How to save thousands on your summer holiday

 

Eager Australians have already locked in a summer getaway or are planning to escape for a well-earned break as travel restrictions across the country ease.

While domestically there remains some limitations on travel mainly involving Victorians, many jetsetters are keen to getaway even though they expect to pay more for a holiday this year.

Analysis from online travel website Expedia recently quizzed 1250 Australians and found:

• 39 per cent have already booked or are going to book a summer holiday.

• 28 per cent are expecting to pay more for their holiday this year compared to last year.

• 48 per cent would consider an international getaway if borders were reopen by January.

ESCAPE: Young couple withdrawing money using ATM at the airport during their travel Picture: Istock
ESCAPE: Young couple withdrawing money using ATM at the airport during their travel Picture: Istock

Here's some things to consider to keep your costs down on your next holiday.

1. BOOK AHEAD

Whether it's flights, accommodation or vehicle hire it's better to get in sooner rather than later because the closer it gets to the dates you plan to go ahead, its likely prices are higher.

Virgin Australia General Manager Network and Revenue Management Russell Shaw recommends subscribing to relevant newsletters to get the latest deals.

He also says book as soon as you can.

"We encourage our guests to book travel as early as possible to ensure they can access the cheapest fares available," he says.

2. BE FLEXIBLE

For travellers who are able to book last minute, Expedia data shows they can save between 10 to 20 per cent by booking four weeks ahead, versus booking three months in advance.

But as dates edge closer it pays to keep an eye out for offers as properties hope to fill their rooms.

"As many opt to stay domestic, availability and choice may likely be limited so if you have your heart set on a destination book it in early," Expedia's director of Australia Alex Ozdowski says.

"Be flexible with dates, with many having the flexibility to work from anywhere consider having the school holiday period or start your stay midweek where rates are usually lower," he says.

Roberto Fattoretto and his wife Frances are preparing for their summer getaway to Tasmania. Picture: Richard Dobson
Roberto Fattoretto and his wife Frances are preparing for their summer getaway to Tasmania. Picture: Richard Dobson

3. DESTINATION POPULARITY

With the international borders still closed, many hot spots around the country are in even higher demand than normal.

Ozdowski says weigh up where you are going carefully because it can result in paying higher costs to holiday in sought-after locations.

"With international travel still off the cards some destinations are expected to be high in-demand as travellers swap out their usual holiday getaway with something closer to home," he says.

"Opt for places outside of popular hot spots and where demand may not be as high."

4. TYPE OF HOLIDAY

Roberto Fattoretto, 43, and his wife Frances, 35, from Erskineville in Sydney's inner southwest, recently booked a 10-day trip to Tasmania.

Instead of staying in hotels, a more cost-effective holiday for the couple has resulted in them booking a campervan which they can sleep, eat and travel in, at a cost of about $300 per day.

"We can buy good produce from markets and cook ourselves, it's not just about saving but it's also about having a good experience," Fattoretto says.

"It's cheaper than booking a hotel right on the water."

Crown Money Management's chief executive officer Scott Parry also suggest options such as hiring a caravan to have a "holiday on a super-low budget".

"Also look at self-contained apartments, a lot of people overspend on entertainment when on holiday," he says.

"This can save you a few hundred dollars a day rather than taking the family out for meals."

ESCAPE: Young couple withdrawing money using ATM at the airport during their travel Picture: Istock
ESCAPE: Young couple withdrawing money using ATM at the airport during their travel Picture: Istock

5. PAYMENTS

Parry says if possible steer clear of racking up holiday debt on a credit card and instead pay with debit card.

"You want to be putting everything on a debit card and use it when your travelling," she says.

While for those who eventually are able to head overseas he says look at fee-free accounts so you don't get stung with hefty fees and charges when abroad.

Many banks offer fee-free deals including ING that could save you hundreds of dollars in charges including currency conversion fees and ATM withdrawal costs.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth


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