Are you planning a holiday abroad with your loved ones? Even if you have travelled abroad earlier, all of you are bound to be excited about the impending trip. You would certainly be looking forward to several aspects of your trip such as sampling the local cuisines, enjoying the facilities offered by the hotel where you would be staying, beautiful landmarks which you intend to visit and interacting with the native inhabitants.
However, the constant thought at the back of your mind would be about how much you might end up spending on this trip.
So, how do you go about planning a holiday, which doesn’t turn out to be too expensive?
To begin with, you can compare prices of flights and accommodation on various travel websites. This allows you to hunt down the best holiday deals. However, this approach cannot really trickle down to how you plan every aspect of your travel.
You may be likely to list the big-ticket items first as you start budgeting for your travel. Typically, that will include airfares, accommodation, car rentals, and tickets for attractions. There are other miscellaneous aspects that should also be budgeted for. Shopping, food and beverages are a big part of this. Adding all of these together will get you an assessment of what your trip is going to cost.
Once you have the final figure, you may probably look at ways on how to cut costs. You may start exploring money saving hacks on your overseas travel that may save you a few thousand rupees. While applying these ways, what most do not realize is that, they may actually end up making mistakes which could have serious repercussions.
Let’s take a look at five money saving mistakes that could end up costing a fortune:
Booking Non-Refundable Flights:
When checking for flight tickets, there is a marked difference in the prices between non-refundable tickets, which in most cases tend to be less expensive than refundable ones. You may choose to go with the cheaper non-refundable option to save a few thousand rupees off your trip. However, unforeseen circumstances may force you to change your travel plans. This may require you to cancel your flights too.
For non-refundable ticket holders, there are specific situations where the airline may consider refunding the ticket prices partially. In the majority of cases, you will only get a refund of the non-airline taxes such as passenger service fee and fuel surcharge. Outside of these emergency situations, such as medical or sudden death, there is very little possibility of you obtaining any refund, partial or full, on a non-refundable ticket. You may have to furnish adequate evidence to the airline such as a Death Certificate to pursue a refund. If you wish to change the travel date, you will still be hit with a hefty ‘change or rescheduling fee’. And if you cancel the flight without sufficient reason, be prepared to bear the cost of the tickets.
Since life can be unpredictable. To ensure that you do not incur any loses if there is a change in your travel plans; it is advisable to opt to for refundable fares.
Pre-paying For Your Accommodation:
When booking your accommodation for your trip abroad, you will find travel websites offering multiple rates. The lowest rates are typically pre-paid rates that are non-refundable. You need to make a full payment to book your accommodation to avail of these low rates.
Many of you in order to save on the trip cost, will choose to go with pre-payment, non-refundable option by booking the accommodation, possibly weeks or months before you are about to travel. Then again, if for some reason you are not able to travel on those dates, you stand to lose a lot of money if your accommodation has been pre-paid already.
There are alternatives to this money saving hack. You can opt for rates that are pre-paid but have the option of cancellation within a stipulated period of time. These rates will be marginally higher than non-refundable, pre-paid rates. If you wish to be fully secure, you can select rates that are ‘Pay at Hotel’ or ‘Book with Re. 1.00’. In this instance, the travel sites require you to provide a credit card guarantee when making the reservation. However, you will have the option to cancel within a given time frame prior to your date of travel. If you forget to do so, it results in a ‘no show’ in which case your credit card will be charged as per the terms and conditions of the booking.
Booking Cheap Accommodation without Checking the Location
While going on a holiday, you may want to book the accommodation in your destination country that is on the inexpensive side. However, -what most do not realize is that cheap accommodations will rarely be located in a convenient area. Therefore, if you have to go on sightseeing tours or travel to the city centre, multiple times, this - add on to the overall trip budget -. Thus, the money saving hack on this occasion rarely saves any money at all.
Not Purchasing Travel Insurance:
You may feel that nothing of any major significance will happen during your trip abroad. However, it is difficult to assess what the future really has in store for any of us. There may be a reason where you may have to cancel your trip at the very last minute, you may lose your baggage in your destination country, or have a medical emergency. While you may think this to be an added cost to your trip expenses, without travel insurance, managing any of these situations or getting any refund can be pretty challenging.
Insurance companies such as Bharti AXA General Insurance offer comprehensive travel insurance plans, if you are planning a foreign trip. Most travel insurance policies cover loss of baggage, medical expenses, emergency accommodation costs, flight cancellation, etc.
Even though purchasing travel insurance is not a compulsion in every country, it is advisable to buy it before you embark on your journey. It is best to be insured rather than bearing a huge expense while remaining uninsured to save a few rupees if something does go wrong.
Changing Money at the Airport:
Airports in India and around the globe are not the best places to exchange your Indian Rupees into foreign currency. While the option is quick and convenient, it is hardly a money saving tactic as airport outlets do not offer the best exchange rates.
To receive best possible exchange rate for Indian currency, it is advisable to research about credible currency exchange vendors within your city before beginning your journey. -. You may find authorized local vendors, who can offer you favourable exchange rates on purchase of foreign currency.
‘Free’ Can be More Expensive:
When travelling abroad, you will come across freebies or free services. Rest assured, nothing in this world is free. In effect, you do not realize any of the hidden charges and actually - end up - spending a lot more than what you had hoped to do.
For example, the minibar used to be charged on pay-as-you-eat. However, everything from the bottled water on the counter to the cookie on top of the minibar might not be as complimentary as you think. In some hotels, if you wish to use the pool or the beach and require towels from the hotel, look for a sign if there is a fee attached to it.
Hence, employing the freebie route may just be a ploy to get you to spend- more on your travels rather than saving.
You may either be taking tips from friends who have travelled regularly or might be doing your own homework for planning the trip. You may either be making bookings directly or might be taking the help of credible agents. The cost of every trip would be different. And while there are multiple ways to enjoy a family trip, one must ensure that it is best to avoid these so called money saving hacks as they may end up having the opposite effect on your budget. Always research and compare your options. Planning well is the foundation. Use these tips to enjoy your holiday without going over budget.
Disclaimer: Bharti AXA General Insurance Company Limited., First Floor Hosto Centre, No. 43, Millers Road, Vasanth Nagar, Bangalore – 560052.. IRDAI Registration Number 139. CIN U66030KA2007PLC043362. Email : email@example.comToll-free: 1800-103-2292. Website :www.bharti.axagi.co.in. Product Name: Smart travel insurance Policy (Individual & families). Product UIN:IRDA/NL-HLT/BAXAGI/P-T/V.1/222/13-14. Trade Logos displayed in the document belongs to Bharti Enterprises (Holdings) Private Ltd. and AXA SA respectively and used by Bharti AXA General Insurance Company under license. The advertisement contains only an indication of cover offered. For more details on risk factors, terms, conditions and exclusions, please read the sales brochure carefully before concluding a sale. BAGI/WC/General/2019-20/33.The following article is an initiative of Bharti AXA General Insurance Company Limited and is intended to create awareness among readersSubscribe to Moneycontrol Pro and gain access to curated markets data, exclusive trading recommendations, independent equity analysis, actionable investment ideas, nuanced takes on macro, corporate and policy actions, practical insights from market gurus and much more.