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How to budget for the holiday break

Making budgeting work for your next adventure  

Australians eagerly awaiting an end of year break should plan their holiday budget well in advance, says the Customer Owned Banking Association.

As temperatures climb and talk of Christmas parties begin to circulate around the office, many Australians are thinking about an end of year getaway.

To help Australians plan for their next holiday COBA has prepared a series of tips and tricks to make sure time away is spent relaxing and not worrying about money.

  1. Cost the most expensive items first, like flights and accommodation. If it’s too expensive to fly to your dream destination in the short term you can turn that trip idea into a long-term saving goal.
  2. Research the cost of living in your destination so you know how much you’re likely to spend each day. Guidebooks and websites like Lonely Planet are a good place to start.
  3. Plan your itinerary and research how much different activities are going to cost you. This will help you prioritise which activities are ‘must do’ and which are ‘nice to do’.
  4. Allocate a set amount for souvenirs, trinkets and gifts. While one Bintang shirt is cheap, buying one for every family member quickly adds up.
  5. Budget for travel insurance. As the saying goes, if you can’t afford insurance, you can’t afford to travel.
  6. If you’re travelling overseas, research the different foreign currency conversion rates and fees from different banks and providers to find the best deal. Also investigate pre-loaded travel cards and whether they’re right for you.

COBA’s Director of Strategy Sally Mackenzie says starting with the big items helps the rest of a holiday budget take shape.

“Flights and accommodation are likely to be the two biggest cost items. You need to figure out how much you can afford to spend on each item to help guide your destination and your budget.

“While a trip to Morocco is a great adventure, the excitement and wanderlust will fade pretty quickly if you over stretch your budget while you’re on the other side of the world.

Ms Mackenzie said planning ahead is the key to having a good break.

“A little planning ahead can feel like it is taking the fun out of planning a holiday, but it will prevent you from worrying while you are away.

“Whether it’s a quick get away or a bucket list adventure it pays to budget.”

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Ashley Penny
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