Who will not want to take a vacation? Now, travelling to exotic destinations is no more a dream. Vacation loans now comprise almost 20% of the loans’ portfolio of banks and financial institutions. So, vacationing in the Bahamas or in mesmerising Switzerland is very much within reach.

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One exotic place at a time

Sanjay Mahapatra (35) has made it a point to vacation at least twice a year. His first vacation each year involves spending quality time with his ageing parents in Odisha. He reserves the second one entirely for overseas destinations. A civil engineer by profession and based in New Delhi, Sanjay opts for travel loans in order to see the world. He chooses one country from a continent at a time. By the time he is 55, Sanjay hopes to cover most of his must-see destinations.

Many people like Sanjay are borrowing money to fund their vacations. In fact, the vacation loan is the fastest-growing segment within the personal loan category in India today. This is understandable given the growing expenses of overseas travel. There are certain mandatory expenses too, like travel health insurance. This is apart from buying airline tickets, procuring a visa, and booking accommodation in advance.

Hassle-free vacation loans

Banks and financial institutions like Axis Bank and Bajaj Finserv provide vacation loans of up to Rs 25 lakh. These collateral-free, varied tenure loans are easy to get. There is simple online submission of forms in case of Bajaj Finserv. You can repay these loans as per your convenience via equated monthly instalments (EMIs).

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Thrifty and careful

Now, the interest rates on such loans are generally higher. So, travellers should use a few tricks to save money when travelling. Here is a short list:

  • Airline ticket: Fares vary throughout the year. Choose a time when it is usually low. Ideally, buy tickets between 50 and 100 days ahead of travel.
  • Budget stay: Avoid renowned hotel chains for accommodation. If you are not travelling with family, opt for shared space to save money.
  • Travel apps: Budget travel apps are extremely handy. They guide you in choosing decent rentals when travelling abroad. Download them.
  • Minimise entertainment expenses: Most cities around the world offer free entertainment. Most museums in London are free, for instance. If you are heading to Paris, Louvre is free on the first Sunday of each month. Make sure you avail such offers.
  • Do not splurge on food: Trying out new restaurants can be expensive. Several grocery stores will also offer takeaway, which is worth trying.
  • Use public transport: Is it necessary to opt for car rentals? If not, use the local transport to move around. In Switzerland, train travel is a great way to explore the country. Tourists can avail discounted fares as well.
  • Currency rates: Currency rates often fluctuate. Keep a track, from say six months ahead of travel. Exchanging currency on time can help you save a lot.

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