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10 tips for a debt-free holiday
By Tammy May

Holiday on a budgetPlanning a summer getaway? Leave the baggage of credit card debt behind. These quick tips will help you budget for a fun and affordable holiday.

  1. Start      planning early. The earlier you start planning, the      longer you’ll have to save money and consider your options. (For last      minute getaways, check online sites like,      and SocialLiving for discount deals.)
  2. Create      a holiday budget. Don’t forget to factor in all of your      costs: transport (airfares, petrol, car hire etc.), accommodation, meals,      snacks and drinks, entertainment, tours and activities, shopping, travel      insurance, costs of visas and/or vaccinations, and contingency money for      unexpected expenses. (Think about an all-inclusive holiday package if you      want to minimise surprises.)
  3. Get      the kids involved. What can they do to help during the      planning process? Save their pocket money? Do extra jobs to earn spending      money?
  4. Get      dedicated. Open a dedicated bank account for your holiday      savings, and have a proportion of your pay deposited directly into the      account by your employer, or set up an automatic transfer so that your      holiday savings never touch your pocket.
  5. Think      local. The cost of airfares or driving quickly adds up,      especially when a family includes multiple children. The best part about a      holiday is the change of scenery and break from routine, so even a local      hotel with a pool can be fun for kids and relaxing for parents.
  6. Go      off-peak. Some destinations offer amazing discounts during      the off-season. Just be aware that the low and shoulder seasons at some      destinations may come with the increased chance of bad weather or other      undesirable conditions.
  7. Shop      around. If you’re flying, it’s especially important to reserve      your seats early. Don’t forget to check aggregator websites, such as, and to find the best price.
  8. Use      cash not credit. That doesn’t mean carrying around big      wads of money. Within Australia, it’s as simple as using a debit card. For      overseas travellers, most banks now provide travel cards that are a cross      between traveller’s cheques and a credit card. A travel card can be      pre-loaded with your own funds in the currency of the country in which      you’ll be travelling. It works just like a debit card for purchases and      for cash withdrawals at ATMs.
  9. Spend      smartly. Did you know that you can ask housekeeping to empty      the hotel mini-bar? Once the fridge is empty, you can fill it with your      own snacks and drinks from the local supermarket (much cheaper!) Pay for      drinks and meals with cash rather than charging them to your room—cash      makes it easier to keep track of your spending.
  10. Consider      “staycationing”. Need a break but don’t have enough cash      for a holiday? “Staycationing” involves holidaying in and around your own      home. To get the most out of staycationing, treat it like a proper      holiday—plan special treats and experiences for every family member.


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