22nd October, 2011

5 Ways to Save on Your Next Holiday

Australians love to travel. With the availability of cheap domestic tickets and specials, there’s no reason to put off your next beachside or big city holiday, even if you’re on a tight budget. Use these five tips to keep to your budget without compromising on quality and luxury.

1. Catching the Specials

Catching the specials in time can help save you lots of money on flights, accommodation, and packages. Booking very early in advance – as much as 11 months, according to travel agents – can help you secure some of the cheaper tickets. For accommodation, check online. For popular locations such as Surfers Paradise, accommodation can be booked out during peak seasons so it’s always a good idea to book well in advance where possible.

If you’re planning a holiday last minute, the fact that you’re booking late may be no barrier to getting cheaper rates. Some airlines will offer last minute specials to fill under-booked flights.

Ideas for catching the specials include:

  • Using smartphone apps to track specials. There are many apps for tracking and booking flights, so be sure to download one that suits your needs.
  • Use fare comparison sites to find the cheapest tickets. In addition to giving you quick access to the right information, comparison sites can make the flight booking process a lot more manageable.
  • Avoid travelling during the peak travel seasons. Stay open to travelling at different times if possible. Peak travel season flight prices can be significantly higher than off peak prices.
  • Sign up for alerts on fare comparison and carrier sites. These are an easy way to keep track of what’s available and take advantage of specials quickly.

2. Going with a Package

Going with a package can help you save a considerable amount of money, especially if you’re travelling overseas. Packages can include flights, car hire, or specials such as restaurant vouchers or day trip discounts. Remember, though, that discount packages are usually easier to find for couples or families than solo travellers.

3. Choose a Low Cost Destination

Australia is abundant with travel destinations and there’s no reason why your next trip can’t be an interstate. Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, the Hunter Valley, or the Barossa Valley are some of the most popular local destinations to visit (or revisit). Consider a luxurious beachside break staying in one of the Surfers Paradise apartments or a short weekend break to one of the big cities or rural winery retreats.

For overseas travellers, Central and South America and South East Asia offer some exciting and very cheap cost-of-living destinations. These include Bolivia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia.

4. Travel with Others

Travelling in a group is another great way to save on your next holiday. If you’re the sociable type, sharing expenses for items such as accommodation and car hire can keep you within your budget. Travelling with others can also allow you to take advantage of group package tours and provide you with a group of people to share your holiday experiences with.

5. Don’t Forget about Your Memberships

If you’re looking to save, don’t discount your memberships. Car insurers, credit card features, membership discounts for professional groups – these are just some potential sources for great discount rates. You can obtain better rates for car rentals, dining out, or admission to facilities and attractions.