Eight strategies to save for your dream holiday

Automate savings, track your spending, make use of rewards and find the tactic that works for you

Travelling with friends is an economical way to save on accommodation, transportation and other expenses. Getty Images
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In the UAE’s ever-changing economic landscape, saving for a holiday can be both a challenge and a unique opportunity.

Renowned globally for its shopping festivals and year-round deals, the country offers a luxurious lifestyle.

As a result, people often find themselves splurging on the latest gadgets and experiences.

This, coupled with the rising cost of living globally, makes saving for a dream holiday particularly challenging.

While there is some relief with zero tax on personal income, having a tailored saving strategy that balances immediate expenses with future adventures is a must for anyone creating a holiday fund.

It is crucial to understand the broader economic environment, make informed choices when it comes to what we are spending on, and make regular saving a habit.

Challenges in saving for holidays

High living expenses: It is easy to get caught up in the UAE's sparkle and glamour, but it comes at a cost – a high standard of living. Rents, education fees and a penchant for luxury can divert funds from your holiday savings, particularly for those focused on keeping up appearances.

Financial literacy: Poor financial management can deprive people of the opportunity to save money. Many do not know of or understand tools and strategies that can enable them to allocate funds for future holidays without diminishing their present quality of life.

How to save for your holiday

  1. Know your holiday goals: Figure out what kind of holiday you want. Are we talking about a luxury getaway or a budget-friendly trip? Knowing this helps to set savings goals.
  2. Automate your savings: Think of it like setting up a direct deposit for your holiday fund. Create a savings goal just for your holidays and automate transfers into it. This way, you're not tempted to dip into it for everyday spending.
  3. Track your spending: Keep an eye on where your money's going. Maybe you can cut back on those daily coffees or unused subscriptions. Redirecting that money into your holiday fund can add up over time.
  4. Leverage rewards: Don't ignore those loyalty programmes and cashback offers. They can enhance your holiday savings, whether it's earning air miles or getting cash back on purchases.
  5. Confide and save with others: Saving for holidays doesn't have to be a solo mission. Join a community of fellow savers for motivation and tips to reach your goals together.
  6. Avoid currency exchange fees: Use prepaid cards with zerio or low foreign exchange fees or withdraw cash from ATMs that offer favourable rates.
  7. Travel with others: Travelling with others helps to split the cost of accommodation, transportation and other expenses, making it economical for everyone.
  8. Eat like a local and research low-cost activities: Explore local markets and eateries instead of dining at popular restaurants that are overpriced. Look for free or low-cost activities such as hiking, visiting parks and nearby festivals with free admission days.

My goal has always been to simplify money management, making it accessible for everyone irrespective of their backgrounds or financial literacy.

Our lives are a tapestry of experiences and holidays stand out as some of the most vibrant threads. They provide a much-needed form of escape from the mundane, a chance to explore, relax and create lasting memories with your loved ones.

Ensuring that financial difficulties do not stand in the way of these experiences is very important.

Saving for a holiday embodies the full essence of better money management: setting a goal, planning towards it and watching it come to fruition.

The journey teaches discipline and patience. It also reminds us that with the right tools and strategies, our loftiest dreams are within reach.

Much like the journey itself, the path to saving for your dream holiday is rife with discoveries, challenges and, ultimately, rewards.

By embracing smart saving strategies, using technology and celebrating each milestone, you will be able to turn what was once a daunting task into an empowering journey.

So, here's to making all our holiday dreams come true, one smart saving step at a time.

Mithil Ajmera is co-founder and chief operating officer of Sav

Updated: April 25, 2024, 5:00 AM