As rumors start to circulate about your favorite vacation destinations reopening their borders, perhaps now is the perfect time to start planning and saving towards your next trip – whether it be spending a weekend break in Marrakech, taking your family away for a UK-based trip or embarking on a yearlong sabbatical post-COVID-19.
While it may normally be fairly difficult to bury away the pennies, the period of lockdown that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it has presented us all with a unique opportunity to stop spending and put our money towards a future holiday break.
By making the most of social distancing measures, recognizing our spending habits and following the simple steps we’ve listed below, you can set aside enough money to afford even the most luxurious of getaways. Here’s how to get started.
While it may be easy to obsess over food during the lockdown, creating cost-effective meals is one of the best ways to save money for future vacation destinations. Plus, you won’t need to make any sacrifices over the taste or flavor either – there are plenty of delicious recipes and family favorite breakfast, lunch and dinners that can be easily batch-made and keep you going for months on end.
With this in mind, try not to give in to temptation by buying takeaways you don’t need. While you may understandably be turned off by the idea of visiting jam-packed supermarkets right now, getting the timing right could make a big difference to your finances – wake up slightly earlier and visit at non-peak times to avoid the chaos.
Plus, to save even further, try to create hearty meals that use freezable ingredients and non-perishable goods. By planning your meals in advance you will not only know what ingredients you need to buy but you’ll also be able to work out the ‘cost per serving’ much more easily
As we carry out our normal routines, the months can seemingly fly by – a busy cycle of working, paying bills and simply making it through the virus unscathed. With that, it can be easy to reach the end of the month without managing to put away any extra pennies as you might have planned.
However, with so much extra time on our hands’ due to the lockdown, perhaps now is the perfect time to take a look at your monthly expenses and cut some of your outgoings. While some bills, like your rent or mortgage payments, can’t be changed too easily, many of your other outgoings will be customizable.
Consider, for example, whether you really need those five film and TV streaming services you’ve signed up to. If you only really use one or two of them, then cut some of the others and stash the savings for future vacation destinations.
Use price comparison websites to compare your current electricity, gas and water bills as well, to see if any companies offer a better deal. Plus, ask yourself whether you really use your entire phone package allowance or if it may be time for you to switch to a cheaper, reduced data alternative?
Insurance is another area where you could potentially cut costs on. Whether it be car, pet, home or contents insurance, look carefully at your finances and question how important they are. If you need to save your pounds for a nice holiday, maybe you can make do without a few services for a little while.
Sell, Sell, Sell
Another simple yet effective way of saving money is to use your time at home to get cut-throat with your cupboards, clothes and belongings, choosing what’s worth keeping, chucking or – most importantly – selling!
After all, we’re all guilty of hoarding things that we don’t need, owning more clothes than necessary, buying expensive music instruments, or simply going off the tech we bought a few years back.
While selling these no-longer-need items may be more difficult right now, there are a number of apps and websites that you can use to shift your belongings. From Amazon and eBay to Depop and Facebook Marketplace, take advantage of the current climate to sell any items you no longer need.
Doing so will not only provide you with a nice contribution to your vacation destinations fund, but it’ll also help you clear up some space around your house, giving you more room for all those lovely holiday souvenirs you’ll probably end up buying down the line.