Many people are disheartened when they hear the word ‘holiday’ and think that they have to spend thousands of dollars to have the perfect get. What if I told you there are ways to live out your dream holiday without breaking the bank? There are so many ways you can save money through planning, flights, accommodation, food and travel. Start planning your holiday now using some of tips I’ve listed below to help you save money on your next holiday.
- Plan ahead- Flights and accommodation get more expensive the longer you wait.
- Don’t forget to add the cost of passports, visas, insurance, etc. into your holiday budget.
- Sign up to airline’s newsletter to get details about their latest deals and discounts.
- Travel during low-peak season as you will find rooms and flights will be cheaper during this period. Avoid travelling over school holidays or major holiday dates. Peak times do vary so do some research before you book. You will also find your destination won’t be as crowded and accommodation won’t be booked up.
- Leave plenty of time to get to your destination, as you don’t want to miss your flight and need to pay for a new one.
- Did you promise to buy souvenirs? Write down a list and your budget for each gift before you go. This will prevent you from forgetting an important someone.
- Plan your trip and determine your budget with how much you can spend so when you get home from your trip you won’t be hit with a huge credit card bill.
- Plan your daily activities and daily spend limit to help you stick to your budget.
- Once you have planned your trip, search online for coupon/discount codes
- Research what free activities or events are planned at your time of travel.
- If you’re travelling as a group, let them know when making the booking as you may be able to get a group discount.
- However, if travelling with a group hiring a car maybe a cheaper option, don’t forget to take fuel into account.
- Research to see if you can buy passes rather than day tickets to tourist attractions, transport etc.
- Do research to determine where is the best place to get cash in the local currency. You may find that exchanging before you leave for your holiday or the rate at the airport is better than exchange centres in the city.
BEFORE YOU GO
- Weigh and measure your luggage before you leave to ensure you don’t have to pay excess luggage fees.
- Don’t pack what you don’t need as the extra kilos in the suitcase will cost you at the airport. Remember that your bag will get heavier as you travel and buy souvenirs.
- If you forget some of your toiletries (ie. toothbrush), don’t stress. The hotel reception will often have items available and this saves you going out and buying them.
- Get travel insurance – this is absolutely worth ever penny, especially if you get injured or sick while away. Even if nothing goes wrong, it will pay for itself in peace of mind and when something does go wrong such as lost luggage or cancelled flights, you will find it invaluable.
- Install a currency converter app on your phone.
- Purchase a power adapter suitable for your country of travel before you leave so that your phone can easily be charged in your destination’s power supply.
- Connecting flights may save you money rather than flying direct.
- Book your own flights and accommodation direct with the airline or hotel to avoid paying additional booking fees.
- Redeem your frequent flyer points for flights, flight upgrades or lounge passes
I haven’t travelled overseas much, but the idea of upgrading from economy to stretch the legs and have a better nap excites me!
This is a photo I took at the lookout at White Haven Beach, December 2016
- Book an apartment rather than hotel room so you can cook your own meals and easily wash your clothes.
- Share a room. If you’re travelling with a friend, it will be cheaper to ask for 2 single beds rather than a separate room each.
- Check to see if your hotel charges for wi-fi. Choose a hotel that offers free wi-fi.
- Book your accommodation a few blocks away from the city centre, you will find them significantly cheaper.
- Phone the hotel to discuss your accommodation and see if they can offer you a cheaper price.
- Drink free water. Restaurants often offer still or sparkling water rather than tap water. Do ask for the tap water to save money. They are usually more than happy to provide you with tap water.
- Avoid hotel breakfasts, at times they are not good value for money. Milk and a box of cereal will save you a lot of money.
- You don’t have to eat out at every meal, pick up a few groceries and dine in or have a picnic in a local park.
- Stock your hotel room up with some drinks and snacks purchased from a local grocery store to save you raiding the expensive mini bar.
- Pack a water bottle. If the hotel offers drinkable tap water, use this to fill your water bottle. It will save you buying water.
- If where you are travelling doesn’t have a large grocery store (like the islands in Tropical QLD), I suggest packing snacks and taking them in your suitcase.
- On a road trip? Pack a cooler bag with food to avoid stopping for fast food.
- Depending on where you travel, eating out for lunch is better value (cheaper) than dinner.
- Visit the local farmers market for fresh food and watch what the locals buy for the best deals.
- Don’t withdraw money from an ATM while overseas as you are likely to get a very poor exchange rate and will be charged a fee.
- Purchase international phone cards (can be found at newsstands) as these can be a huge saving.
- Many attractions and restaurants offer student/seniors discount. Remember to take your ID to benefit from these discounts.
- Fill the hire car up with fuel before you return it so you aren’t charged a refuelling fee. If you are supplied with a car that is empty, make sure that you note this with the attendant.
- Hire a diesel car. Diesel engines use less fuel which means bigger savings.
- Consider the size of car you hire. A smaller car is cheaper and can save you on fuel.
- Consider the gifts you want to give as souvenirs. To avoid unnecessary costs (excess baggage when checking into your flight home), don’t buy gifts too heavy and bulky.
- Use secure free internet/wi-fi to save on international roaming charged.
- Consider travelling by bus or train than paying for taxi’s.
ON YOUR HOLIDAY
- Buy your maps from your destination country when you arrive.
- Wear good walking shoes so you can walk and take in the sights rather than catching public transport.
- If you need to travel a long distance via train, do the trip at night. This will save a nights accommodation.
- Wear a money belt, across the body handbag or a jacket with a zipped inside pocket to keep your money and belongings safe and away from thieves.
- Be flexible with your travel days as you may find it cheaper to leave the day before or after instead.
- Chat with the locals as they are always filled with great knowledge and may let you in on a few savings ideas.
COMMUNITY BUDGET TIPS
I took to Facebook and asked the community their ways to save money on holidays and they offered some amazing tips and tricks!
- We put all our $2 coins into a 350ml coke bottles each bottle holds approx. $1000. Quite easy to do and the kids love watching the bottle fill! – Lauren M
- Go to the nearest supermarket when you arrive and buy your water and snacks and fruit Picnic for lunch. Breakfast in the room Have even made toasted sandwiches with alfoil and the iron. Was the best dinner in after a long day out. Lunch is always cheaper and share the meal portion sizes are huge in The USA lol. – Janice J
- We have a holiday account which we put money in every week regardless if we have destination planned or not. We usually go away for Christmas so once we decide where, there is usually some money for a deposit or flights. I also use my Flybuys points at the end of the year to pay for my groceries that week! – Nicolin B
- We currently have a $5 and 50c tin going! We put into the tin (one of those ones you can’t open from the variety stores) every $5 note and $50c piece we get in our change. And then we open it a week before holidays and that’s our money for spending. The first year we did it we saved $1000 in 6 weeks! It was amazing! – Nicole R