Have you got a destination in mind that you just can’t wait to explore? Perhaps you’ve been working hard to accrue all your RDOs and annual leave over the past year and you’re ready to book your next holiday some time in 2017?
But there’s just one problem… your bank balance doesn’t quite agree with you.
If you’re in need of a few tips and tricks to help you get on your way without breaking bank, you might appreciate the top 10 tips for enjoying your holiday on a budget.
Pick your dates and times
While you might have your heart set on one location and work-dictated dates to work around, there are a few ways to avoid breaking bank before you even arrive:
- Pick an off-peak time – always fancied traveling to Canada? Have you considered travelling in their Autumn (Fall) or Spring? You’ll avoid the abundance of snow-chasing tourists in Winter and the crowds of high season in Summer. The weather is still beautiful and the pricing is so much better than the peak season.
- Broaden your search – pinpoint your dream destination on a map. Now slightly move your pin. Because while you might have your heart set on a major city, nearby towns often offer the same experiences and often for a fraction of the price. And you could always do a day trip on the train/bus/ferry etc.
Let your travel agent into the secret
The time to see your travel agent is when you’re dreaming about your next destination. The planning and advice starts well before a booking, and your agent can keep an eye out for specials, discounts and opportunities that will suit your trip. (so much better than subscribing to websites and trawling through hundreds of emails)
Don’t open the hotel minibar
It seems that with every new trip comes an increase in the cost of snacks and drinks from the minibar or room service. Of course, there’s no denying that the temptation for a late night wine with your partner – or friend, family member or by yourself – after a long day exploring is pretty hard to resist. But for the price of that bottle of wine in the mini bar, you can likely buy the same bottle plus your next morning’s espresso and then some for around the same price.
So you’re staying in the city and you’re planning on heading downtown to a particular restaurant or venue? Travelling is about taking in the sights and getting to really experience your destination, right? So why not skip the lofty taxi fares and leave 15 minutes early and walk to your destination? Besides, you’re on holidays – chances are there is no reason to rush!
After spending the day touring the major attractions of your destination, you’re probably ready to stop, relax and enjoy a bite to eat. But while you’re stomach might be telling you to stop at the first venue out of hunger, a quick 5 minute walk could save you on the bill and offer you an even more authentic culinary experience.
In Australia, you’ll find at most restaurants you’ll be offered the choice of still, sparkling or tap water – and the latter is free. However, it’s becoming commonplace in some destinations around the world to serve mineral water by default. Of course, if you ask as soon as you’re seated for tap water, you’ll generally be accommodated, and you might even cut upwards of $6-$8+ off your bill too.
Be food wise
From what you eat and where you purchase it to the time of day you do so, there are a number of ways to save by being mindful of what you’re consuming. A good place to start is by asking some locals – or even the concierge at your hotel – where you can find good places to eat at an affordable price. Your travel agent is also a good first port of call prior to your departure.
You might find that keeping an eye out for advertised deals or promotional nights are a good place to start – everyone loves two-for-one night, Taco Tuesdays and happy hours, right?
Of course, if you’re after an even cheaper alternative for daily meals, why not head to the local supermarket, or better still the markets, do a little grocery shopping and plan for the days ahead? A loaf of bread and a jar of spread, tinned food, sliced meats, or fruit for snacks are great as they keep well, are easy to throw in your day pack on a day trip and will save you while you’re at it!
Fill up your hire car
If you’ve ever hired a car, you’re probably well aware that hire car companies often offer services to fill the car for you after you return it. But did you know that while the advertised price seems cheap, more often than not they’ll charge you for a full tank of petrol, regardless of how much is actually left when you return the car. So convenience aside, it’s often cheaper to return the car with a full tank!
Don’t go souvenir-crazy
Yes, that’s right! While it’s one of the easiest tips to say, it can be one of the hardest to put into practice. No doubt while travelling, you’ll come across a multitude of stores or street sellers selling trinkets and gifts. And before you know it – you’ll find you’re convincing yourself that your mother’s best friend’s cousin back home really needs it.
Before you buy, ask yourself three things:
- Is this a “real” representation of the country I am visiting? Souvenirs are commonly mass-produced elsewhere, which means they probably lack the authenticity you’re after.
- Will I use it/do I need it?
- Was I looking for something like this or did I just simply stumble across it?
Book with an experienced travel agent
An experienced travel agent has the tools to find everything you’re looking for to help you plan and book every aspect of your ideal holiday. And that means the ability to figure out your budget and the right flights, accommodation, activities etc. to suit. More often than not, a travel agent can get you the same, if not better pricing than you can find on your own/online (delivered with an extra helping of insider knowledge too)!
You might also like to read more about the perks of working with an experienced travel agent.
Of course, if you’re thinking about planning your next holiday and you’re looking to work with an experienced travel agent who can deliver a tailored itinerary to suit your budget, we’d be delighted to help. You can always call us on 02 6041 5577, drop into the office at 601 Dean St Albury, or book an appointment!
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