Here we are, post-Christmas, getting back into the swing of things in January. The chances are that with the darker mornings and the wet and cold days we’re currently experiencing, your thoughts have strayed to the summer. We know that now is traditionally the time that many of us make our summer holiday plans, and for those of us yet to do so, the chances are that we have yearned for a sunnier day.
Now is a good time to plan in a few treats to look forward, whether you are looking to save up some money for a fun day trip to Blackpool or you have set your sights on a week in spectacular New Orleans, it really does not matter. It is just great to get some travel plans booked into our diaries, things to look forward to. We want to help you to do this today by sharing with you a few suggestions around how to make this year’s travel plans affordable.
The first place to start with this is to be realistic with your travel plans. If you know that it is likely to be day trips or a short UK break, then embrace that and aim to make it the best break that you can. If you would love to go to Disney World with your kids but your budget is unlikely to even cover half of that, then look around at alternative options, or compromise on this year’s plans so that you can save over a longer term for that big holiday.
Set yourself a realistic savings goal for your trip and then you can look into where you can go with that budget.
Get the wish list
Armed with your budget, you can ask your family for their holiday wish list. Focus on the kinds of activities that they would like to do, rather than it being all about the destination.
Your children might love the idea of going to Italy because they want to be in the pool every day, eating pizza for dinner. Well, you can certainly do that elsewhere in the world! Take the time to break down that wish list so that you are clear on everyone’s priorities and you might then find that a destination that none of you had even considered before fits the bill perfectly at a reasonable price.
Look around for the best deals
Now that you are clear on the budget and what everyone wants from a holiday, you can look into booking it up. Take the time to look around for the best deals, either as package holidays or by pricing it up yourself.
Ensure that you uncover all hidden extras when you are comparing prices, such as extra fees for baggage allowances or service charges, and factor in any further travel costs such as airport parking.
Save by setting up a regular payment
It is good to start your savings fund by setting up a regular payment into your savings account. Get it to go out on payday so that you don’t miss it or eat into the funds throughout the month.
Save by reducing bills
Take an afternoon to look into reducing your utility bills and regular outgoings. Look at things like your mortgage payments, insurances, energy bills and your TV and broadband bills. There are plenty of switching sites available to use and if you haven’t done this for a while, you should find that you can save a substantial amount every month.
Save by going for quality over quantity
We have all heard about no-spend months, or even a no-spend years, and whilst it would clearly save money, these aren’t for everyone. However, something that we can all aim to do this year is to go for quality over quantity.
It might seem like you are spending more initially in some of these cases, but you should find that they are wise investments. For example, you could opt for hotel quality bedding from Richard Haworth that will last you for years, rather than replacing your bed linen every year. The same applies to many of your homewares and furnishings, along with things like cosmetics and clothing, so spend wisely and only on those things that you need.
Save by selling
We would always recommend selling on sites such as eBay to boost your savings funds, so take a good look around your home and see whether there are things that you no longer use that you could sell on.
Get the family involved so that everyone feels that they are contributing to the savings pot in this way.