With Greece in a financial meltdown, and the summer holidays just around the corner, many travelers will be jetting off to Greece this summer nervous about how the situation will impact their own vacation. So, as Greece votes ‘No’ to austerity and it’s continued use of the Euro looks unlikely, here’s a little financial advice on how you can be prepared if you’re off to the islands.
1. Don’t Cancel
When negative news stories are banded about by the media, sometimes it can feel like the simplest option is to cancel your trip and re-book somewhere less unstable. Unfortunately, your travel insurance won’t pay out if you were to cancel a trip because of the financial crisis; it is there to cover the inability to travel through illness, loss of possessions or injury whilst away, so by simply cancelling you would not be able to make a valid claim.
2. Bring Cash
With restrictions on how much can be withdrawn from Greek cash machines around the country and its islands, officials are advising to take the necessary cash that you’ll need for your holiday (particularly for paying taxi drivers and tipping). There are reports that only Greek bank accounts have restrictions on withdrawals, but with long queues, and most cash machines running low on funds, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
3. Get a Credit Card
While businesses are still apparently accepting credit and debit cards, cash is likely to be the preference. Still, it’s always good to have your credit card as a back-up and it’s likely that most places will still accept them. Credit cards, especially pre-paid credit cards, are always recommended when travelling abroad. Their charges are often a lot less (or even non-existent) compared to a standard debit card, and with a pre-paid card you can load it before you go if you are concerned about debt management or cannot get accepted for credit. You’re also protected on any credit card purchases over £100, so if you need to book hotels, car hire or day trips before you go, it can be beneficial to do so on a credit card for the added protection from the credit provider.
4. Get Covered
While it’s essential to have travel insurance whenever you travel abroad, it’s even more essential if you’re planning on taking a lot of cash with you. Many travel insurance policies will pay up to £250 should your cash get stolen whilst you’re away, so if you’ve got much more than this then you need to ensure you make use of your hotel or villa’s security safe facilities and only take out what you need. Certain insurers have temporality increased the amount of cash they’re willing to replace for those travel to Greece this summer; check your policy and be smart and safe while you’re abroad.
5. Don’t Stress
While it’s understandably fair to be concerned about the protests going on in the country, the majority of this is centred on Athens. The popular holiday resorts – such as Crete, Santorini, Rhodes, Corfu and Kos – are much less likely to be affected by turmoil. Even though it looks likely that Greece will be discontinuing the use of the Euro as their national currency, it could take up to a year for the changes to take place. So, if you’re jetting off for a Greek island holiday, be prepared and you won’t get burnt – unless you don’t stock up on sun-block.
Thanks to Local Financial Advice for sponsoring this post. This post was written by Ryan Smith who is part of the content development team at Local Financial Advice, connecting people with independent financial advisors in their area to help them achieve their financial goals.
CC photo credit from Flickr: Santorini by Maggie Meng.