More Money, Less Hassle: Holiday Budgeting Tips for Savvy Travellers

holiday budgeting tips for savvy travellers

With the average cost of a family holiday to Europe in 2013 ringing in at a whopping $3,000, traveling abroad with the kids this summer may seem out of the question. However, just because the average family spends so much doesn’t mean you have to. Fantastic holiday deals are out there, it’s just a matter of finding them. Here are some top tips:

Follow the News

You have more to gain from keeping up with the latest global news than simply being an informed citizen. Knowing the economic situation of various countries can greatly influence your holiday planning. Look for destinations where your dollar goes further, and stay alert to political or environmental situations that may deter more timid tourists. 

Countries that rely heavily on tourism, yet face a down economy or the aftermath of a natural disaster, often make the best destinations. For example, travel expert Lonely Planet cites the Greek Islands as a best-value destination for 2013. The country’s recent political and economic strife has encouraged those within the tourism sector to drop their prices in the hope of attracting more foreign travellers.

Consider All-Inclusive

Flights and accommodation are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to holiday spending. When planning a holiday, it’s often easy to overlook the cost of food, attractions and travel once you’ve touched down. 

By opting for cheap all inclusive holidays, you can rest assured that your entire budget is accounted for upfront. Unexpected costs can be the downfall of an otherwise well-planned holiday. Avoid this by considering a package holiday that includes food, accommodation, flights and attractions.

Read Reviews

Before you book that unbelievable deal, it pays to check that what the hotel or tour company is offering is worth spending anything on. Sites like TripAdvisor feature user-written reviews that will give you a better insight into whether the deal you’re making really is that great. 

Remember, the price tag doesn’t necessarily reveal whether a holiday is good value. Always consider what you’re getting for your money, rather than solely focusing on how much you’ll spend.

Book Early OR Be Patient

While booking early, during the ‘January sales’, is often the best way to get a good deal on your destination of choice, less picky travellers may bag even better bargains by waiting until the last minute. With tour companies always keen to fill hotels and flights, last-minute prices are often slashed in half, if not more. 

The key to booking last minute is to be as flexible as possible on travel dates and destination. If you don’t mind where you go, and if you’re willing to leave with just a few weeks’ notice, you can wind up with a holiday worth double what you spent on it.


    • Apollo

      Apollo 07/12/2013 5:12 a.m. #

      I don't understand why travelers do not travel according to their budget or skip one vacation in order to have a good one. They probably have to budget their daily life and a vacation should be relaxing and not more budgeting.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 07/12/2013 4:11 p.m. #

        Perhaps those that pay attention to how much they spend on their vacation are able to travel more often though.

    • Pauline

      Pauline 07/12/2013 5:38 a.m. #

      I also get my currency exchanged when the rate seems good, like this there are no bad surprises and the money is set aside in advance.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 07/12/2013 4:12 p.m. #

        Good point Pauline! We try to do that as well when we are planning a trip.

    • DC @ Young Adult Money

      DC @ Young Adult Money 07/12/2013 6:17 a.m. #

      All-Inclusive can make sense for some occasions. We did it for our honeymoon to Jamaica, and it was really nice not having to think about how much we were spending because it was already paid for.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 07/12/2013 4:13 p.m. #

        I've done the odd all inclusive as well. It works great for beach vacations like Jamaica or Cuba.

    • jefferson @SeeDebtRun

      jefferson @SeeDebtRun 07/12/2013 8:23 a.m. #

      We are getting ready to go on a family vacation (our first in two years, woo!). After running the numbers and thinking long and hard-- we decided to drive instead of fly. We will lose a few days in the car, but we will save an absolute ton of money.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 07/12/2013 4:15 p.m. #

        It is easy to fly as a couple but once you add in the price of tickets for children it adds up very quickly. Hope you enjoy your vacation!

    • krantcents

      krantcents 07/12/2013 9:33 a.m. #

      My wife loves cruises because it allows us to pay in U.S. dollars and it is inclusive. She also likes the travel and other decisions are made for you. The downside is you are just sampling countries because limited time.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 07/12/2013 4:18 p.m. #

        I am a big fan of cruises as well. I don't mind just spending one day in each port. I find it is enough time to see all the good stuff.

    • John S @ Frugal Rules

      John S @ Frugal Rules 07/12/2013 9:53 a.m. #

      We always try and book as soon as possible for vacations. I am too much of a planner. :)

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 07/12/2013 4:19 p.m. #

        I do a lot of planning when it comes to vacations as well.

    • Amber

      Amber 07/12/2013 10:56 a.m. #

      Great tips and advice for those like me trying to be more budget savvy but haven't quite figured it out, yet. Thanks.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 07/12/2013 4:20 p.m. #

        Thanks Amber! There are lots of ways to travel without spending a bundle.

    • Jake @ Common Cents Wealth

      Jake @ Common Cents Wealth 07/12/2013 11:17 a.m. #

      These are great tips. I think the best one is to book early or be patient. I've found that booking early (1+ years out) can get you great deals as well as last minute trips. If you can be flexible and just leave on a whim, you can get some great trips for pretty cheap.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 07/12/2013 4:21 p.m. #

        Thanks Jake! I've always done the book early but I have yet to try last minute deals. Maybe next time.

    • Thrifty Dad

      Thrifty Dad 07/12/2013 11:20 a.m. #

      Love/miss the all-inclusives! *Sigh* Looks like I'm going to have to wait a little bit longer before we can do that again. We always use TripAdvisor and luckily b/c of it, have always had great vacation.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 07/12/2013 4:22 p.m. #

        Yes, but in a year or two you guys could do all inclusive club med for families. That could be a nice beach vacation for you guys.

    • Maggie@SquarePennies

      Maggie@SquarePennies 07/13/2013 12:46 a.m. #

      Great tips, Sicorra! Along the lines of an all-inclusive trip is a river cruise. Many include all your meals as well as your accomodations. You can get a river cruise for a week or more. No driving and all the details are taken care of for you! Relax and enjoy the view! Be sure to read reviews of the cruise lines online before booking.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 07/14/2013 2:06 p.m. #

        That is a very good suggestion! I've read a lot about river cruises but haven't tried one yet. That could be fun.

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