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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Your summer travel check list provided by the Consumer Council


With the summer break just around the corner, the Consumer Council is encouraging holidaymakers to take their top tips on board, for an easier journey.

 

The summer months are a busy time for travel and the Consumer Council has drawn up a summer travel checklist, to take the stress out of your holiday travel.



Michelle Kelly, Head of Transport Policy at the Consumer Council said:

 

“Before consumers set off on their travels this summer, there are a few things to take into consideration to make your journey as smooth and hassle free as possible.

 

“We would encourage those travelling to check the latest travel updates before they travel, so they know about any potential disruptions. Travel plans can be disrupted by sudden and unforeseen events such as bad weather. But also keep up to date on things such as industrial action, road works or service interruptions which you can plan ahead for.”



Passport to smoother travel checklist:

 

  • Check public transport timetables – If you are planning to use public transport for any part of your journey, especially around public holidays. Essential engineering works will be taking place to prepare for the opening of Belfast Grand Central Station. Information at www.translink.co.uk


  • Check your passport – If you need to apply for a new passport to travel, check with the passport issuer how long in advance of your travel date you should apply. Always apply well in advance as a delay in issuing passports could mean you will be unable to travel. 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.


  • Check airport parking charges before you travel and pre-book car parking – It can save you money. Further information about parking: https://bit.ly/airtravel24


  • Be flexible when you book – Consider flexible airfares and accommodation with a cancellation option. They may be a little more expensive but could save you money if you are forced to cancel your trip for personal reasons.



  • Check 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 at www.consumercouncil.org.uk and copies of the Plane Facts or Plain Sailing guides are available for download or order.


  • Know hand luggage allowances and restrictions – These vary between airlines and are often strictly enforced.


  • Plan ahead to avoid last minute charges – 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.



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


  • Get a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) - If travelling to EU countries, a GHIC card will give access to health care at a reduced cost or sometimes for free.


  • Check for roaming charges - 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. https://bit.ly/mobileroaming24


  • Shop around for your travel money – To ensure you get the payment method that suits you and the best exchange rate.


  • Ensure your travel insurance meets your needs - Pay attention that it fully covers you if flying or sailing from the Republic of Ireland.


You can find out more information on your air and sea passenger rights by visiting https://bit.ly/consumerrightsandtravel

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