Loans for a holiday
We all deserve to take a break from time to time – whether that's treating the kids to a trip to Disneyland, or escaping with a loved one on a European city break. If you have a date in mind for a trip, but haven't got time to save, then there are other options for funding your travels, such as a personal loan. If you've already got a healthy savings account and just want a bit of a boost, then a loan could also be used to cover part of your dream holiday. There are a lot of things to take into consideration when planning your holiday, and deciding on things in advance can help you to keep costs down.
Choosing your accommodation
One of the most important considerations when it comes to booking a holiday is deciding where to go. Think about your requirements – are you looking for a tranquil beach setting or a bustling city centre location? What accommodation is available for your budget? If your budget can't stretch to a hotel, then a hostel could be a great option for cutting costs. If you're travelling with friends then dorm rooms are a very cheap option, while family rooms are available if you're looking for more privacy. If you have your heart set on a hotel, then get the best deals by arranging your accommodation well in advance.
Planning what to pack
Find out what the weather's like at your chosen destination around the time you're jetting off, and pack accordingly. Try to pack as lightly as possible to alleviate the burden, and avoid any baggage fees – remember you'll need to save some souvenir space – but make sure you've got everything you need. You don't want to be purchasing last minute bits when you arrive, as this will add unnecessary costs on to your total holiday spend.
Sorting out your travel money
It's crucial you change your money before departing for your getaway so you're not stuck without cash at the other end. Charges for ATM withdrawals abroad can add up, so taking some cash with you can help you avoid those.
Buying travel insurance
Accidents happen, which is why we strongly recommend you take out travel insurance before your break. That way, you can enjoy your holiday care-free and avoid racking up huge medical bills. If you're planning an active break, research policies thoroughly before you settle on one, as not all plans cover the likes of rafting, mountain biking or skiing.
Devising a budget
The last thing you want is to run out of money five days into a two-week holiday, so come up with a budget in advance to ensure you rein in your spending. You don't need to be too cautious – the aim is to enjoy yourself – but try not to splurge unnecessarily, either.
Self-catered or all-inclusive?
Only you know how you want to spend your holiday – whether that includes exploring your new surrounds or just lazing by the pool – but this decision may affect whether you opt for an all-inclusive break or a self-catered one. Some people find it cheaper to do their own food shopping, budgeting for the odd dinner out at a local restaurant, while others prefer to pay for all their food and drink upfront and cut down on daily spending.
Learning the lingo
If you're heading abroad rather than staying in the UK, break down any potential communication barriers by learning a bit of the language spoken at your destination. Aside from helping you to get a bit more from your holiday, it will most likely come in handy in shops and restaurants, helping you to understand food prices on menus, and, in some cases, exercise your haggling skills. Plus, the locals will love it!
Telling your bank
Your bank may grow concerned if it notices that money is being withdrawn from your account in another country. So that your funds aren't suspended, give your bank a call to let them know the dates you're departing and returning.
Get your house in order
Whether you're jetting off for a weekend or a fortnight, you should ensure you leave your home in good condition so you don't come back to burst pipes or unwanted repairs bills. Ask a neighbour or relative to look after your home while you're away so they can check everything is in order.
Make sure you're able to get in contact with people at home in case of an emergency by packing any gadgets you need – and the right adaptors for the country you're visiting. Your phone, laptop or tablet will also come in handy if you need to access online banking services and stay on top of your finances while you're away.