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See the world, don't see red

12 April
2012

Posted by Beverley Stevens in Planning, Budgeting, Money tips | 0 comments

Someone wise once said that experiences make us happy, not things. For many Kiwis, those experiences come with travel.

Exploring new places and gathering new experiences needn’t be just for those flush with cash. With a bit of planning and some smart decisions, you can see the world and head home without a huge credit card bill. Sorted’s new online event planner helps work out what steps you need to take.

Before you go, do your research. Websites like TravelAdvisor and YouTube help you get a real feel for the places you’re considering. This means you’re taking fewer risks with your hard-earned money because when you get there, you know exactly what you’re in for and don’t visit places that may be a letdown.

Flights and accommodation are likely to be your biggest expenses. To get the best deal, travel in the shoulder seasons – spring and autumn. You’re likely to get more bang for your buck at the local attractions, and you won’t be fighting the crowds or wasting time in a queue. Consider overnight flights, train and bus trips too, as you’ll save on a night’s accommodation.

If you’re staying somewhere for a while, think about renting a self-catering apartment rather than always eating out. You also might be surprised to know that youth hostels have come a long way. Many offer single and double rooms and might even let you have yours for free in return for a few chores. Mixing up your accommodation options can also help keep costs down.

When you’re at your destination, think like a local. Take public transport or take in the local sites on foot. It’s a great way to see the sites, meet people, and the journey itself becomes an inexpensive part of your overall travel experience. One of the best ways to experience a new place is simply to sit in a public park or street and people watch. It’s free, and you’ll get insights into everyday life in a place far from home.

The key to returning home with your bank balance in the black and a host of fantastic experiences to treasure is good money planning before you go.