HOW TO PLAN AND SAVE FOR YOUR PERFECT HOLIDAY
I often get a lot of emails from you guys asking me about how you can save to travel. Like you, I need to work and put my savings aside when I want to go on a holiday. My recent trip to Iceland was no exception. When the team at People’s Choice Credit Union recently asked me how I financially plan for the perfect holiday, I had to admit to them it took months of preparation and organisation to ensure I had enough money to cover every expense.
I am well aware not everyone is as prepared as me. Not everyone is debt free, and not everyone has the time to organise their savings before a holiday. In fact, I know some of you choose to go on holidays at the last minute, which I love! With this in mind I have come up with a few tips on how to plan and save for your perfect holiday for both the novice overseas traveller and the seasoned overseas traveller.
NOVICE OVERSEAS TRAVELLER 1. My first tip on how to plan and save for your perfect holiday is to set small goals in the lead up to your holiday. For example, put aside $1,000 every month or $250 each pay. 2. Need new clothes for your trip? Check the conversion of your currency against your destination – it might be cheaper for you to pick up new clothes on your trip! 3. When I go overseas I like to draw out large sums of cash, but this can be a little dodgy carrying so much cash. I also noticed when I was in Iceland it cost me more to withdraw cash in comparison to paying directly with my card. So do your research and look at your options. You can now get pre-paid debit cards and travel specific credit cards. Keep an eye on transaction and ATM fees, and always bring more than one card. Safety in numbers! 4. Plan where you want to visit and what you what to do when you get there. Although, you don’t want to waste too much time on the ground finding things to see and do so spend the time on your flights catching up on reading your Lonely Planet. 5. Do your research before you go to find out roughly how much accommodation, food and activities cost. Paris in France and Reykjavik in Iceland are really expensive cities, but Barcelona in Spain and Hong Kong are generally more affordable for the traveller. Knowing this will help your budget! 6. Put your savings into a high interest earning account – every extra cent counts! 7. Do extra shifts at work, get a second job or sell your unwanted belongings on Gumtree or eBay. 8. Catch the bus or walk to work instead of paying for parking – this will not only save money but you’ll also increase your overall health and fitness, win win. 9. Pack your lunch every day, don’t buy coffee or cut back to one cup of coffee every couple of days, and limit how often you dine out. You’ll be blown away at the extra cash you can save by making these small changes. 10. If you really, really must go on that holiday next week and your savings aren’t looking too flash, you could get a personal loan or credit card. Just remember not to spend too much so you aren’t paying for your holiday years after your holiday ended!
SEASONED OVERSEAS TRAVELLER 1. Do your research and book early. For us younger folks, travel agents can be a little daggy but I always book my flights with the likes of STA or Flight Centre,letting them spend time searching for the best deal for me. 2. Organise an automatic direct debit to deposit money into your travel savings account. That way you aren’t tempted to spend it. 3. I always find it helps to break my holiday budget into a daily amount. When I was in Iceland, I budgeted $80 per day. It helped to keep my spending in check. 4. I get to travel a lot with my job as a travel blogger and now more than ever I understand the importance of accumulating frequent flyer points. They are worth their weight in gold! 5. Whilst I wouldn’t encourage overspending, it is really important to have a credit card for hotel bookings and emergencies. Even if it’s just a small amount, at least you have a safety net if you need it. 6. Turn off your mobile data before you leave for your holiday and buy a pre-paid SIM card in the country you are visiting. Do not pay for international roaming, it is super expensive! If you don’t want a SIM card, don’t worry – many places have free wifi you can use. 7. I know I say this a lot but do not travel if you don’t have travel insurance. Someone wise once told me – if you can’t afford travel insurance then you can’t afford to travel. 8. Even if you’re not leaving for your holiday for a few months, if the currency conversion is good – buy up! 9. Visualise getting on that plane every time you want to splurge before your holiday.
This article is written in collaboration with People’s Choice Credit Union. Terms & Conditions apply to any products you consider.