1/ Train tickets: opt for the refundable
– TGV Ouigo tickets give access to very competitive prices, but they are neither exchangeable nor refundable. If you have to change or cancel your trip, you lose them.
Prefer exchangeable or modifiable tickets under conditions. Eventually, on certain routes, a hold will be applied to you and you will have to pay the difference between the price of the initial ticket and that of the new ticket.
– You can take out insurance on some tickets to deal with contingencies. It covers what may remain at your expense in the event of exchange or cancellation, reimburses you for the cost of purchasing a new ticket in the event of a delay on the journey taking you to the station (50€ max./pers. .), and finances the continuation of the journey (up to €150) in the event of a train delay that causes you to miss your connection.
Cost of variable insurance depending on ticket and destination. Example for a Bordeaux-Marseille journey at €60: €2.85.
Read also> How can I pay for my train ticket cheaper? and Surprise strike: how to get your train ticket refunded?
2/ By train: send your luggage
– Travel light by opting for the SNCF “My luggage” service. Simply book online, in store, at the station or by phone at 3635, the date and method of collection/delivery of your baggage: in relay point or at home.
– No more than 25kg per bag. Practical, especially for bulky equipment (wheelchair, stroller, bicycle, etc.). Prices from €29 per bag.
Read also> Summer suitcase: this year, I’m traveling light!
3/ By plane: beware of false economies
– If you are traveling on a low-cost airline (EasyJet, Ryanair, etc.), checked baggage is not included in the price displayed during your flight searches.
When you add them to the ticket, the prices go up sharply.
Example: for a Paris-Palermo flight at the end of June-beginning of July, the price of the return ticket increases by €81 for the addition of checked baggage.
– Are you traveling light and decide to take only cabin baggage? Be careful to respect the dimensions prescribed by the company. If your baggage is longer/wider/deeper, the company may require you to put it in the hold and pay the full price. At the last moment, it is even more expensive than when booking!
– In search of the best price, some travelers choose to get to their destination by taking two successive flights on two different airlines. “This can be penalizing in the event of cancellation or delay of one of them, warns Khalid El Wardi, secretary general of the Tourism and Travel mediation. Because if one of the companies cancels its flight or delays it, you risk losing a ticket, or even both.
Read also> Plane: 5 tips to pay less
– In case of flight delay or cancellation…
In case of delay of 3 hours or more after the scheduled arrival, you can receive compensation from 250 to 600€ depending on the remoteness of the destination, as well as free food and beverage pick-up while waiting for the next flight.
– To know: Arrive well in advance at the airport!
“Since the health crisis, checks have taken much longer. Arriving too soon at the airport can cause you to miss the plane without the possibility of reimbursement“, insists Khalid El Wardi.
Read also> Baggage lost at the airport: what are my rights?
4/ Car rental: choose the right bank card
Think you have a credit card? Not so sure… In France, essentially “debit” cards are in circulation (it’s written on the card). “Credit cards” correspond to those debited at the end of the month (deferred debit). Finally, “credit cards” are those with which a reserve of money is associated. In France, no problem to withdraw your car with your credit card.
But beware, “it’s not the same abroad, where you will have to present yourself with a “credit” card to collect the vehicle, warns Khalid El Wardi. If you present your “debit” bank card, it will be refused by the rental companies who, in this case, will not deliver the car. Give preference to rental companies who ask for a “debit” card. Or ask your bank for a credit card.
Read also> Credit card insurance: what costs does the Gold Mastercard cover?
5/ Opt for the right bank card
Visa Premier or Mastercard Gold, in particular, offer guarantees of insurance and assistance in the event of a problem.
Example: reimbursement of expenses if you have to cancel your trip due to illness, reimbursement of expenses in the event of repatriation, etc. Find out more by reading your card holder’s contract.
Attention! For the insurance to work, you must have paid for the service with the card.
Read also> Hacked bank card, what are the remedies?
6/ Late cancellation of a trip, package trip: good reflexes
– Beware of too hasty cancellations due to the Covid
The fact of not being able to make your trip is not a reason for cancellation without charge. The trip or service must not be insured for you to be entitled to it. To avoid problems, take out insurance that covers cancellation for illness or buy a trip with the possibility of cancellation or postponement without charge (tour operators have relaxed their conditions since the Covid).
Read also> Coronavirus: my trip is cancelled, what are my rights?
– Favor package tours where all services are provided by a travel agent rather than organizing your trip alone by reserving your flight, your hotels… Because in the event of bankruptcy or scam by an operator abroad, you have no recourse. While the travel agent has a financial guarantee obligation.
– Before going abroad, register on the Ariane platform of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During your stay, in the event of unrest, demonstrations or health problems, you will be contacted to avoid dangerous areas and may, if necessary, be repatriated.
Khalid el Wardi is Secretary General of Tourism and Travel Mediation
Read also> Canceled holidays: can I request a refund?