Let’s face it: Travelling is expensive. After you’ve bought the flights, paid for hire cars, accommodation and travel insurance, you’ve already spent the majority of your budget before you’ve even walked out your front door. I know first hand how much travelling can impact your bank account, and how painful it can feel to constantly be handing your card over; so this holiday season I’ve thought of 3 ways to cut costs that won’t get in the way of the pleasure and rest that a holiday should bring.
1. MAKE YOUR OWN FOOD
A huge cost that is often overlooked in the budgeting process can be food. Obviously you have to eat when you’re travelling and it is likely that you won’t always have a kitchen at your disposal. When I travel, I aim to eat out only once a day, which means getting creative when it comes to food. Granola Muesli and fruit can easy option for breakfast, or if you have a bar fridge (I think this is what the mini bar is really for) you could try something a little more exciting like overnight oats as they don’t need much preparation.
Make snacks before you go and store them in zip lock bags for easy access. This is particularly helpful if you have kids or if, like me, you are prone to getting hangry when you travel. I like to make muesil bars, biscuits, muffins and bliss balls. If you are travelling interstate or internationally, make sure you check the local quarantine laws. It can feel like a big effort to make these things ahead of time, but your future travel self will thank you when you do. If you don’t get time always remember that apples are easy to throw in a handbag and can be eaten on the go – mess free.
Lunch and Dinner options can be easy. We often buy a packet of wholegrain bread rolls or wraps at a deli and just add some fresh veggies, avocado and sometimes some deli meat and cheese. Make tinned tuna and beans your best friend. Also ready made curries and rice packets have saved me a few times! See travel as an opportunity to get creative and make recipes that require only a few ingredients and no cooking, such as this Mango, Mint and Tuna Salad – Yum!
Last but not least, don’t forget your water bottle! We always avoid paying for water when you can get it for free (this does not apply to countries where bottled water is required).
2. GET OUTSIDE!
I try to stay active on holidays. One of the best ways to do this is by getting out and using the wonderful, and ever available, gift of my LEGS to get me where I want to go. I’ve experienced my favourite travel moments and seen the best sights while I’ve been walking, bike riding and paddle boarding. These things aren’t always free, but bike hire is definitely cheaper than a double decker bus tour. And the best part is that the experience becomes part of the attraction! Isn’t that what travel is all about?!
3. PREPARE BEFOREHAND
I always read some travel guides before I leave. Try looking some up, like this one I wrote for Hamilton Island. A bit of research behind you means that you will know where you want to go, what you want to see and how you are going to get there. This reduces the risk of booking a last minute pricey tour at the hotel reception.
Make sure you write a list of all the things you require for the holiday well in advance, such as power adaptors, travel comforts such as inflatable pillows and even travel insurance. This allows you to find sales so that you don’t end up paying full price for something that was discounted only a few months before.
If you are travelling with kids, make sure your nappy bag essentials are stocked up beforehand (remember the snap lock bags of snacks!). If you don’t you may find yourself ordering $10 toast at the airport or paying for a cab to take you to the nearest store for some baby wipes.
Some holiday destinations require a more specific dress code. If you are travelling somewhere like that look up advice in advance such as What To Wear In Dubai. This will prevent you from frantically buying clothing at the expensive airport clothing stores.
One of my favourite travel quotes is this:
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us”. – Anonymous.
I hope these tips have been useful to you, and help to bring rest and joy in your next holiday.