Ole, Ole, Ole it's the Euro 2012 SURVIVAL Kit

Ole Ole Ole Ole….here we go again. For the first time since 1988, Ireland has qualified for the European Championships.  If you are one of the lucky ones planning to go to Poland to see the matches, then have a look at our Euro 2012 SURVIVAL kit to help you prepare for the big trip.

See how much it costs with the Euro 2012 Budget Planner

Our budget planner sets out the main expenses such as the cost of tickets and  flights and also includes some of the less obvious costs that you might forget to budget for, for example, the cost of using your phone abroad. Going to see the three matches could work out as much as €2,800,  so it is worth having a think about how you are going to pay for it. You still have time to save up– use our regular savings cost comparison to see how much interest you could earn if you put a bit of money away for the next six months.

You may be able to take out a loan from your credit union or bank if you have some savings with them already and have a good credit history. Don’t make the mistake of paying off your trip over more than one to two years and always be honest with your credit union or bank for the purpose of the loan. 

If you are using a savings club to save for your trip, remember that this is not covered under the Deposit Guarantee Scheme, if something goes wrong.

Understand what travel insurance cover you have

If you have booked your trip through a travel agent you may already have purchased travel insurance as part of a package. If not, or if you are booking yourself, then you can buy a single or multi-trip policy from an insurance company. Always check the terms and conditions of any policy before you sign up to it to ensure you have the level of cover you need.

You should also get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you travel which entitles you to free or reduced-cost, state-provided healthcare when visiting a European Union country, including Poland.  

Research the different travel options

There are a number of different ways you can get to Euro 2012, depending on your budget. Some travel agents are offering a package for the three matches, including tickets, accommodation and flights, which can cost up to €2,000. The advantage of booking with a travel agent is that you have certain protections if things go wrong

Other options include hiring a camper van, which can cost up to €2,000 for ten nights, but might be a good option if you are going with a group and you can share the cost.  There are also one-day packages available, which can cost in the region of €600 for return flights and a match ticket. Other affordable options include staying in cheaper accommodation such as hostels or camping.

Value for money

We have pulled together some money saving tips to help you save on the cost of your trip and keep your costs under control once you arrive in Poland.

Investigate roaming charges

You will probably be making calls and sending texts back home when you are away. The good news is that there are increased protections available to consumers since July of last year that put a cap on the amount you pay for making calls, texts and using data roaming services within the EU.  There are also certain things you should do before you go and while you are away to reduce the cost of your phone bill.

Verify any charges for using your cards abroad

Poland is not in the Eurozone so you will be paying for goods and services in the local currency, Zloty once you arrive.  If you use your cards abroad to take out Zloty, you will pay extra charges, such as a foreign-exchange fee and a transaction fee. You can get information on the cost of using your cards abroad on our current account cost comparison and credit card cost comparison.  As it can cost €3 per transaction to withdraw money in non-Eurozone countries, it can be expensive if you are using your cards to withdraw small amounts on a regular basis, so check out the charges for your card before you go.

Awareness of potential scams

Unfortunately Euro 2012 is an opportunity for scammers. Tickets for the Championships are in high demand and are for sale through the official UEFA site via a lottery system. You can also buy tickets as part of a package through FAI appointed travel agents. If you don't get a ticket in the UEFA Lottery, UEFA offer a ticket portal on their website for those who are reselling their tickets. According to UEFA, their ticket portal is the only authorised way to buy tickets from people offering their tickets for resale.   However, there may be other unofficial reselling sites, which have tickets but may be reselling them for a huge mark-up.   You could end up paying a large sum of money for a ticket, that doesn’t exist or isn't accepted when you try to enter the stadium. Watch out for fake websites offering tickets simply to get access to your credit card details.  We have some tips to stay safe and avoid being scammed when shopping online.

Lastly, remember the contingency fund for when we qualify for the next round - come on Ireland! Have a great trip.

Published Date: 17/01/2012

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