Save up to 35 per cent off your next holiday
The summer holidays are almost in view and most of us are anxiously anticipating a well-deserved break. But will the budget stretch enough this year to cover that much needed holiday?
We spoke to expert traveller, Alex Cameron of The Road Trip, for his top tips on how to have a holiday to remember this summer, without breaking the bank.
Stretch every dollar with the help of experts
If you're keen to make every holiday dollar stretch further, the easiest place to start is chatting with your local travel agent and tourism companies.
According to Alex, now is a great time to find a deal, as costs are lower than ever with no international travellers to surge prices. Make sure you shop around for deals, as tourism companies are offering competitive pricing.
If you are wanting to get a great price on a package or experience, chat to your local travel agent, who typically have existing relationships with accommodation and activity providers to get you an exclusive deal.
"It varies across the board, but we have seen luxury lodges drop their prices anywhere from 10 to 35 per cent," says Alex.
Another tip is to think about your accommodation choice wisely, as it is often the biggest cost of any trip and prices can vary a lot more than you may realise.
"Think about how much time you'll spend in your room and whether you can compromise to make the most of your holiday. For example, consider how much you really need the extra amenities that 5-star offers. Instead, you might be just as happy at a great 4-star property. And remember that the service can often be better at small family run motels than at big expensive hotel chains," Alex shares.
If you crave adventure and love the idea of seeing where the road takes you, there are a few tips and tricks to balance spontaneity with spending.
If you can, try and avoid travelling in peak times where you'll be paying top dollar for accommodation, fuel, food and experiences. The two-week period over Christmas and New Year is always going to be more expensive than if you travel in late January. The same goes for school holidays throughout the year.
Alex reminds us that a spending blowout is most likely to happen when you're stuck for choice, so make sure you at least have your accommodation booked in if you can.
He also advises to visit lesser-known places where you can often enjoy better experiences for less.
"Try visiting Charleston glow worm caves as opposed to Waitomo Caves, Haast River Safari as opposed to Shotover Jet, Skydive Franz Josef Glacier as opposed to Queenstown," shares Alex.
Road trip rules
Road trips are a quintessential holiday experience and can be budget friendly too! To make sure you and the family last the distance, you'll need to prep the car and pack a few essentials.
Start by ensuring your car is mechanically sound before you set off. Check the fluids, battery and the condition of your spare tyre to make sure you minimise the impact of any potential hiccups.
A first aid kit is a must and don't forget to pack plenty of snacks. This simple tip ensures you are not held hostage to the overpriced, mediocre options available at the service station.
"Keep in mind how big New Zealand actually is and how long it can take to get places. Don't try and pack too much into a day. Whatever Google Maps says, add half an hour at least – much more if you're someone who likes to stop a lot!" shares Alex.
Alex also recommends packing comfortable, good quality grippy shoes, rain jackets, warm clothes any time of year, water bottle and sunglasses, as you never know what the weather will be as you traverse through the countryside.
Regardless of what you get up to these holidays, make sure you keep an eye on all government updates regarding COVID-19, as getting caught out and not being prepared can cost you a fortune.
Consider getting insurance, and always read the fine print, so you know what is and isn't included. You may not think you need it for domestic travel, but it can cover damaged electronics, cancelled flights and so much more, which can save you considerable money in an emergency.
The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Resimac.