Listen up, I’m not here to preach to you that you gotta be saving money even when you’re on holiday. That’s a waste of time and anyone that tells you not to spend money on a holiday is full of shit. End of.
The thing about holidays is that most people absolutely love them, and I am no exception. We love the feeling of getting away from the mundane realities of work, food shopping, meal prepping, paying bills and all the other BS responsibilities that come with being an adult. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The only problem with holidays, however, is that sometimes they can be super exxy which means we don’t get to enjoy them as often as we like.
So, if holidays were less expensive, could we go on more of them?
Good bloody question and one that I also want the answer to. That’s why, when my boyfriend suggested we go to Bathurst last weekend, I convinced him that we should try and keep the costs of our getaway low. Why? So we can keep going on even more holidays, duh. Here’s 5 money hacks that we used to save money on our recent trip (whilst still living our best lives of course):
HOLIDAY HACK #1
Book Your Accommodation Through ShopBack
Honestly, this app/website is a game changer when it comes to booking getaways. Currently, ShopBack is offering up to $15 cash back on Airbnb bookings and 6% cash back on Booking.com bookings. If you time it well you might even be able to snag yourself an even better deal. My friend, for example, just booked an expensive resort in the Whitsundays through ShopBack when they had a 12% cash back special on Booking.com and she scored herself over $100 cash back.
If you’re a new user, sign up to ShopBack here and you’ll get a bonus free $5 when you join.
In full disclosure, I’ll also make $5 from that link if you do choose to use it to sign up. That referral link is given to everyone when they sign up, I’m not actually affiliated with ShopBack. It’s a win-win though because we both make some free dosh. Plus when you sign up you can force all your fam and friends to use your very own referral link and you’ll make even more free money which is never a bad thing.
HOLIDAY HACK #2
If You’re Splurging On Accommodation, Spend Some Damn Time There
It’s all well and good to splurge on a beautiful hotel, but what the hell is the point of spending all that money if all you’re doing is sleeping there? If you’re planning a holiday filled with outdoor adventures and heaps of activities, stop wasting your money on super expensive accommodation that you aren’t even going to appreciate. Seriously, if you’re planning on being out and about the whole time, then do your bank account a favour and just book a damn hostel.
If, on the other hand, you’re anything like me and want nothing more than to laze around in a cute Airbnb for most of a weekend getaway, then by all means splurge on a luxurious place. In Bathurst, we spent time lazing around indoors drinking coffee, playing boardgames, watching DVDs and indulging in wine and cheese, and so spending more money on a quality Airbnb was WORTH IT. Also, I just want to point out that I can’t recommend a wine and cheese date night enough. We did this instead of going out for dinner one night and the whole thing set us back about $35. Money win.
HOLIDAY HACK #3:
Take Advantage Of The Freebies
This one is important for everyone, no matter what type of accommodation you’ve opted for.
- Has your Airbnb got a fancy coffee machine? Ditch the $4.50 latte from the cafe down the road and make one at your place instead.
- Does your hotel provide free bikes? Instead of ordering an Uber, why not ride into town?
- Is a free pancake breakfast included at your hostel? You better make a decision between blueberries and choc-chips quick smart because you’re gonna be eating pancakes for brekky, baby.
If your accommodation includes something for free, damn well use it. Our Bathurst accommodation included a coffee machine, fresh bread, milk, juice, chocolates, tea and fresh eggs. Yep, you right that last one correctly. There were fresh eggs laid by the chickens I could literally see from my bedroom window. By taking advantage of these freebies, we were able to save the money that we otherwise would have spent on food when out and about.
HOLIDAY HACK #4:
Find Something To Do For Free
I’m willing to bet a substantial amount of money on the fact that, no matter what your destination, you will always find something to do for free. Whether it’s walking through town, going for a hike or checking out a local museum, I can guarantee that there will be something for you to do that doesn’t cost a single dollar. All you have to do is Google it.
Bathurst is no exception. It has a whole heap of things to do that are completely free. We were actually lucky enough to coincidentally hit up Bathurst during the Winter Festival (4th – 19th July 2020) which meant that buildings around Bathurst were lit up in a way that made it seem as if we were experiencing a mini Vivid Festival (minus the tens of thousands of people).
For anyone that lives in NSW, I’m sure you are aware that Bathurst is well known for the Bathurst 1000 car race which takes place on the Mount Panorama circuit. Well, what you might not have known is that, when the race isn’t taking place the circuit is a scenic public road that anyone can drive for free. So if you’re in the area, be sure to tick that bad boy off your bucket list, and save some dollars while you’re at it.
Even just exploring the beaut parts of town in Bathurst was a free, worthwhile thing for us to do. We spent some time exploring the property of our Airbnb, and even spent some time just walking around Machattie Park which is right in the middle of town. Although it was bloody freezing, the beauty of the park was well worth it.
HOLIDAY HACK #5:
You should’ve seen the look on my boyfriend’s face when I told him we should try and limit our spending to only $200 for our weekend getaway.
“Buuuut what about all the food we wanna treat ourselves to?” – he whined.
We didn’t miss out, don’t you worry.
We splurged on food, food and more food until the thought of any more food kinda made us wanna vomit. Seriously though, Bathurst eateries are insane. I highly recommend Piccolo’s on William if you want a damn good brunch, and the peanut butter brownie milkshake at Rockabilly Cafe was out of this world. Also, The Victoria Bathurst does a mean frozen espresso martini. Pair that with their donut fries and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Anyway, back to the money talk. Wanna know how we still managed to treat ourselves to all of this food without breaking the bank? We got a specific amount of cash out from the ATM and spent that cash on whatever the hell we wanted. This way, we could make sure we stuck to our holiday budget without actually having to track every single dollar we spent (we ain’t about that life at all).
Again, in full disclosure, we tried pretty damn hard to keep our spending within the $200 cash limit but we weren’t dead set on it. We ended up spending about $230 between us from Friday morning until Sunday afternoon, which I was pretty impressed with considering how damn much my boyfriend likes to eat. We both agreed that just using cash was a huge factor into why we kept our spending so low. We felt as if our temptation to spend was lessened when we could physically see our holiday cash dwindling away.
Your cash budget will obviously vary depending on where you are and what type of holiday you want to have. Ours was just a spending money budget which didn’t include petrol or accommodation because those are things that we knew we were going to splurge on.
All up, including accommodation, petrol and spending money, we ended up spending roughly $650 ($325 each) for three days and two nights in Bathurst. Worth it? Abso-fkin-lutely.
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The Stingy Bitch
Based in Sydney, Australia.
Created in 2020.
This site and all of it’s contents are provided for entertainment purposes only and do not constitute personal financial advice. All products that are mentioned are general product advice only, not personal product advice. Not all options are presented and my opinions are subject to change. All content and posts have been prepared as a general summary only and is not intended to be financial advice with respect to any particular matter. This post should not be relied on with respect to any particular matter. If you have questions about any aspect of the content or this site or otherwise require personal financial advice, you ought to seek financial advice. The author disclaims liability to any person who relies on this post.
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