December 18, 2017

5 Tips for Sticking to Your Holiday Budget

The thrill and excitement of visiting a new country and experiencing new cultures and environments is priceless. An overseas trip is generally not cheap although there are travel agencies and websites that offer travel packages that will fit most budgets. Cheap holiday destinations include India, Bolivia, Cambodia and Bulgaria. How to stick to your holiday budget can be difficult as travelling to a foreign country can force you to spend more than what you intended.

When you go overseas, the airfare costs serious money and the length of the flight may make you consider extending your visit. However, last year’s travel promos may not be so affordable this year, so, planning is very important if you want to avoid unnecessary expenses and grab every opportunity that can help you save money.

It’s all about timing

Timing is the most important thing to consider. Plan your holidays for an off-peak times for big savings. Travelling midweek is cheaper than weekends and it is more pleasant because airports are not so busy. Early holiday bookings also save money because most people are not yet on holiday. You can visit and compare travel websites for promos, and choose the best deal for your budget.

Cards with incentives

You can enjoy travel rewards from your credit card company such as free flights or flight upgrades. These incentives can definitely save you money especially when you pay for your travel with your Gold, Diamond or Platinum card.

Watch foreign exchange rates

Save money on your travel by taking advantage of the best exchange rate. Some international travellers lose money by rushing. Use a currency converter app available on your phone.

Research your trip in advance

Do your research before travelling. Learn about your destination in advance to identify savings avenues and set expectations. This can help you put your budget in place. Watch out for travel promos. Travel websites and forums provide tips on getting the best travel deals.

Get travel insurance

You need travel insurance if you’re going overseas. This will cover you for risks that come with travelling such as loss of luggage, delays, injuries, and even death.

Do you have other ideas on cheap holidays and how to stick to your holiday budget? Share your tips in the comments section.

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What is an Overseas Working Holiday?

Going on a holiday is an exciting affair. Exploring new places and cultures is always an enjoyable experience, whether you’re a solo traveler or with friends. But of course, traveling costs money, and it can be expensive. The good thing is, there are many ways to have cheap holidays that are still fun and filled with adventure.

If you’re from Australia, consider going on an overseas working holiday. This provides you an opportunity to immerse yourself in different cultures and explore local lifestyles. With an overseas working holiday, you can travel and earn at the same time. Every year, thousands of young Australians go on an adventure through an overseas working holiday. For those who are 18 to 30 years old, the Australian Government has reciprocal working holiday programs with many countries.

The United Kingdom, Canada, as well as Japan are some of the favourite destinations of young Australians who take overseas working holidays. Australia also have reciprocal working holiday arrangements with Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Malta, Taiwan, Republic of Ireland, Republic of Cyprus, Hong Kong, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Republic of Korea, and the Netherlands.

In general, going on an overseas working holiday enables you to:

  • stay in the arrangement country for a year.
  • work for a specific period for your travel funds.
  • study or train for a specific period.

Obviously, there are minimum requirements to be met for each program. You must:

  • have an Australian passport.
  • have enough funds for the first part of the holiday.
  • complete health and character checks.
  • be between 18 and 30 years old when you apply.
  • have no dependent children who will come with you.
  • have a return ticket or enough funds to buy one.

Australia has a great healthcare system. However, this doesn’t mean that when you go on an overseas working holiday, you no longer need to get a travel insurance. When you’re out of the country, the Australian Government will not help you in case you need medical treatment. In other words, you will be in-charge of covering all medical bills and other expenses, as well as the evacuation to Australia if necessary. That’s why it’s important to get travel insurance.

Are you up for an overseas working holiday? It comes with some requirements, but it can surely be a memorable experience. It can be a low-cost holiday too, if you intend to work to supplement your travel funds.

Got other ideas when it comes to budget holidays? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Top Websites to Follow for Cheap Flights

If you’re into budget holidays, you’re surely on a constant lookout for cheap flights and travel deals online. Well, we’ve got you covered. Here are websites that feature inexpensive airfares. Check them out and you may find some great offers for your upcoming low-cost holidays:

I Want That Flight

Get the best deals out of hundreds of airlines with I Want That Flight. There are no booking fees, and with Price Alert, you will get notified through email for flight price changes. It also searches for the cheapest outbound flight from your location.

STA Travel

STA Travel has been booking affordable tour packages for the youth since 1979. It offers Multiflex passes that allow you to make changes to your flight dates for free. Students can avail special discounts on airfare and items from partner retailers. Get the cheapest price or you’re guaranteed $1000 credit to your next trip.

Lastminute.com.au

Spend less on booking your last-minute holiday flights and tours with Lastminute.com. You can book now and pay later at the hotel. And with Secret hotel deals, you can stay at top hotels at cheap rates. Cancellation is free.

BYOjet

BYOjet provides the best deals on travels, discounted flights and hotels. Their Price Match guarantees that you get a cheaper airline fare or receive a travel voucher. They also have a rewards program that lets you earn travel deals.

Skiddoo

Get the best travel deals on domestic and international travels with Skiddoo. Compare airfares around the world with ease and enjoy the best deal. The website allows you to have your price range and change your flight times to your preference. Price Promise will certainly get you the cheapest flights. And with Skiddoo Flight Explorer, it will be easy to search for your next flight.

Cheap Flights

Book with Cheap Flights and enjoy your travel that suits your budget. You can search and compare hundreds of airlines and travel sites for the best flights, car rental, hotel, and holiday packages. They also have a free newsletter subscription to offer you great travel deals. Read tips and reviews from travel experts to help your search for trusted airlines and travel agents.

CheapOAir

Save money on cheap flights and travel packages with CheapOAir. You can get the best price guarantee for domestic and international travel destinations. Get instant updates on travel discounts and cheap airfares.

Got other ideas related to cheap holidays? Share your tips in the comments section.

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The Pros and Cons of Using Couch Surfing while Travelling

If you’re into budget holidays, one of the main things that you may be concerned about is accommodation. Even staying at hostels, which are a lot cheaper compared to staying at hotels, can be expensive if you’re on a week-long vacation. It would be great if you can stay somewhere free of charge, right? That may be the answer to travelers especially those who go for cheap holidays. Well, you can actually sleep at a stranger’s house for free while on vacation. It’s called couchsurfing. There’s a hospitality and social networking site that serves as a portal for people to stay at another person’s home and/or offer their home for travelers for free.

As with every type of accommodation, couchsurfing comes with its own share of pros and cons. To help you decide if it meets your travelling needs, here are the advantages and drawbacks of couchsurfing:

Pros

  1. One of the obvious advantages is that it’s free! Just imagine how much your savings would be if you opt for a couch while travelling. As for the host, it’s a good opportunity to help other people who want to visit their country or area.
  2. People on budget holidays can further increase their savings when they get helpful insights from locals. Since your host is a local in the area, he/she can give you a lot of tips on where and what to eat on a budget, how to commute, where to go, what you must see, and what to avoid.
  3. Couchsurfing is a community of like-minded people. This is perfect for those who love to travel and meet other people, and immerse themselves in different cultures. If you’re that type of traveler then you may want to consider this accommodation.

Cons

  1. Safety can be an issue. Staying at a stranger’s house does sound like a dangerous thing to do, especially if you’re traveling to a new area. And it’s not just an issue for travelers. Even hosts can be at risk by letting strangers stay in their homes. However, the couchsurfing website has a verification process in place. For additional peace of mind, travelers and hosts can leave references about their couchsurfing experiences.
  2. Privacy is another consideration. If you’re staying at someone else’s house, chances are, you will not have the same privacy as when you’re staying at a hotel, for instance. This may be an issue for other travelers.

Do you have other cheap holiday tips? Share your ideas for budget holidays in the comments section.

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Everything you need to know about travel insurance

Travel insurance is an essential part of any trip. Even if you’re budget-conscious and are into cheap holidays, the peace of mind and protection that a travel insurance can provide are priceless. Should an unfortunate thing happen while you’re on vacation, your travel insurance will be there for financial and/or emergency assistance.

In this article, we’ve rounded up several things that you need to know about travel insurance:

There are two types of travel insurance policies

  1. International travel insurance when travelling outside the country, and
  2. Domestic travel insurance which is purchased when you’re traveling within your country of residence.

Understand what’s covered

As with any other document, make sure to read the Product Disclosure Statement carefully before signing the travel insurance. The PDS covers the definition of terms, benefits and exclusions of your policy.

Some of the factors that affect the cost of the travel insurance include:

Holiday destination

Hospital bills may be more expensive in other countries. For instance, a travel insurance is more costly for those who are going to Europe, compared to those who are traveling to Vietnam.

Length of the trip

In general, it will be more expensive for people who will go on longer trips.

Activities that you plan to do

Certain activities such as snorkeling or bungee jumping may be covered automatically, while those with much higher risk such as skiing or deep scuba diving may not be part of your cover, unless you pay extra premiums.

Your age

In general, older travelers tend to make claims from an incident while on a trip.

Pre-existing medical conditions

Check with your insurer if your pre-existing medical condition, if any, will be automatically part of the coverage, or if you need to pay extra premiums.

Report any incident as soon as possible

If you lost some items or had a medical situation, take action immediately. This is important since you need the police or medical professional to respond to your needs right away. Also, the sooner you get a police report or medical certificate, the better as it is needed by your insurer.

Know how to file claims

File the necessary paperwork as requested by your insurer. Paperwork includes receipts and other documents so make sure to keep your records of ownership of items that may get lost or damaged during your trip.

Whether you’re into cheap holidays or have more than enough funds to have luxurious vacations, it is essential to get a travel insurance. You’ll never know what can happen to you and your belongings. It’s better to be safe and prepared especially when in a foreign country.

Got other ideas on travel insurance and cheap holidays? Share your tips in the comments section.

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Top 10 Budget Travel Bloggers to Follow

Looking for cheap holiday ideas? Go online and you’ll find a wide selection of information sources. From videos to Facebook pages, you’ll surely get amazing insights for your next vacation. There are also numerous travellers who document their trips through blogs. Some are into luxurious getaways while others travel on a budget. If you intend to go on budget holidays, check out some of the famous budget travel bloggers to follow:

Kash Bhattacharya

Go on a low-cost holiday without sacrificing luxury or style.  Just take a look at the Budget Traveller blog and Instagram page of Kash Bhattacharya.  You’ll see great photos and learn tips that you can consider on your next holiday.

Positive World Travel

Anthony and Elise Reeks are the travellers behind the blog called Positive World Travel. With their guides, articles, photos and videos, you’ll surely learn a lot.

The Broke Backpacker

In this blog, professional adventurer and online entrepreneur Will Hatton inspires people to hit the road and discover what the world has to offer. It offers useful information on how to go on a cheap holiday without losing the essence of what traveling should be.

Frugal First Class Travel

Go on a more meaningful trip with your budget in mind by taking inspiration from Frugal First Class Travel, and you may get some amazing perks in the process.

Nomadic Matt

Get practical tips on how to save money before and during your holiday from Nomadic Matt.

Our Oyster

Worried about currency exchange and other travel-related incidents? Our Oyster offers practical tips such as how to avoid bank fees and keep your luggage secure.

Budget Travel Talk

Jan and Marty have been a couple for more than 30 years, and are the people behind Budget Travel Talk. Learn how to manage your travel costs and have amazing budget holidays.

YTravelBlog

This blog is another proof that going on cheap holidays can be done as you share life-changing experiences with the people you love.

Rocky Travel

Go on a trip in a frugal way and still enjoy some luxury on things that are worth it. Get a lot of travel tips from Rocky Travel. This blog focuses on trips for solo and budget travellers. Read the posts and learn a thing or two about getting the best value for your money.

Young and on a Budget

Amy shares not only her budget-friendly trips but also DIY projects, recipes, and restaurant reviews.

What can you say about these travel bloggers who are into cheap holidays? Share your ideas in the comments section.

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Top 8 Budget Holiday Ideas

Wouldn’t it be nice if we can go on a holiday every so often? But of course, a lot of things need to be considered. Going on a holiday entails careful planning and obviously, money. With expenses on accommodation, transport, food, tours, and other essentials, it can be expensive.

Don’t worry. With some research, you’ll be able to find fun and cheap holidays for you and your family or friends. Here are several ideas on budget holidays that you can consider:

1. Plan early

If you start planning for cheap holidays as soon as possible, you will have enough time to look for great deals on flights, accommodations, and tours. With peak seasons in mind, you can consider the option of scheduling your holiday during off-peak months which will dramatically reduce costs.

2. Get social

Most airlines, hotels, and travel agencies offer discounts and promos on certain months, so make sure to follow their social media accounts so you don’t miss out on these deals for budget holidays.

3. Be flexible on travel dates

Transportation usually accounts for a major chunk of your holiday budget. For flights, being flexible on your travel dates can help cut costs. For instance, you can travel on public holidays, during off-peak seasons, before 8AM or after 8PM, or on a Wednesday when airfare turns out to be the least expensive.

4. Take DIY tours

Instead of booking a tour operator, why not do the itinerary yourself? It may take time and a lot of research, but this will help reduce your trip expenses.

5. Take advantage of free local attractions

Cheap holidays call for free tourist spots. Whether it’s visiting museums and parks, strolling at the beach, or taking part in a local event, you’ll find several activities and things to see that will help save you money in your chosen destination.

6. Go with a group

Another great idea for low-cost holidays is joining a group. Many travel agencies offer discounts for big groups. As for the accommodation, you can rent a house that can accommodate a big group. This can be a lot cheaper compared to booking the same number of beds in a hotel.

7. Consider house swaps

If you happen to live in a popular area, you can join a site dedicated to home exchange. You can add your home to the list and check the homes of other members from around the world. Find one that is located in the area where you want to visit and arrange a swap. Not only will you be able to save money, you can also have a good perspective of how living in the area looks like.

8. Think local

Holidays don’t have to mean going very far away. You can visit other areas within the country and still have an amazing experience without breaking the bank.

Do you have other ideas on cheap holidays? Share your tips in the comments section.

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How to Save Money on a Road Trip with Your Friends

Road trippers cut out a lot of expenses in Australia. In this day and age it’s expensive to fly whether you are travelling domestically or internationally. As the airline industry continue to add fees for the most trivial things it only makes sense to take a road trip as opposed to flying. However, even though not as expensive, road trips can get pretty pricey too. If you want to save some money on your adventure and have cheap holidays, you might what to consider the following penny pinching tips before setting off.

Advanced Planning

This may sound like common knowledge, but you will be surprised at how many people just wake up one morning and decide to go on a road trip without any planning. Failing to make a plan can cost you time and money. Before you get on the road, research your destination, cheap accommodation deals and the best route to get there. Take a GPS and a map before you set out.

Save on fuel

Some fuel stations in Australia are more expensive than others, before you leave find out where the cheapest filling stations are on your route. If you own a credit card that awards cash back on fuel purchases, use it.

Another handy tip to save on fuel is to drive at the legal speed limit, when you speed excessively your vehicle uses more fuel. Speeding also increases the risk of expensive tickets, so regardless of fuel efficiency it is always a good idea not to speed.

Have your car serviced

Before hitting the road, schedule a tune up and get your tires checked. By making sure that your car is in good condition before you begin your travels you will avoid breakdowns and costly repairs while on the road.

Eating out

You will find plenty of chain restaurants during your road trip which makes it easy to grab a meal that you are familiar with. Before your trip, start collecting discount coupons which will enable you to save money on each meal.

Make packed lunch

You don’t need to eat out all the time, carry a cooler and pack it with foods that you can make on the go such as sandwiches and handy snacks like peanuts and breakfast bars.

Daily deals

Once you have established your destination and route look for daily deals in the locations that you plan on visiting. This way you can save money on local attractions, activities and food.

Gone on a road trip recently and got tips to save money? Comment below.

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6 TRICKS TO SAVE MONEY AND TIME ON CAR RENTALS

A family vacation is a great escape from day-to-day activities at school and at work. And while holidaying with the family is already a fun experience, imagine doing it with your friends as well. As they say, the more, the merrier. It will surely be a memorable time for everyone.

Of course, traveling costs money. Sometimes, it can be really expensive, but it shouldn’t be the case. Going on a family vacation with friends can be done without leaving a hole in your pocket. Here are some simple tips on cheap holidays and why holidaying with friends is a good idea:

Planning early is key.

It has been said over and over again and yet some people still find themselves getting frustrated when planning a family vacation because they keep putting the planning stage off. Before you know it, you only have a few days and there are no more deals to save money. Plan early to take advantage of cheaper airfare and tours.

Have more flexibility on travel dates

Airfare takes up a large chunk of your travel budget. You can save money by being flexible with your travel dates. Even the time of your flight can make a difference. For instance, flying on a weekday, before or after 8PM, or on public holidays can be much cheaper.

Go online for family holiday deals

When planning a cheap holiday, spend some time online and check deal websites that offer a wide range of low cost holidays for family and friends. Or better yet, sign up for their email newsletters. While you may get annoyed by the numerous emails on deals and alerts, this is a good way to stay in the loop so you don’t miss out on travel deals.

Friends can share with the expenses

One great thing about going on a vacation with friends is that they can chip in for just about anything. From your accommodation and food to transport and tour packages, you are more likely to save some cash by having a few people to share the expenses with. Another advantage of holidaying with friends is that you can take advantage of group discounts, whether in tours, accommodations, or transport.

Consider off-peak seasons

You can save a lot of money just by choosing travel dates at the end of a holiday, for instance. You can also expect higher prices during weekends so if you can, consider travelling on weekdays.

Choose serviced apartments or holiday houses

Skip the hotels. Instead, opt for accommodations where your family and friends will feel at home. With a serviced apartment or holiday house, you can cook meals which is way cheaper compared to eating out. This will save you money while on vacation.

Book an accommodation that is close to where you want to go

Transport costs money, so it may be better to book accommodation that is near to where you plan to go during the trip. Having easy access to different tourist sites can make a big difference to your travel budget. It saves a lot of time, too.

Go for tour packages

 At a glance, package deals are expensive but if you’re with your family and friends, these offer better value for your money, from airport transfers to meals and transport costs. It can also be an ingredient to a stress-free holiday since everything will be taken care of.

Look at budget-friendly activities for kids

Theme parks are greatly popular especially among kids, but tickets can be expensive. To save money, look at activities that are both enjoyable and much cheaper, if not free. National parks, adventure playgrounds, museums, and bike tracks are sites that can be explored by kids. Beaches are also great destinations that don’t cost as much compared to theme parks, and kids and adults alike can surely find something to do while at the beach.

Head to the local supermarket for food essentials

Know where to shop so you can cut grocery costs. Instead of going to the mall, consider buying food items at a local store which offers items at much lower prices. If you’re planning to have a drink or two, save money by buying a few drinks at a local bottle shop, rather than spend a lot in a bar.

Low cost holidays with family and friends are possible if you plan early and know where to look. These are just some of the numerous ways to go on a cheap holiday in Australia or abroad. It may take some time and effort but it will be worth it once you see that you’ve kept the travel costs down. Bear these simple tips in mind and you’ll be surprised at how much money you can save for your vacation. Spending time with your friends is a lot more fun, too. You can save money and at the same time, have an amazing vacation with friends

Know other budget holidays tips for families who love to travel? You can share your ideas in the comments section.

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