As a family of five, holidays can be expensive. Sometimes hotels won’t accomodate all five of us in one room, which can massively increase the costs. Add in five flights, car hire, food and spending money and before you know it a holiday can feel unobtainable. However, for us travel and holidays are always a priority and often come before other luxuries. Here our some of our tips for affording a dream holiday.
By being inventive and thinking creatively, means you can finance your dream holiday without emptying your bank account. There are all kinds of options for people to escape the humdrum of daily life and go on a lavish holiday, even if it seems financially impossible right now.
Take a look at some of these ideas for affording a dream holiday for you and your family.
Go To Places Off The Beaten Track
The French Riviera might be beautiful, but it’s also expensive. Just buying a drink can cost more than £12 , all thanks to the fact that so many extremely wealthy people visit the area every year. The prices are designed to be high to give the region a touch of exclusivity and to keep out the riff-raff.
Of course, if you’re on a budget, this is precisely the type of location that you want to avoid. Ideally, you want to go to a place that offers both beauty and new experiences, while at the same time, attracting people on regular incomes.
Emerging market countries are among the best places to go on a family holiday. Not only are prices low in these locations, but they have a sufficient level of development to keep you and your family safe. Uruguay, for instance, is widely considered to be one of the most Westernised countries in South America, as well as one of the most affordable for a family break. The country is not well-known, but it plays host to some beautiful natural wonders and has a pleasant climate, especially in the summer. It’s near to Brazil, but far less busy or dangerous.
Use The “Week’s Salary” Rule
What is the week’s salary rule? It’s the idea that you should try to get the cost of your holiday under the value of a week’s pay. So, for instance, if you get paid £500 per week after tax, then that should be the budget for your holiday.
Getting the price of a holiday under a week’s salary might sound like a bit of a challenge. But remember, if both parents are working, you can combine their weekly pay into a single figure. No, you might not be able to afford long-haul flights to the Far East, but the combination of your salaries should be able to help you travel out of the country to someplace new. Remember, transcontinental flights are much cheaper, and you can reach some budget locations from the UK using these flights. For instance, countries in Eastern Europe tend to be much less expensive than those in Western Europe.
Rent Your Home While On Your Travels
You might be surprised to learn just how much money you can make from renting out your home during the two weeks or so that you’re away. Renting out your house for two weeks might sound like a bit of a challenge, but you can come to a private arrangement with a tenant months in advance. Equally, you could rent out your property for a short time on a site like Airbnb.
Rentals vary depending on where you live. If you live in a semi-detached property in London, you could potentially put it up for rent for £1,500 for two weeks. Outside of the capital and tourist locations, the amount of money you can charge is less, but don’t be surprised if you can make more from renting your property than a week’s salary. Property rental has the potential to cover all your holiday costs.
Choose Places Where The Exchange Rate Is Favourable
The exchange rate is the amount of foreign currency you can get for every pound you hand over. At any given time, the pound is strong against some currencies and weak against others, so it’s worth taking a look to see where you can get the best value for money before committing to a specific destination.
Remember, it’s not the nominal value of the currency that you get that matters, but what that currency buys. You want the exchange rate to be favourable in what economists call “real terms,” meaning how many goods and services you can buy for each pound you exchange.
Also, look out for deals on commission. You want to make sure that you keep the costs of transacting for foreign currency down to a minimum. The commission can seriously eat into your budget, so use price comparison sites to find the best deals.
Use Annual Leave
If you work for a company, then there’s a good chance that you have what’s called annual leave. These are weeks throughout the year that you get paid, even though you don’t do any work. The reason companies offer these paid leave periods is to encourage employees to get out of the office and go live their lives, without fear of losing money in the process.
Getting your employer to continue paying you, even when you’re on holiday is one of the many perks of taking regular employment.
Look Into Alternative Ways to Finance Your Holiday
Sometimes, you only have one chance during the entire year to take the family away on holiday. Usually, those opportunities occur during school holidays. If you miss your time slot, you often have to wait an entire year for another time slot to come along.
Holiday financing allows you to get around this problem. You can get bad credit loans with a guarantor, meaning that money is available, even if you don’t have the best credit report. The purpose of financing in this way is to give you the option of taking a holiday when it is convenient for you.
Automatically Divert Income To A Holiday Savings Account
Automatically diverting income to a holiday savings account is one of the best ways of ensuring that you build up money for your family holiday throughout the year.
Thanks to changes in the law, regular people can now save up to £20,000 tax-free every year through their ISAs. An individual savings account offers a small amount of interest while at the same time giving you the ability to separate your holiday money from the rest of your funds.
Think carefully about how much your holiday will cost in advance, taking into consideration transport, accommodation and other minor expenses, like insurance. Then break it down into monthly payments to figure out how much you need to put aside. Just £250 for six months will yield a holiday fund of £1,500, which is pretty good. With both parents working, you can easily double that.
Sell Off Your Unwanted Items
If you’re like most people, you’ve bought stuff on a whim that you never intend to use. Many of us have made impulsive jewellery purchases that we now regret.
But the good thing with today’s market is that you can sell practically anything you buy in haste and get the majority of your money back. Take a look through your jewellery or clothes and ask yourself whether there’s anything that’s of high value that you’d like to sell.
You can sell through a variety of platforms, depending on the size and condition of the item. Sites like Gumtree, eBay and Worthy all allow you to rid yourself of expensive things that you don’t need and provide the perfect way to build a vacation fund.
Choosing live auctions is one of the best ways to make sure that your stuff shifts. Many people are afraid of live auctions because of the risk that they won’t get the money that they want for the items on sale. But the market is usually very efficient, meaning that you’ll get paid the price that the things are worth. If you’re worried, many online auction sites allow you to set a reserve.
Use Credit Card Offers
If you have a credit card, there’s a good chance that the company behind it offers discounts on travel and holidays. Merely using your credit card could help you earn rewards, like air miles. Over time, these miles can build up, especially if you use your credit card for all your purchases.
Not all credit cards are created equal, so shop around and look for those explicitly offering travel perks.
Use Flight Comparison Websites
The prices of flights can vary significantly from day to day, depending on demand and availability. It can be tricky to keep track of all the offers and deals available online. Price comparison websites allow you to check the prices of flights to various destinations, giving you the chance to find the cheapest deal for your family. If you can be flexible with when you travel, you can save even more money by booking last minute.
For more travel-related money tips, check out our post on tips for luxury travel on a budget.