The piggy bank might be a bit depleted, but you still want a holiday. And, judging by the results of recent surveys, you’ll probably find a way to take one.
One way to find the money for a holiday in tough times is to look for ways to spread the cost of your trip.
Instead of forking out hundreds or thousands of dollars in one hit, you can often break it up into chunks over several months, or more.
A handful of travel companies now offer more flexible payment options to clients since the economic downturn, with the likes of Easy Save Holidays among those offering holidays on “lay-by”, allowing customers to pay weekly or monthly instalments.
It will be interesting to see if other companies follow suit but, in the meantime, there are other ways you can break up the cost of your holiday.
Stretch the travel dollars
One of the most obvious is to plan ahead and pay a deposit on a holiday for next year. The key to making this work is to have a plan to save the remainder prior to the final payment being due to avoid a last-minute panic.
“One of the best ways to do this is to set up a high interest savings account, with an automatic weekly or monthly transfer through your account,” said Alex Parsons, CEO of RateCity.
But if you have less time to play with, another option is to use your credit card, he said.
“Paying with your credit card isn’t all bad and there are some benefits to be had, so long as you have a plan to pay it off within the interest-free period.”
He said benefits can include free travel insurance, when paying for at least part of the booking using the credit card, as well as free flights and merchandise on rewards-based credit cards.
“The way to compare credit card rewards is not to focus on a simple points-per-dollar measure. The more important thing is to look at how the points translate back into real dollar value.”
Simple tips to cut costs
Holidays don’t have to be expensive. In fact accommodation options are no longer limited to expensive hotels and holiday parks, which is good news if you’re trying to stretch out the travel dollars this year.
Families are increasingly choosing to take holidays in apartments over traditional hotel rooms, which are now favoured by one in five guests.
“The space offered by apartments gives families and people who are travelling in a group a more cost effective way to travel,” Simon McGrath, chief operating officer at Accor, told News Ltd.
“The apartment model allows the freedom to design your own holiday but also make sure you can still cater for yourself which makes it a little bit cheaper than your mainstream hotel.”
He said the trend is happening in markets worldwide as peer-to-peer apartment rental sites continue to attract travellers.
Evidently, one such website, airbnb.com, attracts a booking every 2 seconds and in June this year reached a milestone of 10 million guest nights booked since 2008. The San Francisco-based start-up lists more than 100,000 properties in 192 countries including in Australia.
Think it’s weird to stay at a stranger’s home? Then there are many alternative accommodation options for those travelling on a budget with all-inclusive package holidays and cruise holidays offering great value.
No matter how you plan to travel, or how you intend to come up with the money, it pays to do your research because your piggy bank will thank you!