush into buying the bargain £3 policy you’ve found online, check all the wording and see exactly what you are covered for and if it seems too good to be true deal may well turn out to be just that. Don’t assume that every instance on every kind of holiday is covered either as, for example, you need to make sure you have extra protection if you are going on a cruise as emergencies are a lot harder and more expensive to solve when you are at sea.
Make sure that cancellation cover is included, meaning at least £2m in medical cover, along with third party liability cover and all your possessions. You want full content replacement if your suitcase goes walkabout and never underestimate the value of your contents. Check any age restrictions carefully and be honest about any pre-existing medical conditions as if you end up in hospital because of one of these you haven’t declared you will not be covered.
If you are one of the growing number who are booking all the elements of their holiday separately to save money, as opposed to taking a package deal, make sure your insurance covers end supplier failure, which is your protection against the company you have booked with going bust. Never think that your EHIC card is a replacement for travel insurance, this will get you treatment at public hospitals but that is all, it will not replace your camera, travellers cheques etc.
Flash the plastic
Knowing where and when you get your holiday money can save you a small fortune, as long as you don’t get it at the airport. Take no notice at all of what the exchange rate in online for the airport outlets as they are as far removed from what you will actually get as it is possible to get. Shop around, watch the exchange rates and bear in mind that you may get a better rate of exchange in resort, so check that out too.Check with your bank or building society what their foreign country ATM charge is so you know up front exactly what you are paying. It will always be in your best interests to withdraw as much money as you can in one transaction and pay the one flat fee rather than go back and forwards several times, thus making your saving even more significant.
Those like their plastic and don’t want to carry around bundles of notes will always get a better deal than using currency, and some credit and debit cards will give you a much better deal than others. As mentioned previously, if you are going to withdraw cash from an overseas ATM there will be a charge, with £2 used as an average. Some cards charge more while some, such as the Gold Light and Gold Classic accounts from the Norwich and Peterborough BS will charge nothing.
When it comes to credit cards once again check if there is a charge for an overseas transaction, and just as you would with a debit card make sure you inform the company you will be travelling overseas as due to the sheer volume of fraud involving credit or debit cards the last thing you want to do is get to a checkout and have your card declined simply because you have forgotten to inform them that you are going on holiday.
For those who don’t have or want a credit card, a pre-paid loaded with currency is also a viable option. These can easily be found online and websites such as travelsupermarket are a good place to start looking as they will do the donkey work for you and their results will show you which are the best cards and which offer the best features.
As with everything check the small print, some will charge for cash withdrawals and if you have leftover money on your card it can be problematic to get that back without being out of pocket, so if you have money left on your card, go wild in the aisles at the duty free as it is often not worth the effort trying to get it back due to the poor exchange rate you will get.
Book your baggage in advance
Excess baggage charges are the bane of many traveller that find when they go to check in to come home, the savings they have made on those cases crammed with must have bargains have been more than wiped out in excess charges. If you are a shopaholic then allow for it in advance, and pay for that extra weight or extra case when you book your flight. As it stands at the moment, for every kilo of luggage extra you book in advance with easyJet you will pay £7, going overboard and finding you are overweight when you get to check in will cost you £11 per kilo for the privilege.
If you have gone for the cheapest way of checking in by ticking the online check in box then do not forget to print off your boarding passes. Now this may seem like a no brainer, but to those who have arrived at the airport and been hammered with check in charges it is anything but laughable. Ryanair, for example, will charge £60 per person if you forgot your pass, which adds up if there are a few of you and the last thing a family of 4 wants to do is hand over £240 of their spending money to the airline.
Astute with accommodation
With so many now choosing the all inclusive option, the rest of us could be forgiven for thinking we are missing out on something rather special. The truth is, however, than many once they arrive are greeted with repetitive food and a distinct lack of choice, leaving them out of pocket as they have to go out to eat even though they thought they had paid for all their food and drink in advance.
Make full use of the Internet and compare the prices between bed and breakfast or self catering and all inclusive. For 10 days in April in Benidorm you can get a self catering apartment for 2 people for £150, whereas for all inclusive this jumps to £650.
Check out the small print to make sure the timetable for food, drinks, snacks etc and see if what they are offering warrants the extra £500.
Now you have to make the decision of whether or not you will spend £500 on food and drink during those 10 days, and also bear in mind that you are effectively hand cuffed to the hotel and if you want to venture out at nights you will be paying even more. You can understand families going for this option when they have little ones who are constantly wanting drinks, lollies etc but even then you could well end up paying more once in resort if they won’t eat the food on offer, which leaves going all inclusive often the worst decision you have ever made.
The trick for booking accommodation in the Javea area is to book as early as you can. Javea is a decent sized resort, but it is not Benidorm, there are not endless hotel rooms and apartments available. There are relatively few hotel rooms with most of the local options being apartments and villas. As such the selection although pretty huge, is soon picked up by those who know that booking early may not just be the way to find good quality cheap Javea accommodation, booking early may be the only way to find any accommodation in this highly popular resort.