Let's be honest, the chances of getting away to the sun after the Euro 2012 blowout next summer are pretty much zilch -- especially after that Budget. There won't be another holiday for about a decade. So no need for annual travel insurance cover -- a single trip policy will work out cheaper. Cover for a week in Poland in June next year. Sunday Independent readers can get a special extra Euro 2012 discount if they enter this code on the multitrip.com website -- AP02411.
Best: multitrip.com €10.34
Avoid: AIB Healthcare Plus €19
contact: www.multitrip.com or 0818 44 44 44
Don't leave it to the last minute. There'll be enough to stress about at the beginning of June. Will Shay Given's shoulder be okay? Will Xavi be able to play if he's laughing so hard at Keith Andrews? Getting a new passport is ridiculously expensive. But using the Passport Express service at the post office makes it miles cheaper than turning up at the Passport Office looking for a rush job. Getting a passport at the Passport Office costs €95, with another €55 if you need it pronto.
Best: Passport Express €80
Avoid: Passport Office rush-job €150
contact: local post office
We figure it'd cost €2,000 to get to Euro 2012 and have a bit of beer money. Mind you, you'd have to sleep in a cardboard box and live on crisps. Some banks may even be dumb enough to lend some money next year. Borrowing €2,000 over three years. Total interest over the period of the loan below.
Best: National Irish Bank €354.05 in interest
Avoid: Bank of Ireland (Fixed) €459.74
contact: www.nationalirishbank.ie or local branch
Using your credit card abroad
As if banks and credit card companies weren't evil enough, they have a stack of sneaky charges to take your money when using it abroad. Your normal laser or debit card will work just fine in Poland but if you have to use your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM, it's going to hurt big time. You should never take cash out of an ATM using a credit card unless you're absolutely fluthered. For a €500 withdrawal.
Best: Tesco/NIB €8.75 in charges
Avoid: Ulster Bank standard €17.50
contact: www.tesco.ie or www.nationalirishbank.ie or local branches and stores
Driving to Poland
When the Ryanair flights are all booked up and all the package deals are gone. . . and Lionel Messi's kid brother has just declared for Ireland, you'll have to get to Poland somehow. It's a long drive and chances are the motor might suffer a bit of a wobbler on the way. Getting some form of roadside assistance cover mightn't be a bad idea for such an odyssey. We've costed taking the 2008 car with three of your mates for 17 days to Poland next summer. The 5-star breakdown cover policy also covers you in Ireland, whereas the AA policy is just for foreign driving.
Best: Breakdowncover.ie €79
Avoid: AA European rescue €129
contact: www. www.breakdowncover.ie or 0818 44 44 48
Sunday Indo Business