I love to travel and I like to save too.
In fact when you visit my office in Cairns you'll find a big world map on the wall, inspiring us of new places to plan for and to experience next.
In three weeks time we'll be heading to Hawaii (Big Island, Maui and Oahu). Its going to be epic!
So to the age old chestnut of a question. How to travel and also save?
Lets start with some guaranteed fun killers to our epic holiday and memories!
- Being a 24/7 tight arse.
Penny pinching, wasting time searching between shops, restaurants, or tour companies to find the best or cheapest deal while on holidays is not only a waste of time, it also totally kills the vibe of one's holidays. Which is to have fun, personal growth and new experiences
- Rushing & trying to do to much.
Sure we want to see and experience as much as we can when we travel, however hearing people say "I need a holiday, after the holiday I've been on".
It's like they've gone to an all you can eat buffet with 60 minute seat and stuffed their faces. Then wonder why they've got indigestion!
- Over packing.
How many time have you packed, traveled and returned home with a third of your clothes you initially packed still folded and clean?
Not only does over packing lead to less space for something special you might find, you'll also have to carry more, pay more in stowage and maybe even have to buy another suitcase for all the travel stuff you've bought.
- Working during holidays.
Working on holidays is the biggest doushebag move that anyone could ever pull.
This is closely followed by posting your hourly update of holiday pics on social media. In the words of Donald Trump "Total looser".
Being a tight arse comes in at third on my list of don't do's.
- Over buying.
What happens to the useless stuff we often buy on our holidays? They clog up our shelves, cupboards, wardrobes and storage spaces. Only to be thrown out either by kids when we die, or when we we downsize in retirement, or have a gush to declutter because we got to much useless stuff.
Good now that's clear; so back to the more important question of how to travel more and save more money. .
Disclaimer. While I travel often, I appreciate we are all different and we each travel for our own reasons. This is a beautiful thing.
We're also very blessed with time, financial stability and the opportunity to travel. This makes a huge difference when planning travels, especially since our travels are planned and done without kids.
Now to some great tips how to spend less and travel more
- Have a budget and stick to it.
This rule is the cornerstone of traveling and saving money.
Our annual budget is $20,000 per year (for two adults, no kids).
Within this budget we allow ourselves to travel where ever, however and as many times, as we like. Importantly we don't spend over our budget. Period.
For those who like to save money (me) this is when the fun starts.
Because now we get to plan, research, compare and negotiate all before the holiday ahead.
We get a bonus dividend when we arrive at our destination already knowing and often already paid for our activities, transport, accommodation and more, saving us even more time and money.
- Plan and book ahead....sometimes
If you already know where you want to go and you're prepared to wait, then as deals come up you're, in the best position to take advantage of them.
For example on our dream list was to visit japan in Autumn to see the change of seasons and taste the Autumn foods. A deal came up in February for discount flights in November. A week in Kyoto and Osaka only cost us $3,000.
At other times we have jumped on a last minute deals and saved thousands on airfare, accommodation, cruises etc. The tip is be flexible and be patient.
- Fine Print within Travel Promotions
Deals are great but just like with anything they come with a caveat emptor or buyer beware. The smell test for us is "if it's too good to be true, it often is".
This said travel deals are a plenty.
We use our points to fly sometimes, access a free return flight annually with our credit card, stay at hotels (for the same price as others) include breakfasts and transfers etc.
Sometimes staying local also has some fantastic low season deals i.e. night for price of one.
In short all our penny pinching is done before our trip with the three above tips.
- On the road
Small savings can add up quickly while on holidays. Our accommodation of preference on holidays is either a serviced apartment or a hotel with breakfast included.
Staying in a serviced apartment saves us on breakfast and the eating daily at expensive cafe's. Staying in a hotel we often pack some fruit from breakfast to carry us through out the day.
We also like a drink on our holidays. So with some duty free booze, purchased online and picked up at the airport before our flight we can have a drink in the comfort of our apartment or hotel before dinner, and maybe some more on our return :) without literally pissing away our dollars
These little savings throughout our day also afford us the opportunity to spend a little more on our dinners each night.
- Transaction Fees
Paying with credit cards along the way may seem like common sense i.e. convenience and potential theft however on return home and reading your credit card statement... well get ready for bill shock.
Not only is there currency conversion shock especially if you have been in Europe, UK, Japan (because our Aussie dollar is valued less), you will experience the wonderful (not) nickle and dimming of transaction fees for each time you have paid with your card. And these can add up to additional hundred of dollars.
The same goes for overweight luggage, meals on planes, point of sale insurances, accommodation and transport.
All these can be pre-purchased before your trip and save you 3-4%+ in transaction fees, simply by being a little more prepared and smarter.If your trip cost $10,000 and transaction fees were 3% that's $300 of your money you could have spent on... well you!
Gotta go pack now. Hawaii awaits!
This post was written by Peter Horsfield, as such they are his personal views. Peter helps you to focus on what’s most important, the right strategies at the right time. To learn more about How to become Financially Independent visit Peter Horsfield Smart Advice
About Peter Horsfield
Peter Horsfield in an Authorised Representative and Investsure Holdings Pty Ltd ABN 16 050 286 630 as trustee for Horsfield Family Trust ABN 55 609 068 513 is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 097 797 049 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence No. 236523.