Each country will have different costs to visit and see while there, so choose a country that fits your budget. Asia is a good start as it is close to Australia and cheap while there.
Find out costs of everything you may need in that country. Accommodation, eating out, groceries, transport, any tipping, even souvenirs and budget for it.
It usually takes me 1 year to get all the money I need for a holiday. It used to be 2 years so I'm getting better at it! You will too.
The bulk of our holiday money comes from my tax return. Having kids and a low income, I receive a family assistance supplement every year for each child which totals around $2,500 I set this amount aside in my savings account to be used to pay for accommodation and flights when the time comes to purchase. This eliminates the big amounts and I'm left to save for the other costs needed while on holiday. These smaller amounts are easier to achieve when the big costs are already covered.
If there are 2 of you earning a combined income, there should be no reason why you can't afford a holiday. If a double income house is struggling to take yourselves and the kids on a much needed holiday then it might be time to look at your lifestyle choices. Both yours and your partners.
Are you both on the same page about what you want?
If you both desire a holiday and want it bad enough you'll cut out the expensive lifestyle choices, hobbies or activities you both might have? Have you accumulated more debt than normal and are both trying to pay it off to also enjoy life?
People living on low or one income require a lot more planning and saving to be able to travel, but it is possible.
Strip your spending right back for a few months (winter is a good time to start) and you will see how much you ONLY NEED to survive on. Tell everyone in the family they will have to ride it out with you while you put everything into a future holiday. They might whinge but it will be worth going without for a few months if they have to.
Get everyone's input. Give them a few ideas to choose where they would like to go.
Get the kids to save their own pocket money for spending on souvenirs and little extras they want while on holiday. Give them plenty of notice to do some saving themselves. Everyone will learn and appreciate the important things in life. I guarantee you, they'll love the time and life long memories you create for you and your family. Geez, even if it's just for you to
finally get an escape and stop to relax ;)
You don't need a lot of spending money for souvenirs. I've been to countries and only allowed myself $50 to spend on one item. Because I've usually got carry on luggage (to make flights cheaper) and there's no room for extra weight ...and because I don't want to fill up my house with little ornaments I have to dust!
Read my other article for easy ways I save small amounts for holidays.
In case of emergencies though, it is a good idea to take a credit card for back up.
The best one for travel is by far the Latitude International MasterCard. It has features that cater for overseas travel. I've had this one for 16 years and will never cut it up!! It costs me next to nothing (no annual fee!!) because I'm disciplined and only use it to my advantage avoiding the 21.99% interest rate.
Only use in case of emergency! A credit card on holiday for back up is a good idea in case something was to go wrong on your holiday. You may be stuck in another country and need to pay for accommodation or medical treatment until an insurance claim is made and accepted.
Highly recommended, as It features:
- Ability to pre load it with cash before leaving
- 55 days interest free on purchases
- No annual fee, ever!!
- No currency conversion fee on purchases while away
- No international ATM withdrawal fees to access your money
- Special offers to card holders
- Travel insurance available through Southern Cross Travel Insurance
- Free Emergency card replacement (24hr concierge)
BREAK DOWN THE AMOUNTS AND
WRITE DOWN ALL COST'S YOU WILL HAVE.
SAVE FOR EACH CATEGORY,
ONE BY ONE TO MAKE LESS SCARY!
EACH ONE IS A SMALL GOAL RATHER THAN THE TOTAL
AMOUNT NEEDED FOR YOUR HOLIDAY:
1st - FLIGHTS so you're ready to buy when specials become available
2nd - ACCOMMODATION to get in early and book your preferred location at your budget price before someone else does
3rd - FOOD is one cost that can add up so save this as your next priority
4th - ACTIVITIES/TOURS can be expensive, but an easy one to cut down if you're getting close to holiday time, running out of saving time. Find more cheap or free attractions.
5th - TRANSPORT whether it's for a hire car or trains/buses. Airport parking may also be needed but you might be able to get to the airport for free?
6th - TRAVEL INSURANCE should be mandatory and never forgotten in the planning of any trips. Anything could go wrong that was out of your control and you might need to claim financial cover.
IF YOU ARE TRAVELLING AS A COUPLE,
THAT'S GREAT! JUST ADJUST THESE
AMOUNTS TO COVER ONLY TWO PEOPLE.
THIS IS DEFINITELY ONLY HALF THE COST
(OR MORE) THAN A FAMILY HOLIDAY.
MY EXAMPLE BUDGETS
1. Used for Bali 2 years ago:
FLIGHTS for 5ppl (Jetstar Sale) $1000
ACCOM for 5ppl, 7 nights $1000
(breakfast' incl. with accom)
FOOD for 5ppl (x14 meals) $ 700
ACTIVITIES/TOURS $ 300
TRANSPORT $ 100
TRAVEL INSURANCE $ 100
*The kids took their own $100 each which was from Christmas as this was more than enough each to spend in Bali.
They got a lot of clothes and little souvenirs for $100 each. I leave the amount up to them now based on the destination.
Take your list of costs with you
so you can refer to it while on holiday
and not spend more than you've
allocated for each one.
2. Used for holiday plans to Rarotonga:
FLIGHTS X 2 $ 430
FLIGHTS X 2 $ 520
ACCOM 5 x 8 nts $1600
FOOD & DRINKS $1000
ACTIVITIES/TOURS $ 400
HIRE CAR shared $ 250
TRAVEL insurance $ 100
Rarotonga is an expensive destination for us as it is on a par with Australian prices for everything. This holiday is a large 8 member group (my family of 5, my sister and our parents) so accommodation costs are shared and my parents are covering the kids' airfares with frequent flyer points they've accumulated over a few years.
To get our flights cheaper we all need to split up for 3 of the 4 flights, due to using different airline' points used.
My partner' and my airfare were half paid for using Virgin Velocity frequent flyer points to lower costs as well. We managed to get the other flights from Auckland - Rarotonga return on a promo sale with Jetstar Airways.
We are staying at Raro Beach Bach, a large private beachfront rental for 8 people at a total of $2,580 for 8 nights (approx $320 per person for the week). We can't afford to stay at a resort and we're not fussy on accommodation. As long as it sleeps 8 and it's beachfront in this type of location!
As the kids are now teenagers and getting pocket money, they will be taking their own spending and activity money which won't be much as Wi-Fi costs a lot there and it is a tropical island for relaxation!
2 activities that have admission costs and a couple of souvenirs each is all they need.
When amounts are broken down on paper this way, you are able to save each smaller amount and cross it off one by one as you go. -Easy to accomplish, not so daunting. Treat the amounts like large bills if you have to tell yourself that, I do sometimes, it pushes me to put it away and not use it for something else.
*TRAVEL INSURANCE will be needed! It only costs approx. $100 for a couple
+ kids are covered in this cost if travelling with parents.
For insurance and airport parking if I need it,
I pay as small 'bills' leading up to our holiday's as they're relatively easier to pay.
*I always allow a little extra (round up amount) for kids drinks and extra food while away,
or even just for airport transit food costs.
To cut down on these, pack some water and snacks for everyone to have while waiting to board.
PUT A DESTINATION MOTIVATION PHOTO
ON YOUR FRIDGE OR KITCHEN WALL!
THE WHOLE FAMILY WILL SEE IT EVERYDAY
AS A REMINDER OF WHY YOU'RE
ALL GOING WITHOUT, WHAT YOU ARE
SAVING AND WORKING TOWARDS.