We’re coming to the end of the year, so if you’re keen to head off on a break over the festive season (and let’s be honest, who isn’t after the year we’ve had!) we’re here to help. Check out our hot tips on the best ways to have an awesome, but still within the budget, holiday adventure:
- Go incognito – First and foremost, before you start searching online, do all your research through an incognito browser. Travel and holiday sites use browser cookies to track your searching, so the more you search, the more they increase the prices. This creates a sense of urgency which encourages you to book. If you search through an incognito browser however, your browsing will be private and they are unable to track your searching, which means you’re more likely to get the best deal available, instead of the inflated one. You can find the incognito browser by clicking on your internet options and choosing “New incognito window”.
- Contact suppliers directly – If you find a good deal online, contact the airline, hotel, caravan park or whoever it is directly, and confirm that it’s the best deal they have. You can then either book directly through them, ensuring they receive all the profit (great way to support small business) or if they let you know the online deal is the cheapest and best way to book, then you can go ahead and book online.
- Flexibility saves you – If you’re flying and you’re open to being flexible with the times and dates you fly, you can quite often save some money if you book outside of the peak times.
- Do the research – Try not to let your excitement get the better of you. Do your research first to find the best deal. Decide on the ideal trip and set aside a couple of hours to do the research (preferably together if you’re a couple) and be sure to compare the prices if you change things around. For e.g. Does it include breakfast, what’s the cost without, do you even want breakfast, will you eat enough to justify the additional cost or can you find a local café for less etc.
- Grab a deal – Check out the discount holiday sites like Groupon, Scoopon Last Minute and Wotif who all offer discounted travel and holiday deals.
- Check your phone plan – We usually use our phones a lot on holiday to do things like navigate, book things as we go or research our next stop. Ensure you have enough data to cover it so you don’t get caught out using more than your phone data plan and end up with a shocking bill waiting for you on your return home.
- Taking a road trip? Start saving your supermarket fuel discount receipts now and look for a fuel app that provides options for cheaper fuel along the road to your destination, like Petrol Spy or Fuel Map Australia.
- Avoid the driving stress – Take a Greyhound bus trip or a V-line train for something different and let someone else do the driving. Tickets will usually end up cheaper than the cost of fuel if you drive yourself and the added relaxation of not having to worry about how to get where you’re going is invaluable.
- Shop at local markets – Supermarkets are expensive, especially when you start to head to rural or tourist parts of Australia so look out for local markets and buy up big on the beautiful and fresh local produce instead.
- Food costs can add up – We tend to eat out a lot on holidays which can really blow the budget if we’re not careful. Look a little further out of the centre of town for the less touristy restaurant options and avoid the high prices. Lunch meals are often cheaper than eating out for dinner too so consider eating out for lunch and staying in for dinner. Look out for set menus and special deals and if you want to have a few drinks, choose somewhere that you can BYO alcohol because that will really reduce the overall cost of the bill.
- Camping value – Camping is a great way to get around at a low cost. You’ll find heaps of campsite and caravan park information on the WikiCamps Australia App. If you don’t have any camping equipment, I highly recommend borrowing it from friends or family to try it out first instead of buying everything straight away as this can be an expensive exercise, especially if you don’t end up using it very much. You could also head to your local Salvos or Vinnies to check out what they have as a cheaper option, or, if you have to buy new, check out Kmart, Target or BigW for some good value options.
- If Campervans are more your style – You can find inspiration here along with some great tips on ways to get a good deal.
- Get back to nature – Don’t forget, the best things in life are free. There are always great options for spending some time at a beautiful beach, taking a bushwalk or checking out our natural wonders like the Great Ocean Road or National Parks. Some parks even have downloadable self-guided tour apps, like NSW, which is a perfect way to explore our beautiful country.
- Day-trippin’ – Or, if you’ve decided to stay in town to enjoy some much-needed family time instead, no need to worry, there are some great cost-effective ways to explore where you live with this list of the best day-trips out of Melbourne .
Wherever you end up over the holiday period, we hope that you get to spend some quality time with friends and family to embrace the simple joys of the season.
Happy holidays everyone