‘Create a detailed and realistic budget that includes the cost of accommodation, travel, food, entertainment and insurance,’ he says. ‘Add an extra 10% for unexpected expenses. Decide how much you can afford to save every month, then work out how long it will take you to reach your savings goal.’
If you won’t be able to save enough by the time you want to go on holiday, you have two options, says Du Plessis. ‘Save more every month, or find ways to make your holiday more affordable. Giving up takeaways or not buying new clothes for a few months can help you reach your goal much quicker.’ You can also reduce the cost of your holiday by choosing budget accommodation or sharing the costs with a friend, suggests Du Plessis. ‘Plan your holiday well in advance, as flights and accommodation are often cheaper if you book early. However, if you have some flexibility, there are great last-minute deals to be found, particularly online.’
If you’re considering an overseas trip, particularly to places like the US and many European countries, factor in exchange-rate fluctuations, with the rand having recently depreciated significantly against most of the currencies used in these countries, says Du Plessis.
Don’t use your credit card to pay for your holiday, he advises, as interest rates charged on credit-card debt are often very high.
‘Whether it takes a few weeks or a few years, when your dream holiday finally comes, you will enjoy it so much more when you know that you worked hard to achieve the goal you set yourself.’