Fun in the sun or snow
25 July 2011
It’s like they read your mind. You were just thinking a holiday would be nice and then the phone rang. “Would you like to buy some holiday vouchers? It will make your holiday so much cheaper!” a stranger says.
Many of these offers are scams. Even if the vouchers are ‘free’, you will probably have to pay a ‘processing fee’. But then the vouchers they offer will either not arrive, be invalid, or be for things that were already free or discounted.
If the offer sounds genuine, check it out properly. Find out what the vouchers are for (like hotels and airlines), check that they really exist and contact those companies directly to see if the offers are real.
If the telemarketer gets upset, pushy, or won’t give you information about what the vouchers are for, then just hang up and forget about it.
If you are off overseas, check with your bank or credit card company to see how much the fees are for using your card overseas. It’s good to let the bank know where you are going so they don’t flag your usage as suspicious.
Credit card fraud can be a big problem in some countries, so try to never let your credit card out of your sight. If your card gets stolen or goes missing, phone your bank or credit card company immediately.
If you want to use your phone overseas, ask your provider if your phone will work where you are going, and find out what the roaming costs are,. Costs can be a lot higher once you leave the country. Often you can pick up a new SIM in your destination country, but find out what the deal is before you go.
If you are tripping round New Zealand check that your contents and car insurance covers your needs. There may be exclusions if you are not careful enough with your contents, like leaving expensive equipment unattended, or driving on dangerous roads.
Get travel insurance as early as possible, then you can make the most use of its protections. Usually it will protect you if you have to cancel the trip because of an accident or emergency. But it may pay to check the terms and conditions carefully.
Shop around for the deal that suits you the best, this may not necessarily be the insurance offered by your travel agent. Also check to see whether your existing bank account or other insurance policies already include free travel insurance.