Few things are as exciting as making the decision to go on a holiday. That is, except the holiday itself, of course. Before you can enjoy your time away relaxing on a beach, skiing down a mountain, exploring a new, bustling city, or whatever else you like doing on holidays, there are a couple of things you need to get in order first. Getting your annual leave sorted, making sure there’s someone at home to water your plants, and having enough money. You don’t always need to spend a fortune to have an enjoyable time away, but having enough money saved that you feel like you can splurge if you want to, is a good idea. Everyone on the Hey Gents team is a rather keen traveller, so we’ve compiled a few tips and tricks that have helped us when it comes to the best ways to budget for a holiday.
Figure Out Costs
First thing’s first – make a rough outline of how much money you think you’ll need. Things like airfares, accommodation, and travel insurance are easy to figure out, but delve a little deeper and research things like entry fees to museums and sights, transport within your destination, visa fees etc. The internet is, of course, a great resource for this, but it’s also handy to ask a family member or friend who’s recently been to your destination for ideas on things like the price of food, drinks, and souvenirs too.
Okay, so you’ve worked out roughly how much money you’ll need, and now you have a goal to work towards. So how do we reach that? In the time leading up to your holiday, you’ll need to tighten the belt a bit at home. This requires a bit of work and preparation on your part, but it’s entirely worth it in the end. If you’re anything like me, food is probably the biggest drain on your disposable income. Buying lunch out at a cafe every day is not healthy for your bank balance, so spend a bit of time each week planning out meals you can make at home and BYO lunch to work or uni. This works out all the better if you have someone to share grocery costs with, plus you’ll likely end up eating rather healthier too. Win-win!
Coffee is another cost that can make a deceptively large impact on your savings. Sure, it’s only a couple of gold coins every day, but those gold coins add up to big numbers each week – big numbers that could go towards a beach villa on Santorini instead. If you do have a caffeine habit that you’re not willing to break (I understand), look into picking up a plunger or pour over kit that you can keep in the office. It’ll work out cheaper in the long-term.
Do you really need a brand new wardrobe right before you jet off? Especially considering a new pair of boardies probably won’t get much use when you’re skiing in the Alps. You can put off buying brand new clothes and other non-holiday related gear for a while if that means you can afford to stay in a private hotel room instead of a backpackers dorm while you’re overseas. I’ve stayed in enough of the latter in the past to know that sometimes, ‘splurging’ on a private room with its very own bathroom was worth not buying a new pair of leather sneakers before I went away.
Beg, Borrow, Or Steal
Okay, only one of those options is really viable. Hopefully, you’ve saved enough on your own to cover the majority of costs for your holiday, but sometimes we all need a helping hand. This is where cash loans come in. Companies like Nimble offer flexible loans that can help when it comes to paying for unexpected costs you didn’t budget for (hel-lo passport renewal fee). They’re also especially handy for airfares, which can often be your biggest expense. Knowing that’s covered before you leave can be a big relief, and you can focus on saving the rest of your money for the holiday itself.