Tips For Saving For Responsible Travel In A COVID World

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Helping young Australians get ahead.

Travel was one of the first things shut down when COVID struck. Borders were closed, flights were pulled, and suddenly that big holiday you’d been dreaming about went on indefinite hiatus.

The idea of taking a trip to the other side of the world became totally surreal. We couldn’t even take a trip to the other side of the city.

Thankfully, for many Australians, local holidays are becoming a reality again. Here are a few things to keep in mind when saving for your next trip.

Set A Realistic Goal 

Let’s be real: it’s likely you won’t be travelling outside Australia for the foreseeable future. There’s still a ban on all overseas travel – unless you have a special exemption – and it’s really impossible to predict when that will change.

But there are still some great options for domestic travel. You could start planning a big road trip up the coast, book a getaway in a new city, or even visit friends and family in another state – just make sure to check domestic travel restrictions first.

Local trips have their benefits: they’re usually a lot cheaper than jetting off overseas as you don’t have to worry about expensive international airfares or currency conversion. But saving up still requires a bit of effort.

Make some time to work out your budget. How much will you need to save for the trip, and how much can you realistically put into savings after each pay? Not everyone can jet off somewhere fancy with a few weeks notice. It may take you a few months to reach your goal – and that’s totally fine. Make a plan that works for you and pencil in the dates to work towards.

Image: Photoholgic / Unsplash

Don’t Give Up On The Big Dream

While that big trip to London or New York is definitely on the backburner, you don’t have to write it off completely. In fact, you could use this time to slowly build up a bigger travel fund.

Money is tight for everyone at the moment, but every little bit of savings you can put away adds up. If you can spare $20 a week it would add up to more than $1000 at the end of 2021. It’s the kind of long-term savings goal you might be able to balance alongside smaller ones through the year. That way you can still get some well-earned time away with a local or interstate holiday, while getting prepared for something bigger down the line.

Westpac’s Life savings account actually makes this super easy. You can set up to six different savings goals in the one account and track your progress in real-time. Bonus: if you’re aged between 18 and 29, you can also get Westpac’s exclusive Spend&Save variable bonus interest rate which rewards you for spending and saving (subject to eligibility criteria). That’s a nice little booster for your travel fund when those borders eventually open.

Consider A Working Holiday

If you haven’t saved quite enough money and/or you don’t have leave to draw on, there is one other option: a working holiday. It seems like a total oxymoron, I know. But if you’re lucky enough to have a job you can do remotely, doing a little bit of work while you’re away could help.

The rise of remote work has been one of the very, very few good things to come out of the past 12 months. Employers have realised that, weirdly, people are totally capable of completing their work at locations other than a big office in the CBD.

Becoming a full-on “digital nomad” comes with its own challenges, but you don’t need to go that far. It could be as simple as working a day or two from your Airbnb in Noosa so you can extend the trip over a weekend.

Image: Brooke Cagle / Unsplash

Save A Bit More Than You Think You Need  

There’s always the possibility of something going wrong when you travel. That something used to mean a lost suitcase or a missed flight. Now it might be a little more complicated. It pays to check what your travel insurer does and doesn’t cover when it comes to COVID-19.

That doesn’t mean you can’t plan anything. It just means you should be aware of the risks and prepare accordingly: book accommodation with a great cancellation policy, read all the Ts and Cs, and stash away a bit of extra cash to cover any unexpected costs.

If nothing else, it’ll buy you some peace of mind. And, right now, that might actually be the most important thing for every traveller.

This article originally appeared on Junkee.

If you’re between 18 and 29, you could be eligible for Westpac’s exclusive Spend&Save variable bonus interest rate, which rewards you for spending and saving. Find out more about how you could grow your savings faster here.

Fees, charges and eligibility requirements apply. Read the product Terms and Conditions, including the Online Banking terms and conditions available at and consider whether the product is right for you. This information is general in nature and does not take your personal objectives, circumstances or needs into account. Products issued by Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL 233714.

(Lead image: Andrew Neel / Pexels)