Christmas is over and money’s tight. Worse still, the weather’s cold, wet and windy and you long to get away, soak up those rays and boost your vitamin D.
But don’t despair! There IS a way of planning for that summer getaway – and it doesn’t involve raising your bank manager’s blood pressure…
The concept is called ‘Spending Swaps’ and involves making small sacrifices to make that one big purchase.
According to Travelex, to experience the adventure of a lifetime, you need only substitute one item to save enough money to tick an incredible destination off your list.
So, which one of these are you willing to give up?…
You could swap this for a week-long holiday in Nice. A four-star hotel could cost as little as £203.
Alternatively, you could swap this for an Interrail Pass. For £359, you can pick up a 22-day second class adult pass and make your way around 30 European countries.
You could swap this for a trip to The Sunshine State. A week-long stay in Florida in June 2016 (including return flights from London) could carry a price tag of as little as £820, leaving almost £200 left of your takeaway savings to contribute to your spending money.
Or how about a week’s stay in Havana where a stay in a four-star hotel and flightsracks up a bill as little as £750.
Based on the RRP of a pack of 20 cigarettes in 2014, the average smoker spends £1,543.95 each year on their vice (smoking 10 per day), which rises to £3,087.90 on a 20 per day habit.
Quit the habit and you could swap this for a trip to Las Vegas for £1,543.95. GoCompare found seven-day, five-star holidays in Vegas (13-19 June ’16) for as little as £1,024.19 – including flights and hotels – with plenty left over for a sunset helicopter ride around the Grand Canyon (roughly £349).
Or how about a trip to Tokyo? A week in a four-star hotel and return flights from London could come to £757, with £56 left over for a cruise round Tokyo Bay.
Extend the dry January to the rest of the year and for as little as £413 you could be spending a week in Rome in a five-star hotel, as well as a three-hour tour of the Colosseum for an extra £73.
Or how about a trip to Australia? 15.9% of people said that Australia is one of their dream destinations for 2016, and surprisingly, that yearly cost of booze will buy you return flights with plenty left over to spare. Flying from London to Sydney and back (12-25 June), you could spend as little as £567 according to travelsupermarket.com.
According to the Office of National Statistics, British households fork out (pun intended) £863.20 over the average year on restaurant meals.
If you cut that down by half, that works out as £431.60. Enough for a decent holiday? Absolutely. How about a trip to Greece? You can find a return trip from London to Athens, staying in a five-star hotel for a week in July 2016 for just £346.
Add on a hop-on hop-off tour ticket, and your bill still only comes to roughly £360. The other option is a trip to Barcelona for just £407, according to GoCompare. A week in a four-star hotel plus your return flights can come to less than half the average yearly restaurant bill, with plenty left over to enjoy some tapas.
There are a number of other small sacrifices you could make to save money – home-made rather than shop-bought sandwiches for lunch, forgoing the weekly threading session, shopping in second hand shops and buying food from money-saving supermarkets to name a few.
The final tip is to put the money you've saved into a tin or something you can see. As you delight in seeing the pile growing on a weekly basis, it should help motivate you to keep up the good work..
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