Suncorp Bank’s Saving Tips For Last-minute Travellers
6 August 2015
Thousands of Australian rugby fans dressed in green and gold will board a plane set for the United Kingdom this September, as the Wallabies prepare to compete in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
While nothing gets Australian sporting enthusiasts packing their bags faster than an opportunity to claim victory over international rivals, Suncorp Bank is encouraging jetsetters to put their finances in order before starting the holiday count down.
With Australian travelers deemed the world’s second-biggest spendersi, Suncorp Bank Regional Manager, Brad Steele, said there was little wonder a recent Suncorp Bank report revealed ‘saving for a holiday’ was the number one reason for Australians to set a budget.
“The research found travel was a higher priority for people saving than any other category, including buying a first home or new car,” Mr Steele said.
“Money is always going to be a concern when travelling overseas. Aside from the obvious expenses like flights and accommodation, factoring in currency conversion rates, data roaming, insurance, and international fees can all quickly blow the budget.
“The first step is to be realistic about how much you will spend overseas, and stick to a clear budget in the lead up to your travel. There is no fun returning home from a trip in debt, so budgeting for your travel before you go and once you return is something to think about.”
But how do you do it? Whether you have two years or two weeks before your next international escape, Mr Steele said there are some easy things you can do now, so you don’t have to sacrifice the fun-stuff while abroad.
Two years to save
- Think about putting your money where it will earn interest, such as a term deposit account. A term deposit is a type of savings product where you lock away an amount of money with a financial institution for a fixed period of time (the term) and receive a guaranteed rate of interest back in return.
- Be realistic about how much you need for your trip. Set automatic transfers into a high-interest savings account and be rewarded for the money you put away. Aside from offering higher interest rates than everyday transactional accounts, some savings accounts reward regular deposits while discouraging withdrawals.
12 months to save
- Research your holiday destination. Using the destination's tourism website or reading books and reviews can give you tips on the best activities and transport methods.Prepaying for these elements of your trip may be cheaper if booked from Australia.
- Check to see how much luggage your airline will let you depart and arrive with. For some airlines, pre-buying extra luggage weight online works out much cheaper than at the airport.
Six months to save
- Look for the best credit card deal to suit your travel needs. A credit card can be a useful payment option while travelling, and some cards offer complimentary travel insurance if you meet certain requirements as mentioned in the terms and conditions.Give yourself enough time to research the best credit card for your needs, check your provider’s international fees, and set a realistic credit limit to ensure you can meet the repayments when you return home to avoid paying interest. Alternatively, most financial institutions including Suncorp Bank offer prepaid travel money cards, with varying levels of fees, features and flexibility.
- If you are planning an extended journey, consider selling some of your belongings to make some extra cash and save on storage while away. Ebay and Gumtree are fast and effective ways to sell clothes that don't fit you anymore, any old kitchen goods or books that you no longer want. These are also great sites to look for discounted travel essentials such as a suitcase, ski jacket, or hiking boots to save you money.
Leaving in two weeks
- Plan for when you return. If you can take your holiday on paid annual leave, consider taking half of the holiday leave paid in advance to cover the initial costs, and the remainder of the holiday on your regular pay cycle. This way you will have some money in the bank when you return to pay off your credit card in the interest-free period.
- Organise your foreign currency. It is recommended to have a combination of currency types and cards for backup. Have small denominations of cash available for food in between connecting flights etc. when you first arrive.
- If you have any bills due, schedule them in advance using your bank’s online services.Also speak to your bank about added security measures, such as Suncorp Bank’s Security Token, for accessing your online accounts while overseas. It is generally not advisable to use internet cafes unless you know they are safe.
- If you are taking your phone overseas, contact your provider to see if you can make and receive calls overseas. As a cheaper alternative, it may be worthwhile purchasing a prepaid phone/SIM card overseas.
About Suncorp: Suncorp Group includes leading general insurance, banking, life insurance and superannuation brands in Australia and New Zealand. The Group has 14,500 employees and relationships with nine million customers. Suncorp Group Limited is a Top 20 ASX-listed company with $94 billion in assets. Suncorp Bank is Australia’s leading regional bank servicing more than one million personal, SME and agribusiness customers. 2013 Visa Global Travel Intentions survey