The recession at home and increasing holiday prices have detered a few families from their two weeks in the sun. However holidays are now considered an essential element in families sharing quality time between parents and children.
I would not be judgemental in deciding whether a low cost holiday is a luxury or an essential but foreign holidays are now regarded as an activity which is not easily forfeited.
So how can we square the circle and save on the cost of our next holiday. The first thought would be to go out of season ie early or late to Menorca. This can be a major factor in booking a low cost holiday. As I have mentioned elsewhere we adopted this strategy last year and took our holiday in mid October.
Sadly this is not an option for a large number of families as they are stuck with the school holidays especially as the children grow older.
Here are the seven deadly sins of holiday costs:-
1. Don't use a travel agent. Internet prices can facilitate low cost holidays as these prices are as much as £140 lower than travel agents for a family of four on a two week holiday according to Which!
2. Don't pay unnecessary surcharges or for unwanted extras. If you exclude flight meals and cut baggage from 20kg to 15kg each through the site can save a family over £50.
3. Don't pay the World Care Fund contribution (the optional carbon-offset charge). Many flight and holiday websites include it automatically. Usually it can be removed if you wish.It may only be £4.50 per person but it all adds up.
4. Don't buy your currency at the airport! Despite most operators boast of no commission chargewhat you get for your Pound can vary enormously. I recently compared the market. £400 would get you €440.28 at Lloyds, €440.84 at HSBC and €446.40 at Travelex. The airports could not match this so make sure you plan ahead.
5. Don't just go to the long stay car park at the airport. Shop aroundand look at the Park and Fly offered by Holiday Inn Express. I recently stayed at the East Midlands hotel and saw some very attractive Park Stay & Go rates on offer.
6. Don't book your transfer without thinking. Airport transfers and taxi to accommodation transfers could cost as much as a car hire especially if you are just staying for a week. Once you have a hire car the cost of getting about Menorca is just the cost of petrol.
7. Don't use your credit card withouut checking the charges. Debit and credit cards typically charge a foreign-loading fee of as much as 2.75% plus 2% to 3% on withdrawals.The Abbey Zero credit card Nationwide and the Post Office Classic Mastercard do not charge you for foreign usage. On a £500 card bill this could save you well over £20 if you use the right card. However you will still be charged for withdrawing cash from an ATM at a rate of upto 2.5%.