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quick tips for holidaymakers

I’m currently preparing for my first overseas jaunt and have learned a few things that I thought I would share with those who may be as uneducated as I. I apologise now if it turns out these things are Captain Obvious, but hey, my first flight was at 21 years of age, so really, I knew next to nothing about travel before I started planning this. Here is what I have picked up:

The exchange rate you see on the news is not the rate you can exchange your cash for.

AU$1 = US$1.05? Kaching! Actually, no. Yes, that might be what the news is reporting, but the number stated is the rate at which large institutions trade money at, thousands upon thousands of dollars at a time. You, on the other hand, will not get that rate. Think of it as buying something in bulk. The more you buy, the more you save. So that eats away at some of the cash you think you will be getting. Then, depending on where you exchange your cash, you could be charged a commission to do so. So that US$1.05 you think you will be getting – it could actually be somewhere around US$0.99.

Budget airlines are just that.

Take a look at what you actually get for what you are paying, because things like meals and entertainment do not come standard on some budget airlines. Hungry? You’ll have to buy something on board. Uncomfortable? They’ll charge you for that pillow. Bored? Buy a movie.

The most expensive insurance isn’t necessarily the best.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying never to get the expensive insurance; I’m just saying check out your options. What do you get for what are you paying for? Read the Product Disclosure Statement before you purchase, because you might find you are paying to be covered to go skiing, even though you aren’t visiting any snowfields.

It’s worth researching the huge range of ways you can carry your money around.

Look at cost versus convenience. Do you really want to be carrying around five separate cards for five separate currencies to save $100 in fees? Also look at how much your credit card company is going to charge you to use it overseas, how much it will cost to use foreign ATM’s, and how much you will be charged to convert the currency at the time you use those cards.

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2 thoughts on “quick tips for holidaymakers

  1. Good tips! I’m going on my first overseas trip in September and am in anxiety freak out mode like the anxious creature I am. I’d also add for packing — pack light and make sure you know the luggage restrictions/rules for carry on for your airline.

  2. Agreed with the pack light advice. I never end up using/needing/wanting about a third of the items I pack. It might not be a huge deal if you aren’t over your baggage weight allowance and still have room for souvenirs, but if you’re travelling around, moving locations, or backpacking, every each bit is another annoying thing you have to lug around.

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