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Saving up for a vacation can take years. Especially when things like car payments, rent and other life essentials get in the way. This is where personal loans can help. Many people in the Philippines use loans to pay for vacations or longer-term travel, just like they do in other parts of the world. Providing you know you can pay the money back; this is a great way of enjoying the thrill and excitement of travelling without having to spend a long time saving. Everybody does vacation a little differently but with a little careful planning, you can make your loan cover every element of your adventure. Here is Asterias quick guide to using personal loans for vacations and travelling.

1. Pay for Your Flights First

This is almost always the most expensive element of any trip. Whether you’re planning a full, around the world adventure or a short haul flight to a different city, make sure you’ve budgeted enough for all of your journeys before you start making plans for anything else. Shop around and use price comparison sites to get the best deals and make sure your funds are somewhere you can access them quickly when you see a bargain. (A current account or service like PayPal is usually the best option.) If possible, book your return and connecting flights well in advance, too. This will be cheaper, and it will also help you to construct an itinerary if you are planning to visit multiple destinations.

2. Insurance and Health Care

If you get sick when you’re travelling, there’s no guarantee you will be able to get the care you need without having to pay for it. Using a small amount of your personal loan to take out travel insurance which includes health cover is usually a good idea. It may seem a little over cautious, but you’ll be thankful of it if you are unfortunate enough to have an accident or become unwell while away from home.

3. Accommodation

Before you arrive somewhere, it makes sense to pre book accommodation if you can. Allocate part of your personal loan for accommodation and try to stick to a budget. Most hotels and hostels across the world will allow you to pay at least a deposit before you arrive, and many will accept full payment in advance. Always check the refund and cancellation policy but doing this can save you a lot of hassle when you land. It can also work out considerably cheaper than trying to find somewhere without a reservation. Your accommodation is one of the most important things to consider, so it’s usually worth budgeting for an extra night or two in case of delayed flights or other unexpected issues.

4. Emergency Fund

This is something so many travellers fail to think about, but it’s an absolute essential. Use some of your personal loan as a source of emergency funding if you need it. Being stuck somewhere without transport, food or shelter can mean that you need to make large, unexpected purchases such as unscheduled taxi rides or premium rate travel tickets. These won’t seem anywhere as bad if you have made allowances for unexpected events or emergencies. It might feel like you’re missing out on spending money by doing this, but you can’t put a value on your own safety.

5. Food Glorious Food

When you’re travelling, cooking space is often in short supply and you also have the option to try things you will have never encountered in your home country. For this reason, it’s a good idea to use part of your holiday or travelling loan to cover food costs. Most street food in the Philippines is incredibly cheap but also utterly delicious. There are also some magnificent fine dining and mid-priced restaurants to try. You could skimp on you your food budget and use basic canned goods to live on if you are really trying to cut back on spending, but holidays are made to be enjoyed, so why not treat yourself to one or two exotic culinary delights as a treat.

6. Entertainment

Travelling isn’t all about sitting in planes, trains and automobiles. It’s also about experiencing things. If you’re taking out a personal loan for a holiday, make sure you budget for things like cinema trips, theatre shows, live music events and sporting activities. If you don’t find this, the chances are that you’ll find yourself getting bored, quickly. Let’s face it, there’s only so much sightseeing a person can do. Entertainment budgets don’t have to be very much, but it is highly recommended that you account for this element of your trip so you can feel as if you’ve got the most out of the experience.

7. Clothing, Gadgets and Creature Comforts

A simple travel pillow can turn a 10-hour train journey into an opportunity for a long snooze, rather, than something to be feared. Always remember to budget for things that will make your travelling life a little easier. Using some of our personal loan to make sure your smartphone can handle being unplugged for more than a few hours or that your sun hat really can withstand the fierce tropical heat of the midday sun in the Philippines is a very sensible option.

8. Spending Money

It might seem strange that this appears last on our list, but it should really be your last priority. Once you have your food, travel, accommodation, entertainment and other essentials covered, you will probably find you don’t really need to spend a great deal extra, anyway! It’s nice to budget for one or two impulse buys or perhaps some gifts for loved ones if you can but don’t be tempted to give yourself too much. It’s very easy to waste money on holiday, which is why it makes sense to split your “spending” fund up into some of the categories above that we’ve already mentioned.

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