2018 is almost upon us, and with the New Year often comes resolutions. Of course, at the top of most people’s bucket list are usually two very contradictory goals. Firstly, more travel. And secondly, save money. So how can you make the most out of your travel money? To ensure you’re financially ready for your next trip; and to ensure you make the most out of your savings whilst still seeing as much as possible; here are a few tips that may help.
How to make the most out of your travel money?
Look for travel deals
There are a bunch of travel websites available to help you compare basically everything you’ll need to pay for on your trip. If you’re after cheaper flights then look at an aggregate website like SkyScanner or Expedia. If you’re after cheaper accommodation then you can make the most of packages available through your flights. Other sites such as Groupon sometimes offer discounts of up to 65% off, so it’s definitely worth doing your research before you leave so you can save some cash for your trip.
Avoid the airport counter
Of course the norm is to get off a plane in a foreign country and want to take out cash straight away so that you have it on-hand, but resist the urge. Exchanging money at a currency counter in a major airport or highly tourist-heavy area can be expensive and have unfavourable exchange rates and fees. This means you get less bang for your buck and can end up being worse-off than if you went somewhere else. A little tip: casinos often have the best rates because they expect you to spend the money there, so if you’re around one, give that a go.
Don’t just go with your credit card
Often it can be easy to just take a credit card overseas and expect that to be enough; but there are plenty of fees that come with using a credit card; and it’s likely you’ll be paying surcharges left, right, and centre. Instead, plan ahead, and well in advance. Your bank or provider of choice may have to mail your card to you; and this can take up to a few weeks so don’t leave it until the last minute to arrange this.. A travel-friendly credit card is good to have, but also look into a travel money card with multiple currencies (if you’re heading to multiple destinations), or a pre-loaded debit card. There are plenty of options so think about it carefully.
Think about the time you’re leaving
If you go overseas during the peak period (December/January or June/July); sometimes you can end up paying heightened prices for your flights and accommodation.. For example, heading to Europe over the Christmas period costs far more than if you were to visit in April instead. On the flip-side, travelling during off peak periods can save you a fair amount. The same goes for a trip to Times Square for NYE.
It’s also important to plan and book far in advance. The closer to your departure date, the higher the prices climb. Typically, according to recent research from finder.com.au; the best time to make an international booking is around 17 weeks before your flight.
So when you’re jumping on those New Year’s resolutions and ticking a new destination off your bucket list, make sure you plan ahead. Your hip pocket will thank you for having enough foresight to prevent unnecessary additional costs.