Budget travel tips for an insanely affordable holiday

Budget travel tips for an insanely affordable holiday
  1. Travel off season

If you don’t mind when you travel you should consider travelling in that country’s off season. Hotels, car rentals and airlines will charge more during peak travel times because, well, they can. A trip to Europe in summer will cost you much more than if you travelled between November and March. 

  1. Avoid hotels and resorts

There are cheap options available when it comes to accommodation, you just have to know where to look. If you’re looking for an opportunity to meet new people, explore the world and be part of a friendly community, try couch surfing or hostels. Host families and hostel workers know the best and most affordable places to visit – and you’ll save a lot more than if you stayed at a hotel. 

Alternatively, if you’re looking for an affordable road trip, consider renting (or buying second hand) a campervan. Companies like Jucy let you rent a range of models for as little as $265 for five days’ travel. 

  1. Fly into lesser known airports

Airlines may provide cheaper plane tickets when you fly into smaller or lesser known airports. If the area has adequate public transport to get you to your accommodation you’ll be able to add some extra spending money to your holiday. Globehunters have a great list of alternative airports across the world. 

  1. Visit galleries and museums

The best things in life are free, and in most major cities, you can experience some of the rarest artefacts and most beautiful art in the world through free entry museums and galleries. From the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, DC, the Tate in London all the way to the Reykjavik Museum of Photography, you can uncover a treasure trove of art and history without opening your wallet. 

  1. Compare travel credit cards

The last thing you want to do when travelling is worry about money. Ensuring you’ve found a travel credit card with the lowest possible cash advance, ATM and currency conversion fees is a must-do before travelling. You may want to look for a credit card that operates in Australian dollars, as they may have special introductory offers or balance transfer specials. Compare overseas spending credit cards today. 

  1. Rent your property while you’re away

If you’re looking to up your spending money while you’re travelling, consider renting out your house, apartment or bedroom on Airbnb. According to their website, “Airbnb’s secure payment system means you never have to deal with money directly. Guests are charged before arrival, and you are paid automatically after checking in, minus a 3% service fee. You can be paid via PayPal, direct deposit, or international money wire, amongst other ways.” 

  1. Public transport

It’s a no-brainer, but one of the cheapest ways to travel is to utilise public transport in your area. Public transport can be an experience in itself, whether it’s hopping on a bullet train in Japan, or taking the tube in London. 

  1. National parks

Another way to make a travel destination insanely affordable is to visit national parks. Some of the most beautiful landmarks in America can be found in its 400+ national parks, such as El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. The country has Free Entrance Days for travellers to take advantage of – 15 January, 21 April, 22 September and 11 November. 

  1. Tell people you’re on your honeymoon

An oldie but a goodie. If you’re travelling in a pair it’s worth telling airport or accommodation staff know you are on a honeymoon, as you may be rewarded with an upgrade! 

  1. You may already have travel insurance…

One of the biggest and most unexpected travel costs is travel insurance. However, many travel credit cards provide customers with complimentary travel insurance – a perk to entice their roaming customers. Check your existing insurance policies to see if you already qualify for travel insurance, or compare travel credit cards and find a more competitive credit card provider you can switch to who’ll cover you.

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Current Interest Rate

This is the current interest rate on your existing credit card.

Should I get a credit card?

Once you've compared credit card interest rates and deals and found the right card for you, the actual process of getting a credit card is quite straightforward. You can apply for a credit card online, over the phone or in person at a bank branch. 

Increase your credit card limit with Westpac

A credit card can be a useful tool to access extra cash when you need it. Sometimes you may wish to increase your credit card limit for greater financial flexibility. For example, to realize your immediate goals faster, such as planning for an international holiday or making a big purchase.

You can apply to increase your credit limit at any time, and most credit card providers have made it really easy to do so. You can use your online banking portal, the credit card provider’s mobile app, or even the telephone. 

Applying online to increase your credit limit with Westpac is the easiest option if you’ve already activated Westpac Live Online Banking. All you need to do is fill in the required information and then hit ‘submit’ to apply for an increase in your credit card limit.

Most banks will ask for details of your financial situation at the time of applying for a credit increase. This is done to ensure your new limit meets the lender’s criteria. 

You can apply for increasing your credit limit in any of the following ways:

  1. Visiting your nearest Westpac branch
  2. Calling Westpac on 1300 651 089
  3. Logging in on Westpac Live Online Banking

What does ANZ credit card insurance cover?

ANZ offers complimentary insurance on some of its credit cards, which can provide some protection against unforeseeable incidents, like the theft of your card. Depending on the type of credit card you own, you may be eligible for different insurances. For instance, most ANZ credit card customers may qualify for Purchase Protection Insurance and Extended Warranty Insurance. Customers who own premium credit cards may also be eligible for Guaranteed Pricing, Rental Vehicle Excess, International Travel, and so on.

Consider checking your ANZ credit card insurance features listed in the Insurance Policy Information booklet to know which items are covered. Also, while ANZ issued the credit card, they are not the insurer. For this reason, you may need to send your insurance claims - and get your ANZ credit card insurance refund - to the insurance provider.

How to increase the NAB credit card limit?

If you use your NAB credit card regularly, you could consider requesting a higher credit limit. The good news is that it's fairly easy to do so using either the NAB app or NAB internet banking. 

NAB app: 

Step 1: Download the latest version of the NAB app.

Step 2: Select the ‘My Cards’ menu. 

Step 3: Select the card you want to increase the credit limit for. 

Step 4: Select ‘Usage Controls’ and then click on ‘Change Credit Limit’.

NAB internet banking: 

Step 1: Log into your account. 

Step 2: Choose the ‘My Cards’ menu. 

Step 3: Choose the card for which you want to increase the limit. 

Step 4: Choose ‘Change My Credit Card Limit’.  

If you don’t have the NAB app or cannot access NAB internet banking, you can even visit your local branch or call their contact center. 

Once you’ve applied to increase your NAB credit card limit, you’re likely to be asked for your

  • current employment details  
  • total income, before and after-tax deductions  
  • assets, liabilities, and expenses information

NAB will then assess this information to determine if your current financial situation suits the increased credit limit request, and your application will either be accepted or denied.

However, this process will only work if you’re attempting to increase your personal NAB credit card limit. For a business credit card, you can contact the NAB Corporate & Business Servicing team or speak to your NAB relationship manager. 

Current Annual Fees

These are the current annual fees on your existing credit card.

Monthly repayment

This is how much you can afford to pay on a monthly basis off your credit card. You can enter any amount you wish; but to make the balance transfer worthwhile the default is $200.

How do I apply for a BOQ credit card limit increase?

If you’re an existing BOQ customer, you can request a BOQ credit card limit increase over a phone call. However, you should remember that owning and using a credit card is a matter of financial responsibility, so it might be worth thinking this decision through. 

When requesting a credit card limit increase, you’ll need to be just as responsible in terms of how much you earn and can set aside to repay the outstanding card balance. A credit card company may approve a credit limit increase only if you can show that you have either the income or the disposable income, which is the amount you have left after all expenses have been paid out.

For this purpose, you may need to submit your latest income documents and bank statements for an increase. You may want to estimate how much you usually have left after deducting your expenses, and then use this amount to try and convince the credit card company. Also, you may prefer to pay off the card balance in full each month and thus avoid paying interest on the card, helping you back up any claims of financial responsibility, as well. 

Remember that you may not be able to apply for a credit card limit increase beyond any limitations on the type of card you own. For instance, if you own a card whose ceiling is $10,000, and your current limit is $5,000, you won't likely be able to apply for a $10,000 credit card limit increase.

How easy is it to get a credit card?

For most Australians, there are no great barriers to applying for and getting approved for a credit card. Here are some points that a lender will consider when assessing your credit card application.

Credit score: A bad credit score is not the be all and end all of your application, but it may stop you being approved for a higher credit limit. If your credit score is less than perfect, apply for the credit limit that you need, rather than the one you want.

Annual income: Most credit cards have minimum annual income requirements. Make sure you’re applying for a card where you meet the minimum.

Age & residency: You need to be at least 18 years old to apply for a credit card in Australia, and most require that you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident. However, there are some credit cards available to temporary residents.

Can a pensioner get a credit card?

It is possible to get a credit card as a pensioner. There are some factors to keep in mind, including:

  • Annual income. Look for credit cards with minimum annual income requirements you can meet. 
  • Annual fees. If high fees are a concern for you, opt for a card with a low or $0 annual fee. 
  • Interest rate. Make sure you won’t have any nasty surprises on your credit card bill. Compare cards with a low interest rates to minimise risk.

How to get money from a credit card

You can get money from a credit card, but generally it will cost you.

Withdrawing money from a credit card is called a cash advance, as it operates more as a loan than a simple cash withdrawal. Because it is a loan, you may be charged interest on your cash advance as soon as you make the withdrawal. Interest rates are also usually much higher for cash advances than standard credit card purchases.

In addition to the interest rate, you may also be charged a cash advance fee. This could be a flat rate, or a percentage of your total cash advance. If you are considering a cash advance, make sure to add up how much it will cost you before committing.

What is a credit card?

A credit card is a payment method which lets you pay for goods and services without using your own money. It’s essentially a short-term loan which lets you borrow the bank’s money to pay for things which you can pay back – potentially with interest – at a later date. Credit cards can also be used to withdraw money from an ATM, which is known as a cash advance. Because you’re borrowing money from a bank, credit cards charge you interest on the money you use (unless you repay the entire debt during the interest-free period). When you apply for a credit card, the bank gives you a credit limit which sets the maximum amount you can borrow using your card. Credit cards are one of the most popular methods of payments and can be a convenient way of paying for goods and services in store, online and all around the globe.

How do you use credit cards?

A credit card can be an easy way to make purchases online, in person or over the phone. When used properly, a credit card can even help you manage your cash flow. But before applying for a credit card, it’s good to know how they work. A credit card is essentially a personal line of credit which lets you buy things and pay for them later. As a card holder, you’ll be given a credit limit and (potentially) charged interest on the money the bank lends you. At the end of each billing period, the bank will send you a statement which shows your outstanding balance and the minimum amount you need to pay back. If you don’t pay back the full balance amount, the bank will begin charging you interest.

How to get a free credit card

There's no such thing as a free lunch. All credit cards come with associated costs when used to make purchases, even if it’s simply the cost of making repayments.

However, many lenders offer incentives for customers such as a $0 annual fee or 0 per cent interest on purchases during an introductory period. Additionally, paying off your balance in full during an interest-free period means you could only have to pay back the cost of purchases without interest. You could also be eligible for additional rewards such as cashback during that time, saving you more money.