Grandmother and child

5 May 2015

Top tips for savvy holiday budgeting

Budgeting for a family holiday is something we all have to face. Whether it’s a trip abroad or a staycation you’re planning this summer, Kate Murray, Principality Building Society’s Savings Product Manager, shares her tip for savvy holiday budgeting.

With the Easter holidays over, many of us will now be looking ahead to the next big holiday in the calendar – summer; six weeks of quality time with the family and hopefully some sun in tow.  While summer holidays are a time of happiness spent with loved ones, they can also be an all-too-sharp reminder of the importance of budgeting. Planning well in advance for the busy holiday season will ensure that everyone can enjoy themselves without money worries looming in the background.

While many families will choose to travel abroad over the summer season, there are plenty of us who decide to stay within the UK. Blessed with the beautiful coastlines of Cornwall, Norfolk, the Scottish highlands and certainly in Wales, we’re never too far away from sand and sea. There are always plenty of free activities that are taking place throughout the summer holidays that will ease the purse strings. Local tourism board websites such as visitswanseabay.com** have tonnes of free activity listings to inspire you across the summer, and keep the family entertained. 

But whether you are staying in the UK or heading abroad, there are some important things to consider in order to stay on top of your budgets and avoid any nasty debts arising. Despite family holidays being a staple of the year, all-too-often families end up getting into financial difficulty trying to pay for a dream destination with all the luxuries. It’s important to account for not only the initial large expenditure when booking a holiday, but also all the extra add-ons - the ice-creams, the excursions and the holiday souvenirs that come with it. Choosing a holiday that suits your families budget is a key factor in organising a holiday – there is nothing worse than being able to afford the flights and accommodation, but have to scrimp on activities once there. Adequate forward planning will eliminate the possibility of this happening.

According to recent research*, the cost of the average family holiday is £4,762.66. Although this cost is dependent on individual circumstance, this is a significant outlay for any family, especially with the pressures of modern life and the growing cost of living. Many families struggle during the summer holidays to strike the balance between treating their children to the fun activities they deserve, and looking after finances – particularly with a hefty £4,000 average summer holiday to contend with. 

But budgeting for a summer holiday doesn’t have to be hard, or drastically change your usual saving pattern. The best way to budget simply comes from saving little and often. Regularly putting away small sums of money into an account is a great habit to get into for any large expenditure, meaning your finances won’t take one big hit when paying for a holiday.  If this is put into an ISA you can also benefit from your savings being tax free.

Leading up to your holiday, why not cut back on the unnecessary purchases we are all guilty of making – the takeaways, the taxis and the beauty treatments for instance, and you’ll soon see that small things can often make a difference. 

Once your finances are in place, make sure you stay savvy when booking your holiday too. It’s important not to automatically take the first option as the right one – shop around for a better deal before settling. Travel agents will be able to give you great options for your budget, but if you decide to book by yourself then there are plenty of websites designed to help you get the best deal. They will help you compare prices and ensure you get the most for your money. 

So while planning for summer holidays can be stressful, thinking ahead, consistent budgeting and being savvy when booking are key ingredients for a successful summer holiday. With so many amazing holidays and deals on offer for the family, where will you visit this year? 

*Research from: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/newsrele.nsf/WebNewsReleases/9A744D4767C0378680257BAC0040CE1D
**By clicking on the links you will leave the Principality website - Principality is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Published: 05/05/2015