Can we say winter is finally over now? With the mercury steadily rising, the clocks gone forward and the birds all a-chirping in the morning, it looks like spring has finally sprung.
And before you know it, itíll be time to take a summer holiday.
In fact, fifty percent of Britons are aiming to make 2014 the year to take a dream holiday or go travelling, Experian CreditExpert found ñ and there are lots of advantages to forward thinking, especially if youíre on a tight budget.
The early bird catches the worm
Getting an early start on your holiday booking can make it easier to find a bargain. For a start, youíve got a huge range of destinations and options to choose from, plus there are usually plenty of offers to entice you. You can also secure most packages with a deposit, giving you months to save up (donít forget to allow for spending money too). For last-minute deals, six weeks before departure is the optimum time to get your booking in, as thatís when airlines usually start to discount seats they havenít yet sold.
Be a fly-night
Flexibility can really lower the cost. Do you really need to go in July or August? If you can go either side of these months, or wait until October half-term, you are likely to get a better deal compared to travelling in peak season. If you can only go in high summer, the last two weeks of the school holidays tend to be cheaper. And if youíre booking your own flights, the time and day of the week can have a surprising impact on your budget, with Tuesday afternoon apparently the best day to travel. 
Stay young and invincible
Seeing the continent by train is no longer restricted to gap-year students, and Europe-wide train passes are available to all these days, opening up the continent to low-cost travel for all. Good hotels deals can be available if you time your booking to coincide with the availability of online discount codes, while many modern youth hostels have the comfort of decent hotels and are even family friendly. Of course, travelling through Euro-landscapes on glitzy overnight trains can save a packet on hotel rooms too.
Mind how you pay
While many credit cards charge up to 3 per cent per transaction if you use them abroad, some others are specifically aimed at being suited more to spending in other countries, often offering 0% foreign purchase fees. If you do get one of those cards though, make sure you pay the bill off in full when the bill arrives. Itís also advisable to let your lender know you are going abroad, so as to prime them in case it raises suspicion when they see you make large purchases in duty free!
Getting credit-set for holiday
If you need credit for your holiday, apply carefully. Make sure your credit report is up to date and that the information on it is accurate. If you do use a credit card to help spread the cost of a holiday, itís best to stay within the agreed credit limits and always make your repayments on time, paying more than the minimum off your credit cards each month if you can, as this could help pay off your debts quicker. Missed payments stay on your credit report for at least six years.
You can get help finding finance deals that suit your credit profile, and see your credit report and Experian Credit Score whenever you want, with a 30-day trial of Experian CreditExpert.
– Content / Article provided by Experian ñ links to Experian CreditExpert are placed for promotional purposes