James Walker: Bon voyage, and keep your wits about you

Airport car parks cost a fortuneAirport car parks cost a fortune
Airport car parks cost a fortune
Summer is here and in a surprising turn of events, the sun has actually come out – and that means our thoughts are turning to holidays. So here’s a guide covering the things you might want to watch out for if you’re going away soon.

Booking online

If you’re booking a holiday online, think before you click. Being spontaneous is fun but it can leave you paying lots more if you haven’t checked the small print.

Check the distance from your accommodation to the airport, town, sea or key attractions. If you have a free cancellation period, pop it in your diary so you don’t forget.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Check to see when your card will be debited and never ever go “off-site” to pay for a hotel or apartment. It’s often worth going direct to the hotel too so you can see if they will price match the room or even go cheaper.


We’ve come a long way since the days where airlines could hit you with endless charges at the end of the booking process. Airlines can no longer opt you in automatically to things like insurance which is great, but there are still lots of extra charges to watch out for. These often include three or more different seat prices, luggage charges, priority boarding, specific food, large item charges, buggies, priority security queues and much, much more.

At the airport

Airline car parks can cost an absolute fortune. There’s also the cost for a short drop off if you’re waving off or collecting a friend or family member.

Unofficial airline car parks have been the source of loads of complaints, with people finding their cars have been damaged, parked in estates, driven around loads with increased mileage and more. These firms look official but are often dodgy and vanish if enough people complain, making it hard to call them to account about them. Be very wary of these services.

Shops and restaurants charge more airside for things like toiletries, food, magazines and more. Try to avoid buying holiday essentials at the last minute.

Airport or station scammers

Beware of those people asking you to sign petitions or enter free competitions. The first two are often scams and a way to get things like email addresses that can be sold to fraudsters – or to distract you while they pinch valuables. Claims management companies at airports is a new trend we’ve seen and a worrying one. If you’re legally entitled to compensation for a delayed flight (over 3 hours, T&Cs apply) then Resolver can do it for free or you can do it yourself.


Buying currency is a losing game at the moment if you wait till the airport. With Brexit looming, the value of the pound in your pocket can be less than a euro at the airport and the rate you get for most currency will be poor. Shop around before you travel and consider a currency card so you’re not carrying tons of cash.


Watch out for things like weighted minibars that bill you as soon as you take something out. We’ve heard horror stories about people chilling their own purchase but being billed for the bar. Oh, and room service is never ever a good idea. Hotel restaurants are traditionally more expensive too.

Related topics: