Insight Financial Partners - Expanding travel horizons

If you love to travel, don’t let the exchange rate stop you from experiencing the amazing adventures the world has to offer

When planning an overseas holiday, the exchange rate can seem like a hurdle for many travellers. But it doesn’t have to be – fabulous holidays are still possible without breaking the bank. Indeed, you may have a better experience than you’d ever imagined.

Elizabeth Wallace, founder of Itineraries Travel Consultants, says an easy way to slash the travel budget is to choose amazing direct-flight destinations – Japan, New Zealand and South Africa fit the bill.For those who still want a wallet-friendly trip to Paris, London, Rome or other favoured cities, she recommends budget airport hotels for stopovers or overnight stays (save more expensive hotels for when it counts), pre-ordering all-inclusive passes to access top attractions and public transport; and taking advantage of fun, free activities such as self-guided walks in Europe.¹

For those who still want a wallet-friendly trip to Paris, London, Rome or other favoured cities, she recommends budget airport hotels for stopovers or overnight stays (save more expensive hotels for when it counts), pre-ordering all-inclusive passes to access top attractions and public transport; and taking advantage of fun, free activities such as self-guided walks in Europe.¹

Book early

It pays to be smart during every step of the travel-planning process, according to Janice Lee Fang, TripAdvisor’s Director of Communications Asia Pacific.

For example, she says travellers can often save significantly if they book a hotel in popular northern hemisphere destinations within four months of a winter trip (June to August).

Bypassing expensive hotels can also cut your costs and increase your fun. At a B&B or inn, you often get personalised service and home-made breakfasts at affordable rates. Your hosts may also direct you to great value eateries and entertainment.

Apartments can also be a winner, too, especially for families. “Not only are they generally cheaper than a hotel room of similar quality, apartments in big cities give you the opportunity to save on meals and sundry charges such as laundry,” Fang says.²

Of course, online accommodation sites make it easy to find cheaper accommodation, but TripAdvisor suggests you read multiple reviews and don’t base your decision on just one or two comments, check out photos of the accommodation, and find out if there is any payment protection for your holiday rental.²

Live like a local

Wallace says live as the locals do, and save. Consider taking public transport and use your water bottle rather than paying exorbitant fees for drinks. And think about having your main meal in the middle of the day. “The set meals for lunch are usually much cheaper than restaurant meals at night,” Wallace says.

She also advises visiting markets to experience the cuisine of a city, and to eat like the locals.¹

And make sure you try some unique, affordable experiences – book a treehouse online or head to a milonga – a local tango house – to watch regular dancers in Buenos Aires rather than the expensive professional shows.

There are some amazing travel experiences that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Consider some alternative travel experiences, be adventurous and come home with some riveting new travel tales to tell.

¹ These comments are drawn from an exclusive interview with Elizabeth Wallace.
² These comments are drawn from an exclusive interview with Janice Lee Fang.

Disclaimer: This article has been prepared by Count Financial Limited ABN 19 001 974 625, AFSL 227232, (Count) a wholly-owned, non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124.

Information in this article is based on current regulatory requirements and laws, which may be subject to change. While care has been taken in the preparation of this document, no liability is accepted by Count, its related entities, agents and employees for any loss arising from reliance on this document.

This document contains general advice. It does not take account of your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider talking to a financial adviser before making a financial decision.