If you love to travel, you’ll know it can be an expensive addiction. Clients often ask us for ideas on how to cut the cost of their travel, or how to make their travel dollars go further. You could go online, but there are hundreds of ideas, and some can be a bit crazy. To save you time surfing through tips suggesting you share an Airbnb with a nudist in Paris for 22 euros a night, we’ve collated some of our top suggestions below.
Know your seasons
If there is a country or region that you want to visit, get acquainted with the seasons. Many countries around the world and some Australian states have different school holiday dates. You’ll potentially steal a bargain if you arrive just after school goes back in your destination.
Make use of technology
Sites and apps such as SkyScanner, Booking.com and Trip Adviser either provide direct access to flight and accommodation deals, or advice from others on how to find them. Sign up to travel company newsletters and social media channels to snag a special deal. If you frequently visit the same travel booking sites, consider joining their rewards program.
Save on flights
Flights are one of the biggest holiday costs, but if you can be flexible, you can save a lot of money. Consider traveling outside of business hours, on public holidays or in shoulder seasons.
Shop around for accommodation
Before booking a hotel make sure you compare prices across the online hotel booking sites and enquire directly with the hotel. Consider alternative accommodation options too. An apartment on Air B&B or a house swap could be a great way to experience life like a local and save you cash.
Eat with the locals
If you do your research, you can find little gems where the locals eat. Not only will you save money, you’ll get a more authentic experience. Alternatively, rent a house or apartment and prepare some meals yourself. Sourcing ingredients from the local markets can be a lot of fun too.
Look out for discounts
Before you leave home its worth investigating discounts at your destination. You’ll usually find you can save on tours and entrance to attractions if you purchase tickets online in advance. You’ll skip the queues too! You may also find savings by advance purchasing multi-day and combination transport passes. When you reach your destination, flick through tourist brochures for two-for-one deals and discount coupons.
Maximise your air points
It’s worth shopping around to see if you can score some free frequent flyer points. There are often specials for signing up for a credit card – some even reward you with enough air points for an overseas trip! Be careful not to allow the debt to build up though, and avoid keeping the card for longer than you need to as you may get stung by a large fee in 12 months’ time.
While it may be tempting, avoid borrowing money to fund your holiday. Interest can add hundreds, or thousands of dollars to the cost of your break. No one wants a debt hangover when they come back from their holiday. Plus it’s a fair assumption that if you’re unable to save the money in the lead up to your holiday, you’ll struggle to find the money pay it off after.
Brenton Tong, director, Financial Spectrum