50+ budget travel tips for your next holiday

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.

There are so many ways you can save money through planning, flights, accommodation, food and travel. Start planning your holiday now using some of my budget travel tips to help you save money on your next holiday.

PLANNING

  • 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.

TRAVEL/FLIGHTS

I haven’t travelled overseas much, but the idea of upgrading from economy to stretch the legs and have a better nap excites me!

Read more: How to use & earn loyalty points on your next holiday

There are so many ways you can save money through planning, flights, accommodation, food and travel. Start planning your holiday now using some of my budget travel tips to help you save money on your next holiday.

This is a photo I took at the lookout at White Haven Beach, December 2016

ACCOMMODATION

  • 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.

FOOD

  • 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.

MONEY-WISE

  • 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

Do you have any other great ideas to save on holiday travel?

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10 comments

Rosie July 20, 2017 - 7:05 AM

My tip is to always research what the weather is like at your destination to save you buying appropriate clothing once there (sounds simple right?) First trip overseas we went to Japan for a few days and yes, I checked the season (spring) and packed accordingly. Little did I know that Japan’s spring was closer to QLD winter! (Rookie error?) 😉 so ended up having to buy warmer clothes over there.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 20, 2017 - 2:45 PM

Oooh yes! Good thinking Rosie 🙂

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Kristina Wilde July 21, 2017 - 7:21 AM

These were all so interesting, I will refer to this list for my next trip that I plan! x

http://www.kristinawilde.com

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Shelly July 21, 2017 - 10:25 AM

I have been planning my trip to the US through Trip Advisor. You can work out exactly where you want to go. You can also download maps and then when you are “offline” on your holiday you can still access them. ?

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Jan Wild July 21, 2017 - 2:00 PM

There are lots of good ideas here but couple I would question (we do travel a lot). I do take my toiletries with me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, we don’t all stay in hotels and the products in hotels are often very poor quality plus all those little plastic bottles are a blight on the environment. The other point I would make is that it isn’t always expensive to withdraw money from an ATM overseas. With the right card and the right ATM it can be fee free. And finally do be sure the tap water at your destination is OK to drink.

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Nicole July 23, 2017 - 7:32 AM

House swaps are an awesome way to save on accommodation. We are planning a trip to Europe for 8 weeks and have booked a house 20 mins from Paris for 2 weeks that has cost us only $500 for the cost of the membership to the website plus we had to “borrow” some points for a non-simulataneous swap. Other members of the website can book to stay in our house while we are away too. Love Home Swap is the site i am using, there are others around as well but this one was the most professional one I’ve used and has homes all around the world.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 25, 2017 - 12:03 PM

Wow Nicole! That sounds amazing and how nice to be able to stay in a house while you’re on holiday. Enjoy your Europe trip 🙂

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Kristy August 1, 2017 - 3:46 AM

We are a family of 5; ( our children are all 18 & up now) and a couple of recent trips we have invited a friend, which makes us 6. Now days, we do our best to reserve a family cabin/chalet/house with kitchen, to be able purchase picnic meals, and prepare our own dinners. Our first day in, we get supplies for 2-3 days, and then see what we need to replenish. We recently traveled to Canada, and our chalet only supplied S&P; no other spices; so we had to purchase several. (In past years, I have packed a gallon zip lock bag of my own spices! but since the last couple of places have supplied these, I didn’t this trip.) Many of the spices we purchased there came in small zip lock bags. That’s a tip I will use for now on– I will just transfer small amounts to zip lock bags & label them. Will save at least $20 that way.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 1, 2017 - 9:01 AM

That’s a great tip Kristy, spices can make all the difference to a meal. Funny how some supply and some don’t. But I do like the idea of having a kitchenette and if possible washer to help save money during holidays and trips away.

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Naomi August 26, 2017 - 8:06 PM

Make a daily allowance for food and drink before you leave. Check out the lonely planet website for restaurant recommendations where you can get an idea of budget. This can save you making bad last minute decisions. Pack paper soap and a portable washing line for hand washing in the sink. Try to choose hotels that include breakfast and stash some danishes. And consider destinations like Rarotonga where you can take your own food and rent a house. We took crackers and snack food but I’m pretty sure you can even take a cooler with meat! You just need to declare it.

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