personal loans and travel - things to consider
06 December 2010
Everyone dreams of taking that once in a lifetime holiday but very few people actually turn that dream into a reality. The big thing that stands in most people's way is money.
Holidays mean having access to a lot of cash upfront, and unless you've been saving for years, they can be out of reach. If you've been dreaming of getting away, but you're not sure how to fund your big trip, a personal loan might be your ticket.
Is a personal loan right for you? Ask yourself the following questions before packing your bags.
How much can I afford?
The best place to start is by asking yourself how much you can afford to borrow for your holiday. The answer will depend on a lot of different factors, such as your income and the expenses you have. Write up a budget and determine -
- how much can I afford in repayments per month? (Use our handy online calculator if you need help.)
- how quickly can I pay off the loan?
- can I afford to make extra repayments to cut down the loan period?
Do your research
Once you have an idea of how much you can spend, you can tailor your holiday to suit. This is the fun part. Jump online and start planning. To get the most value out of your personal loan, you'll need to factor in all the expenses you can think of, including:
- applicable airport taxes or duty
- hotel prices
- car rental costs
- food budget
- entertainment costs
Don't forget about incidentals
A personal loan for travel is not just useful for paying for airfare or hotels. You can also use the money for meals, sightseeing and a bit of shopping. Remember to include these costs in your loan amount.
Credit cards vs a personal loan
Be wary about putting the cost of your holiday onto a credit card. Credit cards generally have a higher interest rate than an unsecured personal loan which means it could take longer to pay off and could cost you more in the long run. It's a great idea to travel with a credit card in case of emergencies though - as long as you resist the temptation to use it on a whim.
Once you've done your research and worked out how much you'll need, you can start putting your holiday plan into action. Applying for a personal loan is easy and can be done over the phone, in store or online. Just answer a few quick questions, and if you're approved, you'll have fast access to your holiday funds.
Taking off on a dream holiday is simple with a personal loan. The hard part is deciding what to pack!