Holidays can be expensive but they don’t have to break the bank. Here are 5 ways to save money while on holiday!
1. Save Money with Self-Contained Accommodation
There are lots of different styles of holiday accommodation and you should choose whatever best suits your budget, destination and travel circumstances. Choosing options that have their own self-contained facilities will provide you with more flexibility and end up saving you money.
A few things to take into consideration when looking for holiday accommodation are:
- Will you have access to kitchen facilities? Having a kitchen means that you aren’t forced to eat out every meal of the day. Not only will you save money on meals but it’s nice to have the occasional home cooked meal when you’re travelling.
- Will you have access to washing facilities? There is nothing worse than running out of clean clothes and having to spend precious holiday time hanging out at the laundromat waiting for your clothes to wash and dry. Having easy access to a washing machine is not only more convenient but will help you save money.
- What is your method of transport while on holiday? If travelling by car ensure that parking is included in the cost of the accommodation. If using public transport make sure that you are located close to a well serviced bus stop or train station.
Think about planning your itinerary so that you are staying several nights in the one location. Not only will it make for a more relaxing holiday but it will also save you money. You can often get a cheaper rate if you stay at least 2-3 nights and even cheaper if you take advantage of their weekly rate.
2. Save Money On Food
Food can be a major expense on a holiday that often isn’t budgeted for. There are plenty of ways that you can save money while on holiday but still enjoy yourself>
First of all, no matter how good it looks, don’t buy that expensive all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast. You can really save money on your daily food expenses by looking at other options for breakfast. This is where the kitchen in your self-contained accommodation comes in handy. Buy some fruit, muffins, juice and even bacon and eggs and make your own breakfast for a fraction of the cost. Even if you only have a small kitchenette there are still plenty of options, a few bakery items, individual servings of yoghurt and juice and you have yourself a tasty continental breakfast.
If it turns out that the buffet breakfast is included in your accommodation package then go for it, enjoy!
Another way to save money while on holiday is to have a picnic lunch rather than buying food at a cafe. Whenever we go on a road trip we always pack a small picnic blanket and picnic cooler bag. Cooler bags come in lots of different sizes, colours and styles but generally have cutlery and plates in one section and a separate section for keeping food chilled. You should select a soft bag that can be packed away in your suitcase when your holiday is over.
Purchase supplies for your picnic at a local grocery store or pick up local produce at farms or roadside stalls. If you pack an ice brick, then you will be able to keep your food chilled all day.
Purchase multi packs of biscuits and juice so you have plenty of options for cheap snacks on your holiday.
Zip-lock bags are a handy item to take on holidays. Items like large packets of biscuits can be purchased and then packed into smaller daily serves to keep them fresh. Zip lock bags are also useful to making your own trail mix if you are going hiking.
A combination of chocolate, nuts and dried fruit make a tasty high energy snack.
It is always nice to treat yourself to dinner at an expensive restaurant while on holiday and isn’t the whole point of a holiday to go out and enjoy yourself? You can still eat at expensive restaurants and save money at the save time, you may just have to be flexible as to when you eat. Restaurants often offer a considerable reduction in price if you eat in the middle of the day when they are quieter rather than in the evening.
3. Save money with Free Activities
Going on holidays doesn’t always have to be about visiting theme parks and other expensive locations. There are always lots of free activities that you can do and still have fun.
- Walk around the city and admire the local architecture
- Visit the local botanical gardens
- Visit the local markets
- Go hiking
- Investigate Self Guided Walking Tours where you can download an audio tour to listen to on your phone.
- See if your holiday destination has a volunteer guide service?
Tip: Do an internet search for ‘Free things to do in [holiday destination]’
4. Travel Off-Peak and Save Money
The timing of your holiday can really have an impact on the cost you pay for both air fares and accommodation. It isn’t always practical, especially if travelling with school age children, but if you can try to:
- Avoid travelling during the school holidays of your home country.
- Plan your holiday so that you avoid school holidays or public holidays in your destination country.
- Try catching mid-week flights.
- Catch a late night or early morning flight as they will be cheaper.
Tip: The timeanddate.com website keeps track of holidays worldwide.
5. Do Your Research
Spontaneity has its charms but you have a greater chance of being able to save money while on holiday if do your research beforehand.
- What is the exchange rate of the country you intend to visit? Is there a cheaper location you could visit instead?
- Does you destination country offer Tourist Passes? These can provide considerable discounts for public transport and entry into attractions.
- Plan your daily activities based on geography rather than zig-zagging back and forth across town. This will save unnecessary travel time and costs.
- Does you holiday destination offer free transport for tourists? Our home town of Brisbane has a free inner city bus service as well as a free ferry for tourists. Click here to find out how to explore Brisbane on a budget with a Free CityHopper Ferry.
- Investigate the bank fees involved with using your credit card overseas. Consider getting a Travel Card prior to going on holiday.
- Investigate the free wi-fi hotspots on offer at your holiday destination.
- Shop around for travel insurance.
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Do you have any tips to save money while on holidays? We would love to hear about them. Leave a comment below.