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After a year of travel restrictions and lockdowns, a holiday could be the perfect thing to look forward to. And with Black Friday weekend now upon us, there are plenty of airline and package holiday deals to benefit from.
However, one expert has warned Britons that they could be easily caught out on the hunt for a low cost.
Though the low-cost deals of Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be alluring, James Lynn, co-founder of travel money specialist Currensea, has revealed there are some red flags that could leave holidaymakers out of pocket
“Preparation is key,” he told Express.co.uk.
“Especially if offers are limited.
“If you have something in mind that you’d like to get during the Black Friday event, do your research beforehand.
“You can look at pre-sale pricing to understand how much you would be expected to pay so you know what the best deal is.”
However, even if a deal is particularly attractive, Mr Lynn says not everything is always as good as it seems.
“Make sure that you purchase from trusted websites, do your research and only make purchases with brands you trust. Just because offers are advertised as Black Friday deals, doesn’t mean you can’t get the same or a better deal elsewhere,” he said.
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“Shop around to make sure you’re taking advantage of the best deals.”
Indeed, some of the best deals of the year aren’t those that go out on Black Friday claims Mr Lynn.
“There are great holiday deals available year-round,” he explained.
What’s more, rushing to purchase a holiday during the limited time Black Friday sales could see customers losing out to even better deals that are right around the corner.
“While Black Friday often involves a number of heavily discounted holidays, some of the best deals can be found in the period following Christmas,” he continued.
“This is the busiest holiday-booking period and with that comes a whole range of discounted holidays for all budgets.
“These offers usually run all the way through to the end of January and with the current circumstances I imagine there to be some fantastic travel deals to be snapped up in the coming months.”
If you do have your heart set on a Black Friday purchase, it is important to consider where the seller is based.
Mr Lynn continued: “If you are paying for something abroad, some merchants will allow you to pay in pounds or the foreign currency.
“Check how much they are charging you in pounds so you know whether you are getting a good rate.
“If doing this, lots of providers will add a large margin onto the interbank rate, so you could be incurring unexpected foreign exchange fees without realising.
“If you pay in the foreign currency, your bank may charge between 3-4 percent in fees, so make sure you check your high street bank’s rates before making the decision.”
Whether it’s paying off a hotel abroad or booking with an international cruise line, there are all sorts of reasons why travellers may end up purchasing their holiday bargains in a foreign currency.
Should it be essential, Mr Lynn recommends switching up your method of payment.
“If you’re planning on shopping internationally this Black Friday, make sure to buy direct from the seller rather than through a wholesaler. If doing so, ensure you are shopping with a debit card that won’t cost you the earth in international fees,” he recommended.
“Shopping with a travel debit card such as Currensea, which is designed for international transactions, can save you over 80 percent in fees when compared to a high street bank account – meaning the savings don’t end with just the Black Friday discounts
“People often put travel money cards down to only being used while they’re travelling, however, a travel debit card can save you money from home when purchasing internationally.
“This is a great way to extend the savings further than just money off discounts on Black Friday.”
Even in the face of the most attractive deals, however, many Britons may be cautious following a year of changing travel rules.
Luckily, Mr Lynn believes “there is no need to feel unsafe” about bagging a Black Friday deal for the future.
“As long as you are booking with a company that offers flexible booking policies and guaranteed refunds should your holiday be cancelled, there is no need to feel unsafe about booking now for future travel,” he said.
Purchasing now could even be one of the last opportunities to snap up a holiday for a discounted price.
“The number of offers available on the market often depends on demand,” Mr Lynn pointed out.
“If the recent news of a vaccine does provide an end to quarantine, we are likely to see a peak in travel demand so flight and hotel prices could surge as a result.
“To avoid this, it’s great to plan ahead so there’s really no reason not to go ahead and book a future holiday now, just make sure that you have a flexible booking policy so you can cancel or amend your trip if travel is disrupted.”
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