The holiday season approaches fast, with the May bank holiday already behind us – a key moment at which many people realise they haven’t started planning for their summer yet! Whether you have grand plans of backpacking in the East, or humble intentions of a European city break, now is the time to get planning. Still, holidays cost money, and money that isn’t always immediately accessible. If you’re looking to plan a holiday, where should you start, financially speaking?
Research, Research, Research
First, it can be extremely helpful to get a strong idea of the costs involved in your ideal holiday. This means putting the time into doing some research, in order to learn how much each aspect of your trip might cost you and give you space to plan accordingly.
This research stage is also a good time to think about things like timing and time away. If you’re intending to explore a new country, you’ll undoubtedly find that flights out there are more expensive at certain times of the year than others. This might inform your thinking on when you travel, or even give you pause with regard to other costs. But we’ll come back to this.
Check Your Own Finances
As well as researching the costs associated with travel, you should also be looking into your own finances. How much can you put aside from your income, after essential costs, to build up your savings for your holiday plans? You should also have a specific account in which to place your saved money, where it is relatively inaccessible and hence safe from any impulsive attempts to spend.
If you already have a savings account, consider creating a separate one specifically for your holiday. This way, you can be completely sure of the money you are saving and spending towards it, and protecting your other savings in the process.
Plan a Budget
But how much should you be putting aside? This is a question that can only ever be answered on an individual basis, dependant on the amount you personally are left with after essential costs and some leisure spending each month. The cost-of-living crisis has made saving harder than ever, in a time where rent already accounts for three quarters of income in some parts of the UK. With this in mind, leniency should be the word; don’t hold yourself to impossible savings standards for the sake of one holiday!
Being lenient with yourself is a great start but made all the more effective by being adaptable too. You might not meet the threshold for affording your dream holiday, but this doesn’t mean your saved money is useless! You might moderate your expectations and enjoy a different kind of holiday. You could staycation in the UK instead of jetting off abroad; besides, having a large budget for a domestic holiday could be much more fun than a frugal holiday in an unfamiliar place.