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A few simple steps can turn your next holiday from a Costa-Notta-Lotta trip to the journey of a lifetime.

You’ve pored over brochures, checked out Lonely Planet reviews and written up some must-dos for your upcoming holiday. Now try a few easy steps to keep your holiday spending under control.

Develop a travel budget

A budget lets you plan ahead for all the holiday costs you face, and it’s a great way to avoid being stung by overlooked expenses. Make a list of the essentials you need to pay for including:

  • Air fares
  • Accommodation
  • Transport and car hire
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Foreign currency.

Then work out how much you are likely to spend each day on food, entertainment, tours and sightseeing.  Don’t overlook hidden costs like phone calls home, and remember to allow a bit extra so that you have cash in case of an emergency.

Add up these totals to reach your overall holiday budget.

Grow a pool of savings

Saving a nest egg of cash to fund your holiday budget makes a lot of sense. It means you can spend on souvenirs guilt-free, take those exciting day tours, or try a few fine dining hot spots without worrying about how you’ll pay for it all.

Even better, building holiday savings means you don’t have to arrive home saddled with a mountain of debt – something that can quickly take the shine off your vacation.

To reach your holiday budget, divide the total amount you need by the number of months or weeks left until your trip. This represents how much you need to save on a regular basis.

Open a separate savings account

Opening a separate savings account purpose-built to grow your holiday stash can be a great motivator to help you save. Stick to your savings goal by setting up a regular transfer of cash from your everyday account to your holiday savings account. Remember, the sooner you start, the less you need to tuck away on a regular basis to meet your holiday budget.

Choose wisely

Look for ways to earn bonus interest on your savings account to encourage you to save steady. Also be sure to choose a savings account where there are no monthly account-keeping fees, no minimum balance or monthly deposit requirements, and the ability to access your cash at any time without penalty, in case you find a hot air fare or great hotel deal on the fly.

Save steady

Look for ways to actively grow your savings, all year round. Have a coin jar at home or work where you store your small change.  When it’s full, add the cash to your savings account – every bit helps.

Track your progress                                                                                            

Check your savings account regularly to keep an eye on how you’re progressing. Relish reaching small milestones because it means you are one step closer to your dream holiday.

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