Planning for a holiday can be exciting but it's easy to get discouraged once the costs start adding up. Here are some MoneySmart ideas to make your holiday budget go further.
How to get the best travel deals
Start your holiday planning by using online flight and accommodation booking sites that offer deals from a variety of airlines and hotels. They are a great way to shop around and compare prices.
These sites often release deals via their social media channels and enewsletters. Make the most of these opportunities by following them on Twitter or Facebook or signing up to be alerted about their special offers.
If you frequently visit the same travel booking sites, consider joining their rewards or membership program.
Save on flights
Flights are usually one of the biggest travel costs but if you can be flexible with your dates, or the time of day that you fly, you can save lots of money.
You will also save money on flights if you travel:
- before 8 am or after 8 pm
- on Wednesday (typically the least expensive day to fly in Australia)
- on public holidays such as Christmas Day or New Year's Day
- in shoulder or off seasons.
When choosing a destination, make sure you look at what local events are happening at the same time you want to go. These can drive up the cost of flights as well as everything else while you're there.
Save on accommodation
When it comes to hotels, if you find one you like but the deal on a comparison site isn't within your budget, call the hotel and see if they can offer you a better deal. They may offer a discount for staying multiple nights.
You can also save money if you're happy to consider other accommodation options. Think about booking an apartment or cabin. They are often less expensive than a hotel room. Don't forget to look up Air BnB options.
Other wallet-friendly ideas include farm stays, youth hostels and holiday parks. Often venues such as holiday parks have offers for returning visitors if you book for the same time next year before you leave.
If you live in a popular area, join a home exchange site. For an annual fee, you can list your home and gain access to a database of other members' homes worldwide to arrange a swap. You can save a lot of money this way, and you'll get a better feel for a place by living like a local.
Go with a group To take advantage of group discounts, team up with family or a few friends and go to the same destination together. For families or groups, renting an apartment or house can be a lot cheaper than paying for the same number of beds in a hotel.
Don't forget to try UBER when travelling overseas for a cheap alternative to a TAXI.