Jemima Kelly

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After two years of island fever, Australians are itching to get their feet off Aussie soil and onto foreign land. As the world is finally starting to open its doors, travelling is becoming a reality again to many of our favourite destinations.  

Of course, travelling overseas again comes at a significant expense. A Westpac study once found the average Australian spends $4,679 per overseas trip, with four in five going over budget. In this article, we outline the ins and outs of an international trip, giving you an idea of the main expenses involved.

Don’t have the money just yet to fulfil your travel dreams? Not to worry: apply for a Jacaranda Finance loan today and fund your next trip. 

On this page: 

Before taking off 

Visa and passport costs 

To be permitted across any overseas border you’re required to own a passport. If you’re an Australian citizen and do not yet own a passport, visit the Australian Passport Office website ASAP and follow the steps provided. The cost of a new adult passport valid for 10 years is around $300. 

If you do already own a passport, it’s important you check the expiry date before trying to head off on your overseas trip, because it can take a while to renew. If your passport does need renewing, you can update it through the online passport application portal.   

Another important legal document you may need to enter and travel through a country is a visa. As this is not dependent on Australia but rather the country you’re visiting, the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) recommends you keep up to date with the visa requirements there. 

Jac’s Travel Tip: Departure Tax

    Some countries will charge a departure fee when you leave. Normally this is included in your airfare, however it doesn’t hurt to do your research into the departure tax expectations of your destination. For example, Australia charges a $60 Passenger Movement Charge (PMC).

Travel insurance

If you’re going overseas, buying travel insurance is highly recommended by the Australian Government’s Smartraveller website. Travel insurance can cover medical emergencies, lost baggage, travel delays/missed flights and more. 

The cost of travel insurance depends on factors such as where you’re going, how long you’re going for, your age, what you plan to do (risk of activities) and the level of cover you choose (basic, essentials, comprehensive). 

Costs could vary from under $50 per trip to several hundred dollars depending on the factors mentioned. For example, a 25-year-old taking a 10-day trip to the USA could pay around $100 for a comprehensive policy

Shop around, request some quotes, and compare your travel insurance options from a range of different providers. 

Jac’s Travel Tip: 

Special Travel Insurance

    Some insurers offer specialist types of travel insurance including backpackers insurance, over 65’s insurance and winter sports insurance. Consider specialist travel insurance to cover your needs, bearing in mind this could cost a bit extra.


One of the first items to tick off when booking your overseas trip is the plane ticket. This is often one of the biggest lump sum expenses you’ll come across when travelling, so keeping an eye out for a good deal can pay off. 

Due to the industry’s competitive nature, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a price that suits you. Websites like Skyscanner, WebJet, Wotif and more can make it easier to track down a bargain. 

Below we outline some top countries Aussies tend to visit and the average price on a return plane ticket, accurate at the time of writing. We understand that airfares are extremely fluctuant and involve many factors, so this is a general guide only.   

  • New Zealand – $800
  • England – $6,000
  • US – $2,000
  • Indonesia – $2,000
  • Japan – $2,000

Jac’s Travel Tip:

Off-peak Travel

    Consider travelling out of the peak season to lower the cost of flights as well as other expenses. In most countries, peak season typically falls during holidays and when the weather is the best. Avoiding the peak could save you thousands, even if it means your instagram shots won’t look as nice.


Researching how you will navigate the streets of a foreign country should not be left to the last minute. 

Renting a car is one of the most common ways to get around in most countries, especially if you’re travelling as a family. As the hire car industry is quite competitive, take some time to browse different rental options, as hiring a rental car for a long trip can end up being very costly.

Another conceivably cheaper option would be to catch public transport where possible. Understanding the public transport systems of a foreign country may seem overwhelming, but could save you heaps – a month’s travel pass in Mumbai can cost less than $5! You might also find yourself enjoying public transport in some countries, as Australians pay the second-most in the world to use public transport

Jac’s Travel Tip:

Book early (like, really early)

    Like most aspects of travelling, booking your hire car early will save you a decent amount of cash. The closer to your travelling date you book a car, the exponentially higher your price will be. But seriously, the best way to save money on transport in many countries overseas is to use public transport.


Alongside airfares, paying for accommodation is one of your bulkier overseas costs. In fact, depending on the length of your stay and the quality of accommodation, it can easily end up costing several thousand dollars, which might be a good chunk of your budget. 

For example, a couple travelling to Europe for two weeks might pay over AUD $4,000 for accommodation. A backpacker might end up paying around $1,500 for a month’s trip. 

Again, it’s well worth your time to do a bit of research about what type of accommodation suits you best. 

Some accommodation options include:

  • Hotels 
  • Motels 
  • Holiday Inns
  • Hostels 
  • Airbnbs 
  • B&Bs 

There are many comparison sites like,, and Hotel Trivago which can give you a bigger picture of where you’re staying. 

Jac’s Travel Tip: 

Food packages

    If you’re visiting a country that may have questionable water and food, research whether there are hotels which provide food packages. 

International roaming 

Another box to tick before taking off is getting your hands on some international roaming. International roaming allows you to text, call and access the internet on your phone while you are abroad. Some providers have a prepaid SIM card option, while others allow you to simply add on some extra money daily to your current plan. 

The price of different service providers’ international roaming options range from $5 – $20 a day.  

Jac’s Travel Tip:   

Use a local SIM

    A cost-effective way to roam in a different country is to buy a local SIM card. Contact your phone provider and confirm your phone is unlocked and will integrate with a different SIM.

While you’re on the road 


Time for the fun stuff. Eating out in a different country is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture. It can become expensive though, especially if you find yourself falling into tourist traps. According to Westpac, Aussies spend hundreds of dollars on impulse food purchases overseas on average

One way to save some cash is to seek out local knowledge in the area you are staying. Local knowledge could be extremely helpful when finding a good bite to eat. Either look on websites, ask someone who’s been to the area or ask a local like your hotel manager.

Another way to combat the expenses is to do some meal prep. Yes, that’s right: go grocery shopping, create a meal at your home away from home, and take the leftovers for lunch. The seemingly mundane task could be worth the extra cash. 

Jac’s Travel Tip: 

Gratuities and Tips

    Depending on the country, you might have to leave a tip if you eat out somewhere. In America for example, tipping the wait staff 15-20% of the total cost of your meal is not only a nice gesture but an expectation. However, in some European countries, the published prices at a restaurant accommodate for any gratuity.

Tourist destinations and activities

What’s a holiday without entertainment? So many great destinations and activities to choose from, so little time. And, in some cases, so little money. Budgeting could be your saving grace when it comes to seeing the sights. 

In terms of your budget, take into consideration the big stuff first (the Disneyland-type expenses), and then leave some petty cash for anything extra you might want to buy or see. 

Again, local knowledge could be the key to saving money and not being vulnerable to tourist traps.  

Jac’s Travel Tip:


    Some people enjoy the freedom of exploring on their own terms. This option could ultimately be cheaper, however there is the advantage of being guided through a destination you have never been to. Consider a tour in your trip to gain a wider understanding of the land you are on.

Can you get a personal loan for a holiday?

Planning for a vacation could leave you dreading the costs rather than getting excited for a relaxing getaway, and where’s the fun in that? After all, it is a holiday, so let Jacaranda Finance help you take the break you deserve.

Jacaranda Finance offers holiday loans from $5,000 to $15,000, with an approval turnaround time of 60-minutes1 and instant transfers2 to your bank account if approved.

How do I apply for a holiday personal loan?

To apply for the funds you need for your holiday, simply hit the ‘apply’ button below and select “holiday” as your reason for the loan. To be eligible for a Jacaranda Finance express personal loan, you must: 

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a consistent income into your bank account for the last 90-days
  • Have an active email address, phone number, and online bank account in your name that belongs to you

Let Australia’s award-winning lender get you there 

Whether it’s a trip to Thailand or a vacation to Venice, an approved personal loan from Jacaranda Finance could be the ticket to getting you on that plane.

Written by: Jemima Kelly

Jemima Kelly is a Content Writer at Jacaranda Finance. She is enthusiastic about accurate and informative content, and holds a Bachelor of Creative and Professional Writing from QUT.