After lockdown, holidays are on everyone’s mind. Our partners at nudge, run through some key ways to save for holidays and help make the finances work.
Planning for a holiday can seem stressful and overwhelming, however after lockdown many of us will be spending our evenings browsing holiday destinations, wondering what we can afford and when we will be able to go and where we will be allowed in.
These tips will help budget and plan.
Consider the budget
It is vital you set, in advance, a holiday budget. This will stop the cost of your holiday spiraling out of control by avoiding ‘extras’ you haven’t planned for and make you consider how you are actually going to pay for a holiday rather than booking a dream break and thinking about the costs later – there is no point getting yourself into debt for the sake of a week away.
Look at what you can afford to spend on a holiday and then book the best trip you can within your budget, taking all components into account. Make sure you list all the things you’ll need to buy and estimate how much you’ll spend each day.
To plan, list all the things you’ll need to buy, including:
Then estimate the amount you’ll spend each day on:
Do your research to find the best deal
There are many websites on the internet that compare prices and offers from holiday operators – from flights, hotels, short breaks - this is not only quicker but cuts out the price of a middle-salesman. There are also online companies that find deals for you based on your budget but beware of small print, such as additional charges and cancellation policies.
Considering the timing of your travel can save money - if you are able to avoid public holidays, local events and high seasons you could find better deals.
Likewise, if you are not specific about the destination and have more flexibility then you are likely to have more choice at the cheaper end of the scale.
If your holiday requirements are more “standard” (one/two weeks in a traditional holiday destination) then package holidays (tour operator provides flights, connections & accommodation) tend to be the best option.
Contact tour operators and don’t be afraid to negotiate on what they say is their "final price". If there is still availability it is in their interest to close the deal and fill seats/rooms etc…
Many package holidays are sold by multiple agents so always see if a deal can be beaten by calling different agents.
Look at all the alternatives
Compare the price of a package holiday versus a DIY holiday. It is sometimes cheaper, for example, to book flights directly with regional airlines and in some cases you may be better off booking a package holiday just to use the flights even if you don’t stay in the accommodation.
Remember that with package holidays you will have the added insurance of being backed by the ABTA & ATOL which protects your money in the case of the tour operator going bust – this is therefore worth considering in the planning process.
Cash or Credit Card
One of the biggest questions that surrounds holidays is, cash or credit card?
Saving up for a holiday and paying for it with cash is generally the best option for your finances. But if you can, save up the full amount in cash, pay for your holiday or flights with a credit card, and then pay the balance off in full as then your holiday is likely to be protected under the Consumer Credit Act. (This means you may be able to make a claim if the airline or holiday company goes bust or the holiday isn’t as described)
Consider a reward credit card
There are many Reward Credit Cards on the market that offer specific benefits such as air-miles and discounts on flights and travel (e.g. Eurostar tickets). It is, therefore, possible to sign up to one of these cards and take advantage of these offers – although the incentives are normally only offered after a certain amount of spending has been made on the card so this may only work for you long term.
You should be fully aware of the pros and cons of a credit card and the need to pay off the balance in full to ensure the rewards are worthwhile.
Organise this as soon as you have booked your holiday, working out who needs cover and exactly what you’ll be covered for (medical issues, cancellations, activities etc…).
Some mobile phone providers have special packages to make using your phone abroad cheaper, so contact them before you travel. Also, check if you will be charged 'roaming' fees or have data limits which may be in the small print.
Consider your travel options and book parking in advance if needed as it’ll generally be cheaper.
Travel accessories such as adaptors and money at bureau de change are better off purchased beforehand rather than at the airport at inflated prices.
You can also save money by bringing your own food for the flight as it is cheaper than airport/airline food (it is only liquid that you can’t bring through).
Make sure you list all the things you’ll need to buy and estimate how much you’ll spend each day.
From our partners at personal financial solutions experts Nudge www.nudge-global.com