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Travel Cheap But Don't Be Cheap

Mar 3, 2008
Remember those halcyon days when all you needed for the best six week holiday of your life was a couple of quid for can of coke and all the Space Invaders you could eat? Me too. But I've got some news for you people. Space Invaders aren't 10p anymore and grown up holidays are far more expensive then school holidays. So how do you make the most of those four weeks off a year without ending up pooling your change for pickled onion 'potato' snacks when you get back? Read our guide to holidaying on the cheap, packed full of money saving tips with an absolute minimum of embarrassing scrimping, and find out.

Don't trust anyone about travel insurance

Never, ever tick those boxes that say 'add cheap travel insurance' when you book a flight, train ticket or hotel. It is highly unlikely that this option will be the best for you in terms of either price or cover. These boxes generally offer extremely limited cover at bumped up prices, and take advantage of the fact that £3.95 each way doesn't sound unreasonable for 'complete piece of mind'.

Remember that many of the so-called benefits of these polices will already be covered through your statutory rights, especially if you take the added precaution of booking with a credit card. If you are holidaying in the EU then an E111 form will also give you free basic medical cover. If you are going to book travel insurance then use an online comparison site, get lots of different quotes, and make sure that the policy actually offers you a useful and realistic level of cover.

Don't raid the mini bar

We all know that Kit-Kats taste better when you've just paid £2 for them, but there is no need to for such extravagance when there is a Spar on the corner of every street in the world. Stock up on drinks and snacks before you get to your hotel room, and if you must nick stuff from the bar then choose the easily replaceable stuff and buy new ones to pop back in the next morning.

Monday is free day

Many countries offer free admission to museums, galleries and exhibitions on Mondays so make sure that you take advantage. If you fancy a cultural weekend away then you may be better off taking-off on the Sunday to ensure you can enjoy this cultural bonanza gratis.

Lunch is cheaper than dinner

Restaurants are harder to fill in the day than in the evening, so it is inevitably cheaper to lunch than to dine. This is especially true if you plan to eat in the posher parts of town, and is a great way to save money while living like a king.

Sack off the transfer

There are two problems with airport transfers. Firstly, you are invariably met by a fat, ridiculously moustached man holding a small piece of cardboard with Smith spelt phonetically. Not cool. And secondly, these things cost a fortune. You may be knackered after a long flight, and we all know how awkward it is lugging three suitcases onto a busy city bus. But no one should be paying the cost of the flight again just to get to their hotel.
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