The festive party season is over but one way to help beat those winter blues is planning some summer sun to look forward to.
It’s never too late to start saving for a summer holiday, whether to help ease the worry of paying for it or to put away some spending money for those holiday treats. But where do you start? The thought of saving can be daunting, especially if you spent a lot over the Christmas period. However, we’re here to help you get on the right track – you’ll be on the beach in no time!
There’s a whole world of choice out there - from Cornwall to Croatia and Tenerife to Toronto; wherever you decide to go just make sure your aspirations match your pocket. You can do this by working out how much you can afford to put aside each month for your holiday when all of your other essential expenses such as bills and a mortgage or rent are taken care of.
Helpful budgeting tool
A budget planner like this one from Money Advice Service can be a good starting point.
Find a home for your savings, and save each month
"Can't wait till August!"
When you’re saving for something specific, rather than simply leaving it in your current account, it’s a good idea to set up a new savings account where you can see your cash build up.
If you’re setting your cash aside for a special purpose, having this separate account can help you avoid the temptation of dipping into your savings.
A lot of providers will let you name your account too, so whether you go with ‘My well-deserved break’, ‘Summer Sun’ or ‘Costa Del Sol’ it’ll help to keep you focussed on your goal.
There are many different types of savings accounts on the market.
- For a short-term savings goal like a holiday, you might want to consider a regular savings account. This allows you to put away a fixed amount each month – which is a good habit to get into.
- You could set up a standing order so that money is taken from your bank account automatically each month (such as on pay day), so you won’t even notice it’s gone.
According to the Money Advice Service, saving this way could mean you’ll save more than you would do otherwise. What’s more, if you get into the habit of saving on a regular basis, you’ll be able to get ahead on saving for your next holiday, and maybe even stretch your budget to somewhere a little more exotic.
What about next year?...
If you have other longer-term savings goals, you want might want to look at fixed-rate accounts where you can lock your money away for a set period in return for a higher interest rate.
Additionally, don’t forget about tax-free savings, which allow you to save money without paying tax on the interest you earn, over and above your Personal Savings Allowance
A little can help a lot!
There are lots of little ways you can save money to add to your holiday savings.
For example, by setting aside £70 a month for a year, you could get a week’s all-inclusive holiday in Majorca for 2 people!† And it’s not as hard as you might think.
- Check your direct debits - are you using everything you’re paying for?
- Consider a cheaper TV package, cancelling unused gym memberships and switching utility providers.
- If you like eating out, consider dining discount memberships, checking out the fixed price menus or simply having a few more meals in. Little changes soon add up.
Pay for it in an affordable way
You don’t necessarily need to save your whole holiday balance before you book – many travel agents and tour operators allow you to pay a smaller deposit up front and then make the remaining payment closer to your holiday, especially if you’re booking early.
Did you know?
Some holiday booking tips
- Clear your cookies - Online booking sites can keep increasing the price you’re given for the same flight or holiday. They do this by installing cookies on your computer (which store your browser history), comparing the price you’ve already been given and increasing it. This is known as dynamic pricing, but you can get round it by clearing the cookies on your computer using the settings options on the toolbar.
- Night Flight - Flying at night may be more inconvenient, but if you can do it, you could pay up to 30% less than an afternoon flight. And as an added bonus, the airport is likely to be much quieter too.
- All-inclusive package - Package holiday sales increased last year and are expected to continue on that trend in 2018.[i] It’s easy to see why as it’s a great way to stick to a budget. So consider paying upfront for everything together so you know exactly what you’re spending.
- Watch out for fraud - After all your hard work saving up, the last thing you want to do is pay for a holiday that doesn’t exist! Online fraudsters set up convincing looking websites offering too good to be true deals and copying images from genuine holiday sites then taking your money with no intention of providing a holiday.** So when you do book, it’s important to make sure that you’re using a reputable travel company.Check online reviews and if they’re a member of recognised travel authority. When entering your payment details, check there is a padlock symbol in the browser window frame and the web address begins with ‘https://’ which means it’s a secure site.
We hope these tips have been helpful and that you’re now excitedly planning for your next trip away. Bon voyage!