Suntan lotion can be expensive you can usually get deals but unfortunately its essential if you are planning on sunbathing. Ideally get one that is a bit water resistant and contains insect repellent, I would also suggest getting the spray on lotion as it is far easier to use. Other things you may need to buy include plug in mosquito killers, insect repellent and plug adapters.
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Obvious but it can be hard to work out how much you will need. Having too much is always a good thing and a bit of research into what you are likely to be doing and buying should give you a rough number.
Usually if you are sight seeing you can find the costs of local attractions online. Also depending on your board basis you may need to pay for meals and drinks too.
Other things to consider are additional hotel costs. Some hotels charge you to use the room safe, fridge and even air conditioning. Trip adivisor is very good for this kind of thing as many helpful reviewers will detail these hidden costs.
Some countries charge an exit tax to foreign tourists, this is usually charged per person and may be taken when you check out of the hotel or at the airport. Check this before you go or on arrival, they may only accept cash for this so don't get caught out or miss your flight home because you have not kept enough money aside.
Not everything will be included as part of your package or hotel room rate. Check if there are any extra daily charges for things like the room safe or WiFi. Also worth remembering that they may want a deposit for towels or the safe up front too which is effectively money you can't spend during your stay.
If you are not all inclusive it can be hard to work out how much to bring. You can get a rough idea of local costs by looking up some on line menus for local restaurants, failing that you can check some travel forums for other people's experiences. Remember that you may need some cash for snacks or food at the airports too depending on your flight times.
If you want to get out and about and don't fancy spending every day on the beach then you can always go on some local trips. It will be far cheaper to research and book these well in advance if possible. Most decent attractions will have a website and usually they will give you a discount for advanced booking. It does mean you are not quite as flexible but you can save money and avoid taking as much cash with you.
Some hotels have private beaches but they may still charge for use of the sunbeds, public beaches will most certainly charge. If you want to sunbathe everyday then this can add up so it is worth finding out how much this will be in advance.
An increasingly sneaky way to get more money out of you even on package holidays. These are pitched as optional extras but many tour operators will charge you to select your seats, additional baggage allowance or in flight meals.
In the days of old you had one option for going on holiday and that was through a travel agent. Now we have the internet and a whole host of sites for booking a holiday.
If you want less hassle, piece of mind but at a slightly higher cost than you want a package holiday. First of all it's one stop and everything from flights hotel and transfers between the airport and hotel are taken care of.
If you book through one of the main operators you will also usually get a rep at the hotel or resort, giving you help and local knowledge without speaking the language. The other benefit of a package holiday is that you are protected to a certain degree from any problems with flights.
All of this will come at a cost but most tour operators realize they have to compete on price and it is not always the case that this will be a more expensive option so it is worth checking out.
It is important to pick a good one as this will directly influence your holiday. If you come across ultra cheap deals from companies you have never heard of before it is worth doing a quick check to make sure the company is OK. By this I mean checking they are not a con site but also that they are not likely to go bankrupt any time soon and strand you abroad.
The main thing is to check the tour operator is ATOL protected, this means you are protected financially from them going bust and make sure you do not get stranded abroad. A quick Google search should render some more information on the company, other people's reviews or company news.
If you are trying to save money and you are not interested in the other benefits of a package deal you can simply book your own flights and hotel.
The main downside to this is the amount of time you need to spend getting the right combination of flight and hotel.
You will also be responsible for getting to and from your hotel once you get to the destination airport which may or may not be straight forward depending where you go. Generally it is easier for city breaks where the transport infrastructure is good, especially sensible places where there is a rail link to the airport. So it is worthwhile trying to work out how you will get to your hotel before booking anything it may end up costing a lot more in time and money.
Another thing to remember with the DIY option is that should anything go wrong you are on your own. If your flights are delayed or cancelled you will have to notify your hotel or find yourself accommodation.