It’s no secret that travelling can be extremely expensive! It can sometimes even cost you thousands of dollars extra if you’re not paying attention to what you’re paying for. I often get asked for tips about booking overseas travel and this is what I always recommend to people. Here are my tips for saving money when booking your travels:
Shop around for flights and accommodation
It’s good to put some research into the price patterns around the time you’re travelling. Instead of booking the first flights and hotel deals you see, shop around lots of websites to see what else is around. For flights it’s good to look on both travel websites such as Flight Centre and Skyscanner, as well as the individual airline websites such as Qantas and Emirates. For hotels it’s always good to check out Hotels Combined or Trivago, as they combine the prices of lots of different booking websites to make sure you get the best fare.
Do your research
It’s always a good idea to put some time into research before you start booking your trip. Check out the different locations and types of accommodation at the destination you’re going to, as well as the different types of airfares and what they include or don’t include. For example, Qantas might be more expensive than a Jetstar flight, but it’s likely that all extras such as baggage, inflight meals and entertainment will be included, whereas with Jetstar you will likely have to pay an additional price to add these things on. Understanding the difference between the options and why they are different prices will help you make more informed decisions about what you’re booking, as well as save money in the long run.
Check what your insurance covers
Find an insurance policy that actually suits your needs. There’s no point getting excited by free extras if you’re never going to need them. And never get your insurance from the travel agent! Check if your credit card offers travel insurance and what their terms and conditions are. For example, with an ANZ Platinum Credit Card I have complete travel insurance as look as I book at least $200 of my travels on the card. That’s not hard at all! I have also found AAMI to be extremely well priced when shopping around.
Packages aren’t always cheaper
I get deals all day long telling me about travel deals. You know the ones: Flights + 3 Nights and then they list a whole lot of “free” stuff that you don’t really care about like ‘drink upon arrive’. Whilst some of these deals are absolutely fantastic, many of them are no cheaper than it would cost to book the trip yourself and are full of terms and conditions that make it extremely difficult to make any changes to your itinerary. I have found that when you select deals you are often paying a lot more for accommodation then if you book flights and hotels separately. Packages and deals are the same as everything else – shop around before you commit to the deal.
No matter what aspect of the trip you’re planning it is always beneficial to shop around. It might take a little longer than going to the travel agent, but I guarantee it will save you a lot of money!