Imagine going to the dentist after doing your Leaving Cert and driving test on the same day... while you're hungover, having been mugged after listening to the vuvuzela for two hours. It's probably the same kind of feeling you get when you walk through the doors of Dublin Airport. DAA operate one of the most unpleasant places in Ireland but if you book online its car parking charges aren't bad. Failure to book online will see you pay through the nose. Obviously you'd want to be an eejit to go to the short-term car park which would cost about €560 for two weeks. For two weeks in a long-term car park in July, book online.
Best: DAA Blue car park €77
Avoid: Quickpark €98
Cheapo insurance for two weeks
Travel insurance is one of the last great rip-offs. Some credit cards already give you free cover when booking your holidays, private health insurance also gives you some cover -- as does having an E-111 card.
For two weeks in Europe for an adult:
Best: Multitrip.com Essential €12.49 (inc admin charge)
Avoid: Ryanair Travel €19
Credit cards abroad
Taking cash out of an ATM machine when on holiday outside Europe is ridiculously expensive. Especially if you have a toxic AIB credit card. Between all the costs and charges you'll pay up to 4.25pc on each withdrawal. On the equivalent of €500 outside Europe.
Best: NIB/Permanent TSB Ice €8.75
Avoid: AIB Click/Platinum card €21.25
contact: local branches
Car hire in Spain
things have changed. Readers told us that hiring a car through Ryanair's website offered the best value. It's not the cheapest, not by a long shot, especially for the first two weeks in July at Malaga Airport. But Ryanair rocks when it comes to renting child seats and that sort of thing, with costs capped at €60. Avis will charge a jaw dropping €73.08 to rent a child seat for the same two weeks.
Best: www.arguscarhire.ie €491.60
Avoid: Hertz €684.71
contact: www.arguscarrental.ie or
Worldwide annual travel insurance
Cover for a family of four who clearly enjoy spending time in Dublin airport. Annual policies make sense if you travel abroad more than twice a year. Unless you're an AA customer, although the cover has more bells and whistles like cattery or kennel fees. Or overseas legal services. All very useful indeed.
Best: Multitrip.com premier €46.99 (incl admin charge)
Avoid: AA Travel Insurance €137.34
We have been labouring under the misconception that both Vodafone and O2 are a bit rubbish on the value front as they both tend to get whopped by 3, Meteor and Tesco Mobile for calls at home. But O2 is actually rather good abroad, with its travel tariff for bill-paying customers, miles cheaper for someone making a five-minute call home each day from Malta and getting one a day (plus 50 texts). Quotes from www.callcosts.ie
Best: O2 Travel (bill pay) €38.56
Avoid: Meteor/3/Tesco €59
contact: www.o2online.ie or local shops