UK expats travel safely for less

Top tips for cheap travel

UK expats travel safely for less

Travelling around the world is now easier than ever, and with the choice of direct flights from London, Manchester, and Birmingham airports expanding all the time, UK expats are perfectly placed to set off on a new travel adventure.

There are plenty of transport options for expats in the UK such as cruises from Southampton or the Eurostar train from St. Pancras International and it’s possible to source great deals over the web. However, for the best experiences you should bear these five top tips in mind.

Shop around 

For example, to benefit from the most competitive offers, it’s really important that you shop around. There are numerous websites which enable you to compare multiple deals from a UK standpoint, such as cheap flights or local travel insurance providers. That said, you should note that many of these sites run on affiliation systems, meaning they take a cut of each purchase made through them. This is fair, but it does mean that any vendors that aren’t signed up to the agreement will not feature. It’s therefore worth your while to do a little extra research to ensure you’ve looked at all options.

Protect yourself with a credit card

When it comes to paying for holidays, credit cards can come in handy. This payment method offers you greater security. Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, both credit card providers and suppliers of products and services are responsible for purchases if things go wrong. Using a credit card to pay for vacations means you are more likely to get refunds if things go wrong and you need to return to the UK. Also, credit cards can prove useful while you are abroad. Major credit card brands are accepted by a wide range of firms around the world and in some cases they enable you to get a better exchange rate than you would be offered if exchanging cash or travellers’ cheques. Using plastic to make purchases is also convenient.

Pack smartly

As well as sourcing the best deals and arranging payments, you have to think carefully about packing. Ahead of trips, you should take care to establish how many bags you are allowed to check in and what the weight limits are. By weighing your bags at home, you can avoid any nasty surprises at the airport. Of course, you must also be mindful of any liquids you’re taking. Gels, creams, pastes and other liquids in hand luggage need to be in containers of no more than 100ml and placed in transparent, re-sealable plastic bags no bigger than 20cm by 20cm. This goes for domestic flights in the UK as well as international, so it’s important to bear in mind, even if you’re just taking a weekend break in the country. In addition, to minimise the risk of theft, you can also use padlocks to secure your suitcases.

Challenge yourself

On your next trip, why not set yourself a challenge each day and try to stick to a dedicated budget? Change your money in the UK ahead of departure to avoid expensive airport exchange rates; this way you can limit the amount of British pounds you will be spending while you’re away. You could eat outside of the tourist centres where restaurants will be more expensive, see several sites from a boat trip instead of paying entry fees for all of the attractions, discover free museums and use your feet to walk around, or hire a bike, rather than riding public transport. If you book self-catering accommodation, head to local supermarkets to buy essentials.

Leave expensive items at home

It might sound like common sense, but so many people travel with expensive gadgets, cameras, watches, phones and other items that would appeal to pickpockets. You probably wouldn’t be flashing your top-of-the-range camera in the markets of London, so exercise the same caution whenever you’re visiting a new place. If you really want to stay safe, leave them at home and take cheaper versions instead – for example you could transfer a SIM card to your old phone, or take a relatively cheap tablet as opposed to your expensive MacBook Pro laptop!

With some careful thought and planning, it’s possible for you to enjoy hassle-free and great value trips abroad.

Jonathan Evans is a travel blogger who has visited more than 50 countries and has no intention of stopping any time soon. This post has been submitted on behalf of SmartShopping the online resource to compare credit card prices and gain priceless advice.

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