It’s often said that travelling makes you richer. Yet after paying for flights, food, accommodation and tours, it can start to feel like the opposite.
Travelling does make you richer in so many ways, but let’s face it; it can also be expensive. The good news? With some discipline, hard work and insider knowhow, you can enjoy a rewarding overseas experience without breaking the bank.
Let’s look at some clever ways that you can save money in preparation for your next holiday, and how you can manage it effectively once you arrive.
Saving tips before you leave
First things first: how much money do you need?
Are you saving for a white Christmas in Europe? A family adventure through the islands of Fiji? Or a wellness retreat to escape the daily stresses of life? Whatever your plan, it’s important to estimate how much it’ll cost you well ahead of time. Research your significant costs, like flights and accommodation, and start a log of these estimated prices.
Once you’ve got your total ballpark figure, try your hand at these ten saving tips to reach your target.
10 ways to save for your next holiday
1. Break bad habits
Bad habits can be the main cause of reckless spending. Your second coffee from the cafe near work, the toll road that only saves five minutes off your trip, and the weekly takeaway meal might seem like small expenses, but over the course of the year they can really add up.
Make a list of these ‘non-essential’ costs and try to minimise them where you can.
2. Use technology
Technology has made it easier than ever before to manage your money. Budgeting apps can be a handy way to stay on top of your monthly expenses, and ‘round-up’ features provided by many banks can even automate the way you save. For example, let’s say you spend $4.50 on a coffee, you can automate your bank card to ‘round-up’ this purchase to $5 and put the extra 50 cents away into savings.
3. Involve the family
If you’re planning a holiday with the family, what better way to get everyone excited for the journey by involving them in saving? Make a ‘travel jar’ and encourage the kids to contribute spare change where they can, and collectively follow your progress towards your goal.
4. Track your progress
Of course, what good is saving if you don’t have a clear picture of your progress? Whether it’s a savings app, a spreadsheet or just a single bank balance you're aiming for, ensure you monitor your progress and make extra sacrifices where necessary. It’ll be worth it in the end.
5. Avoid retail therapy
For many of us, a trip to the shopping centre can be a great way to blow off steam and reward ourselves for the working week. However, retail therapy is best avoided if you’re saving for an overseas trip (after all, think of the exotic shopping you can do once you’re there!). If you find yourself swept up by endless retail sales and special offers, consider unsubscribing from shopping email newsletters that provide unwanted temptation.
6. Create a separate account
It sounds obvious, but a separate account is a no-brainer when it comes to saving for significant costs. Keeping this cash away from your everyday spending account will ensure you’re not tempted to ‘dip into’ this money. Try to find a high-interest account with minimal fees - you don’t want anything eating into your hard-earned holiday fund.
7. Wait 24 hours for nonessential items
If you do find yourself wanting to make a non-essential purchase, wait 24 hours before committing to buying. This short period of reflection might just change your mind. After all, it’s easy to feel rushed into getting out your wallet, especially because advertising can create a false sense of urgency, so you feel compelled to purchase right away.
8. Tell people you’re saving
Telling people you’re in ‘saving mode’ can be a great help in a few ways. Verbally committing to your saving can boost your motivation, make yourself accountable, and also help you overcome peer pressure spending.
9. Review subscriptions, memberships and accounts
Phone plans, energy bills, streaming services and more - all of these subscription-based costs can quickly eat into your hard-earned savings. These costs are often ‘out of sight, out of mind’, which is why it’s important to review them regularly and shop around for a better deal where possible.
10. Sell unwanted items
If you’re like most of us, chances are you’re holding onto a few unnecessary items. Whether it's clothes, cameras or that guitar under the bed, selling these unwanted products can provide a useful boost to your holiday fund.
11 ways to save money while travelling
So now you’ve saved enough money to jet off on the trip of your dreams - congratulations! But don’t let the excitement of travelling undo all of your hard work; it’s still important to manage your spending while you’re there. Here are 11 ways to save money while booking your travel and enjoying your holiday.
1. Travel off peak
Peak season is almost always more expensive than quieter periods. If you're travelling on a budget, the shoulder season can be a great time to take advantage of discounted accommodation.
Just remember to research the weather for your destination if you plan to travel outside of peak season. Weeks of tropical downpours may not be worth the money you save!
2. Shop around
Whether you're booking flights, accommodation or tours, it's a great idea to shop around for the best price. Try comparison websites, like Skyscanner, as well as researching prices directly with the vendor.
Remember to pay attention to the finer details like flight layover times and customer reviews for tours and accommodation. A discounted flight might look appealing on the surface, but that 36 hour layover might not be worth the cost.
3. Student and pensioner discounts
Whether you're a student or pensioner yourself, or someone in your travelling party fits the bill, it's worth researching your eligibility for discounted prices based on age.
4. Use coupons
You might be surprised by just how much money you can save using promotional discounts and coupons. These offers are often easily found on popular coupon websites like Groupon and Retail Me Not, and can apply to everything from tours to restaurants and accommodation.
5. Use a prepaid travel SIM
Prepaid travel SIM cards can give you more control over how much you’re spending on mobile data overseas. Using your existing phone plan can result in costly international roaming charges, so research your options before you depart.
6. See what’s free
Walking tours, cultural sites, public gardens and more - some of the most enjoyable travel experiences can often be entirely free. Do some digging to uncover free attractions in your destination, including those provided by your accommodation, like kids’ club facilities.
7. Choose accommodation with a kitchen
Eating out every meal can often be a necessity while travelling, however, it's a sure-fire way to burn through your travel budget. You can save lots by finding a hotel room with cooking facilities. Why not challenge yourself to make a local dish?
8. Take snacks with you on day trips
A bottle of water here, a packet of chips there - we often don't think about the small costs we accrue throughout the day. However, you'll find you can save significantly if you pack these snacks ahead of time, instead of buying them as you go (often at marked up prices).
9. Venture beyond the tourist areas
Local stores know that travellers aren't always this prepared and often increase their prices in tourist areas. Venture beyond the well-worn path and you'll find cheaper prices, and even a few hidden gems along the way.
10. Monitor your budget
Keep track of your daily spending to avoid a nasty surprise when you return home. Apps like TripCoin can help you to easily log your expenses and avoid blowing out your budget.
11. Get travel insurance
Whether it's a broken bone or a stolen phone, there's always room for the unexpected when it comes to travelling overseas. Unfortunately, these events can end up costing you a small fortune if you're not protected with comprehensive travel insurance.
Do you have a travel tip about saving money? We'd love to hear it! Send us an email at email@example.com and tell us more.
We won’t identify you unless you say we can, and we won’t use this information for any other purpose than marketing. If you’d like to access a copy of the personal information we hold about you, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The content of this article is general and provided for information purposes only. Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) doesn’t guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness or currency of the articles.
This article may contain hyperlinks to other websites owned or operated by third parties, or references to third party products or services. SCTI isn’t responsible for, and makes no recommendation about, the content or accuracy of any third party website, or for the suitability or performance of any product or service. The inclusion of a link in this article doesn’t imply that SCTI endorses the website or third party product/service.