Great friends share everything. From clothes to food, and especially that one thing you’ve both vowed to never, ever bring up again. But something that can be a little awkward to approach is the topic of money, specifically, how much you may (or may not) have to spend on your next big holiday together.
So if you and your bestie are sitting at work plotting your (albeit temporary) escape from the concrete jungle, it’s time to sit down and talk coin. Figuring out how far your budget/s will or won’t take you will be key to planning a great vacay. If you don’t know where to start, here are some travel cash conversation starters to get the ball rolling…
“Let’s compare our travel bucket lists…”
With Instagram travel feeds giving us some serious wanderlust, it’s worthwhile sitting down with your bestie to see what #travelinspo pics are lying in her iPhone screenshots. If she’s set on Bora Bora but you’re much poorer (poorer 😂), you might run into problems before your trip has even started.
The key is choosing a destination that will meet both your expectations for a great holiday. To help stretch your money, choose a location where the Aussie dollar is strong or stay in a low key area so that you can save on your general spending once there. For example, the Gili Islands of Bali aren’t as well known as Bora Bora, but have the crystal clear waters and overwater bungalows you’re after at a fraction of the cost.
“Would you consider travelling off-peak?”
Picture this: Trees and park benches sprinkled with frost, hotdogs and hot chocolates at every corner, and a giant-lake-turned-ice-rink. If you’ve always wanted to experience a real winter, visiting New York in the off-peak winter months could be a great way to avoid the typical tourist traps like jacked up hotel and flight costs.
If your friend is worried that travelling off-peak will mean less vibe and fun, set her straight. Paying less for things like flights, hotels and tours will actually mean more fun money to spend on things like luxury spa days, the latest fashion and mojitos by the pool.
“Should we try for Airbnb rather than hotels?”
Whilst chillin’ at the Holiday Inn might have been the peak of cool in 2003, gone are the days of paying premium prices for tacky 70’s furnishings. With holiday rental sites like Airbnb offering great accomodation and authentic local experiences for a fraction of the cost, it’s a wonder hotels are still so popular.
But if she’s set on room service and chocolates on her pillowcase, remember that with coupon sites offering 5 star hotels at 3 star prices, there’s really no reason you need to pay full price.
“I know a way to save us some money… ”
Going on holiday is about splurging on you, but too many people waste money on easily avoidable travel traps. Whether it’s not doing drinks at happy hour when cocktails are 50% off, paying high interest charges on your credit card, or not using all the features of your travel insurance like rental car excess insurance, you could spend more money than you need to.
If you are planning on putting some of your travel expenses on your credit card, picking out a card with low interest (under 13%) is a no-brainer, especially since it could be a while until you’re back at work and paying off the balance. Another thing to keep in mind is that foreign exchange fees can reach up to 5% on a debit card and 3.65% on a credit card, and coupled with overseas ATM fees as high as $5 per withdrawal, you could end up paying over $100 in bank fees for a $2,500 holiday spend. There are travel money cards out there that don’t charge overseas fees so get one and put that extra $100 bucks towards that happy hour!
Once you’ve got the nitty gritty out of the way, all you’ve got left to do is fill your bags with your best bikinis or beanies and hop on a plane out of here! You deserve it.
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