Creating a Holiday Budget
Posted 23/03/2016 by BrightHouse Team
At this time of year when the weather starts getting a little better it’s easy to start dreaming of summer holidays with blue seas and warm sunshine. Whether you’ve only just started thinking of where to go, or if you’ve already found your perfect destination and booked your tickets, we have some helpful advice on how you can plan your holiday spending.
Planning a Holiday Budget
You should start by making a list of all the things you’ll need to buy before going, such as:
- Travel insurance
- Holiday clothes and swimwear
- Toiletries and sun cream
It’s easy to forget to factor in these essentials when working out your holiday spend, so be sure to add them in early on.
You’ll then need to estimate your daily spend when you’re actually on holiday, including:
- Food and drink
- Travel – hire car or local public transport
- Entertainment – attractions, museums, events etc.
- Souvenirs – anything you might want to buy to bring home.
Working these amounts out means you’ll need to do a little research around your destination. If you’re going to a resort then it will probably be very straightforward to work out meal costs. If you’re going somewhere more off the beaten track, you’ll need to find ways of getting a clear idea of food costs, such as online review sites or travel guides. It’s best to budget a little more than you think you’ll need too. You don’t lose whatever you don’t spend, and you avoid the risk of constantly going over your budget and running out of money.
You have a few options available when it comes to how you take your money abroad:
- Cash – you can buy currency for your destination from a bureau de change or the Post Office while still in the UK, avoiding the fees that banks charge when you withdraw local currency in a foreign country. Just make sure you keep it secure!
- Travellers cheques – available in several different currencies, these cheques add a bit of security as they’ll be replaced if they get lots or stolen. Many places accept travellers cheques, but you do run the risk of them not being accepted in less touristy destinations.
- Prepaid card – The Post Office offers a Travel Money Card, which can be used like a debit card anywhere that accepts MasterCard. You load it with your chosen amount, and can manage your balance via the internet.
Once you know how much you’re going to need, start putting away money straight away. Save a manageable, regular sum each month or week. You’re more likely to stick to it if you give yourself a set sum each month as you can treat it like any other bill rather than just seeing what’s spare at the end of the month.
You can use this handy savings calculator from the Money Advice Service to help you plan your holiday savings: Savings Calculator