How to Make the Most Out of Your Holiday Budget
Most overseas trips surpass their budget estimates even after everything has been planned meticulously. This shouldn’t however be taken to mean that you are doomed if you are planning to travel overseas on a budget. There are a number of holiday budget tips you can follow to ensure you get the most out of your holiday without spending too much money. When planning any holiday, you should focus on getting the best value for your money and saving where possible. Here are the top 10 most important holiday budget tips to consider.
1. Go on holiday during off-peak holiday seasons
This is undoubtedly one of the most important holiday budget tips to consider. You should plan holidays during off-peak times to enjoy huge savings without compromising on quality. Making holiday bookings early makes a huge cost difference since most people aren’t on holiday. Like everything else, holiday costs are dictated by demand. When you go on holiday during off-peak times, you will save a lot of money.
2. Prepare a detailed budget and save
It’s also important to draft a detailed budged with all possible costs i.e. flight and accommodation to gifts and souvenir costs. Although most people work with rough estimates, it’s not advisable to do so since you don’t gain total control of your holiday budget. Budget estimates also encourage overspending and make it hard to make saving goals.
3. Consider using cards which offer travellers incentives
Most credit card companies offer travellers incentives such as free international travel insurance. You therefore stand to enjoy huge savings when you use your Gold, Diamond or Platinum card to pay for your travel expenses. Since international travel insurance can amount to a lot of money when travelling with your family, you can save a lot of money using incentivised cards.
4. Watch foreign exchange rates
You can also save a lot of money by ensuring you get the best exchange rate possible. Most international holiday travellers lose a lot of money by accepting the first exchange rate they get. You must monitor exchange rates constantly when on holiday to avoid paying high currency conversion fees. This tip can save you hundreds of dollars while on holiday since foreign holidays require exchanging huge sums of money.
5. Research about your destination in advance
It’s also important to learn as much information as possible about your holiday destination before travelling to identify saving avenues. You can visit travel websites and online forums to get tips on how and where to get the best deals. Sites like Trip Advisor and Yelp can help you find great attractions and places to eat which won’t break the bank.
In most cases, it’s not advisable to buy your major holiday supplies in tourist hot spots since prices are usually inflated. Doing thorough research prior to your visit will help you know where to go when you want to get the best value for your money.
6. Be inclusive
If your holiday destination/hotel offers complementary meals, accommodation for kids etc, make the best out of it. Food and accommodation costs are a huge part of any holiday budget. You should therefore be very selective. For instance, it’s important to note that lunch meals are usually cheaper than dinner. Having a big lunch and small dinner can therefore help you enjoy significant savings. You should also consider options such as preparing your own meals while on holiday to cut on cost.
7. Utilise free secure connection
You should also consider using free and secure internet/Wi-Fi instead of using your mobile data when you can to save on international data/roaming charges. It is however important to ensure you use secure connections. When using public computers you should change your passwords the first chance you have on a secure connection with a private computer. You should also avoid downloading sensitive documents i.e. bank statements.
8. Focus on having free fun
Regardless of your holiday destinations, there will always be activities you can engage in for free. These activities range from sightseeing to hiking and relaxing on the beach. Take advantage of such activities to enjoy huge holiday savings.
9. Carry a currency converter
One of the best ways of know if you are getting value for money oversees is comparing oversees prices with prices at home. Although overseas trips are usually expensive, you shouldn’t be overcharged. This is where a currency converter comes in handy. Although you might be good in math, you can’t afford to convert the prices of goods and services you want inaccurately. A currency converter will help you assess whether or not the price of goods and services is fair.
10. Don’t forget to utilise overseas tax savings
It is important to note that some countries allow you to claim part or all retail sales tax you pay as a foreigner when you are leaving the country. This incentive can offer you great savings especially if you are planning on shopping overseas. It is therefore advisable to look at what your host country offers. For instance, you can be able to claim GST refunds on some goods purchases within 2 months (60 days) of departing Australia to go on holiday. Take some time to learn about the Tourist Refund Scheme to enjoy huge tax savings.