One of the great perks of life after work is your ability to travel whenever you like, but what do you do when your bank balance doesn’t quite match your retirement travel goals?
Never fear, these five holiday hacks will help you tick off your bucket list and save money while you’re at it.
Smart ways to save money
- Travel off-peak
It’s great to know that the freedom that comes with being retired can also save you money. From avoiding travelling during school holidays – when flight and accommodation prices are at a premium to flying outside of peak business travel times (such as Mondays mornings and Friday evenings), to travelling in low or shoulder season – there are serious savings to be made by adopting this strategy. And there’s an added bonus: by avoiding peak times you can enjoy the sights without the crowds too.
- Use age to your advantage
Being older has its benefits – and one of these is the discounts that come with being a senior. In particular, seniors can often save on train travel and entry to attractions, though you may need to have your seniors card or passport with you to qualify. And even if a seniors/concession/pensioners rate isn’t displayed, be sure to ask if one is available.
- Eat out at lunch not dinner
Travelling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to miss out on eating out, or going to even the finest restaurants. The trick here is to eat out for lunch, rather than dinner. Restaurant meals are often cheaper at lunchtime, and for even better value, restaurants, especially those in Europe, often offer lunch specials as a set, three course menu (look for prix fixe menus).
- Utilise the tourist refund scheme
If you’re holidaying outside of Australia, you can claim back the goods and services tax (GST) or wine equalisation tax (WET) paid on items purchased within 60 days of your trip, provided you take them on holiday with you and they meet other key criteria. This can lead to a substantial saving if you need to upgrade a big-ticket item such as an electronic device like your camera, phone or tablet, or even for a splurge such as a new handbag. For more information, visit the Government’s Tourist Refund Scheme page.
- Borrow, don’t buy
Depending on where – and when – you’re going, you may need special equipment for your trip. But rather than forking out big dollars, especially if it’s something you’ll only use once, ask around. You may find friends and family are more than happy to loan winter coats, snorkelling gear, travel adapters or even luggage. If you have to buy gear just for your trip, consider second hand rather than new to save.