Pandemic travel restrictions are gone, and Brits are flocking abroad like never before, even in the face of soaring prices that threaten to scupper any holiday plans. And while there’s no shortage of great destinations across Europe, for instance, finding somewhere you can afford is fast becoming a challenge.
Domestic holidays – “staycations” – grew in popularity in 2020, partly because they were cheaper than heading abroad. But if you’re soon travelling to a European hotspot, you’ll want to be primed with as much information as possible, so you don’t lose out financially.
Finding the Right Destination, at the Right Time
Think about if you want a beach holiday, or somewhere that has some culture – or perhaps both, like Barcelona, the Spanish cultural city by the sea. There’s so much to choose from in Europe that we really are spoiled for choice, with everything from quick and easy weekend city breaks to a week or more lapping up the sun.
If you decide to go further out in Europe, you should find the best time. Some places are more expensive at certain points of the year, so you should know what to look out for. Compare different flights and hotel offers between various dates, and you’ll see how much prices can differ.
Beware EU Data Roaming Charges
When you’re using your phone to access internet data across Europe, you should be wary of roaming charges. With the UK having left the EU, most UK phone networks no longer provide free data roaming. Keep an eye on your data roaming settings when abroad, and plan ahead of time.
You can use Lebara SIM-only plans to help you avoid paying excessive fees when going abroad. Lebara UK managing director Rajesh Dongre said his company’s SIM-only deals allow people to “roam like home” so they don’t incur extra charges when in the EU.
“After two years of the pandemic, British families want to get away for a well-deserved holiday abroad, but the ongoing cost-of-living crisis is hitting everyone hard. In an overstretched travel budget, roaming charges to use your network abroad are a further dampener during these difficult times,” he said.
“At Lebara, our mission is to help people save money on their mobile bills. Unlike many major network operators, we are not bringing back EU roaming charges, and those who travel to the EU on their holidays can use their phone as they would at home, at no extra cost. They can use all their data allowance available on the plan while roaming in the EU — up to a max of 30GB.”
Lebara commissioned research to find out how much people are being overcharged while using data overseas. It found that a third of Brits were overcharged for mobile roaming charges, with some paying up to £1,000 and the average around £70.
Saving Money on Your Next Big Break
With the cost-of-living crunch biting hard, it may be difficult to justify – or even afford – an overseas trip. One thing you could do, if you’re desperate for a foreign getaway, is to pay for your holiday in instalments; it might be possible through your travel agent, pay-later apps like Klarna or simply by using your credit card.
And when you finally get to your longed-for destination, it’s wise to keep an eye on exchange rates, which can fluctuate wildly some days, so that you aren’t losing out. Don’t rush for the nearest ATM either, as some have hefty fees for withdrawing cash – instead, look for one that has low or no withdrawal fees.
Times may be tough, but we all need a break, and when you’re on your next one, keeping your finances in check may be more vital than ever.