Having a holiday and some relaxation time away from work does not have to cost a fortune. Having recently returned from our trip to Hawaii it inspired me to share some of my money saving travel tips.
It can really pay to have a bit of flexibility in terms of the dates that you travel. Even the time of day that you fly can have a significant difference in the price that you pay for flights.
You can often get some great deals in the shoulder or low season. I managed to score 40% off our accommodation in Hawaii by booking online during a Click Frenzy special.
Some other sites that I have used in the past are Groupon, as they often have package deals that are great value.
I also like to compare the cost of hotels at booking.com since they have a massive range featured on their site. And they have a best price guarantee and no cancellation fees so they have become my go to website to book through.
My husband’s parents recently came to visit us. We live in only a two bedroom place so with the kids there is no room for visitors to stay with us.
The previous time they stayed they rented out a hotel room which cost a few hundred dollars a night. This time they decided to stay at an AirBnB place which was a third of the price of a hotel.
Plus it had the added bonus of being in the suburb we live in rather than a 20 minute drive away.
Save on food
One of the major expenses that can quickly sneak up on you when you are on holiday is the cost of eating out every day.
If you were to eat out as a family of four for three meals a day the cost can often be well over a hundred dollars a day.
A good option can be to rent a place that has a full kitchen so that you can buy groceries and prepare the bulk of meals in your room.
On our recent trip to Hawaii we wanted to ensure we ate at least one meal a day in the hotel. Because it did not have a functioning kitchen we needed to think outside the box.
We decided breakfast was the easiest meal to eat in our room so purchased a $9 toaster from Walmart and bought some bread and yogurt to eat each morning.
This worked out far more cost effective than if we had gone out to eat breakfast each day.
Use free WiFi
A lot of hotels and cafes these days offer free WiFi. So to save on the cost of paying for overseas data roaming I just keep my phone in aeroplane mode the whole time.
So I can still access the internet via the WiFi and can also make phone calls to people I might need to stay in touch with, either via calling within Facebook Messenger or using the Viber App.
Hire a car for next to nothing
Having worked in the car rental industry before I had to include this one. Often car rental companies will find that they have an influx of vehicles in one location but they need them somewhere else.
So to save them the cost of needing to put the car on the back of a truck they instead offer a vehicle as a relocation special.
Often these can be priced as either free or a couple of dollars a day. You can find these deals just by doing a simple google search for relocation rentals.
In general, the catch is you will need to go against the flow of the normal way people would see an area.
For example, this is really popular in a self drive country like New Zealand. Most people start in Auckland and drive to Wellington to catch the ferry across to the South Island. So the cheap car rental is usually from Wellington instead. So it can mean you need to plan your trip accordingly.
Travel hack free travel with your credit card
I would not recommend this to people that do not have a good handle on their finances and have credit card debt.
But if you feel like you have a fairly decent handle on your money, using a credit card to earn points can be a great strategy.
We use our credit card to pay for most things. As a result I am able to travel to the ProBlogger conference that is coming up next month in Brisbane for free.
I had enough points to pay for the flights and accommodation whilst I am away.
It pays to shop around for the card that will offer you the best rewards for your circumstances, as some of the annual fees can make any savings not as worthwhile.
Explore more of your local area
You don’t need to go far to feel like you have had a break. We are lucky enough here in Australia to have so many beautiful places to explore.
So you could consider a weekend away just an hour or two from home where you can take your own car to save on the cost of an airfare. Find a nice little AirBnB place and enjoy a few days break.