The pandemic has seen a lot of families tightening their belts financially. It’s also made it impossible to travel abroad, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing when you’ve got kids. A road trip is an excellent opportunity to make lasting impressions and reconnect with the family. Plus, when you’ve got the whole of Australia to potentially visit, creating memories doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are five simple tips for planning and budgeting for travel that will help you manage the cost of Aussie trips.
1. Avoid credit card debt
If you are concerned that the cost of your trip will exceed the budget, then try spreading your expenses across the year. Don’t rely on credit cards to cover the additional costs of taking a break with the family. While the lure of the credit card can be strong in the heat of the holiday moment, it is best avoided for long term budget health. Interest rates for credit cards are far higher than alternative forms of borrowing. You could save in advance of your trip or apply for a travel loan instead, which will make money much easier to manage. Planning ahead with this kind of holiday loan can give you and your family the peace of mind to truly enjoy your time away.
2. Save on travel with a road trip
Let’s face it, no matter which Australian state you live in, there’s no great need to fly far from home. You’ll never run out of interesting, fun things to do – and flying interstate represents a considerable chunk of the cost of any domestic trip, especially when you’re a family.
Holidaying within driving distance of home can give you the chance to check out attractions along the way, stop at lookouts, take advantage of photo opportunities, people watch and learn about different ways of life within your own state.
3. Get the kids involved and find free stuff
Planning a trip is also a great time to get the kids involved. Give them some input and make holiday planning fun by letting them help find things to do and destinations. Concentrate on free activities (like where kids eat free) – it’s never too early to teach the kids about money and budgeting, so set them some challenges.
Start planning your trip around the events and locations you don’t want to miss, and then allow plenty of time for things you discover after you arrive. That way, when you find something great, you won’t need to drag the kids or yourself away.
Look for vouchers, visit attractions at off-peak times, and search out family-friendly offers. With a bit of research, you won’t need to cut back on the fun to reduce holiday costs. Check out what’s on offer in your state, and then don’t hold back:
- South Australia with the kids
- Ten Free Family activities in Perth
- Explore the Northern Territory
- Queensland with kids
- Places where kids eat free in Sydney
- Family activities in Victoria
- Tasmania for families
- Canberra and the ACT with kids
4. Keep accommodation costs low
After travel, accommodation is a close second when it comes to budgeting for travel with your family. You can avoid the worst of that by planning carefully. For a start, it’s generally cheaper to stay in the country than the city, so look to stay off the beaten track and explore. You can use public transport to access the city for activities and sightseeing.
If you want to cut back on costs without compromising the quality of your stay, consider booking through the YHA. You’ll find a family-friendly base and excellent advice about the surrounding area.
Often, booking well in advance can save you heaps on accommodation, but booking last minute on sites like lastminute.com.au can turn up some fantastic deals too.
5. Self-cater and save money on food and drink
Take advantage of the on-site cooking facilities where you’re staying. You can save money by shopping at local supermarkets and cooking your own evening meals. Pack an Esky each morning full of nice things to eat on days out and avoid paying high prices for food and drinks.
When you do eat out, seek out where the locals dine and delve into regional dishes. Ditch the fast-food joints on the highway and drive into town instead. Eating out is a great way to explore a location, find out about cheap things to do, and even hook up with other travelling families.
This is a sponsored post by Savvy.com.au