While travelling is a favourite hobby of millions of Australians, funding the trip of a lifetime can often seem like an impossible task for the undisciplined saver.
The good news is that with a strict tightening of the belt, your airfare to one of Australia’s top three destinations can be saved in a matter of weeks.
The top three travel destinations for Aussies heading overseas in 2015-16 are New Zealand, Bali (Indonesia) and the United States of America, according to ABS Statistics released this month. While our favourite destinations haven’t changed much in the past 10 years, the amount of Australians taking a short holiday has grown rapidly.
"Australians made 1.3 million short-term trips across the Tasman to New Zealand last financial year, 452,300 more trips than we made 10 years ago," said Libby O'Toole from the ABS' Migration Analysis and Reporting Team.
Short-term resident departures to Indonesia have increased more than five times over the last 10 years and the USA rounded out the top three in 2015-16, more than doubling the 2005-06 figure at more than 1 million trips.
So how can you join the millions of Australians flying out on holidays just weeks from now?
For most Australians, discretionary weekly spending goes on four main things – food, alcohol, clothes and recreation. Combined, for a single person under 35, it is estimated these four things take a $257 chunk out of a weekly pay-check (ABS Household Expenditure Survey 2009-10).
Halving spend in each of these categories could see you comfortably on a plane to Denpasar in 3.4 weeks or Auckland in 2.4 weeks when looking at an average return air fare. Of course a trip to the USA is going to take a longer term commitment so prepare to spend about 11 weeks in hard-core saving mode to reach the sandy shores of Los Angeles.
RateCity’s top tips for speed saving
If you have a specific savings goal in mind and you’re on a deadline, then try these handy tips to get there sooner:
- Suspend your memberships and pocket the savings – this could mean saying goodbye to luxuries like Netflix and yoga class temporarily.
- Put all your coins in a jar at the end of the day and watch your change add up over time.
- Only buy food that’s on special and make meals in bulk so you have left overs to pack for work.
- Put all non-essential items you want to buy on a “wish list” to revisit after you’ve achieved your goal.
- Enforce an alcohol ban on yourself until your goal is reached (then celebrate with a glass of champagne).