Sun-cream? Check. Swimming costumes? Check. Ridiculously embarrassing floppy hat? Check. All the children accounted for and not pulling a Home Alone? Check.
Going on holiday can sometimes feel less like a relaxing, sun-drenched escape and more like a military exercise in budgeting, clothes inventory and crowd control.
There are so many costs to think about and plenty that you probably hadn’t even considered until your child grows out of their swimming costume during the holiday. Adding unexpected costs to the litany of meals out, activities, flights, hotels, new clothes and a growing expectation from your children that three ice creams a day is a perfectly reasonable number means that finances can become a bit frazzled, along with your nerves.
The modern parenting tips and tricks involving Whatsapping various wandering teenagers to haul them back to baggage reclaim, ordering an Uber when the toddler gets through their sixth pair of clean shorts that day, and letting the baby have just five minutes watching Peppa Pig while you sun-cream their neck can all be rendered prohibitively expensive thanks to high roaming charges.
The jaw-dropping, stomach-swooping feeling of horror upon opening a shockingly high mobile phone bill when you’re back home can fade your holiday glow faster than a race for the last sun lounger. That feeling even has an official name: bill shock. Not exactly the best ending to a few weeks away.
A Light at the End of the Eurotunnel
This is why the news that roaming charges are set to be scrapped in EU countries from the 15th June 2017 is music to many a holiday-goer’s ears. Using your mobile to text, call and browse the internet will cost exactly the same in any country in the EU.
Want to send that smug beach selfie to everyone in your contacts? Go for it. Compulsive tweeter? Those 140 characters are all yours. Need to book a supermarket delivery for when you get home? Sure, bring yourself crashing back to reality at no extra cost.
Who Doesn’t Like Staying Connected?
It really is getting easier and less and less expensive to stay connected. The only problem might be if your phone decides to take a little dip in the hotel pool, just as you’d taken the only photograph of the holiday in which your children are swimming gracefully together and not attempting to drown each other over rights to an inflatable crocodile.
Phone comparison sites can help you find the best mobile phone deals on a new model that suits your needs, meaning another one of those unexpected holiday costs doesn’t have to hit you as hard.
Clearly things might get a bit trickier in the spring of 2019 when Britain is expected to bow out of the EU, but the UK government will be expected to step in and negotiate a new deal. Because you haven’t really lived until you’ve live-streamed yourself doing a cannonball into the Mediterranean.