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Do families who go on 'big' holidays usually rely on credit cards?

(154 Posts)
tigermoth Sat 01-Sep-07 07:36:29

It's been years since we last went on a 'proper' holiday abroad. Those two weeks in Corsica cost us around £4,000+ (two children, two adults). We had the money at the time and it was a lovely holiay

Since then we have mainly stayed with dh's family in Devon, so we are used to virtually 'free' holidays.

We love Devon, but I know that both our boys have wonderful memories of Corsica. I know how much they would love to go abroad again somewhere similar. As would dh and I.

I also know how much such a holiday is likely to set us back - not necessarily another £4,000 but we'd have to fund the cost of accommodation and airfares (during the school holidays) and we are simply not used to doing this.

It might seem a stupid question, but how do people actually pay for those sort of package holidays? Is it common practice to pay in monthly installments? If so, for how many months can you pay the cost - ie £3,000 spread over 3 months is not a lot of good for us!

We don't have credit cards, so can't spread the payments that way. And with no credit card, we'd have no access to any emergency cash if we were abroad. This worries me. At home with dh's family we have backup if anything goes wrong.

dh and I are not keen on getting a credit card as we both doubt we would be disciplined enough with it. But is it a 'must' if we plan this sort of holiday?

MaureenMLove Sat 01-Sep-07 07:57:10

What a good question! We are in exactly the same situation as you! We are planning to book a hot holiday within the next few weeks for August next year and I was hoping that we'd be able to pay a bit every month. I know usually its pay deposit now and then the balance 8 weeks before departure, so I can't see there'd be a problem in me deciding how much I pay on it and when each month iyswim! Thing is, if I don't pay it on the day dh cans paid, we'll find something else to spend it on, we always do!

BreeVanDerCampLGJ Sat 01-Sep-07 08:02:02

We saved for it. I just opened a seperate account and shifted money into it as and when we had it. It does take some discipline, but I personally would never ever borrow to go on holidays.

PinkChick Sat 01-Sep-07 08:05:44

we saved our backsides off for ours..but ive found whilst looking for next years that its very much cheaper booking accom and flight seperatly!

tigermoth Sat 01-Sep-07 08:09:00

So, say we look at holidays for four and we are talking about £2,000 minimum for two weeks? (bearing in mind one of our sons at 14 years old by next summer may not quailfy for child rates). So that's going to be approx 10 months maximum to pay for it - so around £200.00 a month? And I know lots of family holidays abroad cost more like £3,000. Wow - seems a lot for us, used to paying nothing up front!

MaureenMLove Sat 01-Sep-07 08:10:30

Dh is going to work is backside off for ours!grin There's only 3 of us and dd will go as a child for one more year, so we probably won't spend as much as others. DH also does some work for Thompsons, so he's planning on bagging a bit of staff discount! grin

MaureenMLove Sat 01-Sep-07 08:12:40

I know what you mean Tiger, its all new to me too! I don't think I've ever payed more than £500 for a two week holiday for 15 years! Don't forget that somewhere in that time, you need spending money too!

tigermoth Sat 01-Sep-07 08:16:46

That's useful to know, pinkchick. Do you look on expedia? As we don't need childcare (just a child friendly place), I guess this makes things easier for us to go independently.

BreeVanDerCampLGJ Sat 01-Sep-07 08:17:06

We tend to only go for a week.I get bored after a week and they won't let the villa we use for 10 days. We book very early, so the flights are paid for in January, leaving accomodation and spending money to be saved for.

Shoshable Sat 01-Sep-07 08:17:46

Mo check that for DD, I was looking for flights to singapore for October nexy year when DGD will be 12, she counts as adult on most flights
as PC said it is cheaper to book flights and accomadation seperate, it is going to cost us about £600.00 in a holiday flat where a hotel would be about 1200.00 so well worth looking around, flights will be about 1200.00 as well that is direct, we could go on stopover for about 200.00 less. add another 2000.00 for spendng money and its alot, but we are selling one of our buy to rent flats putting most of the profit into a house in scotland but keeping 5000.00 for one lst really good holiday before DH leaves the Army. we wont be able to have that sort of holiday again.

MaureenMLove Sat 01-Sep-07 08:19:52

Oh god yes, its 12 and over isn't it? Not over 12.

ivykaty44 Sat 01-Sep-07 08:20:51

I was pricing a holiday and found the same holiday with the same company was £282 cheaper if the flights and hotel were booked seperately

tigermoth Sat 01-Sep-07 08:22:19

Yes, spending money will need to be found on top. But then this is one area that we could save on, compared to Devon.

Eating out and drinking out in the West Country is not cheap - I even find parking and food shopping can be expensive compared to London.

If we go to a destination abroad where the pound is strong I am hoping this will help counterbalance the cost of getting there. One reason why I'm looking to stay two weeks, not one.

BreeVanDerCampLGJ Sat 01-Sep-07 08:24:19

I find that if you get a villa/holiday flat you tend to eat in a lot more. Good local produce and a few glasses of wine and some crusty bread and good company. What more could you ask for ?

cocolepew Sat 01-Sep-07 08:44:03

We paid off our CC's then missed them, for concert tickets etc. On the MSE page there is a comparison of CC and we took the Barclaycard basic one. Low interest(6.1?), but also a low limit because of this, ours is £2000, it's handy for emergencies.

Idreamofdaleks Sat 01-Sep-07 08:51:54

Get a credit card to use on hols in case of emergency and cut it up when you get back!

Normally you pay a deposit up front and the balance 2 months or so before you go so this spreads it out a bit. I think most folk would set a budget for an annual holiday and work out how much to set aside each month so effectively you spread the cost over a year, as you would for council tax etc

I often use car boot sale money or ebay money towards my hols, would that work for you?

MaloryTowersHasManners Sat 01-Sep-07 08:55:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kbear Sat 01-Sep-07 08:56:09

I'm with Mo here, we usually go on holidays in the UK and just pay out of that month's money for it! Usually skint on the way back, scrabbling for money for a cuppa on the motorway! ha ha

Agree that it costs more to eat out in the UK, we just went to Weymouth camping and ate out every evening in pubs as the weather wasn't great. And £6 to park for 5 hours shock. Rip off.

We are going to Florida next year (first hot holiday in 14 years) and I'm in the fortunate position that I work part-time so I'm intending to double my hours to pay for it, and DH will work overtime too. We just got a credit card recently but are super careful about what we spend on it and it is for emergencies only.

I am hoping to put £200 a month away. But then Christmas and the kid's birthday's get in the way at bit financially!! Suitcases for Christmas and a passport for your birthday - am I being unreasonable? ha ha ha

canmummy Sat 01-Sep-07 09:06:01

We went on holiday in June, school holidays (just), 5 of us, to spain for a week, for about £800 total!!

My dh does a lot of shopping around on the internet and basically booked low-cost airlines on the day the fares are released, organised our own accomodation and car hire as well.

This wasn't a one-off, we now do it every year and tbh we spent a week in England this summer and it was far more expensive!

tigermoth Sat 01-Sep-07 09:15:20

Sounds like a good plan, kbear! I work full time so can't increase my income and I use any ebay money I make for general living expenses.

I am worried about us pushing ourselves to our financial limits. Will all the stress be worth it? But, I do like the idea of going somewhere hot and different and I know the boys would be so excited.

Incidently, what happens if we decide to book flights and accommodation independently - ie no package deal? Do we still have the option of deposits and paying up front 2 months before or is this only an option if we go with a package deal?

As for credit cards, as we don't have an extensive credit history, I know we'd be looking at ones with quite high rates of interest. Good idea about having one for the holiday for emergencies, then cutting it up, but still worried about the temptation.

Also, I see that all of you are against using credit cards to fund holidays. Do you think you are typical and in the majority or are the credit card users reluctant to reveal themselves?

Kbear Sat 01-Sep-07 09:21:10

I think we are the minority but I don't see the harm in paying on your card if you can pay it off without too much interest. My friends pay on their card then shop til they drop then shop some more then moan about their £5 grand CC bill!! I was once a foolish young thing let loose with a credit card and regretted it bitterly as it paid it off over a gazillion years!

BTW check out Capital One - ours is very low interest.

Cloudhopper Sat 01-Sep-07 09:23:25

I have always wondered this. We have never been on a 'big' holiday - the most we havqe spent upfront is about 300.

Having got into many problems in the past with debts, we have no credit cards now. I would be tempted to save instead if you want it. After 4 years, another year won't kill you?

scienceteacher Sat 01-Sep-07 09:35:32

We pay for our holidays from savings, and when we are there, use our debit card for cash.

roisin Sat 01-Sep-07 09:48:37

I would be, and am, hesistant about going on a holiday which is so big and huge and expensive for you that the expectation would be so high, and therefore the likelihood of being disappointed.

We have holidayed in the UK almost exclusively for many years, and have had some truly fantastic holidays - especially in the last couple of years.

I would love to take the boys to places like Iceland or Canada, but the cost would be 3x or 4x what we pay now; and our holiday this summer (on the Isle of Mull) was just perfect and fantastic in every way. I just can't imagine that anything else could measure up.

Every year I think maybe next year we'll take the plunge and go somewhere 'big', but I never do. We stay in the UK and have a fantastic time!

In terms of money if you book through a travel agent they will be quite happy for you to pay in instalments. Having a credit card it useful for ease of payments - especially on the internet for flights etc. We use cc a lot, but not for 'credit' iyswim. We just treat it as a debit card in many ways, and don't spend it if it's not in the account to be spent. The cc bill is paid off by dd every month.

Judy1234 Sat 01-Sep-07 09:49:17

Some women pick jobs where they will earn a lot of money so they can buy holidays like that. I suspect that's the answer for a lot of people. make sure your daughters know what they're getting into when they pick particular careers.

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