Saving for a well-deserved holiday?

Posted by Rabobank Australia on

Quartermaine Family

The world is opening up again, and after such a lengthy Covid confinement, our feet have never been itchier.

And whether it’s a short interstate break or the overseas trip of your dreams, careful saving is essential to ensure your holiday is affordable, and unforgettable.

When it comes to saving for a holiday, we have a few easy tips to help your money go further – so you can relax and focus on making memories.

1. Plan, plan, plan

The early bird catches the worm – and some great deals! Being organised can save you significantly in the long run.

  • Take advantage of a wider selection of affordable flights by booking early. Shop around for flights using sites such as Skyscanner and Webjet, and use any Frequent Flyer points you have to reduce flight costs. Midweek flights are generally cheaper, and if you don’t mind an early or late start, or a longer route, less popular flights will save you significantly – definitely worth getting out of bed for!
  • Research your accommodation and compare to find the best deal. Hotel accommodation may be cheaper, but an apartment with kitchen and laundry facilities could ease your food and washing budget. Airbnb accommodation is also a great option, providing plenty of amenities and space for larger groups to share costs. Before you book, research your accommodation – check out Google maps to make sure it’s not next to a highway or a nightclub – it may be affordable for a reason! For ease of communication, it’s also worthwhile booking directly with accommodation providers, which often price match, rather than through a third party. Also consider whether it’s worth paying a bit more to stay centrally, mitigating the cost of transport?
  • If possible, book outside peak times such as school holidays and celebrations. Shoulder periods – a week or two either side of school holidays – tend to be more affordable, with greater access to activities, restaurants and a better chance of getting that holiday ‘money shot’ without the crowds. Very worthwhile!

2. Set a savings goal

By now you’ll have a general idea of how much your holiday will cost, so it’s time to start saving.

  • We have a suite of calculators to help you budget and save, including our Rabobank online savings calculator – a good starting point when working out budgets, and how much you can afford to put aside regularly towards your trip. Having a set limit is a good way to make sure you don’t blow out your spending and keep your savings aside.

3. Open one or more separate accounts specific for saving

  • Our Financial Health Barometer survey indicates that just over one third of Aussies are saving using their everyday transaction account which in most cases earns zero interest, but by using a savings account earning any interest you are already one step ahead.
  • If you’re travelling soon – within the next few months – then make sure your savings account has a competitive interest rate with at-call access, meaning no waiting periods necessary when accessing your funds, such as our Rabobank High Interest Savings Account*. Automate your savings or use direct debit to automatically put savings into your account. By setting up a regular savings plan you can get yourself into a good savings routine, and accounts such as our Rabobank PremiumSaver* will financially reward you for doing so by paying a higher interest rate while you’re growing your savings.
  • If your trip is a year or more away, consider a ‘fixed term’ account like a Term Deposit* or Notice Saver* so your funds are locked away and could earn you a higher interest rate, which means more money to spend on holidays. These accounts also help control impulses and avoid you dipping in to them.

4. Some tricks of the trade

You may be in holiday mode, but you can still make your money go further while away. Astute travellers know all the tips to save money while on holidays.

  • Consider your food spend. Buffet breakfasts, restaurant meals, even bottled water all adds up. Eat breakfast at home before you venture out for the day, and prepare ready-made lunch and snacks – if your accommodation allows. And always carry a water bottle, buying water for a family quickly adds up, not to mention the environmental impact.
  • If you’re looking for an activity-based holiday, pre-book through a dedicated local booking website, which often offer pre-booking discounts.
  • If booking a rental car, do your research. The big companies are not always the cheapest, so shop around and consider whether they offer reciprocal Australian roadside assistance (such as NRMA) services.
  • If you’re travelling in a group, a pre-ordered van airport transfer can be cheaper than multiple taxis, and more convenient than public transport. And you’ll feel a bit like a rock star.
  • Check with your credit card provider as to whether they provide complimentary insurance cover. Check the Terms and Condition to understand what the insurance actually covers – you may, or not, need additional travel insurance coverage.
  • Exchange your money before you leave to avoid higher exchange rates, particularly at airports once you arrive. In fact, avoid spending anything at the airport if you can – they are notoriously expensive!
  • Many overseas travellers get stung by their phone bill upon their return. To minimise your bill, buy a local SIM card at your destination, or a prepaid roaming SIM card before you go. Download all web-based documents before you leave, and use only free Wi-Fi where possible once overseas, usually available at your accommodation. Try and turn off data roaming whenever possible.

5. Check the fine print

  • While our borders are now opened, plans can still change in an instant with continual Covid reinfection waves. Make sure all your accommodation, flights and activities have a Covid cancellation policy so you’re not out of pocket if things don’t go to plan. .


Any financial information provided in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. We recommend that you seek independent advice from your accountant or financial adviser before making any financial decisions.

*Rabobank Australia Limited ABN 50 001 621 129 AFSL 234 700 is the issuer of these financial products. Eligibility requirements and other conditions may apply. Relevant disclosure documents, Terms And Conditions and Target Market Determinations for these financial products are available at, Rabobank branches or by calling 1300 30 30 33.