Traveling on a budget can feel like an impossible task, especially around the holiday season. The average Australian family comes out of the Christmas season with $1,666 in debt, making cheap holidays ideas all the more sought after.
Fortunately, with a bit of careful planning and a few tested tips and tricks, you can treat your family to a fun, affordable adventure.
Make a list. Check it twice.
There is more to a holiday than just transportation and accommodation. Petrol, airport transfers, and food are examples of other expenses that might require you to open your wallet.
Anticipating what you’ll need to spend money will help you decide what kind of holiday is realistic given your budget. Keep in mind you don’t have to travel far to enjoy a new experience—a staycation is a unique opportunity to rediscover the place you call home.
Look early and look often.
It should come as no surprise that cheap, last-minute holiday deals aren’t easy to come by. Depending on the time of year you’re planning to travel, you may be fighting with big crowds, high demand, and surge pricing for flights, hotels, car rentals, and attractions. During the holidays and other peak seasons, flight costs can jump by as much as 75%, making it difficult to justify the spend.
Getting in the habit of shopping around and keeping a close watch puts you in the best position to snag a great deal when it becomes available. Set-and-forget communication tools like newsletters and travel alerts are great hands-off ways to stay up-to-date.
Fortune favours the frugal.
Just because you’re frugal doesn’t mean you’re cheap—it means you’re resourceful. Hotel and airline rewards programs, coupon sites like Groupon, and social media promotions are all treasure troves for discounted holiday packages. Booking directly from a provider instead of relying on third-party sources is another way to potentially secure a reduced rate or multi-night discounts.
There are also proven tricks of the trade when booking a flight: for example, traveling before 8am, after 8pm, and on Wednesdays are widely known as the cheapest times to fly in Australia.
Consider the benefit of off-season travel, too. You’ll skip the crowds and the costs.
Thriftiness doesn’t stop once you’ve reached your destination, either. Choosing accommodations with kitchenettes allows you to dine at home, saving you from shelling out for pricy restaurant meals. Exploring a city by foot over hiring a taxi is another way to reap financial (not to mention physical) benefits.
There is, however, one item on every holiday shopping list whose importance cannot be understated, and that’s insurance. Proper insurance guarantees that neither illness nor injury will blow your travel budget. Head to our Income Protection calculator to find out what coverage is right for you.
Lifebroker only provides general advice, which means we haven’t considered your individual financial situation, objectives or needs. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement to understand if the product is right for your financial situation or needs.
From all of us at Lifebroker: happy holiday hunting!