According to an estimated 4 million travellers destined for Greece and the Greek Isles this summer, the answer is a resounding yes! Foreign exchange company Travelex claim that double the amount of tourists are still planning to holiday in Greece, but are you and your money safe, with the Greek economy on the verge of total collapse? No one knows at present whether Greece will leave the Euro however, many economists are warning that it a case of ‘when’, not ‘if” it happens. But, with Greek tourist officials urging British holidaymakers to forget about the country’s economic crisis and to continue with their plans to visit as normal, there are some pretty good deals from travel agents to tempt us. So what is the safest way to visit Greece, if at all?
Book a package holiday
By booking a package holiday with a reputable travel company, you are spreading the risk factor of a potential financial collapse with a larger company. This will offer you the best protection as there will be insurance within the package that will cover you. Also, if you have bought a package, not only will there be operatives in the area that can speak English and will help you, but in the case of airplane strikes, it is the tour operator’s responsibility to get you home safely. If strikes mean that you cannot get to Greece, the operator will also have to find you a replacement equivalent holiday or offer you a full refund. The best tour operators to use are Thomson Holidays and Thomas Cook who have already taken contingency plans to cope in the event of a Greek exit from the Eurozone.
Take a Mixture of Euros & Foreign currency
If there was a complete financial collapse in Greece, whilst British tourists were holidaying over there, it would not be a total disaster for tourists. This is typically what would happen: the exchange rate would be fixed and during this, the banks would have close for up to five days so you could not get out any money from them at this time. However, so long as you had plenty of cash you should be ok as shops, stores, bars, clubs, hotels and restaurants would still be able to accept euros and foreign currency during the banking shut down, and afterwards. It is advisable therefore, to take with you plenty of euros in cash and smaller denominations of foreign currency, rather than the higher value notes. This is due to the fact that although you might pay a trader in euros, they are more likely to give you back your change in smaller lower value Greek currency.
Pay with a Credit Card
For all we complain about exhorbitant credit card charges and the interest they accrue, they are handy if you need some kind of insurance with a product, as if you want to book your Greek holiday independently, you should always pay with a credit card. If you do you are protected under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act and will be refunded if you are unable to take your holiday. To protect yourself further, make sure your travel insurance includes ‘supplier failure’ cover. This means that even if you have arranged the holiday independently, you will still be refunded if you are unable to take the holiday because a hotel has collapsed due to the economy.
There are many ways to stay safe if you want to travel to Greece and some amazing bargains are to be had with some hotels offering a massive upto 50% off normal prices, and adding extra benefits such as free meals or free child places. So long as you take the right currency, pay with a credit card and use a package holiday if not, travelling to Greece this may well be an expense that turns into your best bargain!