For most of us, holidays are the date circled in red on the calendar and the chance to regain our sanity and calm. Unfortunately, all too often they also leave us with an empty wallet and an aching sense of tourist’s regret.
With Easter and school holidays fast approaching, we’ve been thinking long and hard about the best ways we can help Mozonians prevent holiday debt hangovers and get the best bang for their buck, whether it be locally or abroad.
So say goodbye to regret, post-holiday financial crackdowns and costly mistakes – Mozo is here to save the (holi)day!
Before you go:
Choose a cost effective destination
Pick a cost-effective destination and watch your dosh stretch further. With the Australian dollar currently sitting strong against its US counterpart, travelling to anywhere in the USA is a clever choice. Equally, consider jetting to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos or Thailand where travelling on a shoestring is easy and a key part of the experience.
If you’re not looking to travel too far, check out popular destinations such as Bali, New Zealand or Fiji. Although they’re not really off the beaten track, many hotels and airlines offer package deals for families over holiday periods.
Pay less for travel insurance
A comprehensive policy doesn’t have to break the bank, in fact, you can get travel insurance for as little as $1 a day. If you’re looking for a free-standing policy, check out Mozo’s travel insurance section to compare a huge range of quotes from Australia’s top insurers. Our mystery shop revealed that buying through travel agents or airlines was always more expensive, so don’t just settle for the first quote you get.
Getting a policy with unlimited medical expenses, coverage of big ticket items and unforeseen events is best, so make sure you check the details of a policy before signing up.
And definitely don’t double up on costs. If you have an existing rewards, gold or platinum credit card, travel insurance could be an included perk. Make sure you check with your provider or search our site for travel credit cards.
Consider house-swaps or couchsurfing
The last few years have seen an absolute explosion of sites such as Couchsurfing.org, Air BnB and Aussie House Swap, which facilitate free or cheap accommodation for travellers. It’s a great way to meet amazing people and travel on a tight budget – just be prepared to open your own home to fellow travellers in exchange.
When you’re on the ground:
Don’t pay to access your money
Consider grabbing a prepaid travel card if you are travelling to only one or two countries. Try Get a card with competitive exchange rates, cheap top-ups and low purchase and ATM withdrawal fees. Compare and read Mozo reviews of prepaid cards here.
If you’re country and currency-hopping, try to withdraw large sums of money at ATMs, as the international ATM withdrawal fees can get up to a whopping $7. Alternatively, choose a debit card with no international withdrawal fees, such as the Citibank Plus. To find out how you you will be charge by your bank to withdraw cash while overseas and make purchases check out our debit card fee finder tool.
If you’re using your credit card overseas, just be aware that most providers will charge a 2-3% overseas transaction fee on purchases made on Visa, Mastercard and AMEX. Although this isn’t ideal, it is still better than any rate you will find at a currency conversion booth – don’t use them, ever. For the best travel money advice head to our travel money section.
Make like a local
Steer clear of tourist strips – y’know, the kind that are usually located right next to tourist attractions. Take the time to chat to locals and find out where the best places to eat and shop are.
Try to avoid high-priced guided tours. Most of the time a self-guided walking or cycling tour will cost half as much, and it will have the added advantage of allowing you to soak up the local atmosphere.
Do you have any top money tips to share? Comment below.