5 Tips for Holidaying on a Tight Budget

by - 9:08:00 PM

A trip away is something that we all deserve to be able to do. Many of us are living on a tight budget from day to day and it can be hard to find the money for a holiday, but that shouldn't mean you don’t get to have one. Follow these 5 tips for holidaying on a tight budget and your dream destination will be closer than ever.

Book in Advance

Unforseen or unplanned expenses are the killer – having to fork out for last-minute transport, accommodation and other activities when you’re all out of options means that you could end up paying a premium out of desperation. The best way to avoid nasty surprises is to plan everything to the letter before you even leave your house, and have everything booked in advance.
Flights are a no brainer, but things like accommodation and transport at your destination (cabs, trains etc) should also be pre-planned wherever possible. Make sure you know exactly where you’re going, what you’re doing, where you’re staying etc before you leave, so that you don’t end up stuck somewhere, having to fork out a high price just to get your holiday back on track.

Avoid Peak Seasons

It’s amazing how much money you can save simply by planning your holiday a week or two later or earlier to avoid peak seasons at your destination. Most flights, accommodation, tours and other activities charge a higher price during peak tourist seasons, so make sure you do your research and avoid these times to make your budget stretch further.

Start Saving Early

Most of us are already on a tight budget, so trying to save a large amount in a short time is probably not practical.
If you don’t already have a budget, plan one. It’s worthwhile getting help from a financial planning service. They can help you take a good look at your finances and recognise how to get the most out of your money. Fox Symes is a great example, they provide thousands of Aussies with financial help each year.
You’ll also need a safety buffer in case of unexpected expenses, so if you’ve got any credit card debt you should make a special effort to get rid of it ASAP – a credit card is invaluable in emergencies, especially overseas. You should investigate how to consolidate loans to help you pay off any personal debts faster, or at a lower interest rate. Debt consolidation can also combine your payments so your debts are more manageable, and you’ve got fewer payments to remember while you’re away.

Don’t Fear the Cheap Options

There’s nothing wrong with choosing to stay at cheaper accommodation or avoid expensive restaurants, just remember what it is you want out of your holiday and make sure that’s what you’re focussed on.
For example, staying at a backpacker’s is a great option if you’re only going to use it for sleeping while you spend the rest of your trip sightseeing, plus you get to meet other travellers with their own hints and knowledge. Choosing market stalls for food instead of fancy cafes is often the best way to sample authentic cuisine. Travelling by bus is much cheaper than flying and you get to see much more of the landscape and local culture. Don’t be afraid of the cheaper options.

The Road Less Travelled

Try to stay away from the main tourist hubs. In a lot of places, you’ll find that prices are higher where there’s high tourist traffic as the goods and services in those places are aimed toward wealthy travellers out to spend their cash on a good time. Instead, take the road less travelled, where life is a little more authentic and prices aren’t jacked up for tourists. A great way to do this is to read backpacker’s forums and connect with locals. You’ll save money but your experience will be more immersive too.
If a holiday is what you want, don’t let money stop you. Plan your budget, get your debt under control, book your holiday and enjoy the success of a unique experience that won’t bust your bank account wide open.

Katie is a Freelance Writer from Brisbane, Australia, who writes for many leading news sites and blogs. She knows that holidaying on a tight budget is hard, but provides these tips to make things easier.

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