Everyone loves saving a dollar or two, and one place it really pays to stretch your money further is on holidays. After all, the more cost effective your holidays are, the more of them you can afford to have!
If you’re still searching for a destination to escape to this summer, we’ve got some suggestions below that won’t break the bank, plus some smart money saving tips whatever your holiday budget.
Holidays close to home
You don’t have to travel miles from home to get that carefree holiday feeling. We’re lucky enough to be blessed with some pretty spectacular scenery here in Australia, and also some pretty fabulous summer weather.
Jumping in the car and heading a few hours away, either to the coast for a beach holiday, camping for a national park adventure, or to your nearest capital city for a city break all offer their own rewards.
Travel by car cuts the cost of your holiday, but to stretch your money even further, choose self-catering accommodation through sites such as Airbnb so you can save more by cooking some meals for yourself too.
For another idea closer to home (and even cheaper) consider a staycation – where you stay at home, but live like you’re on holiday. Think eating out at local restaurants you haven’t had the time to try, getting a massage, going to the movies, and visiting local tourist attractions.
Holidays around Australia
The number of easily accessible Australian destinations continues to grow as budget airlines like Tigerair and Jetstar expand their flight routes. And it’s not just the capital cities you can fly to on the cheap, but major tourist destinations like Uluru, the Gold Coast and the Whitsundays.
If you’d like to explore somewhere different, you can also find inexpensive flights to lesser known local destinations like Townsville, Newcastle, or Launceston, depending on where you live.
One advantage of visiting regional cities or some of Australia’s smaller capital cities, such as Hobart, Adelaide and Canberra, is that the on the ground costs – think accommodation, eating out, attractions – are often lower than Sydney or Melbourne prices.
The key to getting the best flight deals is to keep an eye out for special offers and be flexible – both on when you fly and where you go.
Another idea for a good-value Australian holiday is a short cruise. While some short cruises travel between destinations such as Melbourne and Sydney, others, called sampler cruises, depart from, and return to, the same port. In the case of a cruise the travel is part of the holiday, and the all-inclusive nature, with food and entertainment included, can make them good value. For more information, check out Royal Caribbean, Carnival or P&O.
Destinations like Fiji, Bali and other parts of the Pacific Islands and South East Asia are popular with Australian’s looking to holiday overseas – and for good reason.
With budget airlines flying to these destinations, favourable exchange rates and lower costs of living compared to Australia, you can certainly get bang for your buck in destinations such as these, though they may not be as cheap as they once were.
Also on the pocket-friendly list, a destination which offers affordability and plenty of variety is New Zealand.
For other overseas destinations it pays to keep an eye on currency exchange rates. Destinations you may have though out of reach on a tight budget, such as the US, become much more affordable when the Australian dollar is high against the US dollar. And if you can be flexible with timing, travelling in the off-season or shoulder seasons can also help you grab a bargain.
Saving for your holiday
Whatever your holiday plans, it helps to set a savings goal and get some cash behind you before you head off. With the AMP Bett3r Account you can divide your money into pay, save and spend sub-accounts, and set and track your savings goals.
Whether it’s the war on waste, human rights abuses, animal rights or climate change that is your issue of choice (or perhaps you’re concerned about all of them), more of us are taking an interest in making decisions with our money that reflect our values.