Have you seen the series on Channel 5 about Brits enjoying all-inclusive holidays in Spain? One of the most memorable phrases that the narrator came out with was that “our two weeks in the sun every year make the other 50 miserable weeks in rainy old Blighty worth it”. And isn’t that the case once Christmas has passed and all you see stretched in front of you is months and months of work!
Modernization has brought many changes in the way we celebrate festivals now. Most of the people spend their holidays travelling to their favourite destinations. There were 37.9 million visits overseas by UK residents in 2018, and they spent £45.4 billion on overseas visits. The most common reason for travelling abroad was for holidays. Food, accommodation, travel and gifts also take away most of the savings. Christmas celebration has changed a lot but the ethos of giving and sharing will remain forever.
So, what should you do cut off the costs so that you can enjoy a budget-friendly holiday this festive season? Team Oyster Loan has listed 5 great ways to help you plan a holiday on a budget.
1. Mind your Money
Plan everything beforehand. If you do not wish to spend extravagantly, you need to plan for your trip months in advance. Create a separate budget bucket for your travel expenses and keep on adding money to it as and when possible apart from your payday. Know the currency exchange rate as research has revealed that Brits’ lack of understanding of foreign currencies leads them to spend way more than their budget.
When on a holiday, make sure to come back with a pile of memories and not debt.
The survey found that half of Brits would go over their budget and only 3% were able to convert six major world currencies into pound sterling. Using your debit and credit cards overseas will also result in an additional cost that you have to bear. Ask your credit card company is details about the card and it features so that you do not face unexpected costs.
2. Find Flexible Accommodation
Checking into an expensive hotel will drain a major chunk of your budget. Explore area virtually on the internet to find out what are the possible places to stay that will save you money and are safe too. If you’re a mountain lover and you’re visiting the mighty Himalayas, then you may find a lot of options for camping by paying a measly amount per day/night. If your plan is to visit the beach, then find cheap hostels or homestays.
Cultural enrichment is more important than ambience. Your accommodation choice will define your entire trip.
A report by TripAdvisor states that UK travellers are the least interested in hotel brands (22%). However, package holidays remains in the top spot as about 49% of holidaymakers took a package holiday for abroad. So, if you wish to and have a budget for spending some extra pounds on your accommodation, you can choose a nice and expensive place to stay. Or else, explore and you will not be disappointed.
3. Watch Your Step
You must have seen a lot of travellers prefer to walk and avoid taking transportation services. You will get to explore more and in-depth if you plan to walk and cover the city on your own. Take public transport when you need to cover a longer distance. You will also get to witness a lot of views which would otherwise have been got lost on your way to a destination. Carry a bag pack and don’t stuff everything in there. Pack a bottle of water, salt caps, some snacks to munch on and a few other essentials.
The journey is more beautiful than the destination. Make sure to witness every scene that unfolds during your vacation.
You may get too tempted to hop on a cab and finish the trip but ask yourself is it worth it? Earn every view and rejoice it thoroughly. Hire or rent a bicycle and peddle around the countryside to watch that sunset that you didn’t witness in a decade. Travelling is a process to enrich yourself and connect to things that are real and essential.
4. Eat Local
Experience is everything when you are travelling. Unless and until you live a local for a few days, you will never get fully immersed and indulged in your vacation. Do what the locals do, take the shortcuts that the locals take for their work and eat what they eat to earn an experience of a lifetime. Every city has its own smell and flavour and that is the reason travellers generally prefer eating the local cuisine.
Experience the culture and eating the local cuisine will help you connect to their heritage. Traditional foods have always been a significant part of a community’s culture. Explore.
Do your research. There are a lot of apps that you can use to find the best restaurants in your locality. Check the reviews and testimonials, budget and the dishes that are available. You can also check the local food blogs or blogs by travellers about their reviews on what you shouldn’t miss trying out.
5. Book Tickets Early
If you really want to save money and travel on a budget, you need to pull up your socks. Book your flights or train earlier so that you do not have to pay more. Also, make sure to check the prices and compare them on incognito mode. Why? Because while surfing the website in private mode, your details are not saved in the form of cookies and hence, you can book your tickets at a comparatively cheaper price.
Don’t book too early or too late. Most airlines increase their fares if you book the tickets just before a month. Book your tickets at least 6 months before for the best price.
Keep checking the airlines as they offer discounts sometimes. There are a lot of websites which offer discount codes that you can apply while booking your tickets. It will help you save a large part of your money that you can later spend on buying souvenirs.
How Much Money do you Really Need?
The first thing to figure out is how much your holiday is actually going to cost you. The best way to work that out is to get out a piece of paper and put amounts for the week or the fortnight next to the following costs:
- Flight costs
- Accommodation costs
- Food costs
- Alcohol costs
- Hot drinks
- Cold drinks
- Travel costs
- Entry to attractions
- Spending money
- Souvenirs for relatives
Add up everything, add 5% for unexpected expenditure, and you’ll have a really good idea of how much the holiday is going to cost you and your family.
Should I Take Out a Personal Loan for Holiday?
It depends, and it depends on the type of loan you want to take out.
If you’ve just done your budget planner and you’ve found that you are £1,000 short that sounds like quite a lot. But if your holiday is not for another 6 or 9 months and your travel agent will accept a low deposit which you can afford to pay, it’s probably best to hang on before you take out a personal loan for holiday.
Why is that? Two great reasons. If you’re not going abroad for another 6 or 9 months, you have a long time left before you need to pay your travel agent the balance. How much money could you put aside every month to pay for your holiday? If it’s, for example, £100 and you don’t have to pay the balance for another 8 months, that’s £800 you could save up. How? Instead of needing £1,000, you now only need £200.
The second reason is that a month or so after you take out a short-term loan to pay for your holiday, you then have to start paying that holiday loan back. If your holiday is 6 months away, you’ll be half-way through paying your loan back (assuming you take out a loan over 12 months) before your feet even hit foreign sands.
If you really must take out a loan for your holiday, make sure that the amount you take out is as little as possible and that you only start paying your loan back once you’ve got back from your holidays.
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