Summer Holiday Financial Tips

Now the clocks have gone forward and we are well into spring, our thoughts may well be turning to getting away for some sun rather than having to endure another disappointing British summer!

Despite recent security threats and reports about the long-term damage to the environment, the desire to get away from it all is stronger than ever with us taking an average of 1.6 holidays per year according to The Times, 2006 December Global Holidays . It’s not just how frequently we go away which puts us under increasing financial pressure but also the growing trend to take so-called ‘dream holidays’ every year.

According to a Halifax survey, 20% of respondents said that were likely to take a dream trip for no special reason with over half prepared to spend between £1,000 and £5,000 per person on these holidays.

It’s clear then that these halcyon days of sun, sea and sand have a price beyond the widely-debated cost to the environment. The annual holiday is almost seen as a given with more and more of us spending large amounts of money on lavish trips abroad just to “keep up with the Jones'”. Two or even three holidays a year to Europe and the Caribbean are now considered the norm with £74bn being spent on holidays and spending money in 2006, according to Axa.

The pressure to overspend on holidays is intense and nowadays people think nothing of charging a holiday in the US or Australia to a credit card. The problem starts when the holiday is over and the dreaded credit card bills start landing on the mat! Only then do some people realize that they have spent beyond their means and the ‘holiday hangover’ starts to set in.