Monday, 07 March 2016
Posted by Kelly Emmerton
Planning a trip for your Easter weekend? There’s no better way to shake off the humdrum of working life, but travel can get expensive very quickly. So, whether you’re taking a mini-trip to Fiji or going on an all out expedition across Europe, we’ve got some top tips to help you travel smart and make the most of your holiday budget.
The magic of spontaneous travel might be alluring, but from choosing a destination to parking at the airport, being prepared pays this Easter. Know your holiday budget before you even start - and then you can start finding cheap deals on everything from rental cars to theme park tickets by booking and pre-paying online.
For example, if you’re parking your car at the international terminal in Sydney for a week, you could save around $385 by pre-booking online. Plus, by booking and paying for the big things in advance, you’ll have a better idea of how much of your budget is leftover for spending money while you’re away.
When you plan your holiday budget, don’t forget to check out the foreign exchange rates for your destination to find out just how much your Aussie dollar is really buying you. This could work in your favour - at the moment Aussie $1,000 will buy you as much as $1048.40 in New Zealand - or it might put a huge dent in your budget - that same $1,000 will get you about $496.60 British pounds. It might even change your mind about where you’re heading to!
We all know that travel insurance is one of the most important things you can pack on your holiday, right? Right. But don’t just let your travel agent sell you on their latest must-have travel insurance recommendation, because chances are, that’s just the one they’ll earn a bigger commission on. You’re usually better off doing it yourself - for example, you can use Mozo’s free travel insurance search tool to find cover for a week long trip to the UK for as little as $29.02.
A lot of us are so used to the convenience of credit and debit cards that we don’t think twice before taking that handy piece of plastic out of our wallet. But that could be a big mistake while you’re overseas on holiday. Mozo’s Fee Finder shows that most card providers will hit you with a 2-3% surcharge for foreign transactions, not to mention a fee of around $5 each time you use the ATM.
To avoid this, grab yourself a prepaid travel card as part of your holiday planning. Not only will this allow you to skip the conversion fees, because the money on the card has already been converted, but you can also lock in an exchange rate to make budgeting easier and avoid market fluctuations.
It’s no secret: tourist traps are the worst - group tours are crowded and overpriced, the food is inauthentic and overpriced, the souvenirs are mass-produced and, you guessed it, overpriced. That’s why they’re called ‘traps’.
So to avoid the high price tag that comes with being a tourist, live like a local instead. Take yourself on a walking tour of the city, or use public transport. Chat to locals and find out where they like to eat and shop. Besides saving you money, this could lead to some of the best travel experiences you’ll ever have. For some of our favourite affordable ways to enjoy local hangouts all around the world - from Zabar’s Deli in New York to fortune-telling at Hong Kong’s Temple Street - check out our best $20 I’ve ever spent series.
So what are you waiting for? Pop over to our travel hub for more great money saving ideas for your vacation.