By Ceyda Erem, Money Writer at Mozo
Chasing the sun this winter? Don’t make these four travel money mistakes
With Winter now upon us, we are all looking for ways to warm ourselves up, be that through hot choccies or browsing tropical travel brochures looking for an excuse to chase the sun.
If you’ve been unable to resist the urge of chilling poolside at a resort with a cocktail in hand this Winter, here are four travel money mistakes you’ll want to avoid making.
1. Paying for the same thing twice
We’ve all been guilty of not reading the fine print when it comes to important documents, but in the case of your winter getaway, that bad habit could see you paying for the same thing twice. For instance, many people fork out for travel insurance when booking their flights without realising that their credit card comes with complimentary travel insurance. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria, which is usually something like paying for your airfare or accommodation, credit card travel insurance will cover you and your immediate family which can save you several hundreds of dollars depending on where, and how long you are going away for.
Another common trap that many people also fall for is around rental car excess insurance. Most travel insurance policies these days will include rental car excess cover. So before you rock up to the car rental counter and they try and sell you on the $20 a day excess reduction cover, be sure to check the travel insurance policy fine print and politely decline if you’re already covered.
2. Exchanging currency at the airport
Though convenient, currency exchange booths at the airport are notorious for bad exchange rates and high fees. If you’re heading back home to visit family, one of the best ways to get excellent exchange rates is to organise an international money transfer ahead of time and then accessing those funds once you are in-country. Not only will you get a better exchange rate this way, but you’ll usually be depositing the funds into a local bank account so you’ll also then save on ATM fees when withdrawing the funds to use on your holiday.
3. Not having the right plastic by your side
Whether you’re going home for two days or two weeks, expenses will soon start to pile up and if you are paying for some of your trip expenses with your credit card you’ll want to limit the international transaction fees you have to pay. These can be as high as 4% on every transaction so either consider getting a travel credit card with a low foreign exchange margin or opt for a prepaid travel card where you can lock in the funds and exchange rate before you travel, so you’ll always know how much money you are spending.
4. Leaving things to the last minute
Once upon a time, leaving things to the last minute chances was the best way to snap up a bargain but these days with online bookings the more you book upfront, the more you can save.
Let’s take buying flight tickets as an example. Using Skyscanner I ran a couple of scenarios based on a two week return trip from Auckland to Bali. Booking a ticket two days in advance would have seen me pay $1053 for the cheapest ticket. I then tried booking a ticket a month in advance and it only came to $976, that’s a difference of $77 – think of all the stuff you can buy with that money!
It’s not just flight tickets, if you’re visiting tourist attractions or planning on doing a tour, always book in advance to take advantage of early bird offers and online discounts.
About the author
Ceyda Erem is a Money and Banking Writer at financial comparison site, mozo.com.au. She is passionate about sharing tips and money saving hacks to help people live the life they want, without breaking the bank.