Fancy a holiday? You’ll be amazed how far a small amount of cash can take you!
Everyone needs a holiday every now and then. Perhaps it’s a quick trip away with your mates, a family holiday with the kids, a couples getaway – or even your honeymoon! But when cash is tight – whether it be because you’re unemployed, a student, on benefits or earning a low income – and especially if you’ve just had to pay for a wedding – it can be really hard to afford a holiday. But with a little ‘out of the box’ thinking, together with some careful planning, you’ll be amazed at the wonderful holiday you can have, at a cost of next to nothing!
The ultimate cheap and easy holiday – you’ll have a ball getting out and enjoying each other’s company in the great outdoors and all nature has to offer, with almost not a cent to spend.
- You don’t have to have a heap of expensive camping gear – put the word out to family and friends and you should be able to arrange a loan of all the basics – a tent, some sleeping mats and bags, a camp stove and esky – and you’re set!
- There’s some great camping spots within easy reach of the Gold Coast. Try these handy guides to some of the ‘secret’ spots around the Gold Coast.
- Hit the Hinterland and head to Lamington National Park. There’s a gorgeous campground in the Green Mountains, and as it’s adjacent to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Resort you’ll be able to enjoy lots of the gorgeous walks and facilities the area has to offer.
- Or hit the amazing Thunderbird Park at Mt Tamborine. With amazing landscapes and wildlife, beautiful rock pools and fabulous rock bordered fire pits, it ticks all the boxes!
- Camping with kids? Here’s some favourite family spots around the Gold Coast area, so you know the kids will be happy too.
Everyone loves a holiday, but it’s not something that’s easily affordable for a lot of people, who perhaps like you are low on cash.
- So why not consider a house swap and enjoy a free change of scene? Holiday at someone else’s home, and let them holiday at yours – and you both holiday for free!
- Perhaps you could arrange a swap with friends who live interstate.
- Or there’s some great sites that can help, like House Swap Holidays, Aussie House Swap or Love Home Swap.
- Review listings for the Gold Coast area like this one, or this one, and use them as inspiration for creating your own listing.
- Then start dreaming about where you might like to go, and get planning!
If a house swap doesn’t sound like your thing, you could always try a short term housesitting stint instead, and holiday at someone else’s home for free!
- Check out Gold Coast listings on sites like Aussie House Sitters, House Carers or Trusted House Sitters.
- And if you’re happy to travel a little, broaden your search to your dream destinations, and see if you can nab a free housesit – and free holiday accommodation!
Holiday near home
- If you can spare come cash for accommodation, but can’t stretch your budget to also include expensive travel costs, then holiday near home.
- Check out listings near the Gold Coast on Home Away. There’s a huge range of budget priced accommodation for all needs and tastes.
- By staying somewhere self-contained, you’ll also be able to self-cater and will minimise the amount of cash you need to spend on meals and dining out.
Still want a resort or hotel stay? Book early!
While you can occasionally get a fabulously cheap last minute deal, accommodation and travel are usually cheapest the earlier you buy.
- If you can, plan ahead as far as possible, and do your online research.
- If you book a year ahead you can often book an amazing holiday at a fraction of the price.
Time it to perfection
Save a load of time, stress and cash by avoiding peak holiday times.
- Check the school holidays calendar to find the best time to travel – the cheapest periods are usually those times well outside the school holiday periods. You can reap big savings on flights and accommodation by travelling in off-peak periods or the shoulder season.
- Bear in mind that popular destinations and those on the coast are at premium prices during school holidays and in the weeks covering Christmas through to Australia Day – unless you get in really early.
- If you want to travel a little further afield and can stretch your budget to include flights, then be sure to browse deals and book online rather than using a travel agent. Try looking for flight specials out of Coolangatta airport on sites like Wotif, Sky Scanner, I want that flight, Webjet, Expedia and Zuji.
- Book as far in advance as you can to get the cheapest departure dates and times.
- You’ll usually save loads by flying mid-week (on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday), and on flights that depart early in the morning or late at night.
Online accommodation deals
There are loads of websites specialising in discounted hotels and holiday apartments.
- Try Wotif, Last Minute, Expedia and Trivago.
- Remember to do your homework with online deals – some can entice you by advertising special last-minute promotions, but while the price might look good and hook you in, the availability is generally very limited. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try – there are some great deals to be had if you’re lucky!
- Beware of fees and charges when booking online. Most sites charge booking fees so remember to factor these in when comparing deals.
- Or look for an option to pay by direct deposit as this can help avoid hefty credit card surcharges – and it also avoids future debt, as you know your holiday is all paid for before you go.
City Finance can help you with fast cash
Need help getting a little extra cash together for a holiday, or any other need? Just pop in and visit our friendly staff at our Gold Coast branch for a chat and some helpful advice.