7 tips to make your dream holiday a realityBy Leanne Anderson | Feb 24, 11 02:40 PM
Recharge your business batteries with an overseas adventure. With planning and some insider tips, you can make that dream holiday a reality sooner than you think.
For many of us, our last overseas trip may have been a jaunt through Asia or Europe as a backpacker in our 20s. But for many Australians, the travel bug continues to bite with more than 20% of us taking overseas trips in 2009 and about 45% of us saying we were interested in overseas travel over the next two years (Roy Morgan Research, 2009).
If you have an overseas adventure on your ‘bucket list’ and you gaze lustfully at the pages of travel magazines in the newsagency, then here are 7 steps to help make it a reality.
1. Pick an affordable destination
If Europe seems out of your reach financially, consider our more affordable neighbours in Asia. Destinations such as Vietnam, Thailand or Cambodia combine adventure, outdoor activities, beach resorts, cultural experiences and great cuisine for a holiday destination to suit all budgets.
2. Make your credit card work for you
Put your credit card to work for you by linking it to a reward program that can be converted to travel miles. Try http://www.creditcardfinder.com.au/frequent-flyer-credit-cards to investigate options for maximising points.
3. Be an early bird
If you can’t accumulate points to travel overseas, early bird fares and specials from November can save you heaps. Attending travel expos each year can also help you pick up early bird deals and bargains.
Be on the look out for the release of new routes for existing airlines too - these are often released at bargain rates to generate publicity. When Jetstar started flying to Phuket in 2007, tickets were available for $AUD39 (+taxes) one-way from Sydney to Phuket.
4. Sign up…
Sign up for newsletters and email alerts - you’ll be among the first to hear about discounts, specials, early bird releases and new routes so that you can act quickly. Airlines such as Jetstar often release domestic and international airfare specials only to those travellers that have signed up to receive newsletters.
5. Find affordable (or free) accommodation
Behind flights, the second largest hit on your wallet is accommodation. Accommodating two adults and three children can be astronomical (not to mention the challenge of sharing a small, confined space).
Consider using self-catering holiday rentals - there are a wealth of reputable owner direct holiday rental sites where you’ll save money by dealing directly with the owner and not with a management agency.
For an even more affordable option (i.e. free), try a house swap for accommodation in your chosen dream destination. A quick search of an Australian based house swap site recently returned a listing for a beautiful villa with an infinity swimming pool in Phuket Thailand, where the family sought a house exchange with a family in Sydney. Free accommodation does exist!
6. Don’t travel in high season
Plan your travels to avoid peak season and school holidays; you’ll not only benefit from cheaper airfares and accommodation, but you’ll also find that the cities and sights you visit may be less crowded.
Travelling to Europe can be more affordable before June and after September when you can enjoy the highlights of the season without the high season price tag.
7. Stop dreaming
Get a piece of paper. Write down your dream destination. Pick a date. Start your research. If you don’t set a goal then you don’t have anything to aim for.
Good luck and bon voyage!
Leanne Anderson is a Business Chicks member and the founder of Getaway Guru, a website specialising in owner direct, Australian owned holiday rentals in France and Greece. She is passionate about helping travellers plan and go on their dream travel and lifestyle adventures.
More info at www.getawayguru.com.au or connect with her here.