Your ultimate guide to smart and efficient planning for your dream getaway. This resource provides practical tips and tools to help you calculate and save for your holiday costs, enabling you to enjoy your trip without worrying about finances when you get back.

Save now and play later

Whether it’s snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef or going on safari in the Serengeti, your next holiday will cost money. Saving before you leave will let you enjoy your holiday without guilt or running up a credit card debt. You don’t want to spend the next year paying off your trip.


Work out your holiday costs

The cost of your holiday depends on where you go and how you like to travel. Some costs to consider include:

  1. Airfares or transport costs
  2. Visa and passport charges
  3. Travel insurance
  4. Transport at your destination e.g. hire car
  5. Accommodation
  6. Food
  7. Entry fees to sights and activities
  8. Souvenirs
  9. Entertainment costs
  10. Extra money in case of emergencies
  11. Charges for using your phone for calls while you’re overseas
Smart Tip - Currency Exchange

There are many currency exchange operators both here and overseas. When comparing what each has to offer look at the exchange rate as well as fees, it’s all about how much cash you actually receive. Some may even match or better the rates of their competitors so it pays to research and negotiate.

If you carry lots of cash around, you could risk losing it. Consider other options such as travel cards or ATM withdrawals from your bank account. Find out what your bank charges to access your money overseas, including debit card transactions. Depending on where you are travelling, you may find you can simply tap and go like you do at home, and only need cash for tips and local souvenirs. For more information on travelling and safety precautions, see the Australian Government’s Smart traveller website.

Getting started


In addition to regular savings, you might cut back on spending before you go to have more money to spend on your trip. Review your budget to identify non-essential items you could temporarily reduce.

For example, Paul is going to Mexico and decided to save money by not going out for dinner for 2 months. He saved an extra $500 to which he can now spend going out in Mexico.

Look for savings in areas such as:

  • Entertainment
  • Restaurant meals
  • Clothes, shoes and accessories
  • Takeaway lunches and coffees
  • Alcohol and cigarettes
  • Streaming services and subscriptions


Seperate your savings

Make the most of your savings by putting it in a savings account where it will earn compound interest. A comparison website can help you find a suitable account, just make sure you can satisfy any conditions required to get a higher rate of interest.

Case study: Laura and James save up for Europe

Laura and James are planning to backpack around Europe in 18 months and have each set up a new savings account to save for their trip.

Laura opens an online savings account with an interest rate of 3% and no restrictions on how she uses the account, and deposits $500 every fortnight. James also saves $500 every fortnight into a savings account offering 1%, with 3% bonus interest providing he makes 5 debit card transactions a month. James thinks he can satisfy this requirement by using the account to pay for his daily coffee, a few dollars a day won’t make that much difference, especially when he’s getting a higher rate of interest.

Eighteen months later, Laura has saved almost $20,000, while James has only $18,500. He may have scored a higher interest rate but the need to make withdrawals, even small ones, has cost him.