Holiday Budgeting 101: More fun, more money
You’ve unpacked your bags, tested the bed and flopped down. You’ve arrived.
Now all you want to do is enjoy your holiday, but you don’t want to break your credit card. With some careful holiday planning and budgeting before your leave, you can save a packet and simply enjoy yourself while you’re away.
Here are eight tips to keep your holiday budget in fine shape:
1. Fly on the cheap
Watch for cheap flights and book well in advance. Try to book midweek flights (they’re often cheaper) and try not to fly in peak times, like school holidays. It also pays to sign up to airline e-newsletters so you can receive special offers. Often subscribers get first dibs on reduced fares.
2. Travel in the quiet season
Avoid the tourists and travel during the off-season. This will save you money (the rates are cheaper) and time (less waiting in queues).
3. Stay close to public transport
If you don’t mind staying in the city, choose accommodation that’s close to public transport. You’ll save money on rental cars and you can enjoy the sights like a local – on foot or by local transport.
4. Be loyal
Try signing up to a hotel loyalty program. If you use a hotel frequently, you can save 10% or more off the regular rate.
5. Make a daily budget
Make a rough budget of your daily holiday expenses. You don’t need to stick to it religiously but it will estimate how much your holiday will cost in total.
6. Save, save, save
Try to save as much as you can before you go. Paying off your credit card after a holiday isn’t fun – and it’s expensive because you’re paying off the interest too. Lots of financial institutions have special savings accounts designed to help you save for something special. These accounts can reward you with bonus interest if you make regular deposits into the account, or they might reward you with a higher interest rate in return for slower transaction transfer times.
7. Avoid regularly using overseas ATMs
While it’s convenient to withdraw cash in the local currency, every transaction attracts a fee that will ultimately eat into your holiday budget.
8. Take a couple of payment options
You don’t want to be left with no money if you lose your card or your wallet, so take a couple of payment options such as a Cash Passport. A Cash Passport is a multi-currency, prepaid money card which enables you to access your money anywhere that MasterCard® is accepted.
^Ryan, Product Manager