Holidaying abroad is an expensive business – and even after paying for travel and accommodation you’ve still got to think of your spending money.
While paying for food and excursions is part and parcel of most holidays, there are some extra costs that continue to crop up.
According to holiday price comparison website, TravelSupermarket, these are the most common and avoidable rip-offs which annoy British holidaymakers the most – and how best to avoid them.
Bottled water price hikes
The price of bottled water is often increased around tourist attractions, climbing to €2 (£1.79) or more.
Avoid the increase by taking a refillable bottle on holiday and ask a cafe or your hotel to fill it before you head out.
This comes with the added bonus of being more environmentally friendly.
Having a basket of bread and ‘nibbles’ delivered to your table may sound appealing, but be sure to double-check the bill first, as it may cost you – even if they’ve not been touched.
Ask your waiter if and when it arrives if you will be charged for these ‘extras’, and politely decline if you don’t want them.
The sitting outside penalty
Some cafes and restaurants charge extra for sitting outside, so if you spot an eatery with empty outside eating, ask your waiter beforehand if there is a service charge for dining al-fresco ahead of ordering.
If so, you may want to do as the locals do and take a drink at the bar.
Over-priced ‘tourist’ restaurants
Restaurants located in the main tourist area of most cities will typically have much higher prices.
Walking just a few streets away from the main hub can usually cut the cost of a meal in half and the quality is often better too.
Venice is one of the major culprits for this, but taking some time to research good value restaurants in the area you are staying before you arrive can help save pennies.
Over-priced hotel breakfasts
If your hotel breakfast is a paid-for extra, it’s worth checking the prices beforehand as they can cost as much as £20 each.
If the cost is more than you are happy to pay, research some nearby places online before you arrive, or ask at reception for recommendations, and head out to eat instead for a less pricey start to the day.
While it’s tempting to jump into the first taxi you see once you land, taxi fares from the airport can vary enormously, depending on where you are in the world.
Always research the going rate before you travel, or check online reviews for a reliable company you can book with in advance.
It’s also worth contacting your hotel to see if they can arrange a transfer at a fixed rate.
Last-minute money changing
Pre-ordering your cash before heading abroad can ensure you get a decent amount of money in return for your sterling, and be sure to check you have a credit card that has no foreign exchange fees.
While using your credit card abroad, make sure you always pay in the local currency to avoid any merchant-imposed poor exchange rates and fees. Using your credit card for overseas’ use is likely to always be a better option than exchanging cash.
Over-priced tours, attraction or transport tickets
Avoid signing up for a tour without first checking if it is something you can easily arrange for yourself.
It may be possible to explore on your own and save money on a tour price by taking local transport.
Booking in advance for tours can also save on the pennies, as the ‘on the day’ price, if available, is typically always more.
Cost of using a public loo
You might get a shock if you try to use public toilets in cities such as Venice, Barcelona and Paris, as they can be very pricey.
To save money, make sure you go before leaving cafes, bars, attractions and your hotel.