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Save time and money with Consumer Council Easter travel tips

Consumer Council travel advice

With the Easter holidays fast approaching, the Consumer Council is urging those travelling over the break to plan ahead for smoother travel.


Richard Williams, Head of Transport Policy at the Consumer Council emphasised the importance of making a travel checklist to save you time and money.


“Many people will be heading home for the holidays, planning activities with their families, or travelling to a different country for a break,” he said.



“We would urge everyone who is travelling over the holiday, to plan ahead, prepare for their journey and know their travel rights.”


Richard said that planning ahead can both help you make savings and take the stress out of travelling.


“When booking, consider flexible airfares and accommodation with a cancellation option,” he said.


This may be a little more expensive but could save you money if you are forced to cancel your trip for personal reasons.



“Do as much as you can before you get to the airport, such as pre-booking hold baggage, or checking your flight in online, as both of these services can incur a fee if you do it at the airport. It is also worth checking out the rules around hand luggage allowances and restrictions before you head off.”


Trips can also be made easier by shopping around for your travel money to ensure you get the payment method that suits you and the best exchange rate.


Before setting off also make sure that your travel insurance meets your needs and ensure you have a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). If travelling to EU countries, this will give access to health care at a reduced cost or sometimes for free.



Consumer Council top tips for Easter travel:


• Check public transport timetables – If you are planning to use public transport for any part of your journey, especially around public holidays. Translink will be carrying out essential engineering work on the railway line between Belfast and Lisburn, and between Belfast and Portadown, with a line closure planned from Saturday 30 March until Sunday 7 April 2024 inclusive. Check the Translink website www.translink.co.uk in advance of your journey.


• If travelling abroad make sure you have a valid passport. The length of time you need on your passport’s validity depends on the country you are visiting. Always check the requirements before booking your tickets. Remember that valid photo identification is necessary for travel on domestic flights. Check with your airline for acceptable forms e.g. passport or driving licence. If you have a passport, it is best to take it.



• Check airport parking charges before you travel and pre-book car parking – It can save you money.


• Be aware of the latest travel updates and be prepared for changes – Check with your airline/airport or ferry operator for the most up to date travel advice and information and leave plenty of time to allow for unforeseen delays such as traffic jams or queues going through airport security.


• Know your rights – Brush up on your consumer rights when it comes to delayed or cancelled flights or sailings. You may be entitled to a refund and compensation.


Full details are available on the Consumer Council website:




Printed copies of Plane Facts or Plain Sailing guides are available to order, free of charge.


• Pre-book special assistance 48 hours in advance - If you have a disability or reduced mobility, ensure you get the assistance you need.


• If travelling to EU countries, check with your mobile phone provider if you will experience roaming charges. You can limit any roaming charges by turning off your mobile data roaming and using Wi-Fi where possible.


You can find out more information on your air and sea passenger rights by visiting:


 

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