Extra costs to think about when travelling | NatWest

Extra costs to think about when travelling

Helping you plan your holiday

Despite 58% of us making a budget, the average overspend on holiday is a whopping £220 more than planned each year. So what extra costs are we forgetting?

Booking your flights and accommodation

Always double check your flight booking, as extra charges can sometimes be added on to the total price. Be on the lookout for check boxes selecting seat reservations, travel insurance and charity donations, to make sure you're only paying for what you want.


If you do find a cheap flight, check the location of the airport carefully. Lots of destinations have more than one airport, and some are much further from the city centre than others. The money saved on a bargain flight might be less than the price of transport to and from the airport.


Depending on where you’re going, you might also have to pay for visa or airport departure fees, so check these before you travel.


When you book your hotel, check for any extra energy or resort fees. These could add anything from a few pounds to an extra 10% to your bill. Services like Wi-Fi, safes, laundry, and the tempting mini bar could come at an extra cost too, so make sure you add these into your budget if you fancy treating yourself to any extras. 


You'll find lots of hints and tips on ways to pay and save for your trip, as well as tips on how you could save money on flights in our going on holiday guide.

Before you go

Don’t underestimate the cost of pre-holiday preparation when you’re budgeting. The average holidaymaker spends £156 preparing for their main annual holiday. Items like clothes, holiday products and beauty treatments all stack up.


Think carefully about your packing and keep your itinerary at the front of your mind. 18% of overspending is the result of holidaymakers having to buy things they forgot to pack, so preparation is key. Our handy holiday checklist can help you make sure you're well prepared and haven't forgotten any of the essentials.


When changing currency, don’t just go to your closest travel exchange – compare rates online to get the most from your money. A last-minute dash to your airport’s currency exchange will lead to extra costs you’ll want to avoid.


It’s worth considering your transport to the airport well ahead of travelling too. If you’re planning to leave your car at the airport, it can be cheaper to book in advance online. A quick search will reveal whether there are any online discount codes to help cut the cost. Visit the website of the airport you’re flying from to find out where the long stay car park is and the tariff involved. A call to your local taxi company for a quote may be even more cost effective, so check this too and compare your options.

At the airport

Remember to read the guidelines for the airline you’re using to find out the baggage allowance. Weighing and measuring your suitcase before you leave the house could help you avoid paying any extra baggage charges at the check-in desk. 


Bring your own food, headphones and pre-downloaded entertainment so you’re not tempted to splash out at the airport shops. 

Out and about

It wouldn’t be a holiday without a day trip or two, but paying for museum tickets, public transport and attraction entrance fees can soon add up. Prices will sometimes be more expensive on the door, so have a look for any discounts you can get by booking early. You could also save money by getting your hands on a tourist pass that includes public transport and entry to lots of attractions.


When eating or drinking out, keep in mind that service and tips will sometimes be added to the bill. If you’re doing a spot of holiday shopping, don’t forget to check if the bargains you’re planning to treat yourself to still look as attractive once any tax has been added before you get to the till.


If you want to use your account while you're away, make sure you read our guide to spending abroad to find out how you can register your travel details with us and keep track of your spending with our mobile app.

Phone costs

Roaming charges can quickly add up on your phone, so for peace of mind, turn off data roaming and keep it in flight mode until you can connect to Wi-Fi.


Print off or screenshot any maps or addresses you might need to hand (such as accommodation or restaurants). You can also download maps to your phone which you can then use offline to avoid racking up a huge data bill. If you’re likely to need your phone lots while you’re away, before you go, check whether your service provider has a holiday plan to help you keep costs down.

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