One of the biggest barriers to traveling as much as we would like, other than time, is cost. Obviously right? Yes, the reality is that travel is never going to be that cheap (relative to being at home), but what you want to do when travelling is avoid a) paying over the odds for something and b) completely wasting money on something you shouldn’t. Both of which happen surprisingly often when you’re traveling! Aside from work travel, on all my other trips I plan and foot the bill for everything myself, and regardless of how many places I visit, the importance of travelling on a budget never diminishes. The more wisely you spend your money when you travel, the more places you can actually go. Australia Post have recently launched a new Travel Essentials section, a one stop shop for all things travel, and asked me to give them the low down on how I plan my trips, to save dollars while still living it up.
Travelling on time and on budget: Peony Swimsuit, Sportsgirl Hat, Daniel Wellington Watch, Coach Bag, Karen Walk Sunglasses, DIY shorts, shoes designed by me… And my mum’s amazing collection of shells.
Choose the RIGHT destination
Obviously! But in case you’re not across it, this is a major factor when it comes to saving money on your trip, and relies on a little research before you choose where to go. It’s important to understand different currencies and what they mean for you – and how that pairs with the cost of living in that destination. If you’re keen to save some coin, places like South East Asia and South America are great for exchange rate and have a realistively low cost of living so you’ll be able to live it up without spending every cent you have. If you do plan
Book flights early
I’ve mentioned this before but in my opinion, booking early is the best way to save money on flights. I always try to book as early as possible, using a compare website like Skyscanner. Where possible I also try to avoid traveling at peak holiday times, and I usually find the best fares on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. I know it’s hard if you have tight holidays and travelling at random times doesn’t work, but it’s something to keep in mind if you ever have flexibility. In the last few years I’ve also twigged at being a loyal member of an airline so that they give me better deals annnnnddd preferential treatment when it comes to booking. I love a good airline newsletter too! Not for the spam but for the good secret deals you find in them.
Think laterally about accommodation
Traditionally I’ve been all about the smaller boutique hotels when I’m traveling, and also love to use Airbnb which gives you great deals and an ability to live like a local. However, I’ve recently also signed up to many large hotel chain newsletters and often find that they have flash sales that are only for their loyal customers. Another thing I do is always (again) try to book early for hotels. If I know in advance where I’ll be going, even if the trip isn’t 100% confirmed, I’ll try book accommodation, and perhaps pay a little more to be able to cancel. For example, in December we booked this hotel in Greece, even though the trip wasn’t locked in, mainly because the price of the hotel was so cheap 6 months in advance. Fast forward a few months and the room we got is also a lot more expensive. As long as you pay a little extra for being able to cancel without a fee, you can afford to plan way in advance!
Be smart about mobile
Arghhhhh roaming. The bain of my travel existence. Cos a girls gotta be connected, but she also needs to keep those fees down. Never, ever, ever roam on your normal mobile without some sort of roaming or data set up. In an emergency it’s totally allowed (safety is more important than a few hundred dollars) but the rest of the time it pays, literally, to be prepared. So what do you do? You could get a Sim in your destination, but in my experience there’s often a few days before you get this sorted in which time you’ve been annoyingly trying to find wifi wherever you go or may have spent 92470409 trillion dollars. Be smart and get a solution before you go, an Australia Post Prepaid Travel SIM is a great option.
Cash cash money
The boring side of traveling is the fees that happen when your back is turned (or when you’ve just had a whole bottle of wine), but this is an outflow you can stem easily if you get organised. These days you can get pre loaded travel cards that have lower fees and don’t experience fluctuating exchange rates. These travel cards from Australia Post are great options. Also keep in mind that every time you get money out you’ll be getting fees, so try to get cash before you go (foreign cash can be ordered and collected through Australia Post). Oh and always pay in the local currency.
A few other of my tips?
– Do your research on public transport travel cards or daily and weekly passes before you go, they’re a great way to save money.
– Eat where the locals eat. This saves on money and gives your wayyyy better experience. As a rule? Don’t eat anywhere you can see a well touristed piazza or square. Going around the corner will always be better (for the wallet and the palette).
– And finally, some countries allow you to claim back the taxes on your purchases at the airport, meaning that bag is practically free (maybe…)
Do you have any other tips for saving money when you travel?
This post is in collaboration with Australia Post