There’s a thought that some people start to get in their heads just right before summer. As you sit at your desk or on your sofa you get a brief glimpse of hot sand and gently crashing waves. Sometimes you can even smell the sea. The moment is all too brief, but from then on, all you can think about is getting away for a summer holiday and how to pay for your holidays.
Whether you’re a margarita-on-the-beach kind of person or an explore-a-new-city kind of person, the call of the summer holiday is just the same.
There’s just one hitch. Summer holidays aren’t cheap. (And, if you’re planning on taking your family, even less so…)
But don’t give up hope. The feeling of sand between your toes is just a few short steps away, once you’ve read our advice on how to pay for your holidays. Trust us.
The Bamboo guide: how to pay for your holidays
Before we start, a quick (and obvious) tip: Shop around for the very best deals
Not exactly breaking new ground here, are we? As obvious as it sounds, shopping around for the best deal can often make it much easier to pay for your holidays. It helps to be flexible too – both in terms of date and location (but not in terms of budget – work out what you can afford and stick to that). Going to a different resort on a different date can save you mega bucks.
(For a few ideas of cheap romantic getaways, check out a guide we wrote last year – you’ll be spoilt for choice.)
If you’re not sure where to look for the cheapest deals, start at Holiday Pirates. Unlike travel agents that work on commission, Holiday Pirates have a team that searches for the very best deals and locations. For example, at the time of writing this article, they had a 7-night trip to Menorca in the summer with hotel, private beach area and flights for just £133 per person.
The best thing about Holiday Pirates is the fact they do all of the leg work for you. Have you ever tried to shun the package deal and put together everything yourself – from flights and transfers to hotels and apartments? It’s a lot of hassle, right? That makes it oh-so-tempting to just say ‘enough’ and book a more expensive package deal.
Holiday Pirates does all that work for you. The offers you see aren’t package deals, but the best offers on separate flights, hotels and transfers they can find. They’ve done all of the research, you just have to book and pay.
(Ahhh, paying. We’re back to how to pay for your holidays again!)
How to pay for your holidays: the options
Dip into your savings
If you’re starting to think about going on holiday this summer, the very cheapest way to go is to save up for it. Tuck away some money each month towards your holiday (be sure not to touch it!) and then book it when you have enough. You won’t have any interest to pay off and you won’t have to worry about how you’ll pay the money you have borrowed back while you’re on holiday.
However, we know that’s easier said than done. And if you can’t save up, that’s no reason not to go on holiday.
Paying for your holidays in instalments
One way that people pay for their holidays when they haven’t got a huge amount of savings (or don’t want to dip into them for a holiday) is to spread the cost out over instalments.
Websites like On the Beach offer a flexible payment scheme where you pay a deposit of £50 per person and then clear the rest of the balance in instalments. Of course, there is interest to pay on top of this, but if you want to book a holiday immediately and aren’t in a position to pay for it outright, instalments are a good option.
If you’re only looking to borrow a small amount of money for your holiday (perhaps you’ve found a great deal or need that last bit of money to top up your savings) it might be worth considering getting a credit card to avoid the interest and APR of a loan.
Many credit card companies offer a 0% introductory offer if your credit is good enough. That is perfect for occasions like this, when you just need to borrow a small amount to afford your holiday. 0% credit cards – if you pay your balance off within the allotted period – can end up costing you nothing except the amount you borrow. (However, beware, the interest rates can get very expensive if you don’t settle the balance before the 0% rate ends, so be careful.)
As a bonus, if you pay by credit card, you are covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act which means that you are protected should your holiday company, airline or other travel arranger go out of business. It’s not a huge selling point, but it’s good for peace of mind.
If you’re looking to borrow larger sums of money – perhaps you’re planning that once-in-a-lifetime trip but don’t want to use all of your savings – then holiday loans can be a great and affordable alternative. Your payments are fixed, which makes it much easier to budget and know how much you’ll be paying back and when, and – on top of that – you can choose how long you’d like to take to pay it off.
These loans are also designed to flex and adapt to your needs, because the last thing you want when you’re walking across the beach is to be worried about the loan repayments when you get home.
Bamboo offers a number of fast and affordable options to help you fund that once-in-a-lifetime trip or family holiday, regardless of your credit score. Get an instant quote today to see how much you could borrow, and you could be by the pool, topping up your tan before you know it. Representative 49.7% APR. A guarantee may be required.