Storm Eleanor, Storm Georgina, high winds and forecasts of snow – the weather of 2018 so far has been cold, wet and dark. If you’ve been dreaming of escaping the damp grey of the UK then now could be the time to start planning a summer escape. We passed the longest day on 21st December, which means that the countdown to summer has already begun. It may not feel much like it right now but actually we’re just a few (ok, five) months away from summer 2018 and all the travel possibilities that brings.
Why now is the perfect time to plan your summer holidays
There are some fantastic deals around on prices
Buy now and you have plenty of time to pay off your holiday on credit
Many travel operators are currently offering extras such as “children go free”
Book up the best festivals, hotels and locations while they’re still available
January to March are traditionally the months when the most summer holidays are sold – and when the most effort goes in to discounting and promoting them
You can secure a fantastic summer holiday right now with a low deposit
Book now and you’ll have great choice of travel times and more convenient flights
If you’re only able to travel during the school summer holidays when prices are high and everyone wants the same trips you could save a fortune by booking early
What are the options for paying on credit?
At this time of year, personal savings can be low after all the spending of Christmas. That’s why the option of paying for a summer holiday on credit is such a popular choice. With three months to go until June, now is the time to start planning a fantastic summer trip that you can pay for in the run up to the summer months. If you want to pay for your summer holiday on credit then what are your options?
Travel agents and operators
Big names like Tui and Thomas Cook offer ‘low deposit holidays’ in addition to the multiple promotions and sales that they use to push their trips at this time of year. So, you can secure a summer trip with a deposit from as little as £50 per person in some cases. You’ll then have the option of clearing the remaining balance on a monthly basis or in one or two block payments.
A personal loan
Personal loans are a great way to pay for a summer holiday now if you’ve got cash coming in and you know that you can clear the balance in the future without putting too much pressure on your finances. Despite a slight rise in interest rates, loans rates remain some of the lowest they have been so if you’re looking to pay less to cover the costs of your trip you could find a great deal with a personal loan.
Rewards credit card
There’s a double bonus to using a rewards credit card to buy your summer holiday – the holiday itself plus all those additional rewards points. From high street vouchers, to points that you can use for future flights, choose rewards that will add something to your lifestyle.
Interest free credit card
If buying your summer holiday now and paying the lowest interest for it is the priority, an interest free credit card is a great way to do it. The key is to find a card that is interest free on purchases and which gives you enough time to clear the balance before the higher rate of interest kicks in.
Great value summer 2018 holiday locations
Given the drop in the value of the pound thanks to Brexit it’s harder than it used to be to find great value when it comes to holidays – but not impossible.
Argentina – this beautiful South American country is still good value for Brits. You’ll get £662.24 more for £1,000 in 2018 than you would have in 2012/3.
Mexico – the Pound has improved by 24% against the Peso in the past five years, which means Mexico, with its stunning beaches, Aztec culture and wonderful food is still great value.
Norway – you’ll get around £190 more for £1,000 this year than you would have done five years ago so Norway’s fjords and beautiful natural landscapes still represent an attractive option.
South Africa – for fans of wildlife and wine, South Africa still remains a good deal with a 23% improvement in the Pound to Rand rate in five years.
Australia – a trip of a lifetime is possible for any budget thanks to exchange rates. For every £1,000 you exchange in 2018 you’ll get £111 more than you would have done in 2012/3 so start planning your Outback experience or Sydney foodie tour now.
Alex Hartley is a keen advocate of improving personal finance skills. She's worked at Solution Loans since 2014 and written hundreds of articles about how people can manage their money better. Her interest in personal finance goes way back to...Read more about Alex Hartley