We’re all going on a summer holiday…but can we afford it?
With the weather warming up and summer on the horizon, most people will be starting to think about getting their holiday plans together. The thing is, sometimes when you’re on a tight budget, it can feel like it’s a choice between having money or having a decent holiday. But, with some careful planning in advance, there are lots of ways to make holidays more manageable and affordable.
The first step to planning your holiday is to budget for it. That means sitting down and making a list of costs that are likely to be involved, from spending money, a place to stay and travel insurance, to little things like sun cream, clothes and toiletries. The next step is to think about day-to-day expenses like food and drink and activities you might want to do. Once you have a clear goal, it’ll be easier to start saving. Put aside a manageable fixed amount every week (and resist the temptation to dip into your savings in the meantime!).
One problem people often face when travelling abroad is the value of the pound. When it comes to converting your money, it’s very difficult to ascertain the best time to do it, especially in light of recent events putting everything slightly ‘up in the air’. Don’t miss Money Saving Expert’s top tips for getting the most for your travel money at moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money.
Travel insurance is vital if you’re heading abroad, but there’s a common problem. Should you find yourself ill or injured in the time between booking the holiday and actually leaving, you might find that insurance prices bump up. The last thing you want is to be forced to cancel the holiday and have the money you’ve already spent go to waste because you can’t afford the insurance, so always sort out this out as soon as you’ve booked your trip. After all, half the point of travel insurance is to protect you if something happens and you’re unable to go on the holiday. It might be something you need to fit into your yearly budget, especially if you go away more than twice a year, as annual policies often work out cheaper.
Taking all of this into account, you can avoid a lot of the extra costs and complications that come with travelling abroad by choosing to stay in the UK instead. Tourists come from across the world to see all that Great Britain has to offer, so there’s bound to be something to pique your interest. There are plenty of fun, free things to do in the UK, including museums, galleries and parks that are free to enter and lots of areas of natural beauty to discover and rediscover. If nothing else, we’re an island with an awful lot of seaside towns. If you want a holiday on the beach, the coast is never more than 75 miles away.
Friends and family are an invaluable resource. If you know someone who’s going on holiday this year, why not offer to house sit for them?
It’s the perfect way to get away from home, cut down accommodation costs and make their holiday a little easier too.
If you’re struggling with debt, don’t panic – give CAP a call on 0800 328 0006 or visit capuk.org. Last year we helped over 20,000 people with their debts.
By Adriaan Van Wyk