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Cheap Holidays? 3 Tips to Get There
June 3, 2015 .

We all love holidays. For many people they are the “fruits of labour” and a key goal we strive to reach each year. What we don’t love is how much they cost and how few of them we can take. While cheap holidays can be hard to do (damn!) there are some things you can do to keep your costs down on your next holiday:

1. Setting up a budget

While setting a budget for your holiday might not sound like the sexiest thing it can really help you maximise your time away. To do this you need to understand what costs you can expect while you are away. A great tool for this is Numbeo – it can be used to estimate the cost of living in any city or country around the world. So – say you were trying to figure out what a couple weeks in London or New York would cost:

NYC vs London

Using some of the figures above you could estimate what the basics in any country would cost you for a couple weeks

 

2. Booking a flight

On many holidays the flight is often the most expensive hurdle. There are some great little things you can do to make that flight cheaper:

  1. When booking an overseas flight you should book at least 6-20 weeks before the departure date
  2. Book the flights on Tuesday afternoon – this is the best time as many airlines start sales on Monday and others follow the next day
  3. The cheapest flights are either early morning or night flight
  4. Travel on the weekdays
  5. Set up an email alert for sales seats as they are limited

Another tip is to use one of the many free flight comparison price tools currently on the market. The prices on the sites can differ by anywhere from 5-20% depending on the route. Below is the price difference on some of the major comparison sites in travelling from Sydney to New York in Oct 2015 for 1 week:

Flights comparison

Travel search sites Price Per Person (AUD), Roundtrip
Skyscanner $1,232
Lastminute $1,263
Adioso $1,295
Momondo $1,239
Kayak $1,241
TravelSupermarket $1,290

Note: The price changes all the time, so do shop around before making the decision.

3. Accommodation

Up to a couple years ago finding cheap accommodation (depending on your budget) involved hopping onto a comparison site (such as booking.com.au, hostelworld.com.au, hotelworld.com.au etc.) and finding the most affordable hotel/hostel. Today one of the best ways to find accommodation is to turn to the “sharing economy” and renting places off locals – this often the cheapest way to find accommodation and puts you in the shoes of a local. The table below highlights some of these options for accommodation in New York City:

Accommodation comparison

Search sitesOfferPrice
AirbnbYou can search for a unit apartment, house, private room or shared room. The price is incredibly cheapFrom US$18 per night
VRBOYou can find a very good deal of accommodation on this site with millions of housing listsFrom US$37 per night
University-roomAnother cheaper full facilities accommodation whilst students are not in the dormitory. You can check online or even ring directly to the campus you would like to stayUS$75 for two
Home exchangeIt would be fun and interesting to swap your place with another traveller. This option is great for a family, as long as you’re comfortable with it.Free
HostelA shared room and accommodationUS$34 per night

Well, it’s time to pack up and get ready for your next getaway – remember to follow the tips above to make sure your dollar goes further while you are away. At Plenty we are all about helping people do small things to help them achieve their financial and life goals – find out more about us now.

The information contained on this page is of a general nature and may not be appropriate for your personal circumstances. You should obtain personal financial advice before acting on this information.

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