How to stretch your holiday money

It’s been a good five years since the value of the Australian dollar packed a hefty punch when it came to holiday-spending money.

If you were travelling overseas between 2010 and 2013, our currency was able to buy wads of US dollars, as its value tracked above the Greenback.

Since then, it has all been downhill. The Aussie dollar has not managed to buy more than 80 American cents consistently for a while, and currently, it is trading in the low US$70-cent range.

You may have less overseas spending power with the current exchange rates than previously, but there are ways you can still stretch your holiday money.

Begin by shopping around for the cheapest fares on aggregator websites such as Skyscanner, Kayak or Google Flights. With the latter, you can set an alert to let you know when prices fall. With all three, you can also search for hotels and rental cars.

If you don’t mind your inbox becoming somewhat cluttered, you might consider subscribing directly to airline websites. That’s a relatively headache-free way of finding out as soon as a good deal is announced.

When it comes to travelling around or between cities on most continents, a handy platform is CombiTrip. This journey planner searches for itineraries worldwide, allowing you to compare travel options including public transport, flights, coaches, trains, taxis and more. Just enter any location for the start of the journey and a destination, and objectively compare all your travel options based on an entire itinerary from door to door.

Hopper is an app to help you to navigate public transport around the world.

Accommodation can be trickier if you enjoy your creature comforts and want to avoid hostels. Fortunately, there are umpteen apps and sites for booking accommodation. Here are 15 listed by the online site Best. The ones that will yield the cheapest hotels are those that offer last-minute deals at ‘shortish’ notice.

Alternatively, you might get a good deal from an accommodation sharing platform such as Airbnb.

The last thing you want to spend precious holiday money on are items you forgot to pack, such as rechargers, toiletries or a warm jacket, and so on. To make sure you don’t fall into this trap, use an app such as Packpoint to ensure that everything you need on your travels makes its way into your luggage.

Don’t want to waste money on a bad dining experience? Then check out Leon’s article on food-finder apps. These handy apps help you look for ‘value for money’ restaurants, as well as dry cleaners, beauty salons, events, and more, and with handy reviews from previous customers.

A little time invested on searching the internet can yield all sorts of bargains to be had all around the world. Read up on sites such as Nomadic Matt for more ideas on travelling on the cheap.

Do you have any ideas to share on how you can save money when you are on holidays?

Related articles:
Do this for free overseas
Travel agent cheap tricks
Vacation money wasters

Written by Olga Galacho

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