Imagine booking your dream vacation, and only a week in – you’ve run out of cash! Uh oh. How did this happen? What’s worrying is that this happens to a fair amount of travellers. Don’t get distracted by the bright lights and attractions, plan your spending carefully and save yourself from cutting your trip short and needing to be rescued. When you’re spending money in the currency of your destination, think of how much it is in Australian dollars. You might find that what seems cheap is still expensive.

Budget Your Spending Money on Vacation


Food and Alcohol

Most of us will indulge in restaurants and take out while we’re on holiday, and why not? It’s fun to have a different selection of cuisine for every meal while we’re away, but eating out even once a day can end up being quite expensive. Buying food on a whim is a fast way to lose cash and feel like you’ve nothing to show for it! One way around it is to plan the places you’ll eat at or how frequently you’ll eat out, and organise to having snacks or food from local grocery stores to eat while you’re back at the hotel. Alternatively, if you’re an organised traveller with a knack for saving, allocate a chunk of your spending money towards eating out.


Travelling within your destination – whether it’s via public transport, cabs or perhaps even domestic flights – can add hundreds of dollars to your expenses. Always be aware of the best way to get around the city you’re in, and with smartphone capabilities you’ll be able to find the fastest route and median fare on each mode of transport. It’s not uncommon for cab drivers to rip off tourists by taking them the long way. If you’ve got interstate travel on the itinerary, book your flights or bus tickets as far in advance as possible, to ensure you check the cheapest fare.

Tours and Theme Parks

Planning what tours or tourist locations you’d like to go to is a great way to save money on vacation, because by purchasing your tickets ahead of time you can save on the full price you’d be charged at the door. Some parks and tours will cost you around $100 per day, but online bookings will offer two for the price of one deals or early bird specials, which you won’t find unless you look!


So small, so cute, but so overpriced! Think about the item you’re buying and whether or not it can be bought later at a bigger store or even online. Even more practically, think of what you’ll do with it once you’ve brought it home – is there a place or purpose for it? You’re probably just as well to buy a smaller more space-effective trinket for less. Think postcards and fridge magnets!

It’s easy to get carried away when you’re on holiday, but it’s important to be keeping track of your spending money and the purchases worth making. Don’t get yourself into credit card debt by using a card for all your vacation expenses, when proper preparation and organisation can prevent it. Think of your vacation priorities – are you looking to eat a lot of different food, or would you rather do a lot of sightseeing? Thinking about where you’d prefer to spend your money will help you once you land!