Friday, 16 July 2010

Managing a Holiday Budget

Holidays give us some of our happiest memories, yet they can also be very, very expensive.  Many of us suffer from holiday credit card bills long after the event.  Yet there are many ways to make going on vacation more financially manageable.
Decide what your priorities are: What do you enjoy doing on holiday?  Are you hoping for luxury accommodation or is that unimportant?  Are you focusing on activities suitable for young children, or maybe teens?  Do you plan to eat out or are you hoping to self-cater?  These are just some of the questions you might consider before choosing a venue and accommodation.

Plan ahead:  Research things you would like to do online or by visiting a travel agent.  Make a rough list of likely expenses and start setting aside funds.  
Learn about your destination: Check weather reports in the weeks before you travel so that you are well-equipped with appropriate clothing, sunscreen, etc., and aren't forced to pay exorbitant prices at the other end.  Will you have a car?  If not, is there a grocery store withing walking distance?  Will you have access to a kitchen?  A cot? A highchair?  Will you need to provide or hire bedlinen? 

Pay ahead as much as possible:  If you can pay for accommodation one month, for example, and airfares a month or two later, well before you make your trip, you are less likely to feel burdened by holiday costs.

Expect to need some splurge money:  Holidays are meant to be fun, and should have some spontaneity.  Have some funds available so that you can eat out on a whim, or take an extra tour, or buy souvenirs, or whatever else takes your fancy.

Do you have any other suggestions on how to manage a holiday budget?  Please leave a comment?


Jayne said...

Another thing is to remind yourself that less is more; choose the things you really want to see/do and stick to them, budget those in and don't get tempted into spur-of-the-moment expensive tours that you might have been able to do yourself with a guidebook and your own feet.
With kids (depending on ages) explain about the budget and let them know they only have X amount of $ to spend each day.
And lastly, don't cram every second of the day with activities - it's a holiday to relax and enjoy! Sometimes just 1 or 2 activities per day are more than enough, kick back and soak in your surrounds.

joolzmac said...

I always try and take every medical item we may need (panadol, band-aids, cold/flu medication, alka-seltzer, antiseptic cream, eye drops, ear drops) in a handy, small pack as a trip to the chemist can easily set you back $25-30 if you need all this stuff. Hopefully it won't be needed but it just saves having to buy it when you know you had it in your medicine cabinet at home.

You're post had some very good tips.

Cheers - Joolz