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How-to Guides » Have a cheap holiday

Find out how to cut the cost of your flights, get discounts, tip correctly, spend wisely, get cashback and most importantly, cut the cost of your holiday.

Get organised

How-to Guide Tips 3 tips on this task  | 

Make a checklist
To ensure the smoothest trip possible, make a checklist of all the things you need to do before going away.

Order your EHIC
Make sure you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to free or subsidised medical costs in any European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.

You can apply for the card online, over the telephone (0845 606 2030) or by picking up a form at the Post Office. Once active, cards are valid for up to five years. Find out more about EHICs.

Just be aware that the EHIC only covers basic medical costs, and won't pay for extras such as repatriation costs or an air ambulance. As a result, you will still need to take out travel insurance. Whether you already have travel insurance in place, or you're looking to buy a new policy, make sure it definitely includes winter sports cover – don't just assume it comes as standard.

Avoid airport rip-offs
Buying food and other essentials at the airport is likely to cost you a small fortune. So eat before you leave, or pack sandwiches to bring with you if you're flying on a budget airline, where food costs an arm and a leg.

Just be careful when it comes to bringing drinks as you won't be able to take liquids over 100ml through airport security. Don't forget to bring your own sealable clear plastic bag for these liquids – otherwise you might be forced to pay for one!

Consider how you’ll get to the airport
Avoid using services such as Gatwick Express and Heathrow Express if you can – you will find it cheaper to simply use national rail services and the tube.

Of course, the downside to this is that it can take a lot longer and if you have a lot of luggage, travelling on the tube can be a nightmare. So it’s also worth considering taking a pre-booked taxi.

Alternatively, consider taking the coach, such as National Express. You can get some great deals if you book in advance.

And if you’re driving, check out websites such as Purple Parking, parking4less and aph.com which help you to search for the best priced parking spaces near the airport.

Get stuff for free!
If you're off to Europe, it's worth remembering that several museums across Europe offer free entry on the first Sunday of each month. So, if it’s a family holiday you’re planning, time it well, and you could avoid paying entrance fees altogether.

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Tips on this task (3)

  • chubby chops
    Love rating 13
    chubby chops said

    Get a BAA card. It is a loyalty card which you pick up points when you park at a BAA airport or shop at their shops etc. I have managed to save lots off parking at the airports as you get discounts.

    Report on 01 January 2011  |  Love thisLove  0 love
  • Tiberiu247
    Love rating 0
    Tiberiu247 said

    If you're travelling in a group I think that the cheapest option would be to take an airport taxi. There are several cheap companies that will definitely save you more money than public transport.

    Here are some options:

    www.easyairportcars.com

    www.247airporttransfer.co.uk

    www.heathrowairporttransferservice.com

    Cheers!

    Report on 19 December 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 love
  • jammyjames
    Love rating 0
    jammyjames said

    Great piece of information regarding airport parking, but I now don't just stop at parking and instead book a room at a hotel close to the airport that also offers parking as it's not that much more!

    There are a number of sites I have used including www.superbreak.com, www.holidayextras.co.uk and www.airport-hotels.co.uk the later which compares other websites as well as the two I mentioned. If the price isn't too prohibitive try and go for one that is as close to the airport as poss.

    Report on 14 February 2014  |  Love thisLove  0 love

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