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5 things to avoid getting wrong this summer

Passport on a map

You’ve bagged a bargain break packed your passport and are on your way to the airport. But have you checked your flight tickets for spelling mistakes? Or got the kids’ car seats ready? 

It’s often the small things that cause the biggest problems and put a dent in our holiday spending so here are five things to avoid getting wrong this summer.

Names on tickets

If the name on your ticket doesn’t match what’s in your passport it can be expensive to fix and probably won't be covered by a travel insurance policy. Seemingly small mistakes like a shortened version of your first name - Steve instead of Steven or Miss instead of Mrs -  may get you on an easyJet plane, who say they won’t charge for changes providing the correct version’s in your passport.

But if it’s a bigger mistake, say a wrong first name or surname, this can mean stumping up. Name changes can cost £70 with easyJet, £100 with Monarch and up to £150 with Ryanair if you wait until you’re at the airport to correct the mistake.

Children’s ages

Any parent knows how old their children are, but if you’re booking now for six months time and they’ve got a birthday coming up they may be a year older by the time you fly. 

This can affect the price you pay because most airlines charge full fare for children aged over two, particularly budget airlines, and children over this age need their own seat. 

Check before booking and ask what happens if your child has a birthday while you’re away. Some airlines like Flybe won’t charge more, even if this means they need a seat, but others like Thomson will charge full fare...

Assuming you’ll get free food

Fly long haul and you’ll usually receive free meals on board but for short haul you may have to pay for your snacks.  Thomson charge £12 for adult meals and £8 for child ones on return flights but if your flight’s seven hours or more it’s all free. And you’ll definitely have to fork out on board the budget airlines which have been criticised for huge mark ups, charging up to £3 for a small bottle of water and £4 for a sandwich.

If food’s not included stock up once you’re through security. This way you can buy bottles of water which exceed the 100ml security limit.

Hiring children’s car seats

If you’re hiring a car abroad renting car seats as well can prove expensive.

You can pay around £60 a week for a child seat with Hertz so it’s often safer and cheaper to take your own. Some airlines like Flybe, Monarch, and BA will let you check in a children’s' car seat for free in addition to your usual baggage allowance, whereas other airlines like bmibaby charge £10 each way for this. 

 And once abroad check the local laws on kids sitting in the front seat as age limits vary in different countries.

Forgetting to book airport parking

You can save around 60 per cent by pre-booking your space at an airport carpark. Two weeks parking at Heathrow can cost more than £200 if you pay on the day but less than £100 if you pre-book.

Cheaper still is renting space on a private driveway through sites like www.parkatmyhouse.com which costs around £40 for two weeks at Heathrow.

While you may need to factor in the cost of a cab many homeowners will throw in a free lift or pick up service if you give them your flight details so check before booking.




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Sue Hayward

Carl Chambers

Sue Hayward is a personal finance broadcaster, journalist and author. Sue talks and writes on money matters including chatting on BBC Radio & TV as well as contributing to magazines, websites and newspapers. Sue's also written two books; the latest of which is 'How To Get The Best Deal'.

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