Because holidays cost. And if, like many people you still haven’t quite finished paying off last year’s holiday yet, adding more debt to your credit card for the sake of a week or two in the sun, is just a bad idea.
This year it’s time to re-think the whole expensive summer holiday routine. Forget the sun, sea and spending this year, and get yourself out of debt instead.
The Association of British Travel Agents is estimating that around 13 million Brits will head abroad in July and August. And with this wash-out of a summer you can’t blame them.
The Caravan and Camping Club is having to knock 25% off prices in its ‘midsummer madness’ sale. Thomson, the package holiday group, has seen sales of holidays abroad jump 20% in the last month alone.
It’s a big shift from last year when sat nav company TomTom found that one in four decided to ditch the foreign break and opt for a ‘staycation’ instead. This year, despite the attractions on our own doorstep, more than a quarter of us are packing our cases and taking a jet plane out of here.
It seems we Brits just need a dose of sun.
But while low-cost airlines might make flying to Spain quicker, easier and, yes, cheaper, holidays still cost.
It’s estimated that we Brits spent £27 billion making 59.4 million trips abroad last summer alone. That works out to an average of £454 a time. And that’s the same as everyone on the electoral roll travelling abroad at least once between June and September.
Don’t pay to play
The cold, wet summer we’ve had so far this year may have you hankering for a fortnight in the sun. But as a nation of spenders we’re already up to our eyeballs in debt. So news that this summer one in five of us will raid what little savings we have to fund a holiday, is enough to turn even perma-tanned Amy Childs a paler shade of orange.
Just think about it for a moment – will you really feel refreshed and relaxed when, back home in Blighty, you discover you’ve practically doubled your credit card balance in a fortnight?
Here are five things you could do with that money instead
1. You could use the £100 a month, which would be going into your ‘holiday fund’, to pay off last year’s holiday – that’s still accruing interest at 18% on your credit card.
2. You could use the cash to buy that much-needed dishwasher, new washing machine or that new set of tyres your car has so desperately needed for the past six months.
3. You could save up and wipe a few grand off your mortgage (or any other big loan you already have).
4. You could put the money into a savings account. With interest rates forecast to go up, money in the bank will be a sure-fire winner (and remember the cost of debts will also rise accordingly).
5. You could buy some National Savings Premium Bonds. Monthly prizes range from £25 to a £1 million jackpot, and the winnings are tax-free.
Who knows, you could be lucky enough to pay off your debts and cruise off to the Caribbean on your winnings!