Annabel Candy has traveled in over 40 countries, lived in eight of them and holds both British and Kiwi passports. Now settled in Australia, she shares her travel stories and tips online to encourage readers to make the most out of their travel experiences.
We work hard to save money for our holidays but it’s tricky to know how much spending money you’ll need unless you plan ahead. You can take the guess work out of budgeting for an overseas family holiday by booking and paying for as much as possible before you leave. We’ll look at each of your major overseas holiday expenses, including how to budget for them and some opportunities to save money on them.
When organising your family travel, don’t overlook one of the most important parts of travel planning: the right level of travel insurance. For a modest cost, you and your family will be covered for lost luggage, disrupted flights, medical assistance including evacuation, and hospital cover. Without it, you could find yourself caught out with big bills in the event of an accident or emergency. Our Travel Money experts will be able to create Travel Insurance policy recommendations to suit your family trip.
Accommodation will probably be one of your biggest expenses. Fortunately, you can take the guess work out of budgeting for accommodation by seeing what’s available online and researching the cost. Be aware of peak travel times such as Christmas or New Year which could carry a big surcharge and blow your budget. An advantage of modern travel is the range of accommodation options available, from budget and basic, to five-star, through to “out of the box” ideas such as glamping; because of this, there are more options than ever to align with your family’s budget.
Package holidays often offer outstanding deals on accommodation as travel companies can block book rooms in advance at prices well below those you might get on a single booking. You may prefer to contact the accommodation provider yourself to check if they can give you a better deal, but be aware that direct bookings may not offer the security and support of booking through a well-known travel agency like Flight Centre, who can help if any problems arise before or during your holiday.
The best option with accommodation is always to book in advance as soon as you’ve found the best option for your budget, as prices may rise closer to your departure date.
If you’re traveling overseas with the family, food can cost a lot as children need to eat often and can be fussy too. One way to stick to your budget is to book accommodation which includes set meals, offers free kids’ meals or is self-catering, so you can make breakfast, packed lunches and snacks yourself.
Another way to stick to the budget is to take child-friendly snacks such as muesli bars, dried fruit or nuts that travel well and don’t perish. Just take care not to break any quarantine restrictions.
They say the best things in life are free, so hopefully you’ll have time for free activities such as relaxing in the pool or by the beach during your trip. Still, there are some holiday experiences that cost extra but are worth the price for the precious memories they’ll provide.
Work out the cost of excursions, day trips or travel experiences before you leave then let everyone in the family choose one favourite. Explain to the kids that you won’t be able to do everything because you have a budget to stick to and get the whole family in agreement on what you’ll do this holiday and what will be on your wish list for another time.
When purchasing tickets to attractions, try to buy family passes or get a bulk discount for a group purchase. Check whether you are eligible for any other discounts and if there are age limits on children’s tickets.
Another way to manage sundry expenses and pestering is to give everyone a set amount of spending money for their holiday and tell the kids they can use it to buy whatever they like but, once it’s gone it’s gone. This teaches children to be selective about how they spend their money and frees you from having to constantly dig into your own spending money or say no. It’s amazing how often kids decide not to buy something once they realise it’s coming out of their own spending money, not the bank of mum and dad! Even better, get them saving their own holiday money in the lead up to the big trip.
A really easy way to overspend, or break your holiday budget is to be underprepared for HOW you are paying for your holiday costs. Things to consider include: what currencies will I need, do we have any flight stopover periods where we will need food or transfers to and from the airport? Will we need smaller change for places such as markets?
We recommend taking both local cash and a pre-paid travel money card like Multi-Currency Cash Passport™, for payment flexibility and security. Overseas or online, your Cash Passport™ will let you access your travel money around the world. You can load up to 9 foreign currencies on one card, and lock in the exchange rate* available at the time you load your card so you always know how much you have in foreign cash.
Cash Passport™ can be used anywhere that accepts MasterCard®, and is convenient and easy to use. Our Travel Money FXperts in store can help you with budget planning, finding the local currencies you'll need while travelling and explain the features of a Cash Passport™ so you can make the most of your spending money while on holiday with your loved ones. You can also print out our handy Budget Planner to organise your travel money better before heading overseas.
*Lock in your exchange rates mean the exchange rate is locked in for the initial load only. The exchange rates for subsequent reloads will be set at the prevailing exchange rate at the time of the transaction.
Disclaimer: The Multi-currency Cash Passport™ (“Cash Passport”) is an unsecured debt security issued by Travelex Card Services Limited, a member of the Travelex group. Cash Passport is not guaranteed by any member of the Travelex group or any other entity. Before you make a decision to acquire a Cash Passport, we recommend you to read the Product Disclosure Statement which is available free of charge at www.cashpassport.co.nz. MasterCard® and the MasterCard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard International Incorporated.
This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you. We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.