Summer has finally arrived and so our thoughts turn to holidays and travel. Like many people we have an almost unlimited appetite for travel and indulgence. How do we get more bang for our buck and either travel more or save more or both? Here’s our top 5 ideas:
1 Airbnb With a Twist
We’re big fans of Airbnb. We’re both guests and hosts – renting out our former home at Glenelg North, along with using Airbnb for our holiday breaks. When we first started we would hire a whole place. But lately we have become braver and now rent rooms. The savings are big – for example on our next trip to Queenstown, we’re staying at a place with views and an en suite for just over $A100 per night. Glenys has stayed in Rozelle and Hornsby for only $60 per night (places that were closer to where she needed to be than commercial accommodation). If you’re going to try this, use these tips:
* Check out the reviews and only go with an established place with great reviews.
* Many homes have a real sense of separation from the owners – for example we stayed in a home at Port Douglas that had a separate entrance and looked out onto a pool ($A72 per night).
2 Stop Chasing Gold or Platinum Status
We were guilty of this. But we’ve given it away. In our case it was two reasons:
* Virgin Australia (Velocity programme) recently reduced the status credits that cheaper flights earn. If your employer is seeking the cheapest (or even cheaper) flights for you, you may find it very hard to accumulate status credits, unless you are flying at the front of plane and often.
* Great flight deals elsewhere. So today for example, China Southern’s maiden flight from Guangzhou flies into Adelaide. You may well be able to use Guangzhou (they also hub from Chongqing) to fly to Europe, the US and Asia.
3 Consider (Safe) Discount Airlines
We are thinking of flying with Scoot to Athens in 2018. (I just peaked at their site – prices to Athens from $A375). Scoot is a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines – so you can be confident about their safety. A good domestic example of Tigerair (a subsidiary of Virgin Australia) – we did a quick family visit to Sydney from Adelaide a few months ago – big savings, adequate seats and quite good service. The food (which we paid for – I should have packed something) was OK as well.
Just check which country the airline is regulated from. If the country has a poor reputation for administering safety, steer clear of the airline.
4 For Leisure Travel, Book Ahead
Generally for leisure travel, the best (economy) deals go first. For example Virgin release their flights at midnight, 330 days out (yes some people do stay up to get these – particularly folk using frequent flyers). The absolute cheapest deals, points or dollars, go first.
5 Use Your Points Wisely
Many people are members of points schemes – a lot of Australians would be members of both the Qantas FF scheme and of Velocity. Don’t use your points to buy a toaster. This would be a poor use of those points. Use them for a flight. If you’re keen on flying at the front of the plane, you will always get more value from the points if you use them for business or first class tickets than for economy.
So, have fun on your next break. Let us know how you will save on your next holiday!