Optimum Blog

Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush!


Already everybody is talking about Christmas but summer wasn’t that long ago. I’m guessing if you’re anything like me you’re already looking forward to next summer!

Do you remember what it was like booking your last holiday in the sun? It starts with where shall we go and escalates to involve dates, times, budgets and so much more besides.

Just how much are we prepared to spend? What level of accommodation can we afford? If we are offered a great deal how much more might we pay? Can we pay in installments? When will we need to pay the balance? Can we afford where we want to go?

Research might have started months before you even decided to book somewhere. Searching online, reading travel and consumer reports, watching TV travel shows, visiting Travel Agents, reading brochures and asking friends. It often takes a number of different resources and some considerable time to complete.

Most of us book our holidays well in advance, often months before we actually go and as the day we leave draws closer, we inevitably start to worry about having enough time to get everything ready.



I think it’s fair to say that the majority of us don’t start packing until quite late on, with large numbers of us leaving everything to the last minute. That said, as has been demonstrated in our efforts to find and book something, we don’t tend to leave anything to chance. We make a list, we check it and check it again. In fact, we continue to check it, adding things as we go along, crossing things off because we change our mind and putting them back on at the end, only to change our minds again.

All of this is before we have to change what trousers, shoes, dress, bikini or anything else we might be taking because it might not fit by then, someone is taking something similar and you don’t want to wear the same, style doesn’t go with new hair, colours will clash or the inevitable “well if you’re not taking yours I won’t take mine” comment.

Once packed we close our suitcase, check our list to make sure everything is crossed off and walk away. Happy in the knowledge that the list is complete and it’s all in there. We are done.

Then of course we open the case and double check everything. More than once? Twice? Three times maybe! Probably taking things out and putting things in as you go.

Our final holiday dilemma is often financial. How much should we take? How much are we likely to spend? Will we eat out every day? Was it all inclusive? What does all inclusive mean? Was it half board or something else? Do we still need money? We`ll still want to go to other places though wont we? What did we take last year? How much is everyone else taking?

You might be lucky enough to have more than one holiday of course. Even holidays in the UK, where the sun isn’t guaranteed have similar planning requirements.



Laid out like this, it’s clear that a great deal of effort and planning can go into a week or two week holiday. Quite simply, you don’t take chances with this 2 weeks!

So when it comes to our holiday, a week, ten days, two weeks, or more than one holiday, we consider and think about delivering the following for something that in real terms is a relatively short break from our working life. 


  • Cost & Budgets – Let’s get the very best deal we can for the place we want to go. Try and get as many extras as we can. Let’s really make our money work for us. Yes we will have a budget but let’s have another figure in mind just in case there’s something too good to turn down.
  • Certainty – As far as possible let’s leave nothing to chance. Let’s be ready for almost anything.
  • Look to the Future, plan Ahead – It’s all about being prepared, being organised and getting things sorted in advance.
  • Peace of Mind – It’s the calm you can enjoy in knowing something is in place, is finished or sorted.
  • Research – Looking at the market and seeing what’s available. Making use of all available resources. Knowing that what you have is the best you can currently get.
  • Expertise & Experience – Making use of trusted companies, individuals and their resources that enables you to make an informed decision.
  • Planning – What must you take? What could you take? What can’t you take? What is your financial position? Where to go? When to go? How to get there? The planning list is almost endless.
  • Finances – How much can we afford? Can we afford to eat out? Can we afford our favoured destination? Can we afford to upgrade? Can we fly with a better airline? Again there are a huge number of things that you take into consideration.


Often this is about our once a year “main” holiday. It’s our time to relax and enjoy ourselves. We are all so determined to make sure that things go as well as possible, that without thinking, without taking into account the work, effort, time, energy, resources and expense in making it work we just get on with it. It’s worth it.

Some of us even make sure that we consider the smallest detail and even ensure that we Don’t Forget Our Toothbrush.


So what?

Travelex reported that the average cost of a Family Holiday for four in 2016 was £2,333.00.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) stated in June this year that the average property price in the UK was £223,257.00.

The Money Charity reported that the average outstanding mortgage per household in August 2017 was £121,678.00.

Obviously these are average figures and in each instance your own would be more or less than those quoted.

In very simplistic terms then, the value of an average property is 95.6x greater than the cost of an average family holiday. On the same basis the average mortgage outstanding per household is 52x greater than the cost of an average family holiday.



To put it another way, we are typically, more likely to direct our attention and efforts towards a holiday costing on average £2,333.00, than we are to reviewing our mortgage borrowing which is on average 50x greater, on an asset which is worth up to 100x more!


An average mortgage is therefore, the equivalent of 50 years of holidays. Yes it’s an oversimplified comparison but powerful nonetheless.

Yes we all love and moreover deserve a holiday and yes it’s worth the effort. BUT, why aren’t we putting even a small percentage of that effort into assessing our mortgage?

You don’t even have to do it every year, in fact you might not have to do it again for many years. If you can save money it might just help pay for those holidays every year. We have clients who have saved money on a monthly basis to an extent that they effectively receive the equivalent of a pay rise.

The best thing about this, is that the effort you actually need to put in to get the benefits is so much less than what you probably expend on your holidays. We do the work for you and on your behalf.


Don’t just invest your time into the smaller things. Yes it makes sense to save a few pounds on your phone contract for example but you could potentially be saving £100`s if not £1,000`s of pounds on your mortgage.

It costs nothing to find out. You are under no obligation whatsoever. Don’t delay. Pick up the phone, send me an email, book an appointment and let us see whether we can improve your finances.

Who knows, you may well want to book a holiday knowing how much you’ve saved.


Contact our Mortgage & Protection Adviser, Mark Alefounder on 01206 366700 or via email at [email protected] to arrange your appointment today so that we can start the process of reviewing your position.


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