Give yourself a break by taking out a holiday loan
Taking out a loan for travel is a simple way to treat yourself to a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. Holidays can also give you a chance to recharge your batteries and spend more time with your loved ones. However, holidays can be expensive and you should consider setting up your own holiday payment plan to save up in the months before your trip. This will help minimise the size of your holiday loan.
Once you’ve secured your loan, you’ll want your money to travel as far as possible. There are several ways of making sure you get the best value and most reliable travel deals.
Often the biggest expense of a holiday is getting to your destination. Especially if you’re travelling overseas. If you’re travelling by air, try and book your ticket as far in advance as possible (the maximum is usually a year). This will allow you to buy cheaper tickets than if you book only a couple of weeks before your departure. Travelling outside of holiday seasons or school holidays could also secure you cheaper air tickets.
Some airlines and travel sites offer inclusive deals with hotels and car hire. These can be cost-effective, but it’s still advisable to research the hotels beforehand. Visit online review sites and not just the official hotel website. A website that has pictures and reviews posted by travellers, such as TripAdvisor, is a lot more reliable than a glossy website designed to disguise any negative features, such as your hotel room overlooking a car park instead of the ocean.
If you are travelling abroad, it’s worth considering countries where the South African rand will go further. Thailand, for example, is a lot cheaper than Australia, and therefore you’ll be able to enjoy a longer holiday there.
Be sure to check what the visa requirements are for the country you will be travelling to. These can sometimes be costly and time-consuming to obtain. Fortunately, there are many countries where South Africans don’t require visas to enter.
Research your destination. A holiday on an exotic island out of season may appear to be very good value, until you realise that you’ve arrived in the middle of the monsoon season. By researching your destination, not only will you get more out of your trip, but you can also be alerted to expensive tourist traps and any unsafe areas to avoid.
Finally, check that your passport is valid for the time of your holiday, that it has enough blank pages for visa stamps, and that you have any necessary inoculations or medicines, especially if travelling to places where malaria is common. Bon voyage!