Martin Lewis issues urgent holiday warnings affecting passports and bookings

Martin Lewis has issued a number of tips and warnings to those planning to travel in the coming months.

After missing out on holidays for two years, thousands of Brits are preparing to jet off this summer, but there’s a number of things you should consider before heading anywhere.

Money Saving Expert Martin, 49, has outlined a series of different tips, including how to get a refund from your hotel, passport renewal rules and new roaming charges.

Writing in the latest instalment of the MoneySavingExpert newsletter, Martin explained how millions have already booked their summer getaways, but with the cost of living crisis now “firmly in play” many are now understandably looking to save some cash.

Here we look through ten of Martin’s tips…

Martin Lewis shared some money saving tips for around the house

Martin Lewis has outlined some easy ways to save cash if you’ve got a holiday booked

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Passport expiry date

Since the Brexit transition was completed, new rules have been put in place concerning British travellers and their passports.

If your passport is close to expiring you can no longer travel to the EU, and many other countries such as America and Australia require travellers to have at least six months left on their passport.

Under Schengen area rules, your passport must be less than 10 years old on the day you enter and be valid for a minimum of three months after the day you plan to leave.

Martin also warns those who do need get their passport renewed to do it sooner rather than later, as there have been a number of processing delays over recent months.

Hotel prices

Make sure to keep a close eye on hotel prices, as you may be able to bag yourself a better deal.

If you’ve already booked a hotel and the price drops, you can cancel and rebook if you’ve got free cancellation, saving yourself some cash.

Should you have to pay to cancel, make sure to work out the difference as you may still save some extra cash.

EU roaming fees

EE, Sky and Vodafone have all reintroduced roaming fees for customers who head on holiday to the EU.

You’ll be charged £2 per day when you use your UK allowance, but you might still be able to reduce costs by purchasing a bundle.

From 23 May, Three and Voxi will also reintroduce roaming charges at £2 per day.

Ensure your passport is in date prior to jetting off

Ensure your passport is in date prior to jetting off

Valid GHIC or EHIC card

The European Health Insurance Card, also known as EHIC is set to be replaced by the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).

These cards enable you to gain access to state-run hospitals and GPs in EU countries at the same cost as a local resident.

If you already have an EHIC, it will still remain valid up until it expires, and then you’ll need to apply for a GHIC, which you can do on the UK GOV website.

Cheapest currency

Most people still like to take some cash abroad with them. And if that’s you, then make sure you compare prices online to ensure you get the best exchange rate – you can do this on MoneySupermarket.

Martin has also warned that it could actually be cheaper to use a specialist travel card while abroad instead of exchanging cash.

He said: “The standout top pick today is, unusually, a debit card.

“Newish fee-free app-only Chase Bank has that near-perfect exchange rate, lets you withdraw £700/month from ATMs fee-free, plus as it pays 1% cashback on most spending in the UK and abroad, it’s unbeatable.”

Always compare prices online to ensure you're getting the best exchange rate

Always compare prices online to ensure you’re getting the best exchange rate

Covid tests

While you no longer need to have a covid test when returning to the UK, it’s still important to double check what the current Covid-19 rules and restrictions are for your holiday destination.

Countries such as America, New Zealand and Japan still ask travellers to take a covid test before entering the country.

Flight seats

Martin has warned that a family of four could end up forking out a whopping £240 in order to guarantee that they can sit together on return flights.

Make sure to always check whether you need to pay for a seat beforehand, as some airlines, such as Ryanair, sit groups on a “random” basis unless they’ve paid for seats.

Airlines such as easyJet and Norwegian will allow passengers to sit together for free, as long they wait until check in.

Car hire prices

Martin advises booking a hire car as early as you can, as this usually ensures that you get the best deal.

He said: “We can find August car hire for around £35/day in various Spanish destinations.

“Our guess from previous patterns would be that if you leave it to much nearer the day, that could rise to as high as £80.”

Make sure to check if you need to pay for a seat on your flights

Make sure to check if you need to pay for a seat on your flights

Excess car insurance

The majority of car hire firms will include basic insurance when you hire a vehicle from them.

Others may attempt to sell you excess cover when you collect the car, which can cost up to £25 per day.

Instead, Martin advises to search online as standalone car hire excess insurance can cost just £2 per day.

Airport parking charges

Make sure to compare airport parking prices beforehand, and try to book as far in advance as possible as paying on the day can cost a lot.

Providing an example, Martin said: “Turn up at Manchester Airport’s long-stay car park and it’s £350/week, yet prebooked on the day, park & ride is just £58/week.”

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