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Seven savvy ways to save for an overseas holiday

Monday, 19 January 2015

With the Aussie dollar at a four and a half year low, nearly half of Australian’s say it will affect their holiday plans in 2015, according to new research from St.George Bank.

St.George research reveals 45% of Aussies are deterred from international travel due to the low dollar.

Of those who do plan to travel in 2015, one in five Australian’s said they would fund their holiday with their credit card.

In terms of international destinations, the most popular for 2015 were voted as South East Asia (20%) followed closely by Europe (18%), New Zealand (16%) and America (15%).

Andy Fell, General Manager for St.George Retail Banking said that he falling dollar was definitely good news for domestic tourism – but travellers wanting to travel internationally shouldn’t be too disheartened.

“With careful and early planning it is still possible to keep your dreams of an international getaway alive,” he said.   

“With some simple saving strategies earlier in the year, it’s possible to have your 2015 holiday fund set aside – without relying on your credit card.”

St.George’s top tips for saving for a holiday in 2015 are: 

  1. Start with a total destination budget – work out where you want to go and how much it will cost you each day. Include everything, taking into account currency - airfares, transport, accommodation, food, sightseeing, shopping – then you will have your total savings goal.

  2. Break your savings goal down into a weekly amount - For example you want to go to Fiji in 6 months’ time (26 weeks), your total holiday cost is $3000, this equates to a savings goal of $115 per week.

  3. Check your budget - Take a look at your budget to see if you’ll be able to reach your goal in the timeframe set - it’s important your holiday budget and savings timeframe is realistic and obtainable. Can you find more room in your budget to save? If not, consider adjusting the holiday budget or time of travel.

  4. Set up a ‘holiday fund’ savings account – Have an automatic payment into this account every pay. Whenever you have any extra cash, transfer it into your holiday account.

  5. Use a travel money card – If you’ve managed to reach your savings goal this is fantastic news! Consider a travel money card which can be preloaded with your funds and used just as a credit card. You can even load multiple currencies for multiple destinations and buy when the exchange rate is good.

  6. Be a savvy shopper when booking your holiday – Book early to get the best discounts - fly outside of peak season if you can and use travel comparison websites for the best deal. Also don’t forget to check if your credit card offers free travel insurance, so you are not paying for insurance you don’t need.

  7. Pay as much as you can before you leave - This way you’ve locked in your accommodation and travel rates, you won’t have any nasty surprises – and you’ll know how much you have left to spend while you are there.

Key findings from St.George research:

  • 45% said the low Aussie dollar would deter them from travelling overseas in 2015
  • The higher the age group, the less worried about the dollar travellers become, with two thirds of those aged 25 and under saying they dollar deterred them, compared to a third of those aged 45 and over.
  • One in five said they would fund their holiday with their credit card
  • When it comes to saving for a holiday vs placing it on your credit card, nearly a third (27%) of males are most likely to do this, compared to less than a quarter of females (15%)
  • 70% of Aussies said they would use their existing savings to pay for their holiday
  • The most popular international destinations where respondents noted they were planning to travel to in 2015 were South East Asia (20%) followed closely by Europe (18%), New Zealand (16%) and America (15%)
  • Central and South America & Japan came in equal lowest (5% ) and UK has also been removed from many Aussie’s list at 7%
  • While South East Asia was the overall winner for destination, the younger generation (25 and under) prefer America (24%) and Europe (23%) over Asia (12%), while those 25-45 all preferred South East Asia.
      

For those 55+ Europe was a clear favourite (20%) compared to 14% who would like to visit South East Asia and 13% who would like to visit to America.