Travel Overseas Without Blowing the Budget

The Australian dollar is not as strong as it used to be, but it's not all bad news. There are still plenty of ways and places where our humble dollar will get you a cheap holiday that’s loads of fun.


Vietnam is packed with natural beauty as well as exciting, bustling cities. In Hanoi, admire the French colonial-era buildings and shop at the modern mega-malls. The stunning Ha Long Bay is full of deep green water spotted with thousands of towering limestone islets – you can take an overnight junk-boat cruise for a couple of hundred dollars.

  • Flight costs: just a few hundred dollars.
  • A cheap meal: a couple of dollars.


Bulgaria is a great place for a European holiday on a budget, especially for skiers. There are budget ski resorts in Dobrinishte and Vitosha, just near the capital city, Sofia. You can also explore amazing caves and rock formations or escape the cold in Bulgaria’s hot springs.

  • Flight costs: around $1400 if you avoid the summer high season.
  • A cheap meal: around $9 for a world of sweet, savoury and something called dragons breath


Peru’s must-see attraction is the world-famous Inca city of Machu Picchu. You can also explore the Amazon rainforest or trek the Colca Canyon, which is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon.


Wintertime in Spain is ideal for budget travel, just stick to the south for milder weather. In Barcelona, visit the Gaudi buildings including the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia. In Valencia, try some authentic paella, or catch a flamenco performance in Seville. And yes, there is budget ski options.

  • Flight costs: under $1500 in winter.
  • A cheap meal: $15.


Fiji is a tropical paradise teeming with natural beauty. It’s the perfect place for relaxing on the beach, scuba diving and snorkelling, but that’s not it – you’ll also want to feed sea turtles at the award-winning Kula Eco Park and unwind at the Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pool.

  • Flight costs: a few hundred dollars (from the east coast)
  • A cheap meal: $5 (if you eat outside your accommodation).


Best ways to exchange your currency

The less bank fees you pay, the more spending money you’ll have. So, what’s the best way to exchange your currency?

Credit card

Use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. They are also handy for online international purchases, but keep in mind ATM withdrawals may be expensive.

Travel money card

These are debit cards preloaded with foreign currency. The exchange rate is locked in when you load the funds and you can use ATMs without excessive cost. Check out the Canstar travel money card star ratings report.

Your bank

Order foreign currency from your bank before you leave, the exchange rates are often better than other places.


  • Exchanging cash at airports, hotels or kiosks in tourist areas.
  • Withdrawing cash with your regular ATM card.
  • Using a regular credit or debit card overseas.

Planning your next holiday but need more cash? Why not speak to us.

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