Travelling on a budget

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For the last three months I have been using Westpac’s new app CashNav to help me keep an eye on my spending habits. CashNav is linked to your Westpac bank account and every time you make a purchase, it automatically categorises your spending into things like health, eating out, groceries and shopping so you can really see what you’re spending your money on! During these three months, I’ve had all my purchases broken down for me, which has given an insight into what my money is being spent on and what I perhaps should not be spending so much money on.  It turns out that my money is mainly being spent on food, fitness and travel, so I know that I need to make more of an effort to save in these areas. Summer is just around the corner, and that means a lot more people are going to be travelling during this time. Travelling can get expensive when it really doesn’t have to (unless you want to go down that route), so I have put together some helpful tips on ways to save money on travel.

Research accommodation deals: One of the biggest expenses for a traveler is accommodation, so it’s important to research the best deals. Sharing a room in a hostel divides the cost but if you’re travelling alone, or don’t want to share a room, you can book a private room at a hostel which will also save you money. Hostels usually offer the cheapest accommodation, but in some countries you will find that hotels are cheaper and nicer. Booking.com is a website that guarantees the best discounts and prices on hotel rooms around the world. It also includes bed and breakfast accommodation, apartments and luxury suites. You don’t get charged any extra fees when booking through this site opposed to booking directly on hotel sites. Airbnb is a website that allows you to rent accommodation all around the world. Through their website or app you can view available spaces according to your budget, location and amenities. Most apartments or houses advertised on Airbnb are slightly cheaper to rent when compared to making a reservation in a hotel. I’ve had a really good experience using both of these sites and have always found something within my price range. Expedia is a fantastic website to find deals on hotels, flights, bundle deals, cruises, things to do, vacation rentals and places to eat.

Pack wisely: When travelling, it is so easy to over pack but this can mean paying extra in baggage fees. Many airlines cut ticket prices by charging for checked baggage by weight. If you don’t pre pay for your luggage, or if you exceed the limit you paid for, it could end up being costly. When packing, it is important to bring everything you need so you don’t have to shop while you’re away. Some of the basic essentials can be expensive in some countries. Another great tip is to pack a spare change of clothes in your hand luggage. If your suitcase goes missing, you’ll be able to survive for a few days!

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Plan flights in advance: Booking flights in advance is going to save you money compared with booking flights last minute when the prices have usually increased. The cheapest time to fly is during the week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with Friday and Sunday being the most expensive days. Be mindful of booking flights during holiday season as the prices will always be increased and, if you are flying during this time, remember to book well in advance. Skyscanner is a great website to find deals on flights.

Don’t eat away your money: Food can get expensive when travelling and the last thing you want to be doing is spending all your money on food. Pack your own snacks when flying as food at airports is overpriced and usually not that healthy. It is much cheaper to do a shop at a supermarket when travelling as opposed to buying food from hotels, cafes and restaurants. Packing a reusable water bottle can save you money on drinks too (just be careful where you fill it up from!). Certain tourist areas inflate food prices, it could pay to ask locals where the best place is to grab an affordable bite.

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Book travel insurance: Always remember to book travel insurance, it’s not worth risking it. If you end up in hospital overseas, you can end up paying thousands of dollars on medical fees which could easily be covered by travel insurance. If your luggage is lost, you have anything stolen or end up with a cancelled flight, your travel insurance will cover all of this.

So there are my tips, I’d love to hear any other tips you have to save money on travel! L x

If you’re already a Westpac customer, you can download the CashNav app now. If not, click here to find out more about Westpac and CashNav and how it can help you. It only takes a few minutes to sign up online for an account to start tracking your spending with CashNav.