Living in Australia can be a bum when it comes to international travel. The cost to go overseas especially to Europe, the UK and America is just ridiculous and that is only the plane fare. Below are some tips which can help you cut the costs.
Early bird specials
One of the best ways to cut down on air plane costs is to look out for early bird specials. This is especially useful for the further away destinations like the UK and Europe. You will also find some hotels will offer discounts for booking far in advance.
Off peak travel
If you can travel at any time taking advantage of off-peak travel times is the best way to grab a bargain. It also means that your destination will be less crowded which is especially good for resort holidays. Look at travelling mid week to avoid weekend prices.
Commonly travel agents charge commissions so it is best to book directly with an airline. You may be charged a surcharge for using your credit card so see if there are other payment options.
Only for sleeping?
Unless you are on a resort vacation you probably find you are only using your hotel for sleeping and showering. If you keep this in mind you can save a load of money buy booking a hotel with lower stars or standards.
Self contained apartments
When we stay in a location for a week or more we always try and find an apartment rather than a hotel. This can commonly be a lot cheaper but you also have the advantage of saving money on cooking your own meals and doing your own laundry. If you are doing a large trip try and fit this into the middle of your time so you can wash all your clothes.
Some of the budget airlines like Jetstar and Virgin are moving into international territory so you can really pick up some cheap air fares (mainly for Asian destinations currently). Keep in mind that food and entertainment may not be included as are restrictions on baggage.
Book close to public transport
Having to grab cabs because your hotel is not near any public transport is one of the easiest ways to build up expenses. Places are often cheaper if they are further away from any key attractions but you will spend too much money getting there. Make sure you do your research to find where you are and how close it is to the places you want to see.
Find half board
This is great if you are in a resort for awhile. Many of the European destinations have an offer of half board which includes all your breakfast and dinners. And they are usually massive buffets and 3 course meals so you often find you are too full to eat lunch (or you can grab a couple of croissants or pieces of fruit from breakfast to save).
Read before you eat
If you are eating out make sure you can view the menu before you go in. This means you can look at the average prices as well as any service charges.
Travelling with kids
Keep an eye out for any specials for families. Places commonly have free board or meals for kids under a certain age which can really help you cut down on costs.
Shop around for insurance
Like all insurance, prices for travel insurance can vary greatly. Make sure you do your research on prices and what’s included. Also check whether any of your credit cards have free travel insurance on them. Commonly this is free on platinum cards as long as you spend a small portion of your trip on your card.
Know what is in your package
There are so many travel packages now which include flights and accommodation. Have a look at what it would cost if you did these two separately to make sure you are getting the best deal. Also check whether it includes most meals.
This may take extra time but investigating and booking every step of your trip can save you money than going through a travel agent. It also allows you to plan it better and know what you are getting. Ask friends for recommendations and visit lonely planet or trip advisor for other travellers advice.
The biggest mistake I always make is that I pack for every possibility, only to buy more things and then get walloped with extra baggage charges. Pack very light-you can always find cheap stuff to buy if you forget anything.
Check the fine print
Make sure you read all the terms and conditions before putting your money down. This especially goes for great deals which often have no flexibility to change them. If you are unsure what something means contact the company beforehand.