Updated: Aug 5, 2019
Are TV travel documentaries not close up and personal enough for you? Would you prefer to actually be there, immersing yourself in the environment, amongst the people, eating local delicacies, but you’re not sure if your budget can take you further than your lounge room?
An overseas holiday doesn't have to be outrageously expensive, especially if you follow these money saving tips. You may be surprised how far your money can take you.
Research your options
• Shop around. Go online and find the best deals without leaving your mouse. Seeking expert advice from a travel agent could also save you time.
• Consider a travel package which includes flights, accommodation and meals. Often packages are cheaper than purchasing each component individually.
• If you're on a tight budget, choose a destination that doesn't have a big impact on your budget. South East Asia, New Zealand and the South Pacific are cost-effective destinations for Australian travellers.
• Consider choosing a venue that offers free activities, such as an island resort.
Time your travel
• The weather doesn’t seem to follow the same patterns these days, so travelling off-season may be a good option to save on flights and accommodation and still enjoy good weather.
• Plan your trip well in advance and book early. The closer you get to your departure date, the more expensive travel costs are likely to be.
• School holidays coincide with higher prices, as well as bigger crowds. If you don’t have to travel with children, steer clear of these times.
Save money on flights
• Make the most of discounted flights but check terms and conditions carefully. “Discount” airfares have “add-ons” such as paying for seat allocation and luggage which make the promoted fare much higher.
• Subscribe to the airlines’ “special deal” emails and act fast. There are restrictions on travel dates, but the savings can be extraordinary if you’re flexible.
Be budget savvy with accommodation
• Check out discount travel websites. Type “discount travel” into your favourite search engine. The choice is astounding - but stick to the more well-known and reputable sites.
• Rent a fully-equipped holiday home or a serviced apartment rather than staying in a hotel. Airbnb has become a popular choice in recent years.
• Consider staying several nights in one location to take advantage of discounted weekly rates or deals like “buy five nights, get two nights free”.
• Better still, arrange to house-sit or house-swap at your holiday destination and your accommodation could be free! There are many websites available offering these services.
With these money-saving tips, the most expensive thing you’ll do for your next overseas trip is renew your passport!