WHEN THE WEEKS FEEL LIKE THEY’RE DRAGGING ALONG AND SCHOOL HOLIDAYS SEEM FURTHER AND FURTHER AWAY, THE ONE THING THAT CAN GET US THROUGH IS THE PROMISE OF TRAVEL - BUT OUR BANK ACCOUNTS SOMETIMES TELL US OTHERWISE.
Between school supplies, extra-curricular fees and those annoying bills, saving for a travelling holiday often becomes our last priority. Financial advisor and specialist in “teaching women to be clever with money”, Nicole Heales believes in the power of the holiday, so much so that she thinks you should take one every year. It may seem unrealistic – or downright impossible – but Nicole says that, regardless of budget, a holiday can and should be “It’s really important to get out of your own space and take a break,” she says. “Depending on your schedule, budget and what your focus is, you can take an overseas trip or travel more locally, or alternate between the two each year.” How, you ask? Firstly, Nicole says you should put a small amount into your ‘holiday fund’ every week. She suggests looking around to see which automatic direct debit into a high-interest account. “We’ve all got bills and groceries to pay for, but you’ve got to put a bit aside for yourself, as well.” We certainly can’t argue with that. And we can’t argue with Nicole’s idea to get the kids involved in the saving process, either. She says we should let kids choose their own purse or money tin money they earn. Nicole also suggests making a vision board for the holiday, with photos of the destination, facts about it and brochures or photos of some activities they might like to try. “It sounds corny, but having a visual representation of what they’re saving for will make the kids, and yourself, more excited and willing to save,” she says. Next thing is to budget, budget, budget. Work play with and where that amount will take you. Remember to consider everything from transport and accommodation to meals and activities. “I would personally rather have more holidays than one expensive one, so I try to be realistic about my budget. If I live a three-star life at home, I probably Remember that you also eat, drink and indulge more when you’re on holiday, and there are added costs like taxis and tipping. You can cut out some costs by packing lunches, but it’s important to be realistic about what you’re likely to spend – it date, while accommodation tends to get cheaper. When it comes to accom, think about relatives or friends you could house swap with. Try an AirBnB apartment with all the comforts and conveniences of home, or book a hotel with free cancellation while you look for better deals. “Be open-minded about staying somewhere cheaper, especially if you’ll be out of the apartment most of the day or would prefer to spend more on experiences or nice meals. It’s really important to accept that your dream holiday might not happen holiday and keep saving for the next year!”