I know, I know, this actually involves spending money, but if you get hurt or sick abroad, lose your passport or get your bag stolen, future you will be incredibly happy with your decision.
The trick is to shop around and compare policies. This will often involve reading some fine print, but it’s worth knowing exactly what you’re covered for in the event of an emergency, since some insurance providers won’t cover certain events, like terrorism or natural disasters. If you’ve gone with an insurance company in the past, see if they have any loyalty programs or would offer you a discount to get a new policy and then compare to the competition.
If you’ll be spending time in Europe, it’s also a good idea to get a European Health Insurance Card (it’s free). While travel insurance is still important since the card won’t offer you the same level of cover, it does give you access to free medical treatment in an emergency- or you’ll only pay what the locals would pay.
You’ve booked a cheap airfare, and you get to the airport feeling excited and happy, and then you’re told that you’ll be paying an extra £80 for your bag. These fees aren’t unheard of by the way, and Ryanair will charge you this much in summer if you don’t book you luggage in advance, and £50 if you book it with your ticket.
This is how airlines are making their money, and as they compete on fare price, customers are increasingly being stung by huge fees on baggage- even hand baggage isn’t safe and you better ensure it’s within the size limits.
So what’s the answer? Consider using a baggage courier service instead. Not only can this be way cheaper, but your bags will be delivered directly to your hotel- meaning you actually save time and don’t need to wait at the baggage carousel when you arrive. Head to Send My Bag to compare prices, and you may never check your baggage again.
Look after your money
Changing your money at the airport is like throwing a good portion of it away. Instead, look at currency comparison websites like MyTravelMoney and TravelMoneyMax, as these help you compare the best rates. This also means that you don’t need to go into a physical shop, and instead can pay for the currency using a bank transfer and receive your foreign currency in the mail.
Currency cards are also popular, and these are like credit cards that are loaded up with different currencies that you can use when you’re overseas. You can load a few different “wallets” based on where you’re travelling to, add in the amount of money you think you’ll need, and whenever you’re in a country with that currency it will automatically take it from the right wallet.