Exchange Rate News.
With continuing uncertainty in the Euro zone, there is a growing feeling that the £ may well strengthen against the € this year, which will make your holiday cheaper.
With a prepaid Master card (see below) you will get even better deals!!
Prices in the Algarve peaked last year, according to many surveys. Since then the economic reality of the rising costs of living have hit home. Away from tourist centres, good value for money can once again be had, as increasing reliance on tourist income seems to have driven down costs associated with your holiday.
As we all get squeezed by the the contraction of the UK economy, coupled with massive deficit reduction plans being put into action by the government, there are things we
can do to reduce the costs associated with our annual holiday abroad.
Now more than ever your really have to shop around online to make sure you are getting the best deals. Going straight to the airlines website, to make your booking could cost you more, lots more.
High season is always difficult to find a bargain, as traditionally school holiday dates are the cash cows of the operators. You still need to look on all the price comparison
websites. The ticket agency sites are also worth a look, as often blocks of these are released by the airlines, and end up cheaper for your dates than the airline website
itself. Certain days of the week are usually much cheaper than weekends. We are very flexible on which day you want your holiday to start so you can benefit from cheaper
flights (usually Mon - Weds)
This needs to be booked in plenty of time. The nearer to your arrival date you book the car hire usually the more it will cost. Again the price comparison websites are the
way forward. I often find huge differences in cost for exactly the same vehicles. Make sure your car hire firm has the car at the airport for when you arrive. Often the car is
offsite which means your entire party & luggage getting on a coach and driving a couple of miles down the road to get the car.
Car DEL Mar is a broker website that seems to offer good prices with reputable second tier rental firms in the Algarve. Second tier car hire firms are those who don't have desks or offices on the Airport grounds but either operate out of the porta cabin in car park 4 at Faro airport, or have offices nearby accessed by minibus
Car hire insurance is a rip off!!!..... Super collision damage waiver, (sometimes called 'Full Insurance) is the extra you pay so if you have a bump you don't have to pay the
excess, and it is too expensive.
Excesses and premiums for CDW vary, an average excess on a medium sized vehicle, €750 -€1000, average daily premium for CDW €7 -€10 .So €140 for two weeks hire in
case you have an accident.
You can purchase annual multi-trip insurance to insure your car hire excess from companies in the UK From less than £50
"I receive free travel insurance through my bank", a previous customer informed me with glee last year.
What he actually meant was that his bank bundled a basic annual multi-trip insurance policy along with other 'useful' things for a monthly service fee.
Needless to say when he needed to make a claim he discovered that he wasn't covered for the first item & was limited by the policy excess for the second.
That said annual multi trip insurance for a family of five can be had for less than £50, check out http://www.travelsupermarket.com
Use your debit card to withdraw Euros from ATM's - The exchange rate you will get for your hard earned cash will be terrible, and you will be charged for the privilege.
Get your Euro's from the airport exchanges - Their rates are terrible.
Use travellers cheques in the Algarve - Again the rates you will get are awful. Away from the main tourist centres even the banks look at you funny. The process can be
complicated and they usually charge a percentage for changing them too!!.
So what is the best way to sort your holiday cash out??
The answer is to apply for a prepay Master card from http://www.fairfx.com
Think of it as your holiday piggybank. You purchase a prepay Euro card from them. When you top it up you will get the very best prevailing market rate. You can use it to
withdraw money from ATM's in the Algarve and it will cost you €1.50 per transaction. No transaction costs when used to pay for goods or services.
You can top it up online, the balance is updated within a couple of hours, and you can track your spending in real time on their website too.
You will find that the exchange rate between the £ & €, will often vary considerably over the winter months. The £ is often stronger against the € during this time. It's a good idea to start putting
money on your card during this time, as you will benefit from a better exchange rate than you usually get during the summer months.
(Don't use this card to pay for the deposit on your hire car however, as the amount will be ring fenced on your available balance, meaning you cant spend it until you return the car)
This one is simple. If you want the best value, and often the best food, DON'T BE SUCH A TOURIST!!
Away from the tourist centres you will discover not only great value but fabulous Portuguese food. Beer wont be €6 a pint and you can quite easily have a 3 course meal
with wine & coffee for WELL under €20 per person.
All the restaurants around Casa Gerardo offer the same excellent value, so no worries about expensive meals out.
Small savings add up, and often make a big difference to the overall cost of your holiday!!