Whether you’re planning a quick getaway, a big holiday or long expedition to indulge your wanderlust, a trip abroad can be one of the highlights of the year for many of us.
When so much planning goes into setting your ‘holiday budget’, then sorting out flights, accommodation and activities, the day you get going should be an exciting event and certainly free from any niggling worries.
Saving money whilst you’re away, or rather avoiding parting ways with your hard earned dollars unnecessarily can be very important if you’re trying to stick to a budget. The great news is that there are a few key tips which you can keep in mind to facilitate the perfect stress free trip.
Here are 5 great tips:
1. Get the best deals on flights and accommodation
The best way to start on your trip is by making sure you get the best deals on flights and accommodation. It’s a fantastic idea to use a flight price comparison website such as Skyscanner or Farecompare etc. Remember to use incognito tabs to avoid cookies being stored as this information can be used in some instances to affect flight prices on journeys you regularly check back on. Once you know the specific airlines that fly to your destination check out the airline website directly as you may find a cheaper deal this way.
Also, keep your eye out for airlines that offer a price match guarantee. Jetstar, for example, will match the price and take a further 10% off of any flight you find (with a different airline) that is flying to the same destination within an hour of the Jetstar flight.
When it comes to accommodation, getting the best deal depends entirely on the type of trip you’re embarking on. For a quick week away booking your flight/accommodation together in a package can often work out to be the cheapest option. However if you are travelling with a fairly loose plan and want to book your accommodation as and when you move around I’d suggest getting in touch with your desired guest house/hostel/hotel to enquire about room prices as they can often vary from the prices you’ll find online.
2. Set a budget
Set yourself a realistic budget before you leave. It can be a very easy trap to fall into, you’ve spent a lot on flights, accommodation etc. but you reason that once you’ve arrived at your dream destination you won’t spend too much as all has been pre-planned. Well, prepare for the unexpected. If you get hit with a large unexpected expense without emergency backup funds you’ll either eat into your budget way too fast leaving yourself with less to spend for the rest of the trip, or you’ll end up having to use that emergency credit card and find yourself in debt when you return – not exactly the best welcome home. So allow yourself more than you think you’ll need and you won’t be met with any nasty surprises that could jeopardise your trip. It’s a great idea to make use of an online personal finance manager that can allow you to create and keep track of a holiday budget on the go.
3. Use a travel card
Look into applying for a pre-loaded travel card such as OzForex, Qantas etc rather than using your everyday bank card (you can apply for a travel card through certain banks). Often these cards can give you a better exchange rate, help you to avoid those pesky ATM fees and you can choose how much money you want to load onto it. That means if you do need to enter your card details onto an unfamiliar website you can simply load as much as you’ll need for the specific transaction, and rest easy that no more can be taken from your account. Furthermore if you’re embarking upon a round the world expedition and find yourself in a new country needing to withdraw cash fast, you can do so worry-free. Often your normal bank card will be blocked if used in another country without notifying your bank first. If this happens you’ll be left slightly stranded, especially if you’re in a remote location where receiving a new card from the bank could be tricky.
4. Research your destination
Find out the best modes of transport, whether you’re getting in a taxi that should be on the meter or with a pre agreed fare, using a public bus or train, or hopping into a tuktuk or rickshaw, knowing roughly how much you should be paying can save you a lot of aggravation when trying to get around. Similarly it’s a wise idea to find out how much you should be paying for food, whether you’re planning to visit street vendors or up-market restaurants, it can be great to have a point of reference for food prices. This will not only allow you to accurately pre-budget for your trip, but it also makes sure you’ll get the most bang for your buck avoiding overpriced venues. Similarly you should look into the prices for the local tourist attractions and excursions to ensure that you don’t fall victim to any kind of price scams whilst away.
5. Tailor your insurance
Make sure you’ve put yourself on the best possible insurance policy that is well tailored to the trip you are taking. Although you might end up spending a little bit more it’s best to read all of the fine print and cover yourself for every conceivable possibility – if there’s even the slightest chance that you’ll be undertaking some obscure extreme sport or activity get yourself covered to give yourself complete freedom and peace of mind. Chances are you’ll be lucky and won’t need to make a claim but it’s far better to rest easy knowing that you are always protected and that way you can kick back, relax and most importantly have fun!
Do you have any other tips to add to the list? Please share in the comments below.
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