Budget Travel Tips

Holidays aren't a luxury, they're a necessity. For the sake of our sanity and peace of mind we all need to take a break from the daily grind of life and get away for some well-earned sun, sea and relaxation.

But living in the southern hemisphere as we do, it can sometimes feel like a real strain on the budget to go anywhere exciting. Most destinations are a long-haul flight away and these don't tend to come very cheap. The solution is to get creative.

Here are some tried and tested methods to help you score the holiday of your dreams without breaking the bank:

Plan ahead of time

Research your destination early on to find out the best times to visit — the weather and affordability will play a big role in helping you choose the time of year to take your holiday. Stay up to date with travel companies on social media or via email to get the latest holiday deals for your travel destination.

Avoid peak holiday times and book early

Travelling at the height of the European summer or over the Christmas period can shoot the cost of your trip into the stratosphere. We recommend taking your holiday outside of these times to keep the costs way down. Oh, and book around 11 weeks before — this is generally the sweet spot when it comes to snagging a bargain.

Compare flights as well as airlines

Remember not all flights cost the same, even if they're with the same airline. The flight comparison search engines can guide you to good deals. Check out sites like Skyscanner, Hipmunk, Expedia and Adioso.

If you decide to book online, be sure to read the small print. Their change/cancellation policies might not be as flexible as you need and could end up costing you more than you save.

Explore alternative accommodation types

When booking accommodation, explore all the options at your travel destination — not just hotels. Doing research into holiday homes, apartments, hostels and backpackers can often keep your accommodation costs down.

Convert your spending money into the local currency

Consider a travel credit card in addition to having some local currency cash with you. This will ensure you know how much spending money you have in the local currency and you won't have to worry about any surprise exchange rates. Find out more about our 28 degrees platinum travel credit card.

Consider travel insurance

Travel insurance is a great way to make sure you don't get stung by unexpected costs during your trip. Overseas medical bills can cost a small fortune, as can delays and cancellations. So if you're looking to make sure you don't go over your budget, factor insurance in.

Do free stuff

The best things in life are free. Beaches, museums, libraries, the parks, the public buildings, the 'vibe' you get from being somewhere new, somewhere that's different to any place, or experience, you've had before.

Wherever you go on your next holiday, soak it all up. Your spirit will thank you, and so will your wallet.

Need a helping hand to get you on your way? Apply for a travel loan from Latitude and you could be jetting off before you know it.