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How to Save Money When Planning A Holiday

by Courtney
How to Save Money When Planning A Holiday

There’s nothing more exciting than planning a holiday. It usually begins with a conversation, either with yourself or someone you want to travel with, then quickly progresses to researching cool places to visit and pinning beautiful images of the destination in mind on travel dedicated Pinterest boards.

After the initial excitement, you realise you have actual work to do. So, you start researching flights and accommodation options and try to figure out how much spending money you’ll need. Before you know it, your holiday planning is looking a lot less fun and a lot more like you can’t afford it.

I’ve been there. Many, many times.

However, there are a few tricks you can use to help bring down the cost of your holiday during the planning process, leaving you with more time to plan the fun stuff (like which waterfalls you’re going to hike to and how many pina coladas you think you can drink at the beach bar on your first night).

Without further ado, here are a few ways you can save money when planning your next holiday…


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Search for flights on Skyscanner

Oh, Skyscanner, how I love you so. If you haven’t heard of the wonderful magician that is Skyscanner, allow me to introduce you. Using what I assume to be wizardry, Skyscanner allows you to search a flight route along with your preferred dates of travel and provides you with a handy list of all the available flights across all providers at all prices.

 You can then filter all available options based on price, flight duration, arrival & departure times, airlines, airports, alliances and more. It really is the easiest way to find the cheapest flight!

If you’re flexible with your dates, you can also view your search results on a monthly calendar, which shows you the price of your flight for each day so you can figure out the cheapest day to travel. How good is that?

Be warned though – Skyscanner only shows you the cheapest fare, and since most of the cheapest prices are with budget airlines, there is a good chance that extras like baggage and meals or entertainment haven’t been included in the initial price. Once you click through to the booking site, you’ll see what extras you’ll need to cough up for.

I’m pretty sure I’ve used Skyscanner almost every time I’ve needed to book flights; it is always reliable and a great way to compare prices across the board.


Look for Scoopon vouchers for hot deals

I bloody love Scoopon – it always provides the goods. Obviously, it’s best to take a look at the travel deals without a specific destination in mind, as they have changing offers changing all the time so the chances of you finding something for your exact place of interest can be tough.

However, they usually have several deals for popular travel destinations like Bali, Thailand and the South Pacific islands. I’ve bought Scoopon vouchers a couple of times, and they’ve always been great value. Without Scoopon, there’s no way we could’ve afforded to stay in a luxury overwater bungalow in Bora Bora!

I recommend signing up to their mailing list so you can get their latest deals delivered directly to your inbox. I always check them out, even if I’m not planning a trip (although let’s be honest, even when I’m ‘not’ planning a trip, I’m planning a trip).


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Find accommodation on Airbnb

Using the simple concept of homeowners renting out their entire home, or even just a room, Airbnb has revolutionised the way we travel.  Not only is it easy to use, but it can also be a lot cheaper than booking a hotel room.

Just about every destination around the world has hosts offering their homes up for rent on Airbnb, with the number of available homes growing every day. From units in the middle of the city to unique treehouses in the middle of the jungle, there’s something for everyone on Airbnb.

One of the best things about Airbnb is also that there is something for every budget. Whether you want to keep it super simple and save on accommodation by renting a room in someone’s home, or you want to blow out on a ten-person villa overlooking the ocean, you can find it on Airbnb!

Some of the coolest and most comfortable places I have stayed during my travels have been Airbnb accommodation. I would absolutely recommend checking out what is available in the areas you’re looking to visit and comparing the price with local hotels and resorts. You may be surprised!


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Package Deals

The very first time I travelled to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, I paid around $1,700 for return flights and two weeks accommodation by booking a package deal through Expedia Holidays. When I visited Samoa a couple of years later, I paid around $900 for return flights and one week’s accommodation by booking a package deal through Expedia Holidays. I love Expedia Holidays.

The lesson here is that a lot of money can be saved by booking your trip as a package deal, rather than separate elements. Of course, this doesn’t work all the time – you may be flying in and out of different airports or staying in different areas during your trip. However, for those who plan to fly to a destination, stay in one hotel then fly home, booking your trip as a package deal can save you a whole lotta cash!



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Booking directly with the hotel or resort

When you search for accommodation providers online, the majority of options are displayed via third party booking sites (like booking.com, Expedia or Wotif). What a lot of people don’t realise is that these third-party sites take a percentage of the price in exchange for displaying the hotel or accommodation provider in their search results. This can mean that sometimes the prices you are shown, which claim to be the cheapest, aren’t always the cheapest since the hotels often have to increase their prices slightly to account for the third-party site’s cut.

Make sense?

If you book directly with a hotel or resort, you may find that their prices are slightly cheaper than the third-party sites. This can be especially true if you call or email them directly and tell them that you’re thinking of booking through a third-party site and see if they can offer you a better price. Sometimes they do because they still get your business without having to pay the third-party site their cut. It is always worth a try!



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Travel in the off season

So simple, yet so true. While travelling in the off season isn’t always convenient (I once visited Rarotonga for three weeks in the off season and it rained constantly almost every day), it can definitely be a much more affordable option.

Hotels and airlines often discount their prices in the off season because there aren’t as many people travelling and they want to still try and fill their rooms or seats! This is a great option for those who are flexible with their travel dates.


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I hope these tips help you when you’re booking your next holiday! Do you have any other tips on how to save money when planning your next adventure? Let me know in the comments!
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