10 ways you can save money and get the best deals for your next holiday.
Sometimes getting the best holiday deals and knowing where to save can make or break your plan for your next overseas holiday. Happily, there are many simple steps to avoid your travel costs mounting up.
Here at Crown Currency, we love money! And, because saving money means there’s more to spend, we’re all about putting it in the piggy bank.
Whether you’re exploring the globe on your own, treating yourself to a well-deserved beach break or taking the family for an unforgettable holiday, follow these top 10 ways to get the best holiday deals to make your holiday budget go further.
1. Wait a little for best flight deals
While a plane ticket is a non-negotiable expense if you’re heading overseas from Australia, doing a bit of research can save you hundreds. Shop for your ticket just like you would for any other big-ticket item. This includes:
- Finding out which airlines fly to your destination and who’s offering the best deals.
- Signing up for fare alerts on airline websites so you’re emailed when a sale starts
- Being flexible with your travel dates
- Planning your trip well in advance so you can wait for sale airfares to come up
- Using frequent flyer points even if you don’t travel much as you may be able to earn points on hotel bookings, car hire and everyday spending
- Booking ‘no-frills’ tickets and taking your own food and entertainment on board because everyone always complains about aeroplane food anyway!
- Packing light to avoid excess baggage charges
- Considering overnight flights to save a night’s accommodation
2. Travel Off-Peak
Not only does traveling during peak season increase the cost of flights, it also bumps up the cost of almost everything else, once you arrive. If you can, to get the best holiday deals, travel off-peak. There’ll also be more availability for accommodation and your destination won’t be as busy (so you won’t have to battle the crowds to get the perfect shot).
Generally, the shoulder seasons are a great option for people wanting to get the best holiday deals while the weather is still good. As a general guide, shoulder season includes:
- Europe – April to June and September to October
- Asia – March to May
- Japan – June to July and September to December
- US – October and April to May
- South America – April to May and October to November
- Africa – November to April
3. Shop Around for Accommodation
After airfares, accommodation is usually the most significant holiday expense. These days, websites like HomeAway, Airbnb and hotel comparison sites mean you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to style and price.
When shopping for value accommodation, these are some of our favourite websites:
- Agoda – Worldwide hotels with price guarantee and frequent flyer point integration
- Hotels.com & com – Worldwide hotels with a free loyalty program
- HomeAway – Stay in private homes, worldwide offerings with focus on North America
- Airbnb – Stay in private homes, best for otherwise expensive locations, limited availability in Asia
- Hostel World – Backpackers accommodation, best for Europe and Asia
Don’t forget to look at the cleaning and booking fees that are often excluded in the initial price on private accommodation booking websites. These can sometimes make home shares more expensive than regular hotels.
Wherever possible, choose the option to pay in cash, upon arrival. Crown Currency Exchange can help, here, and you will save real money. Only use your credit card to hold the booking.
4. Exchange Currency at Crown
Buying cash before you head overseas is frequently the cheapest option for your foreign currency needs. Generally, it can save you around 3.4% compared to use of currency conversion fees associated with cash (pre-paid travel) cards and credit cards. It’s also accepted everywhere, doesn’t rely on EFTPOS machines working and means you’ll never have to pay unexpected foreign card fees when using overseas terminals.
At Crown Currency Exchange, we never charge fees or commission on your foreign exchange. Not only will this keep your travel costs low, you’ll also have a set amount of spending money to make budgeting easy while you’re away.
To learn more about why cash is king for travellers, click here.
5. Eat Wisely
While it can be costly to feed yourself and your family while travelling, a few simple tricks can save you money. You can reduce food expenses by:
- Eat where locals eat!
- Sharing larger meals
- Asking for leftovers to be boxed up so you can eat them later
- Looking for deals such as daily specials and happy hours
- Visit the local supermarket to buy some snacks that travel well such as some fruits, muesli bars and trail mix to keep you going between meals
6. Know Where to Shop
One of the best things about overseas travel is being able to buy clothes, food and souvenirs that you can’t get back home. But, like anything, it pays to know where to shop!
Before you reach for your wallet or purse, do some research:
- Look online for articles and forums that suggest the best areas for shopping
- Have a rough idea of what you want to buy beforehand
- Set yourself a shopping budget and stick to it
- Check if you can buy standard items back home and if so, which is cheaper
- Sale does not mean shop!
7. Use an overseas-friendly SIM card
When traveling overseas, international roaming fees can rack up VERY quickly! Depending on your phone company, it’s quite normal to be charged for simply receiving a text message or your phone ringing even if you haven’t answered it. Not to mention the exorbitant overseas data charge bill you might come home to.
It’s a good idea to use a SIM card that’s directly connected to your overseas destination’s mobile operator’s network.
8. Invest in an International mobile phone charger
Whether it’s your first trip or your twentieth, if you don’t have an international charger yet, buy one now! We’re not talking about a country specific one either. Investing in an international charger means you’ll be able to use all your regular electronics, save money on buying individual adapters and be able to use it, expense free, on every other overseas holiday you take.
9. Travel with Friends and Family
Another great tip is to book a trip with friends or the extended family. You’ll be able to share great experiences with your loved ones, separate into groups to do different activities and split the cost of accommodation to keep your total holiday spending down.
10. Think again before hiring Taxi
Catching a taxi for your next tourist hotspot is always tempting. However if you plan ahead, options like Uber, car hires and public transport can help save a good amount. If you in a group, then hiring a car for the length of the stay and dividing the hire cost can actually be lot cheaper for everyone.
Make sure to reserve or hold the hire car in advance and use cash on arrival wherever possible to take advantage of lower conversion prices of using cash. Car-rental comparison websites such as this that can help you make the right choice.
Getting the Best Holiday Deals
As you can see, there are many ways to save money and get the best holiday deals possible! Start planning early so you have plenty of time to shop around for specials.
To get you started planning your next adventure, don’t forget to check out these great websites for the best holiday deals:
- Airfares at Airfare Watchdog
- Cruises at Cruise Sheet
- Local-style guides on things to do at Lonely Planet
And for any currency exchange related questions feel free to contact us.