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BSB 806 015
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& My money

Stretch your travel budget further

Two people sat on loungers on a tropical beach

No matter whether you’re off on a hiking adventure, or relaxing by a poolside escaping the daily grind, it’s helpful to know how to travel on a budget. Even if you’ve been saving, there are ways to make your travel budget work harder for you, and pack even more in.

How to travel on a low budget

Here’s how to make some simple savings, for more fun in the sun:

The world is your oyster

The excitement of finding a holiday destination is half the fun. But when it comes to choosing, make sure you’re thinking about the full picture. It can be easy to be lulled into flight deals to exotic places, but consider the accommodation costs when you get there. Likewise, an overwater bungalow deal on a remote island may seem enticing, but could travel or food costs blow your budget?

Make sure to take advantage of amazing deals and offers, but be savvy while you spend, and keep your savings happy.

Travel agent vs DIY?

With so much information available from comparisons sites to reviews, is it better to plan yourself, or use a travel agent? Ultimately, it depends on your trip. Travel agents can give you advice on flights, accommodation and activities, and are usually able to unlock deals or bonus nights not available to the public, so there are savings to be made when you're travelling on a low budget.

However, if you’re after off-the-beaten-track experiences and authentic accommodation, it could pay to plan yourself. From free walking tours to locals expeditions, you could make savings by missing tourist hotspots. Comparison sites also offer you flexible cancellations, should a spontaneous decision change your trip.

When making the decision between using a travel agent or doing DIY, bear in mind the possibility of something going wrong whilst you're travelling. It can be a costly exercise if you're not familiar with resolving issues of cancelled or missed flights.

Research is key

Depending on the type of holiday you’re jetting off on, you’ll want to spend some time doing some research. Look up the sights to see, places to eat and places to stay, so that you don’t miss any must-dos.

Then it’s time to think about saving for your holiday. Make sure that you’ve got enough money to cover all the things you want to see and do in your plan, and then look for the areas you wouldn't mind cutting back on. It may mean a cheaper hotel one night to fit in a pricey tour, but it’ll be worth it when you can experience it all.

While you're there

The most important thing to know if you’re jetting overseas is the exchange rate. It could be smarter to take cash with a good exchange rate to avoid being stung while you spend. Try to minimize card purchases and ATM withdrawals, as you could see fees for purchases add up quickly.

Make sure to keep your money safe, and only spend at reputable places.

Keep on top of talk time

Everybody’s been there, turning on Google Maps when they’ve taken a wrong turn and got lost on a stroll. But turning on your data or making lots of calls to the family whilst overseas could bring about big costs when you get home.

Your phone provider will usually have a package designed for when you're travelling, but also consider hiring a secure, portable Wi-Fi device. They usually cost the same or less than a roaming package but with a much higher data limit. That way you can stay in touch easily, and slip it in your bag to connect to the net or Google Maps when you get lost in the back streets.

Your holidays should be just that, a holiday. So to minimize the stress and set yourself up for success, it can pay to get your travel budget sorted before you go. When your dollar is working harder, there’s no need for you to.

Take a look at more hints for saving for a holiday and travelling.

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