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7 travel saving tips to save yourself a fortune

·Contributor
·5-min read
Back view of parents holding the hands of the child and going with suitcases to board the plane
Google is your best friend when it comes to trying to find the best travel deals available. (Source: Getty Images/iStock)

After more than two years without travel, borders are now open and many people are itching to get on the move.

Despite the financially challenging two years, 36 per cent of Australians plan to spend more on travel in 2022 than they did pre-pandemic.

Read more from Emily Chantiri:

But for those who aren’t so flash with the cash, here are seven tips to get the best deals available.

1. Research

Ben Hall from DealsAway.com has spent a lifetime of travelling and his biggest tip for getting the best deals is to do your research.

“Google is your best friend when it comes to trying to find the best travel deals. The more you can spend time researching and planning, the more likely you are to find the best deal which fits in with what you’re hoping to experience,” he said.

Hall recommends creating a spreadsheet of your holiday to-do list. Include price and add-ons to make your decision making even clearer.

And, if you’re considering a package deal, look carefully at the inclusions which can really make a difference.

“If there are two deals at the same or similar price, but one of them offers breakfast every day along with airport transfers, tours, massages or drinks packages, then you need to factor this into your decision. These inclusions can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars in added value.”

And Allana May, chief marketing officer at Luxury Escapes agrees.

She said one of the easiest ways to save money when travelling is through booking deals that have great inclusions.

“Instead of being unsure of how much breakfast will cost each day or how expensive a couple of cocktails will be, when you book stays that have high-value inclusions you can budget clearly from the get-go and ensure you remain stress-free.”

For example, Luxury Escapes currently have a deal for seven nights valued at $5,750 but selling for just $1,999, which is a saving of 65 per cent. This includes daily breakfast, two dinners, airport transfers and more.

2. Currency exchange made easy

For those who are travelling overseas and want to save on exchange rates, one travel app worth trying is the Revolut travel app or card which has been rated five stars by Canstar.

A Revolut's Standard plan is free to sign up to, and users can exchange up to $9,000 a month without any fees (except during market weekend hours).

And because Revolut uses the real exchange rate known as the interbank rate, users aren't paying for hidden markups either.

The app allows you to set up an account in minutes, and you can order a virtual or physical Visa card to spend in over 130 currencies.

The Revolut Visa card is compatible with both Google Pay and Apple Pay, so travellers can set up an account and start spending right away.

Some of the travel features include:

  • Fee-free foreign exchange at the real interbank rate

  • A multi-currency account which can instantly buy, hold and sell 27 currencies.

3. Look for last minute deals

Mark Cantoni and Ryan Hanly from Australian tour group Travello, an online experience booking website, are both avid travellers who have plenty of advice on travelling cheaply.

When it comes to travel, if you book last minute, there’s always a possibility that you will get a great discount. Some companies will even start offering last minute deals a month or two prior to your desired departure date.

4. Book in advance

Cantoni and Hanly suggest that another way to save some cash is to book flights between four months and three weeks in advance.

Unlike accommodation, tours and activities, when it comes to air travel, it’s best to plan ahead.

Image of Jetstar plane tail on cloudy background
Booking either far in advance or at the last minute could save on airline ticket costs. (Source: Getty)

5. Rethink your travel days and times

The duo also said that if you’re willing to travel during off-peak season, on weekdays, or on holidays where other travellers are less willing to fly, you can often get tickets for a lower price.

6. Multi-day tours

Multi-day tours are the ultimate way to see more for less, and with help from experts like at Travello you can save even more on a multi-day adventure.

7. Contact the accommodation direct

Lastly, one from this writer is a tip I have found to be unbeatable when travelling with a number of people or groups.

And, that is to contact the accommodation of your choice directly and negotiate a deal based on the number of rooms.

I’ve done this many times when travelling with groups or family members.

For example, during the last Christmas holidays on a trip to Nelson Bay in NSW with some family members, we booked four rooms and negotiated a price and saved almost $600 per room.

If the accommodation of your choice doesn’t give you a discount, then go elsewhere as most providers will see the benefit of booking a number of rooms at once.

You may have to put down a deposit, but the savings are worth it.

Also, importantly get in early, months ahead if possible to save.

And don’t forget your travel insurance, because, as the old adage applies, if you can’t afford travel insurance, then you can’t afford to travel.

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