Holidays come in all shapes and sizes – but whether it’s a quick beach break or an extended European vacay, chances are it’ll be happening on a budget. The good news? There are ways to make your holiday money go further so you can do more, pay less, and still have a stellar time.
Here are our top tips for stretching your budget, without feeling like Scrooge McDuck.
1. Pick a budget-friendly destination
It’s no secret that some holiday spots are cheaper than others. So when you’re sussing out different places, do your homework. Sure, you may be able to get a cheap flight to Singapore, but will meals and accommodation blow your budget once you’re there?
Don’t forget to factor in the Australian dollar value too, and any international transaction fees and ATM fees. These sneaky fees can really add up. There are ways around this though – for instance ING Orange Everyday and Orange One cardholders can avoid ING international transaction fees and get international ATM fees rebated when you deposit your pay of $1,000 or more per month and also make 5+ card purchases that are settled (not pending) every month on your account. A cash advance fee applies for any cash advance with Orange One.
2. Keep an eye on prices
There’s nothing more frustrating than booking a flight only to watch the prices plummet a few days later. Check out Kayak which not only allows you to compare prices, but also tracks past pricing trends to indicate whether the cost of your flight is expected to rise or fall in the next few days. If you’re flexible on when you travel, then Skyscanner can help you find the cheapest dates to fly.
Sites like Expedia and Webjet let you compare prices for loads of different airlines and hotels so you can find the best deal – but watch out for extra fees that these sites may charge. If you want flexibility on your accommodation, you can also go for options that give you a free cancellation guarantee, so you can change your plans if something better comes up.
3. Take a chance
Are you the kind of person who likes an adventure, and doesn’t mind venturing into the unknown? Then you might want to consider booking a secret deal through a site like Last Minute. You’ll get enough basic info to help make a decision, but you won’t find out the actual name of your destination until you book. You could end up somewhere completely new – and the bonus is that you’ll save substantially in the process. Just bear in mind that there’s usually a no refund policy, so you need to be willing to take a risk!
4. Don’t turn your nose up at budget airlines
The growing range of destinations offered by budget airlines has opened up travel opportunities for frugal travellers, especially throughout Asia – and the service can be pretty good! Given the price difference, it’s worth at least comparing the options. For example, budget providers can offer return tickets to Sydney from Singapore for hundreds of dollars less than what full service providers charge. Singapore is also a great hub for travelling onto other Asian cities, with Scoot, Jetstar Asia and Air Asia all offering cheap flights.
5. Consider one-way tickets
Booking a return flight with one airline is the quickest and easiest option, but if you have the time, it pays to shop around. Some travellers find it’s cheaper to buy a one-way ticket to their destination, then a one-way return in local currency (but how feasible this is will depend on where you’re going).
If you’re looking at multiple stops, then booking different legs with budget airlines can also work out cheaper, you’ll just need to factor in connection times (especially if you’re using different airlines, which may be located at opposite ends of a terminal. In a massive terminal like LAX, it can take you half an hour just to walk between gates).
6. Give yourself scope to splurge on what matters
There’s no point in travelling halfway around the world if you can’t afford to do anything fun once you get there! So when you’re planning your holiday, work out what really matters to you, and allocate enough money for those things – and in turn, decide where you’re happy to make concessions. Maybe you can stay somewhere cheap, and eat like a king – or maybe you fly budget but treat yourself to an amazing tour. It’s about doing what’s right for you.
And remember another super easy way to save is avoiding unnecessary fees like ATM and international transaction fees. So if you have an ING Orange Everyday or Orange One you can avoid ING international transaction fees and get international ATM fees rebated when you deposit $1,000+ into an Orange Everyday (and from 1 March 2018, also make 5+ card purchases that are settled (not pending) every month on your account) every month.
7. Don’t go nuts buying guidebooks
The days when you needed to pack a different guide book for each country are long gone. Now you can save on luggage space and cash by being more selective about the information you need. With Lonely Planet you can now just download the specific guidebook chapters you need, at minimal cost – so you don’t need to pay for unnecessary info that may become outdated. There are also some other great online resources like Rough Guides, a site that provides key tips like travel suggestions, etiquette tips, health guides and accommodation advice.
8. Be canny about your communication
We’ve all heard about some poor unsuspecting person who’s been hit with an enormous phone bill after making a single call from overseas – and no one wants to get stung that way! So when you’re heading off, explore the options for prepaid SIM cards or even data plans from your provider at home. Using Wi-Fi can help you save on your data usage, but always be careful with this – sometimes fraudsters can set up free, but unencrypted, Wi-Fi connections to access your device and passwords. Check our blog on some of the most common travel scams for how to stay safe with Wi-Fi.
If you’re feeling really bold you could even opt to go mobile-free, and just send your loved ones an old school postcard or two. After all, a tech detox could be a great way to let go and really appreciate the place you’ve saved so hard to visit.
By thinking about all of these factors before you head off, you’ll be able to save money for more awesome travel experiences. For more information on how to save money overseas by avoiding ING international transaction fees and global ATM fees, visit ing.com.au/cards.
Rebate Offers for Orange Everyday, Orange One and Orange One Platinum customers
The Global ATM Fee Rebate Offer and the International Transaction Fee Rebate Offer will apply for the next calendar month when you perform the following during the current calendar month:
- deposit at least $1,000 from an external bank account to any personal ING account in your name (excluding Living Super and Orange One), and
- also make at least 5 card purchases that are settled (and not at a ‘pending status’) using your ING debit or credit card (excluding ATM withdrawals, balance enquiries, cash advances and EFTPOS cash out only transactions).
Card purchases includes in store credit or EFTPOS purchases, online purchases, regular card payments, payWave, Apple Pay and Google Pay transactions made with an Orange Everyday Visa card, Orange One or Orange One Platinum Visa card or Nil Interest Visa card provided with an eligible ING home loan. When using the phrase ‘settled’ card purchases in a calendar month, we mean that the purchases made on your card must be fully processed by the end of the last day of that month. Card purchases made in store or online this current calendar month which are at a ‘pending status’ and do not settle until the next calendar month do not count towards the 5 card purchases needed this current calendar month.
When determining if you are eligible under the offer, we also take into account the behaviour of any of your joint account holders or additional cardholders.
- for ATMs in Australia – any ATM fee charged by the ATM operator is rebated immediately following the transaction,
- for ATMs outside Australia – ING will rebate the International ATM withdrawal fee of $2.50 immediately after it is charged and rebate any ATM fee charged by the ATM operator at settlement of the transaction. While the transaction is pending the amount of the acquirer fee will be deducted from your available balance and will be reinstated after the transaction is finalised. ATM transactions outside Australia can take up to 5 business days to finalise, and
- for ING international transaction fees – ING will rebate the International Transaction fee (Orange Everyday) and Foreign Currency Conversion fee (Orange One and Orange One Platinum) of 2.5% of the amount of the international transaction immediately after it is charged. Merchants may charge you a separate fee for their services (which is not rebated under this offer).
If eligible, the offer applies to:
- all Orange Everyday accounts held in your name (either single or joint account), and
- all Orange One and Orange One Platinum accounts held in your name (including in respect of any additional cardholder).
The ING cash advance fee for Orange One and Orange One Platinum customers is not rebated under this offer.
This offer may be changed or withdrawn at any time at ING’s sole discretion.
The information is current as at publication. Any advice on this website does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Deposit products, savings products, credit card and home loan products are issued by ING, a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229823. ING Living Super (which is part of the ING Superannuation Fund ABN 13 355 603 448) is issued by Diversa Trustees Limited ABN 49 006 421 638, AFSL 235153 RSE L0000635. The insurance cover offered by ING Living Super is provided by Metlife Insurance Limited ABN 75 004 274 882, AFSL 238096. ING Insurance is issued by Auto & General Insurance Company Limited (AGIC) ABN 42 111 586 353 AFSL Licence No 285571 as insurer. It is distributed by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd (AGS) ABN 61 003 617 909 AFSL 241411 and by ING as an Authorised Representative AR 1247634 of AGS. All applications for credit are subject to ING's credit approval criteria, and fees and charges apply. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, Terms and Conditions, Fees and Limits Schedule, Financial Services Guide, Key Facts Sheet and Credit Guide available at ing.com.au when deciding whether to acquire, or to continue to hold, a product. Before interacting with us via our social media platforms, please take a minute to familiarise yourself with our Social Media User Terms https://www.ing.com.au/pdf/Social_Media_User_Terms.pdf.