Australians love to travel, with over 6 million of us travelling internationally every year (top travel destinations are New Zealand, Indonesia and the USA). However, international travel often requires a lot of saving, and no one wants to save money to go on holiday, only to get into debt once they’re away.
So how can you save money on your next trip? Whether you’re travelling internationally or domestically, here are some tips that can help you enjoy your holiday without breaking the bank.
1. Figure out how much your holiday will cost in advance
With so many online trip advice and review websites available, it’s easy to research what your trip will cost ahead of time. Some things to consider include:
- Transport costs (airfares, trains, coaches, rental cars, ferries, etc.)
- Visa and passport charges
- Travel insurance
- A travel SIM card/international roaming charges
- Food (supermarkets, takeaway and eating out)
- Tickets for sights, tours and other activities
- Souvenirs, gifts and other shopping
- Extra money for emergencies
Knowing the total cost of your holiday up front will help you make more accurate savings goals, which will help prevent any budget blow outs while you’re away. Don’t forget to check out online deals to get the best rates!
2. Share to save
Holiday costs drop dramatically when you’re willing to save. For accommodation, you could book a multi-room villa or an Airbnb with some family and friends, rather than paying almost as much for a single-bed hotel room. If you go on a tour, you may be able to get a special group rate. Or, if you are eating out, consider sharing a range of tapas or charcuterie-style plates, rather than each person getting a main.
3. Make wise food choices
And no, we don’t just mean eating healthily (though that can help you stay healthy on the road). Food is one of the hidden expenses that often catches travellers out on holiday. For instance, hotel minibars often have a 200-500% mark up on what you’d pay if you just went to a supermarket, while hotel restaurants charge significantly more than those the locals use.
Here, our tips are simple:
- Avoid the mini bar – instead, go out to a bar or shop at a supermarket for a night in.
- Ask to get breakfast included with your room, or eat away from your hotel.
- When eating out, consider eating out for lunch rather than dinner, as menus are usually cheaper during the day.
- If the water at your destination is safe to drink, choose tap water rather than mineral water when eating out.
- If you have a kitchen on your travels, make the most of it – try to cook for a couple of nights on your stay.
4. Travel like the locals do
Rather than getting taxis and Ubers around your destination, try the local public transport networks or even walking. These are a much more economical way to travel, and it gives you a better feel for the true character of a destination.