How to Pay Less for Australian Getaways

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It's always a good time to get away for a well-deserved holiday. Travel isn't cheap these days, with fuel prices driving up airfare and car travel expenses. You're probably wondering how you can take a great holiday and have a little money left over for fun. Fear not, there are easy ways to save on travel within Australia and abroad.

Last Minute Savings
Most travel tips will tell you to book flights and accommodations early for a great savings. But what if you want to get away on the spur of the moment? One great last-minute travel site is www.wotif.com.au, which offers discount savings on accommodations across Australia and New Zealand. The great thing is you can book immediately or up to 28 days before your trip. You can compare rates for different hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and apartment rentals, and compare services by hovering your mouse over the price. Use the provided links to different sites to book events and excursions, such as whale watching or tickets to a floral show.

Consider a Hostel
For cheap accommodation savings in Australia and abroad consider staying at a hostel (www.ausemade.com.au and click on HostelWorld). For around $20 a night per person, it's a great way to see Australia. You can also book hostels all over the world--see London for $36 a night, or Hong Kong for as little as $20 a night per person. Hostels offer private accommodations or a bunk-type facility (all female, all male, or mixed), usually with shared bathrooms. They are popular with bikers and backpackers in Europe and throughout the world. Hostels are safe, comfortable places to rest and recharge those tourist batteries! A lot of facilities offer a kitchen, linen services, a lounge area and laundry area.

Worried about comfort and luxury at a hostel? One hostel location in Canberra is actually a bed and breakfast offering private rooms and gardens to relax in for $26 per person. You can't beat that price for comfort! Each hostel site offered has prices, photos, a list of services and guest reviews. There's bound to be something in your price range that suits your comfort needs.

Flight Discounts
Looking for great flight deals? Webjet.com (www.webjet.com.au) offers great savings in international and domestic Australian flights. For example, a round-trip flight to Bangkok can cost as little as $862. There are also many domestic flight sales offered as well, with summer fares on sale in the spring. You can compare prices between different airlines, such as Quantas and Virgin Blue. The site also allows you to book your hotel and car rental along with your flight for easy planning.

Travel Insurance
You probably don't think you need travel insurance, but if you're going abroad, you should pick up coverage. Australian health insurance is accepted only in a few countries (UK and Ireland, for example) and the coverage is limited. If you need to be transported back to Australia (many thousands of dollars in most cases), travel insurance will cover the fee. Travel insurance also covers lost luggage, can cover car hire overages and other benefits. Webjet.com.au offers insurance for as low as $39 per adult for a single overseas journey, and offers multi-trip coverage for international and domestic travel for $299 per adult.

Car Hire
If you need to hire a car while you're on holiday in Australia, check out www.diycarhire.com.au. They offer great discounts and you can compare rates with different companies. For example, you can find 5% discounts or $5 a day discounts on car hire prices.

Another great site is www.drivenow.com.au, especially if you're looking to holiday in Australia, New Zealand or the UK. They claim to offer the lowest last minute car hire prices in these three countries. There are no booking, administration or cancellation fees at this site, so if you're unsure of your exact travel dates this may be a good choice. You'll want to check the fine print to see if the car hire agency charges a fee for cancellations within 24 hours.

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