Paying for your summer holiday

July 17, 2019

We all love a holiday, whether it is to a far flung location or a few days somewhere closer to home, but they can be expensive and the costs can quickly add up.

So, when it comes to that well-deserved break, have you thought about how to pay for it? Borrowing for a holiday is always a temptation, but have you considered the impact of paying for your holiday long after it’s over?

Could you save up for it?

Although it is not always possible, it’s best to save the money you need for your holiday in advance. This is the cheapest option as you won’t have to pay back any interest on loans or a credit card and it can be less stressful than thinking about paying the money back after you get home.

There are different ways to save whether it’s a deposit account with a bank or credit union or something as simple as leaving some money in your bank account at the end of each month and letting it build up. Managing your money wisely and budgeting will also be a big help when saving for your holiday.

Personal loan

If you haven’t been able to save for your trip you may need to apply for a personal loan to cover the cost. Depending on the bank there are different interest rates available and you can use our loan comparisons to look at the different rates and the total cost of credit with the various banks.

If you are a member of a credit union you may be able to apply for a personal loan with them.

A handy rule to keep in mind when getting a personal loan is that the term of the loan should roughly match the timeframe of what the loan is being used for so if you go on holiday once a year the term of the loan shouldn’t be longer than 12 months.

Credit cards

It can be tempting and sometimes even necessary to use your credit card to cover some of your holiday costs but it is important to remember that this can be a very expensive way of paying for your holiday.

Interest rates on credit cards can vary from between 13% to 26%. You can use our credit card comparisons to see if you could possibly switch to a credit card with a lower interest rate or one with an interest-free period. If you have built up credit card debt it is important to repay as much as you can afford and not just the minimum payment each month. By paying more than the minimum, even by a small amount, you will reduce the time it takes you to clear your credit card and will save money in interest.


If you can’t borrow from another source you might consider a loan from a moneylender. You may even have seen loans from moneylenders recently and think it would get you that holiday away. There are some important things to be aware of:

  1. There might be an alternative to a moneylender. The It Makes Sense scheme is run through participating credit unions. It offers loans of small amounts at low interest rates to qualifying members and may be a viable alternative for you.
  2. Rates of moneylenders’ loans are typically higher than a bank or credit union. Even if the repayments look affordable, calculate the total amount you will have to pay back. It might not look so attractive.
  3. Never borrow from an illegal moneylender and make sure any moneylender you deal with is licensed by the Central Bank of Ireland. If you’re not sure, look up the Central Bank’s Register of Moneylenders.

One last thing to think about – travel insurance

When planning your trip it is important to budget for travel insurance. Travel insurance can protect you if you need to cancel or return home early from a trip for reasons beyond your control, or your departure was cancelled or delayed or you missed transport for reasons beyond your control.

It can also help if you have a medical or other emergency or if some of your belongings are lost, stolen or damaged, this can include luggage, passports and money.

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