We Asked A Travel Agent For The Tea On The Cheapest Places To Visit
Stretch that dollar.
The uni lifestyle allows us plenty of opportunity to travel the globe throughout our studies. But the uni lifestyle also isn’t a very wealthy one, meaning we need to be careful how we spend our money on holidays.
When you add up the cost of flights, accommodation, meals, attractions, shopping and some “just in case” cash, it can leave a pretty hefty dent in your bank account. And the further you go from home, often the more expensive it can get.
While we would all love an exotic and lavish getaway, unfortunately there are some places in the world we just don’t have the funds to visit. We spoke to travel agent Laurice Burke from Helloworld Travel to get an insight on some budget-friendly travel destinations.
Bali is a classic Aussie holiday destination and one of the main reasons why is because of how cheap it is.
“There are so many different areas to stay in Bali and in all of it you can find very reasonable accommodation,” she says. “So there’s no need to only stay in the mainstream, touristy places.”
If you don’t feel like being surrounded by other Australians during your trip, Laurice suggests venturing into the highlands. “Abud is a great mountainous area to visit. There’s lots of culture there, as well as a cool monkey sanctuary.”
Another one of Laurice’s top picks is Thailand. “It’s really easy to navigate around yourself and save some cash,” she says. “You can just hire a little tuk tuk without having to fork out for a full-on tour.”
Laurice’s top tip is to do some research on little unknown islands and spend a day or two exploring. “If you’re at one of the beach places like Koh Samui or Phuket, there are islands nearby that you can spend the night at and they are pretty inexpensive.”
If you haven’t guessed it by now, Asia is a pretty cheap place for Aussies to travel. Vietnam has got something for everyone that everyone can afford.
“General transport around Vietnam is very inexpensive, but another fun and cheap way to get around is by bike,” says Laurice. “There’s plenty to see, even super educational museums are cheap as chips.”
But if you want the best Vietnam experience, Laurice says you gotta hang with the locals. “Get to know the locals that operate shops during the day and turn those shops into bars at night,” she recommends. “The beer is cheap and it’s a great atmosphere.”
While cruises are stereotypically for those well out of the 20-something age group, they’re actually a really affordable way to travel. You don’t have to unpack every time you get to a new destination, there are loads of activities on board, not to mention the copious amounts of food.
“Cruises are great value because most of your meals are included, so you only really have to budget for drinks and any extra shore activities you might want to do,” Laurice explained.
The price for a cruise depends on both the duration of the trip and the kind of vessel you travel on. “Seven-night cruises out of Australia to somewhere in the South Pacific are generally the cheaper options,” Laurice said. “But it’s still worth doing your research.”
Laurice’s rule of thumb is that the closer you stay to Australia, the cheaper your holiday generally will be. If you’re still wanting an adventure that takes you to the other side of the globe, she says a group tour is the best way to get the most bang for your buck.
“Something like a Topdeck or G Adventures tour are priced to suit budget-conscious people and they include a lot of extras,” Laurice says. “They’ll have city tours, cheaper accommodation, food or drink deals, and a tour director or guide with you the whole trip to help you out.”
We get so caught up trying to explore the rest of the world that it’s easy to forget that we also live in a pretty damn beautiful country as well. Laurice says the key to seeing more of Australia for as little cash as possible is to pick the right time of year.
“If you go up north in winter, like to Cairns for example, their rates are often higher because lots of people from down south head up during that time,” she explained. “But if you go during the “rainy season” in January/February, you’ll be paying off peak rates.”