6 money-saving hacks for your next holiday from financial expert Victoria Harris
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Hoping to finally take that overseas trip? The co-founder of financial-advice platform The Curve has some ideas for how to get it off the ground.
Post-pandemic travel is back in full flight, yet for most of us, embracing our freedom isn’t as simple as jumping on a plane, when the cost of everything from apples to airfares is sky high. Don’t let that make you put off holidaying indefinitely, though! Savings made on smaller items here and there can really add up, and you can get out there and see the world without it costing the earth.
1. Plan to go-off peak
Like many things in life, when it comes to financing travel, planning is key. The sooner you start, the better, because if you book at the last minute, you’ll probably end up paying more. If you can, avoid travelling at peak times like school holidays. Not only will you spend less but you’ll also avoid the crowds. Although at first glance the weather seems less than ideal during the shoulder season, if you do your research, you can make it work.
2. Consider currency
If you haven’t decided where you’re going yet, try choosing a time and a place where you’ll get more bang for your buck. If you opt to travel when the New Zealand dollar is strong or to somewhere with a weak local dollar, your money will go further. Never use currency exchange booths at airports. Their rates are usually pretty terrible because you pay for the convenience of a last-minute transaction. Instead, visit a reputable bank before you depart or when you arrive at your destination — after comparing a few, so you know a good deal when you see it and that you’re not being ripped off.
3. Reward yourself
I love saving money when I spend money! There are several credit card companies that offer rewards on travel-related expenses, including rental cars, accommodation and restaurants, and they’re a great way to boost your budget. If used responsibly, credit card rewards can really add up, and can be doubly rewarding because it feels as if you’re getting money for nothing, when you’re simply making purchases you need to make anyway.
4. Know your limits
Just like you should have a budget for your day-to-day living at home, you should have one while on holiday. A simple trick to not blowing your travel fund when you’re away is to draw out a set amount of cash each day. Stick to using only the cash you have in hand, so you don’t blow all your spending money in short order.
5. Eat like a local
We all love to treat ourselves while we’re on holiday —it’s what we’ve been saving for all this time, right? That’s true, but you don’t want to eat all your holiday money. Keep your food costs down by dining on authentic local cuisine in smaller eateries. Generally speaking, if you choose somewhere that’s popular with locals, you’ll often find great flavours, a buzzy atmosphere and better value for money.
6. Learn from experiences
As they say, “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”. It’s not the stuff we come home with but the amazing experiences we have while we’re away that we tend to treasure the most, so I recommend setting aside the majority of your budget for cultural activities. If you do splash out on some expensive keepsakes, ask at the airport whether you can get your tax back. You might be pleasantly surprised.