1st Dec 2016

Spreading the cost of a holiday

two piggy banks on deck chairs

Lynne is keen to book an overseas holiday, but can’t afford the initial layout and wants to know how best to spread the cost.

Q. Lynne
I’m planning on travelling to Europe for the first time but can’t quite immediately pull together the full cost of flights, hotels, etc. What’s the best way to spread the cost but still secure some of the deals that I’ve seen?

A. Saving is the best way to spread the cost of your holiday, but if you’re keen to book and secure your deal now, then these tips may help.


STA Travel exclusively offers a layby option on airfares. Offered on fares with Qantas, Qatar, Air New Zealand, Etihad, Emirates and Cathay Pacific, the layby option makes it easy to spread the cost. Simply choose the dates and ensure that the quoted fare is on a STA Travel Exclusive Ticket. You are required to put down a $99 non-refundable deposit to lock in your layby, and you’ll need to pay the full balance 10 weeks prior to departure, and then you’re on your way.

Find out more at STATravel.com.au


Qantas also offers a ‘book now pay later’ option for a holding deposit of $25, which is refunded when your flights are paid in full. This is available on selected flights, and how long you have to pay depends on the fare conditions and departure date.

Find out more at Qantas.com


Several hotel booking sites now offer a ‘pay now or pay later’ on hotel bookings, which means you can secure your booking without having to charge the cost of your hotel to your credit card. You may not be able to grab the best available rate at the time of booking, but you will have more bargaining power if the hotel isn’t up to scratch – for example, you can ask for a discount or, if your plans change, you won’t be locked in.


Some travel agencies offer interest-free finance, allowing you to spread the cost of your trip over six or 12 months. However, this does require applying for credit and you should consider carefully if this really is your best option.


Related articles:
No such thing as a free ride
Don't get ripped off by a travel agent


To make a comment, please register or login
3rd Dec 2016
The REAL way to save on a holiday is to plan it yourself, decide a year ahead and wait for the flight deals to appear (they always do) and then do your own itinerary, etc. The savings? Huge.
Our budget for (upcoming) France is $6000 total for a month, excluding flights. Try and find tours at four times that figure and you'll have a hard time. Of course it does involve a lot of man hours to achieve this but nearly always well worth the effort.
I do not understand why people book over priced tours. They are a total rip off.
fish head
3rd Dec 2016
Mick,"people" book tours because they are unsure of a location, their ability to communicate in a non-English speaking country or even read the street signs.Tours have their limitations BUT give reassurance that you will see some attractions, your accommodation is assured, meals and dietary requirements met and security(such as it is these days) covered.They are an excellent introduction to a country and although you may not see ALL the sights you are equipped with the necessary rudimentary knowledge to tackle the same ground next time solo.As we get older not all of us relish manhandling baggage for the duration of a trip. Why do you think so many older Australians are taking to cruising?
fish head
3rd Dec 2016
Lynne, Mick has made a good point. Unless you still have a steady source of income ( and a pension doesn't count) you can't just launch yourself into an overseas holiday - it is too expensive. You save until you have the required amount if only at last years prices for comparison and THEN you can seriously look around. The lay-by option sounds good BUT very often there is a time limit for paying off that is punitive. Fair cop as these people are in business to accomodate/move people not act as bankers. I endeavour to visit family overseas every 2/3 years allowing for domestic meltdowns by saving the necessary. It works, it requires determination and restraint but I pay cash and I owe no one anything when I return home to start the cycle again and I regard this as a holiday necessity. No stress when I get back.

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