Ever gone on holiday and been terrified of how your credit card is going to look by the end of it? Or just been desperate to get away but not sure how you can afford it? Well worry no more – we’ve got some easy money saving tips and tricks for cheap holidays that will help you save money on your next trip.
Timing is everything
If you want to travel in the middle of the peak season then flights and accommodation usually aren’t going to come cheap – unless you are organised enough to book well in advance. A good option for a budget holiday is to plan your trip in the off peak season. If you’re after a beach holiday in the middle of winter, remember it’s peak season in tropical North Queensland and the Pacific Islands. But it’s off-peak in Asia, so now’s the time to think about a holiday to Phuket or Koh Samui.
Get the best flight deals
Always do your homework to make sure you’re getting the best flight deals, and use comparison sites to check if there is another flight that will get you to where you want to go for a cheaper price. Remember though that some of the budget airlines won’t be listed on sites like Flight Centre or Webjet, so you may need to check the airline websites directly.
Save on accommodation
Accommodation often takes the biggest chunk out of your travel budget. Skyscanner is a great website that summarises all the best deal and airbnb is a good option to keep the cost down anywhere in the world you want to go.
Depending on where you’re going, don’t forget to check out options at caravan and holiday parks – many of these have self contained ensuited cabins that let you get away but keep the cost down. If you’re travelling without kids, another option to check is the local hostel, and at Couchsurfing you can get absolutely free accommodation and meet some interesting people along the way.
For some of us, one of the best things about being on holiday is the opportunity to try food you wouldn’t normally eat. For others, it’s simply the fact that you can get a break from the kitchen for a week or two. But eating out can add a whole lot of trouble to your credit card bill so our top tip for saving money on food is to eat in for breakfast and lunch, and for the odd dinner or two as well.
If your resort has breakfast included, try eating towards the end of the breakfast service so you feel fuller for longer – a late breakfast often means you skip lunch because you’re just not hungry. Keep a few snacks in your room for a mid afternoon hunger-buster and the only meal you’ll need to spend money on is dinner. Splash out for a few nice resort dinners but also check out other options – eating where the locals eat is bound to save you money on holiday!
The cost of alcohol can send your travel budget into absolute chaos if you get into the habit of ordering drinks by the pool, aperitifs at the bar and wine with dinner. Keep the cost down by bringing your own and enjoying those pre and post dinner drinks in your room.
Discounts are everywhere
Once you know where you’re going, make sure you search for discounts at that location. Sites like Groupon, Living Social and Spreets are good options to sign up to – just enter the location you’re visiting then check your inbox for the best local deals around. With up to 70% off local restaurants, tours and activities, it’s worth doing this well in advance.
Check out the freebies
A quick online search will show you what’s free on your next holiday – just enter “best free things to do in <location name>” for some great advice and tips on free activities. Once you’ve found your freebies, do the search again but remove the word free – you’ll bring up a list of paid activities, many of which are well worth spending a little of your budget on.
There really are endless ways you can find to save money on your holiday, but here we’ve given you a few ideas to grab yourself some cheap travel. If you really need a break but still think you can’t afford it, why not check out our flexible mini-loans and find out how easy it is to get some extra cash for your holiday. Once approved, we can usually get a payment into your bank account within 24 hours so start planning your winter break now!