Being a budget traveller, I need to plan and start saving for my visits to Rarotonga well in advance to experience a great holiday and to prevent myself going into debt by doing so.
I’ve always said the most important thing is simply to be there with no fancy extras. In order to make it possible I search for flight sales, I choose affordable places to sleep and cheaper venues and ways to eat while visiting. Activities are kept to a minimum or I’ll choose a mixture of free things to do and paid for tours if I can afford it. These are my basic guidelines I stick to in order to keep my holiday costs as low as possible.
I understand that saving up for a getaway can be hard even when trying to keep costs down. I’ve always had a bit of a system to make this possible. Seeing as a lot of people ask how I’m able to travel to Rarotonga often, I want to share it with you in the hope that it might help and inspire
others to save up and take that dream holiday without making excuses or going into debt.
My total budget for this holiday is $2,700 for 9 nights and 9 days.
On paper, I divide my holidays costs into 6 groups, usually in order of cost and priority
- FOOD & DRINK
- INSURANCE/SOUVENIRS/AIRPORT PARKING
By breaking your holiday down into groups you’re able to break down the total cost to make
saving the total achievable by saving for each, one by one. It’s less daunting than having to save a huge lump sum.
Once I have the broken down amounts I need to stick to, I work out where the money for each will come from. For my visit this year in 2019, I have a few small savings plans to make each element of my holiday possible.
Stash Cash to save for flights.
I aim to buy my flights in winter or October when the best flight prices are available for under $600 return. Last holiday I used my frequent flyer points for free flights but unfortunately I don’t have enough this year and have to pay.
Each time I am paid from my regular job I put just $50 away until I reach $600. This takes me approximately 12 pays (fortnightly) 6 months to achieve.
Stash Cash to save for accommodation.
I like to save up enough to allow me to stay for at least 8-10 nights. Sticking to a budget to cover this cost I allow $100 per night for this but always pay less.
After reaching the amount I need for flights, I continue to stash $50 each pay. As some booking sites don’t require payment until arrival which gives me plenty of time (another 6 months) to slowly save this amount.
FOOD & DRINK $400
A small investment will pay for this $400 total allowing me an average of $40 per day.
I give myself a challenge when it comes to eating in Rarotonga. I try to stick to $40 a day for food and drink to keep this big cost down. Some days I go without a drink while other days I might save on food I can make up by having a cocktail on sunset
I use the RAIZ investment App and use this to save my food and drink costs at $5 a week. This is discreetly sent from my bank account to the RAIZ app for 2 years and until I transfer it to my holiday account once there is enough there to use. I don’t miss the weekly $5 and by the time I go on holidays it has grown enough to use for this cost.
I have chosen cheaper activities to do for my next visit as I’ll be reviewing these for my website to share with you all. I should be able to take part in 5 or 6 affordable activities for $200
For this cost, I save all of my $2 coins I receive. Over 12 months I hope this reaches $500 to cover both activities and transport (next). I use an empty bottle (700ml) to put all of my $2coins into. These bottles hold about $1000 in $2 coins have noticed it takes me about 2 years to reach the top. I aim to half fill the bottle with $500 for this holiday as I’m saving up most of my costs within only
I like to grab a scooter or rental car for at least half the time I visit. The other half of my holiday I catch the local bus around or hire a bike for a day.
See above (ACTIVITIES) for the saving of this cost.
AIRPORT PARKING $120
Total = $300
These smaller costs still add up to another ‘chunk’ of money to save up. For these amounts I have just had a little clean out to recoup some money by selling some unwanted things lying around the house. I’d rather turn unused things into holiday cash!
I sold 2 Samsung Tablets my twins used for year 7, 8 and 9 in High School and received $300 for both. Also sold were some past school text books and a few items of jewellery I no longer wear. I have more than enough to cover this cost now and any extra will sit in the bank in case I need it while on holiday.
Figure out different ways you can save up each amount you need to cover your holiday. Get inventive to save lots of small amounts, it all adds up. Use the envelope system if you have to and have different envelopes for different costs.
Round up all costs where you can to allow for any small price rises or extra unplanned costs while away. Over estimate your living costs and throw the ‘change’ or left overs into your holiday fund. Cut back where ever you can. By going without a few things for just a few months you’ll quickly save up one section of your holiday. Put some amounts on your credit card to pay for them when on holiday.
I always put my car rental, airport parking and travel insurance savings on my credit card before I go (putting your card in positive) and use this credit card to pay for them as I need to without using credit.
You’ll be surprised how quick you can save up all amounts needed. Be patient while you save. The time will fly and you’ll have achieved your holiday savings without going into debt for it (which takes years and lots of interest to pay off).
Lots of smaller amounts are far more achievable than saving up the entire amount.
Sometimes a well planned and hard saved for holiday can take up to 2 years to take once saved for and that’s ok. Be patient, stash your cash and mark off your holiday planner as you save for everything. The most rewarding part is when you finally land in Rarotonga and you can relax knowing your holiday has all been pre paid for and you won’t return home with any credit card debt!
Please share your holiday saving ideas below.