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8 travel hacks to save money on summer holidays

For many of us, the summer holidays are the best time of the year. Unfortunately, they can also be the most expensive time of the year thanks to Christmas presents, New Year’s parties, vacations… the list goes on.

What if we told you that there’s a tactic to hack your way through the summer holidays while still making them unforgettable? Travel hacking is a way to get more bang for your buck when travelling.

We’ve compiled this guide to help you get through your summer holiday without breaking the bank.

Hack #1: Avoid hotels

Because camping rules. And putting up a tent these days is a piece of cake. You don’t have to completely rough it, though – there’s a range of NRMA Holiday Parks all over the country equipped with toilets, showers, BBQs, and kid-friendly amenities, as well as caravans and lodges (for those impossible campers).

Plus, you’ll be getting out in nature, giving your body a nice break from those stuffy air-conditioned hotel rooms.

Hack #2: Go local – opt for a road trip

A good holiday doesn’t have to involve expensive long-haul flights and pricey international hotel bills. Sometimes, the best adventures are a lot closer to home – and the best way to have them is on the open road.

On top of being more affordable, a road trip to a nearby destination is a lot more stress-free than planning a massive trip overseas. Here’s a list of ideal Christmas road trips for some inspo.

Hack #3: The best days to book your hire car

When it comes to summer holidays, the best time to hire a rental car is after 5 January to take advantage of availability and cheaper rates. Many travel companies hold off on specials between Christmas and New Years. So, either get in early or hang on until after the New Year to book your hire vehicle. Thrifty has the largest range of rental vehicles in Australia, so chances are we have one that’s perfect for you. 

Bonus hack: Thrifty’s Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games promotion is still on and can be used for rentals over Christmas, so you still have a chance to win prizes if you need to book for Christmas.

Hack #4: Cook for yourself

This one hack can slash your food budget in half! Rather than dining out on your holiday, prepare your own food and enjoy the sights of your surroundings in a more relaxed way.

There are some great Christmas markets happening all over the country too – full of delicious fare you can bring back to your campsite or caravan to cook up.

Hack #5: Enjoy the free activities

Hike, swim, climb, fish, surf or just sunbake with a good book (link to summer reading list post). There’s a myriad of activities you can do that don’t break the bank, and they usually involve getting out in nature. #Bonus!

Hack #6: Travel with friends/family

If you’re smart about it, group travel can be a money saver. Share accommodation, food (take turns in cooking too), and transport costs can all be divided amongst the group, plus parents can relax a little if their kids can play with others their age and share minding duties.

Hack #7: Go off the beaten path

Forget the hot-spot tourist traps! Head to the remote places of the country, those hidden gems that aren’t swamped with people, and enjoy them to yourself. Accommodation in far-out flung places is usually cheaper, as is the dining.

Hack #8: Apps to the rescue

A little bit of digital preparation can go a long way to save your hard-earned coins! Apps like Foursquare and EatClub find live discounts for food and drinks for when you do want to head out for your meal. And for those not interested in Hack #8, another popular app is The Happiest Hour that does exactly what is said on the box (as well as offering occasional free meals). The app mynrma is also great for finding cheap fuel and comparing parking prices.

Now that you’ve got all that extra dough in your pocket, where are you heading? With 170 locations all over Australia, Thrifty car hire is well equipped to provide the perfect vehicle for your summer holiday. We’ll take care of the essentials too like E-Toll tags and roadside assistance, as well as handy optional extras like baby and child seats, GPS navigation units (to help get you to where you’re supposed to be going!) making your summer holiday a safe and happy one.

Happy travelling.