The holidays are intended to bring us relief from a long period of work, and ultimately help us relax, unwind and have fun!

But if they are not managed properly, they could land us in a deep financial crisis. As terrible as that sounds, - it doesn’t have to be!

Fortunately, there are ways we can avoid getting ourselves into holiday debt and we’ve put together a list of five easy tips to do this:

Tip 1 - Start saving before your holiday

There’s no better feeling than knowing you have a holiday coming up because it’s all smiles and excitement leading up to it! One way to feel better about the holiday as you approach it, is to put away some cash funds each month that you can afford to put away, so that you have a nice little kitty by the time the day arrives that you hop on that plane, boat or car destined for your rest and recuperation (RNR)! Perhaps open a separate account so that you don’t feel tempted to spend the funds or end up confusing them with the funds that aren’t allocated to your holiday. This tip, if you don’t do any others, is a must!

Tip 2 – Don’t get a late start on your saving

You’ve booked the trip, now, don’t delay anything any further. You know you’re going so there’s no reason you can’t start saving right away. Chances are, you know exactly how much everything is going to cost, so the best advice I can offer is to set up a monthly budget that portrays a list of all the money you need for expenses etc. and how much is left over that you can tap into for saving. Once you have a figure in mind that you can afford each month – start right away! Remember to stick to this amount, don’t cheat as you will only end up cheating yourself when it comes time to relax and you have to order the ladies steak as opposed to the men’s because you didn’t stick to your original required amount.

Tip 3 – Trim the fat if you fall behind

C’est la vie (as they), and it’s true that you could find yourself running in an unforeseen matter that calls for funds that you haven’t budgeted for. In this case, you use your budgeted amount of savings for the problem and now you find yourself down on your total holiday fund and not sure what to do. There’s always something you can do, which in this case is looking at expenses that you can cut out or cut down just until you get back on track. Making these slight adjustments will mean your holiday funds are still intact and without having resorted to borrowing.

Tip 4 – Don’t overwhelm your financial situation

Holidays are great already because it means not having to worry about the office a little while, or to some, it just means getting away. The best part of these elements is that neither of them requires major costs if it’s just fun and memories that you’re after. There are ways to keep holiday costs down without compromising the activities you have planned. Going away doesn’t have to mean sleeping in a 5-star hotel when you can have all the same amenities at a 3 star that would be cheaper. Makes sense? Look out for these types of savings and shop for deals on flights when the time comes to purchase your ticket. There’s no need to book something that it’s going to leave you feeling heavy at the end due to the overspend that you didn’t have to incur in the first place.

Tip 5 - Book early

You can save a lot of money by booking all the necessities for your holiday earlier than later. Air tickets are far cheaper the earlier you book. That’s a simple supply and demand rule. As soon as you’re sure of the specifics that your holiday will encompass, don’t delay on booking and paying for these costs. Early-bird deals are always on offer, you just need to keep an eye out.