Saving for a Sunny Day
The sun is fighting its way out and the school summer holidays are looming....it’s a challenge for parents to keep their children entertained and many are worrying about the cost of not only keeping their own kids amused but other peoples too expecting to shell out an average £460 on entertainment.
Top tips for saving this summer holiday:
- Track down deals online – there are great discounts and 2 for 1 offers to be found to theme parks, the cinema, family days out and restaurants. Check out the money saving expert for some great savings.
- Look out for offers at local attractions and events organised by your local community, these are often free or inexpensive.
- Travelling by train can also be cheaper if you book tickets in advance and avoid travelling at peak times.
- Some museums have free entry throughout the year and the summer break is a great time to make the most of this.
- Organise a fun filled day at home such as cake making, painting and crafts.
There are some other summer survival tips on the mums net website including things to do outside, inside and ‘sanity savers’.
Paying for your summer holiday abroad...
Going on a summer break away with the family can be costly therefore it’s wise to set up an action plan in order to avoid getting into unnecessary debt. Below are some top tips from the Money Advice Service to help you start.
Review your finances...
In the run up to your holiday you’ll need to work out how much you need to save to pay for it. Set a savings goal and stick to it. Use the Summer costs calculator or the Cut-back calculator to help you do this!
Checklist to get the best from your holiday...
Set up a holiday fund - remember to factor in spending money you’ll need whilst away, and other essentials such as travel insurance. Did you know that Scotcash offers to set up a savings account with a local Credit Union which allows you to save while you pay back your loan with us? To find out more click here
Plan ahead – plan what essentials you need to buy, write a list and set yourself a budget. Stick to your list and budget and don’t be tempted to ‘steal’ extra cash from the holiday fund unless it’s an absolute necessity for which you under budgeted. You can do this by listing all the things you will need to buy including:
- travel insurance
- travel money
- car hire
- holiday clothes and swim wear
- sun cream and toiletries
In addition to this you should estimate the amount you will spend each day on food, travel, entertainment and holiday treats to work out approximately how much spending money you will need.
Get covered – travel insurance is a must to ensure you will be able to afford medical care, check with your bank before you buy as it may be included in your bank account. Don’t buy direct from your travel agent or travel website, unless you’re sure it’s the best deal.
Make sure you check your policy carefully – exclusions or additional conditions could mean you’re not covered for everything you might think. In addition if you are flying with an ATOL registered travel agent this will ensure you get back to the UK or get a refund of the cost of tickets if there is a substantial delay. If you aren’t using an ATOL carrier ensure that you pay by credit card , as Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 will cover you if the cost of your ticket is more than £100.
Get EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) – you can apply for a free EHIC on the NHS website, this entitles you to free or reduced cost treatment in countries that are part of the European Union, but does not replace the need for insurance.
Shop around for foreign currency – order ahead not at the airport as the rate will be high. You can pre-order currency online, get it at your bank, bureaux de change, travel agents or at your local post office.
Time your booking well – many airlines and hotels raise their prices in peak season. Consider planning your holidays outside peak season.
Share the cost - If you are going with a group of friends renting a villa or apartment can work out much cheaper than staying in a hotel.
Plan a ‘staycation’ – there are so many beautiful places to visit in the UK this may work out much cheaper than going abroad.
Click here to get some ideas of where you can visit.
Making your holiday spending money go further...
- Find out whether cash, cards or traveller's cheques or a combination of all three are the best options for your travel money:
Traveller’s Cheques - These are pre-printed cheques for fixed amounts which you can use to pay for things or exchange for cash while you’re away. These are a good way to budget and it means you won’t have to take large amounts of cash with you.
Debit and Credit Cards - Having your cards with you can be useful but you’ll be charged, and this usually adds around 2% on the amount you take out. Some cards will also add a fee of around £1.50 on top, as well as charging currency exchange costs.
Pre-paid cards - These can be loaded up with cash before you go so you can spend without getting into debt, or being charged interest. These cards are growing in popularity as a safe alternative to traveller’s cheques as the money you load onto the card will be protected if it’s lost or stolen. Plus, the card isn’t linked to your bank account so you can only ever lose what you’ve put on the card.
Click here to find out the cheapest cards to use abroad.
- No matter how you wish to pay for things whilst abroad it is a good idea to take cash with you to pay for essentials like food, drink, tips and taxis.
- As a rule you will get a better exchange rate and more currency for your money than if you buy it at the airport...but using cash abroad is never as safe as using cards or traveller’s cheques.
If you would like anymore advice on anything discussed above please contact us.