After a few years cooped up, it’s time to travel. We’re all itching for an overseas sojourn, which means we want to spend every last cent of that holiday fund account — we gotta juice every single second of our trip.
Whether you’re keen to recreate Emily In Paris (please don’t), wanna travel across South America or are planning a country-hopping trip through South East Asia, it’s best to start sketching out some smart ways to save now, in order to help you enjoy more baguettes, empanadas and Bintangs down the line (yes, my holidays are usually based around carbs).
Here are five ways to make your money go that extra mile, inspired by Flight Centre’s commitment to unravelling travel with its Travel Money Oz Currency Pass, a card that locks in exchange rates* and can hold multiple currencies at once, so you can focus on fun.
#1. Travel Off-Season
We all know that Christmas time means spenno flights, but entire months and seasons can see flights, hotels and even tourist spots go up in price.
Travelling to Mykonos in peak party season makes sense, but so does heading there a few months after summer’s peak — it’s still warm, but accommodation will be more competitively priced. Taking time to research the peak periods and comparing flight and accommodation costs could make all the difference in your budget: ultimately the decision’s up to you whether the savings are worthwhile.
#2. Rent Out Your Car Or Place
Sub-letting or renting out your place while you’re away is an obvious tip — duh — but you might not have thought about renting out your car, too. It’s an easy way to make a little passive income while you’re away, especially if your vehicle’s just going to be sitting there. Sites like DriveMyCar and CarNextDoor are popular carshare options if you don’t have someone in mind.
You could even offer up your car space if you live in a spot with high-parking demand — a search through sites like Spacer or ParkHound will show whether your spot’s in demand.
#3. Lock In That Exchange Rate
A fluctuating exchange rate can seriously throw your budget out of whack — if you’re planning a trip with a certain conversion rate, a drop could knock hundreds off your funds (if not more). Locking in an exchange rate before travelling both ensures you know how many Euros you’re working with and gives you peace of mind, which is why Flight Centre offer the Travel Money Oz Currency Pass.
Working across 10 major currencies and accepted wherever Mastercard is† (AKA pretty much everywhere), the Currency Pass is both a smart way to ensure your budget and makes travel as simple as possible. You can also top it up whenever you want to online.
If you load more than the equivalent of $1000 AUD in foreign currency onto a card at a Flight Centre store, for a limited time, you’ll get $40 off: plus, anybody who loads foreign currency onto a Currency Pass at a Flight Centre store between 31 March – 28 April 2022 goes into the draw to win 1 of 4 $2,500 Flight Centre Gift Cards^. That’s one way to make your money go the distance.
#4. Research Like You’re Giles From Buffy (AKA Really Thoroughly And Maybe With An Accent For Fun)
It’s obvious, but it’s worth repeating: research is your friend. Break out the Lonely Planets, ask your globe-trotting friends, Google the house down. Keeping room for spontaneity is important – who knows, you might have your own Before Sunrise / Lizzie McGuire and Paolo moment! But if you have a general idea of how much certain destinations cost, what the common rip-offs are and whether it’s really worth blowing the budget at that fancy restaurant everyone Instagrams, you’ll be in a good spot to spend your cash the right way. Of course, you could always ask the experts at Flight Centre, too.
#5. Cash And Card
Depending on your destination, it’s possible you will only need to carry cash for the small things, like market stalls, Berlin spätis, or street vendors.
We’d recommend playing it safe with cash by only taking a little, and then mixing it up between a Travel Money Oz Currency Pass for everyday items and then your regular credit card for those big travel spends, like hotel deposits or car rentals. Keeping the last one safe in a…safe… could be a good idea, too, if you want that extra security while you travel.
† Mastercard Prepaid Management Services Australia Pty Ltd (ABN 47 145 452 044, AFSL 386 837) arranges for the issue of the Currency Pass in conjunction with the issuer, Heritage Bank Limited (ABN 32 087 652 024, AFSL 240 984). You should consider the Product Disclosure Statement for the relevant product available at Travel Money Oz’s website and the Target Market Determination available at https://www.heritage.com.au/terms-conditions/target-market-determinations before deciding to acquire the product. Any advice does not take into account your personal needs, financial circumstances or objectives and you should consider if it is appropriate for you.
* Lock in your exchange rates means 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.
+ Travel Money Oz Currency Pass is unable to be used for purchases related to gambling or adult entertainment. Currently, Travel Money Oz Currency Pass cannot be used in the following countries and geographical regions due to sanctions that are currently in place: Crimea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria and as advised in the FAQs.
^$40 off promotion is only valid for a load of AUD 1,000 equivalent made directly in foreign currency between 31 March – 28 April 2022 at a Flight Centre Store and is redeemable only once per cardholder. To go into the draw to win one of four $2,500 Flight Centre Gift Cards load, a minimum of AUD 20 equivalent in an eligible foreign currency at a Flight Centre store between 31 March – 28 April 2022. For full terms and conditions see here and here.Image: Broad City