Costs to Consider When Planning a Holiday

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It’s easy to blow out your holiday budget with sneaky extra financial costs that you didn’t plan for, particularly when travelling overseas. But there are a few simple ways you can cut back on costs, so you will end up with more spending money.

Airfares & transportation

Fortunately, air travel is very accessible these days, and it’s a competitive market where airlines compete with attractive packages to secure your business. There are many comparison websites available to pit them against each other, and you might find package deals with accommodation and hire-car companies that can substantially reduce your overall costs.

Consider travelling out of peak season, because it could as much as halve your travel costs. There’s a reason most holiday destinations are booming in peak season, and it’s because it’s the best time to go for the weather or holiday periods. But many destinations, particularly those in tropical climates, are temperate year round, so if you do your homework, you might find the perfect place at the perfect price, out of peak season.


Conversion costs & money access

The Australian dollar is pretty strong right now, but there’s a big difference between what it’s worth in USA, compared to what it’s worth in Thailand. If you’re heading to UK or USA, you can lose a lot just in the exchange rate, so plan your spending money according to the conversion, and remember it won’t be dollar for dollar.

If you will be changing cash, be prepared for a little extra cost there. Consider using a credit card like a VISA or MasterCard that are accepted everywhere, because the card fees can actually add up to less than changing several thousand dollars, and reduce the risk of carrying around your spending money for your entire holiday. Your bank can advise you on international transaction fees, and many banks offer cards with no foreign currency exchange fees.

And don’t forget to budget some emergency money, and to tuck it away in a separate account or secure place.


Visa and passport costs

Visas are different in every country, but you should expect to pay up to a couple of hundred dollars on top of your transportation costs. The exchange rate could factor in as well, so head to your destination country’s consulate website to find out what it’s going to cost.

You might be aware that you have to pay to get in to your destination country, but it might be a shock to find out you’re going to have to pay departure fees as well. Most of the time, if a country charges a departure tax, it’s included in your airfare, but if it isn’t, you will be hit up for an exit fee at the airport when you’re heading home.


Travel insurance

It’s a few hundred dollars that you probably won’t want to fork out, but travel insurance is an essential expense, and you’ll be glad to have it if something unexpected happens. Good health services are a privilege enjoyed in Australia, but in many other countries it’s a frightening experience to be sick or hospitalised, and there’s always a chance that you could lose a lot in an unexpected event involving theft or transport cancellations. You probably won’t have to use it, but it could potentially save you thousands of dollars, and prevent you from being stuck in a foreign country when you’re injured or without your belongings.


Accommodation & food costs

Whether you’re planning to spend your nights in a backpackers’ hostel or the lap of luxury, accommodation costs will likely make up the bulk of your travel budget. Package deals with airlines are available on many sites—including last-minute deals if you’re feeling adventurous—and can save you a lot of money. Many hotels and resorts will also offer meal packages in the accommodation costs, which can reduce the health risks of ingesting dodgy food or contaminated water in countries where street vendors and food establishments aren’t monitored by health codes.


Phone calls

International roaming is notoriously expensive, so prearrange a deal with your provider before you take off overseas. Remember, you’re not really paying for the phone calls (because the time difference could mean it is inconvenient to call anyone back home anyway), as much as the data you use. Your devices will use your data automatically to access mobile apps, voicemail, email, GPS, and many other services, and if you haven’t organised a new SIM or deal with your provider (and you haven’t switched off international roaming on your handset), you’ll get an astronomical bill. To avoid buying a SIM at your destination or walking around in a foreign country looking for WiFi, your best bet is to get a deal from your provider (or a competitor) that allows you to use all your usual inclusions with a small extra fee.


Entertainment & tourist activities

You’re travelling for the experience, and it wouldn’t be an experience without some activities and shopping. But try to avoid throwing your valuable coin away on the typical tourist souvenirs you’ll find on every street corner, and spend some time thinking about what you’d like to bring home with you before you even leave. Budget per day for activities and shopping, and don’t go over it! If you over-shop, you could also be looking at substantial costs for extra baggage on the way home.

Many cities and holiday agents offer discounts on tourist activities if you purchase them as a package. Look for sightseeing tickets and passes, like the New York Pass (which will give you entry to over 80 attractions, for a fraction of what it would cost to buy entry separately, so you only need to visit a handful to make it worthwhile). Many offer benefits including discounted admission rates like VIP entry to avoid queuing, which could also save you tonnes of time.


Gratuities & hotel fees

‘All inclusive’ never is. Most hotels will charge at least $20 per night for your room to cover everything you thought was free, including your ‘complimentary’ towels and WiFi. Over a few days or a week, this is still going to end up being a couple of hundred dollars you weren’t expecting to pay. If you’re using a third-party booking agent, you should make sure to look for this cost, but because it’s normally pretty well concealed, you might only be able to get it by personally contacting the hotel.

Being Australian, it’s also easy to forget about gratuities. On an all-inclusive cruise, your food and drinks costs are incorporated, but the gratuities aren’t, and you might be billed before you reach your end destination. Some cruise lines will automatically charge passengers a gratuity fee for each day of the cruise, and extra charges on public holidays and weekends.

Wherever you’re headed, it’s important to take the time to draw up a comprehensive budget, and good research will reveal all the hidden costs in paying for your holiday. It’s a lot of homework, but you’ll be glad you did it when you’re enjoying your time away, knowing there isn’t a pile of bills waiting for you at home.

Apply for a loan for all you holiday needs today!



 

 

 

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Loan Amount of $3,000 over 18 months repayable weekly (78 weekly repayments). $3,000 (Principle Amount) + $400 (Establishment Fee) + $555.83 (reducing interest*) = $3955.83 total repayable over 18 months with weekly installments of $50.71.

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* Reducing interest means that the 20.56% APR is applied to the outstanding balance on a loan. When a loan repayment is made, the loans outstanding balance goes down and the APR is applied to that lower balance. Therefore, the interest component of the loan will constantly reduce (as long as repayments are being made!) - thus it is called reducing interest.
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WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate
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Loan Amount of $5,000 over 18 months repayable weekly (78 weekly repayments). $5,000 (Principle Amount) + $1831.16 (Interest) = $6831.16 total repayable over 18 months with weekly installments of $87.57.

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* Reducing interest means that the 19.88% APR is applied to the outstanding balance on a loan. When a loan repayment is made, the loans outstanding balance goes down and the APR is applied to that lower balance. Therefore, the interest component of the loan will constantly reduce (as long as repayments are being made!) - thus it is called reducing interest.
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