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Savvy travellers aren't born, they're made, and behind every dream holiday is a smart spender.
Whether it's two months soaking up the European summer (which could be a few years away, admittedly) or embarking on van life around Australia, the ultimate escape requires plenty of planning and a well thought out budget. But there's more than one way to save for the trip of a lifetime.
While international travel restrictions mean that overseas getaways are off-limits for now, that doesn't mean you can't start planning your dream holiday for when they're lifted.
Here, a handful of well-travelled souls share how they got creative and saved for their dream getaway.
Bede Anderson, business owner
"Our dream holiday has always been to travel around Australia with our kids," Anderson told Traveller. "To make this adventure work for us, we knew we had to do something different.
"We took out a small loan to buy a camper that we loved, but could also hire out. That's when we started our camper hire business Weekend Warrior Adventures. We factored in operational expenses and running costs to work out a daily hire rate.
"Once we broke down all the expenses and knew how many days we wanted the camper, we were able to work out the minimum amount of days it needed to be hired out each year to pay off the investment."
Narelle Needham, marketing professional
"Last year, I went on a five-week dream trip through Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Italy and the UK," said Needham. "I only paid half the cost of a normal airfare to London, having used frequent flyer points that I earned shopping for groceries, as well as on my credit card.
"It was a bonus to have booked this in the peak of the European summer travel period at a hugely reduced cost. I also put $120 aside each fortnight over three years – that certainly added up."
Using frequent flyer points is a cost effective way to travel. Photo: Getty.
Janelle Watts, director of operations
"I haven't had one dream holiday, I try to spend about five to six weeks travelling a year," Watts explained. "My partner and I are lucky as we have dual income, no kids and a reasonable mortgage.
"Each pay we distribute amounts into separate accounts, including one for travel. I track them via a spreadsheet so I can project the balance on any future date. That way I know how much I need to put away each week.
"If you splash out in one area, such as a hotel, you can balance it by going a bit cheaper in another. If you're trying to stick to a budget, the key is to track all costs. For accommodation, I use a number of different platforms to get a cross-section of reviews and find the best price.
"The negative reviews always give you a better feel for the quality, as they provide more detail."
Tammy Barker, marriage celebrant
"In 2016, we left Cairns and began exploring Australia living in our 4WD and rooftop tent. We were on the road for 20 months and rented out our properties, which gave us a weekly income," said Barker.
"Six months out we agreed that any unnecessary spending would instead go directly into a separate 'travel account'. Instead of ordering takeaway, we'd deposit that amount into the account. We did a mass clean out of our house and sold so much on online marketplaces.
"Once we had this travel goal, saving became very easy. If you can tap into local tourism deals, you can easily save up to 25 percent on rates and experiences and use fuel apps to search for the cheapest fuel options."
The advantages of exploring Australia in a vehicle. Photo: Getty.
Nigel Pais, project manager
"I proposed to my fiancé on our dream holiday to Egypt and beforehand came up with a rough idea of the cost and saved for a year," explained Pais.
"My advice is to plan early. I use my credit card for everything to build up frequent flyer miles, but pay it off on time so that I don't get charged interest. Go for a rewards points earning card – like a Westpac Altitude Rewards Card – and look out for deals where you have to spend a certain amount within the first three months.
"That way, if you have a large set of bills or an item you need to buy, you can earn points to be redeemed at a later stage when travel restrictions ease."
Don't miss out on being rewarded for your everyday spending habits, and treat yourself to a holiday you'll ever forget. Sign up for a Westpac Altitude Rewards Card today.
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