With Winter in full swing it’s only natural you are dreaming of a warm tropical island, cocktail in hand and your besties by your side or perhaps you are dreaming of green pastures and a cultural hit.
Either way the world is your oyster, but where should you go? There are a few particulars you need to think about before booking your trip like the price of accommodation, food, transport and of course currency conversion. Changes in the Australian dollar do not mean you shouldn’t book your holiday the answer is just to travel smarter by keeping an eye on currencies, taxes and withdrawing money the smart way.
Before we get you dreaming about your destination here are some smart tips that will help you to get more bang for your buck when you travel.
Make the most of travel sales and travel platforms
Follow your favourite airlines on twitter to be across last minute sales, this works especially well at the end of the year when airlines are trying to get rid of extra inventory. It’s also worth signing up for alerts on specific routes with tools like Hopper (which you can download from the app store) that way when tickets go on sale to The Bahamas in March you will be ready. If you are really flexible with flights you can use a travel hack website such as Googles powerful matrix tool
which allows you to choose a calendar of lowest fares and a specific range of dates for 30 days. I have a buddy who snagged a business class ticket to Japan for just $300!
Use loyalty programs when you travel
If you are loyal to one airline sign up to their credit card to snag perks such as free checked bags, lounge access or priority boarding all while receiving points towards your next trip! Plus hotel loyalty programs are also worth looking over, even if you don’t travel enough to get a free stay you’ll more likely be upgraded or get free Wi-Fi and breakfast in you’re a member of a program.
When your abroad manage your money better
Forget about exchanging money in Australia or at the airport, withdraw money when you get to your destination. A Travelex kiosk will typically charge you a 5% to 10% premium compared to the bank you are with. Wait until you find a major city on your travels and try and find a larger global bank if yours does not have ATMs overseas.
Now you have your free WIFI sorted, your bags checked for free and you’ve found your bargain flights where are you headed too? How about Northern Vietnam
is known as a budget destination but the region north of Hanoi along the Chinese boarder often gets over looked which is a shame because the scenery is sensational! Imagine towering mountains, temples which have been there for thousands of years and thousands of kilometres of coastline to explore. Accommodation is extremely cheap (think $20 a night), transport never costs more than a few dollars from town to town and most meals will be approximately $3 AUD. Sure you won’t be needing your hotel reward card here but if adventure if what you are looking for then Vietnam might just be the place to be!
is another great option for those looking to travel on a budget, it has idyllic islands, a rich culture, delicious food and adventures galore which is all available to you at staggeringly low prices. Despite the well-trodden routes through the country, it’s not hard to get away from the crowds, if you’re a foodies check out Nakhon Si Thammaret for some of the best food the country has to offer or if resort life is more your thing, settle in around Phukhet
and laze by the pool until you have to get ready for dinner.
For the second year running the Argentine peso has weakened against the Australian dollar making it a top pick to travel to from OZ. Couple that with super cheap flights
to South America on airlines like Qantas and LATAM and you’ll be on your way to eating empanadas in no time. My top picks to visit would be Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, Patonga and Mendoza. Put aside $60 a day for food and travel costs, accommodation will range from $20 a night for a hostel or upwards of $80 a night for basic hotel accommodation.
What about saying “Aloha” to Hawaii
? Hawaii’s six main islands offer a range of attractions including some of the words most active volcanos, epic surf, Waikki Beach and of course hula dancing. What more could you ask for? With the Australian dollar at an all-time high against the USD there is no better time to book your trip to Americas little slice of paradise. I have seen flights popping up online for $399 which is beyond cheap! Food is reasonable as well and you can easily pick up bargain accommodation depending on where in Hawaii you plan to stay.
Pack your bags and take off on an adventure of a lifetime!