Five travel mistakes that could blow your budget

Make your money work for you on your next trip.

You’ve scored a great deal on flights and accommodation, shopped around for tours and saved hard for spending money. Don’t let these travel mistakes blow your holiday budget:

Not checking baggage allowances

The joy of shopping up a storm on your holiday can quickly turn sour when you’re charged hundreds of dollars to bring your new purchases home, with excess baggage fees for international flights costing up to $80 per extra kilo.

Australian and international airlines are cracking down on baggage allowances, so expect to have your suitcases and carry-on luggage weighed at the airport. 

Even if you’re just a few kilos over, airline staff are strict on enforcing their fees and will charge you at the gate.

To avoid any excess charges, make sure you know the carry-on and checked baggage limits for your airline and book extra luggage when you purchase your ticket.

Exchanging money at the airport

Exchanging currency at the airport can make a dent in your spending money as the exchange rates are often poor and transaction fees high.

Check the currency rates regularly to get an idea of whether rates are rising and falling and buy a few weeks before you leave or when rates are rising to get the most bang for your buck.

In addition to the exchange rates, look at any fees and commission charged by currency exchange providers.

Not planning how to get to your hotel from the airport

Assuming every city has great public transport has been the downfall of many travellers who arrive to find that public transport only runs until 8pm or doesn’t connect to the airport at all.

You may have to fork out exorbitant amounts of money for a taxi fare to the city centre at the mercy of a local driver only too willing to take advantage of tired and unprepared tourists.

Save yourself some serious cash by researching your destination’s public transport, shuttle and taxi options before you leave.

Using public Wi-Fi for financial transactions

When you’re overseas and relying on Wi-Fi to connect you to the world it can be tempting to connect to every airport, café or hotel Wi-Fi signal you come across. 

Public Wi-Fi makes travelling easier but you could be making yourself an easy target for hackers — and putting your information and more at risk.

According to Norton Cyber Security’s Insights Report, hackers stole more than $2.3 billion from Australians in 2017 who spent an average of 16 hours dealing with the aftermath.

Minimise the risk of having your accounts hacked by avoiding checking bank balances or making online payments while using public internet or Wi-Fi networks. 

When you do use public Wi-Fi, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to secure your connection and maintain your privacy while online.

Buying the wrong travel insurance (or not buying it at all)

A night in hospital can cost an Aussie traveller almost $3500 in some countries, more than three times the cost of a night at a luxury hotel. That doesn’t include emergency transportation, medicine and surgery costs which can also dramatically hike up the price.

According to research by Smartraveller, one third of travellers choose the cheapest travel insurance option available and 87% fail to consider whether the insurance covers the activities they intend to participate in.

Compare travel insurance policies online to ensure you’re adequately covered for everything you intend to do. 

Limits, exclusions & conditions apply. RACQ Operations Pty Ltd (ABN 80 009 663 414, AR 234978) is an authorised representative of Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd (Tokio Marine & Nichido) ABN 80 000 438 291 AFSL 246548, the insurer underwriting this product. This is general advice only. We do not provide any advice based on any consideration to your objectives, financial situation or needs. Please review your own needs and the combined Product Disclosure Statement and Financial Services Guide before deciding to buy this insurance.

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice and does not take into account any person’s particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives, financial situations and needs. You should obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statement or terms and conditions relating to the products mentioned, before deciding whether to acquire any products.