Saving Vacation Costs: There are always a few stress factors involved in planning a holiday away from home. Of course, there’re the basics of deciding where, when and how to go. The most difficult phase of the planning comes, though, with figuring out how to pay for that lovely break.

Depending on the destination, a holiday is one of the most expensive experiential expenses that people have every year. Still, there’re lots of ways to pare down the cost of a holiday to fit a budget and still get the “where, when and how” planned exactly to your liking.

Cheaper Holiday Alternatives when Travelling with the Family

Travelling with a family, particularly a large one, can drive up your costs exponentially if you’re not careful about keeping an eye on your expenditures. You may end up typically spending quite a bit on hotels, flights/cruise tickets, extravagant meals and entertaining activities.

Consider renting a place as an alternative to traditional hotel accommodation. You can search websites like Airbnb to identify a wide range of holiday rental accommodations. Family-sized apartments or cottages are cheaper all-up than paying per person for each night’s stay.

Moreover, you won’t have to be constantly eating out because you’ll have cooking facilities. Just make sure that your chosen rental accommodation is close to grocery stores, shopping centres and, to a certain extent, the places you are planning to visit.

If you don’t want to miss out on the customary, albeit more expensive, travel experiences of staying in a hotel, not having to cook and visiting numerous popular tourist attractions, look for as many giveaways as you can find to save money.

Sometimes families are given perks by a resort if they are staying there with kids for a significant amount of time. For example, children may be given a free learn-to-ski package if they stay at a particular hotel with their family for at least four nights. Travelling with lots of others will often get you the best deals ever.

Your family may join forces with another family and enjoy a range of discounts. Travelling in a “pack” might mean travelling with as few as just 10 or 15 individuals. Use online review sites to find the places that offer the best deals. But don’t just visit the popular professional sites.

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Cheaper Holiday Alternatives To Luxury Vacations - Budget Travel

Try to search local, more personalised sites concentrating on the regions you’d like to visit. This is because not all reviews that you discover on the professional sites will express honestly critical opinions.

The reason behind this is that sometimes people have been offered incentives or even payment by some companies for writing positive reviews. Families can have trouble planning holidays given the risk of having to cancel or postpone well-intentioned plans.

Working family members might suddenly have to commit to work-related responsibilities or children may be confronted with a school issue or otherwise want to make big holiday plans of their own with their friends. This means that booking a holiday flight or cruise can become a touch-and-go matter.

Did you know that driving your own car is actually the cheapest mode of travel? Choosing to drive to your destination, even with a few hotel stops in the process, will never add up to anywhere near the price of an aeroplane fare per person. Plus, you won’t have to worry about those baggage fees. The worst thing to concern you is bad traffic, so choose destinations that are less populated and less popular as tourist centres.

Cheaper Holiday Alternatives  when Travelling Internationally with Others or Alone

Most people think about creating a long-term plan to save up for travel to an international destination. It’s now time to start thinking differently because it is possible to make a cheaper international vacation plan.

First of all, choose an uncommon holiday spot that isn’t a popular dream destination for the average tourist. The most popular ones, especially in peak season, will charge you their maximum rate for everything! You won’t be able to find much in the way of giveaways or perks there either. This means that the place least in demand by tourists will offer the best deal for you.

Next, steer away from booking a flight that will deposit you directly at your desired destination. Instead, choose a less frequented departure, transfer or arrival airport. For instance, opt for the flight that takes you to Luton airport instead of London’s usual and overcrowded Heathrow.

You can also choose to fly to your destination country with arrival at the airport that’s the least air travel distance from your starting point. This results in the lowest cost for you.

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Once you arrive there, travel to the region of your holiday destination with a domestic flight, as those fares will be lower compared to prices of the international airlines. By the way, don’t forget to use your frequent flyer points too. Once you are at your destination, use your bank card rather than cash whenever possible.

Do still take some backup cash, converted from your native currency into that of your destination, with you. The reason for this is that airport or local currency conversions can be a hassle. Currency rates may also rise and fall on a regular basis, making conversion transactions unpredictable for you.

Bring an extra bank card as well for emergency use. However, be wary of any hidden fees for international use that your bank may charge. Calling home from abroad can increase your bills in the blink of an eye if you aren’t too careful. Never opt for international roaming services on your phone.

Instead, look for data connectivity through Wi-Fi connections, which will be your cheapest solution. Another possibility would be to buy a local sim card and use international calling cards to connect with friends and family back home. For those travelling on their own, an expense-saving possibility is to take advantage of having families and friends abroad. You can crash at their home and occasionally have meals with them.

However, make sure that you pay back their generosity in as many ways as you can, like helping them with the housework or rewarding them with gestures they will appreciate. If you don’t know anyone living abroad, surf the internet and check out sites with offers from people in foreign countries to house and feed tourists in return for their skills and services.

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Founder @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva


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