26 January 2015

Paying for your summer holiday

Now the festive season is over, many of us are consoling ourselves with thoughts of our summer holidays. Whether you have your sights set on flashpacking round Europe or lazing on a beach in Thailand, booking a summer holiday in the new year might just help banish those January blues.

January sales...

There are perks to being an early bird - it can mean taking advantage of the best money-saving deals like low deposit schemes, cheap flights and free child places.
With potential bargains on offer, the Christmas period is traditionally the peak time for holiday bookings - so much so that last January travel association Abta noted a 10% rise in sales year on year. More than a third (36%) of people were even more organised, booking their holiday even further in advance.

Buy now, pay later?

Book a package holiday now and you may only have to pay the deposit for your summer holiday upfront. And, as travel companies know many people don’t have much spare cash for treats after Christmas, they'll often offer deals with lower deposits. 

These deals could give you more time to save up and budget for your holiday, meaning you'll have more time to pay the remaining cost of your holiday balance nearer to your departure date. But -  don't be lured in by a cheap deal unless you're comfortable you can afford the full cost of the holiday.

How to save for your holiday

So you’ve purchased a holiday for later in the year. Now don't forget about your spending money! 

Once you know the total amount you’re likely to need for your holiday, you could set up a standing order to automatically transfer a set amount into your savings account after you get paid. If you’re opening a new savings account, make sure you choose an account that allows you 'instant access' to your money when the time comes to pay off the balance.

Planning your budget this far in advance may mean you put a little extra aside each month, but it could just help you enjoy your well-earned break that little bit more!

Renew your healthcare

If you're travelling in Europe, you can apply for a free European Health Insurance Card, which gives you access to state- provided healthcare throughout Europe. If you're eligible, you'll then get healthcare within EU countries at either a reduced cost, or in some cases free. However it's not an alternative to travel insurance, and will only cover your treatment until you return to the UK. 

For more information on EHIC, including how to register, visit the NHS website.

Don't forget your travel insurance!

It's important to have both your EHIC and private travel insurance set up before you travel. October 2014 research from Abta showed as many as one in five people now travel abroad without insurance. If you’re not covered, paying for the unexpected like a medical emergency could end up costing thousands of pounds - or leaving you in an impossible situation if you don't have the money for treatment available.

Watch out for commission charges abroad

You can end up paying a range of additional charges - including foreign usage fee, cash withdrawal fees, and credit card interest - just for using your bank card or credit card abroad.

Looking for a credit card? if you're a main current account customer with Nationwide you could be eligible for our Select credit card which offers commission - free purchases abroad. 15.9% APR representative (variable). 

Credit cards are available to those aged 18 or over and are subject to circumstances. Nationwide Building Society subscribes to the Lending Code. For more information on the Lending Code please visit www.lendingstandardsboard.org.uk

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