The thought of jetting off to find some summer sun is an appealing daydream whatever the weather. Planning ahead can help make your holiday dreams a reality, whether it’s a winter getaway or your next summer holiday.
It’s never too late to start saving for a holiday, whether to help ease the worry of paying for it or to put away some holiday spending money for those much-needed treats. But where do you start? The thought of saving can be daunting, especially if you’ve just got through an expensive period like Christmas. However, we’re here to help get you on the right track – you’ll be on the beach in no time!
Start with what you can afford
There’s a 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 other essential expenses such as bills and a mortgage or rent are taken care of.
Try our online budget calculator
Our handy personal budget calculator lets you see where your money is really going and how much you have left over to save for a holiday.
Little and often can help a lot
There are lots of little ways to save for a holiday. For example, saving £70 a month for a year could add up to an all-inclusive family holiday for 4 to Turkey*. And it’s not as hard as you might think
Check your direct debits and standing orders. If you’re paying for something you’re not using anymore, now’s the time to cancel it and divert that money to your holiday fund.
Consider cheaper options. Cancelling your TV package may be out of the question, but is there a cheaper package that can give you what you need for less?
Switch providers. According to uSwitch just switching gas and electric providers can save up to £477 a year without having to give anything up. And don’t forget broadband, mobile phones and credit cards too.
Don’t pay twice. It’s easy to lose track of all the many subscriptions that are available from music, films, gaming and magazines. Some services may cross-over and you end up paying twice for the same thing. For example, do you have both Spotify and Apple Music?
Make the most of offers. There are plenty of discount sites and offers available if you look for them. Just remember they only help you save if you were going to buy it in the first place!
Find a home for your savings, and save every month
When you’re saving for something specific, rather than 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. That way you can’t accidentally spend it and you’ll be less tempted to dip in to it.
Some providers let you name your account too so whether it’s ‘Holiday spending money’, ‘Summer Sun’ or ‘Costa Del Sol’ it’ll help you keep focussed on your goal.
Easy Access accounts – great for getting access to your holiday money whenever you need it, but may be a little too tempting to dip into for some.
Limited Access accounts – as the name suggests, you don’t have as much access, maybe 1-3 times a year, so you’re less likely to make impulsive decisions with it. And you’ll usually be rewarded with a slightly higher interest rate.
Regular Saver account – these types of account usually need you to pay in every month, which is a great habit, and reward you with better interest rates. However, they tend to be for a fixed period which means you can’t access your money, often for 12 months. Make sure you can afford to put the money aside without access. If you want your next holiday sooner than that, this could still be a good option for next year.
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.
Money saving tips when booking a holiday
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!