Why do people around the world leave the comforts of their home to travel? The answers are varied but they almost always have one thing in common – the opportunity to try something new. Travelling exposes you and your family to unique cultures and pushes you outside your comfort zone. But with the costs of airfares, accommodation and tour tickets, travelling has undoubtedly become more expensive. But if all of that is still wanting you to take flight, here are some tips on how to enjoy your holiday without breaking the bank.
Choose a Suitable Destination
The French Riviera (Côte d’Azur) is a beach resort located in the Mediterranean coast of Southeastern France. It’s undoubtedly a beautiful destination and one that’s appealing to many. But it also costs significantly more in terms of airfare and accommodation.
Traveling doesn’t have to stretch your finances to the limit. Other options in the Maldives and Thailand offer similar experiences of relaxing in a bungalow and basking in the sun at a fraction of the cost. And with the amount you save, you may even be able to extend your holiday a few days longer.
Peak season is when more tourists travel, and in Australia starts around December to the end of January. If you can, you’ll want to avoid booking around this time as airlines and hotels generally increase their prices. The difference can be quite significant.
School holidays also cause a fluctuation in prices - consider taking your kids out of school for a week of experiential learning that could never be achieved from the four walls of a class room.
A more cost-effective way to travel is during the off-season . not only do you save on airfare costs, but there will also likely be fewer tourists at your destination.
Create a Travel Budget
A budget is an important part of travelling as it creates a spending plan for your money and ensures you have enough to cover all expenses. Start by creating a basic budget if you haven’t already. It should include expected expenses like airfares and accommodation.
Research your destination ahead of time to find out the costs for any activities you want to do. Then be sure to include that in your budget. Add at least 5% to give your budget some breathing room as unexpected costs will undoubtedly arise.
You can save up faster for your holiday using a high interest rate savings account. This not only means you can reach your budget sooner but you may even have a little more room to spend by the time you’re off to travel.
Compare Airfare and Accommodation Prices
Airfare and accommodation are two of the largest travel expenses. Use comparison sites to compare airfare prices to your destination. Prices vary frequently so book at the right time to maximise your savings.
Another way to save is to book a stay at an Airbnb. These options may not be as luxurious as a hotel room, but if you’re not planning to spend most of your holiday relaxing inside your accommodation, opting for Airbnb may be a cheaper option.
If you are cruising, consider the cheaper inside cabins - the price you save on your room you can spend on shore excursions and onboard activities.
Be Smart About Exchanging Currency
Exchanging money at the airport is extremely convenient. All you need to do is walk up to the currency exchange counter with the amount you want to convert and you’ll receive local currency. However, you’ll end up paying a small service fee and get an exchange rate that’s often much worse than the standard bank rate.
A cheaper way to get local currency without the high conversion fees is to either withdraw from a local ATM or exchange with your bank. Just be sure to order the local currency of your destination a few days in advance.
Buy Travel Insurance
Anything can happen when you’re on holiday. Your flights might be cancelled or your luggage might get lost on the way. Plans vary depending on the provider you choose but most cover unforeseen circumstances including medical emergencies, flight-related problems, and even personal accidents. Even if you don’t end up using the insurance, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
By Guest Blogger Alex Morrison
Penny, an avid Trip Advisor Reviewer, is the author of ITCHY FEET FAMILY. A family of 4 living in Adelaide, Australia, and taking every opportunity to travel and explore the world.