Sun, sand and surf! That’s the language of Gold Coast, Australia.
If you have an affinity to vacations in paradise (let’s face the fact… we all do), then this haven for theme parks and gimmicky attractions will definitely be on the top of your list of holiday destinations.
Surfers Paradise, the iconic social scene in Gold Coast, has attractions and activities for all ages – from partying at its electrifying nightlife to shopping at the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets. However, if you are looking to get in touch with nature, places like Tamborine Mountain, Burleigh Head National Park and Lamington National Park, where you can admire the picturesque beach and rainforest, are definitely worth a visit.
Sounds amazing doesn’t it? And amazing doesn’t have to be synonymous with expensive. Contrary to what you may think, you don’t have to sell your kidney just to go for a short rest-and-relax down under. If you are sold on the idea of a vacation at Gold Coast, Australia but think you are unable to afford it – we’ve come up with the most affordable plan for you.
Here are some of the expenses that you will have to include in your holiday budget, and how to reduce cost further:
Where should you stay in Gold Coast?
Accommodation and transportation costs have direct relationships in your expenses. This is exactly why cost should not be the sole factor in helping you decide your holiday accommodation.
The location of your hotel should be an important factor because staying in an inconvenient location will result in higher transportation cost during the holiday. Which will end up pushing your expenses far higher than your actual room rate savings.
To narrow down your accommodation, decide on the location that is central and strategic to your sightseeing places, then look for one that fits your budget. Hotels located in these locations will, of course, be more expensive than those in the outskirt.
However, there are few tips to help you save on hotel expenses:
- Look for a no-frills hotel that allows you to customise your stay, so you won’t have to pay for items that you don’t need. This can lower your rates a little if you only take a basic room.
- Opt for no breakfast. This will keep your rates low and also give you a chance to try out more authentic local food. Why pay an exorbitant price for a hotel breakfast buffet, when you can just grab a sandwich at the local deli for a fraction of the price?
- Look for a hotel that offers free shuttle service to central location. If the accommodations in central locations are way out of your budget, you can get one a little further but provide free shuttle service to the town, where all the actions are.
- Compare rates in a few websites like Agoda or Booking, and then, also compare it to the rate offered on the hotel website, before finally making a booking. Sometimes, you can even negotiate directly with the hotel via email to get a better rate.
- Use a credit card for your booking and deposits so you can keep your cash free when you are travelling. Some credit cards give you discounts and cash rebates too! For instance, CIMB Visa Signature gives you 10% cash back on online purchases in foreign currency and CIMB Platinum MasterCard offers you 10% cash back on travel-related purchases.
What can you do in Gold Coast?
There are tons of things to do in Gold Coast and a 7-day stay may not be enough to enjoy everything available. To narrow down the activities and make sure you won’t miss anything you like, here are a categories of activities and how much they cost:
Of course, pre-booking early will help avoid disappointment when you get there, and with the right credit card, you can also earn some cash rebates for online bookings.Based on the above activities, you are looking at paying about S$770 per person (adult), and this does not include the shopping you may do at the shopping destinations listed above nor the cost of moving between these places.
One thing to keep an eye out for when you’re charging your card overseas is for any additional fees like administration fees for foreign currency purchases. The CIMB Visa Signature and Platinum MasterCard do not charge the usual bank administration fee for transactions in foreign currency. With so many transactions, it can really add up so it’s a lot of savings for you!
How do you get to Gold Coast?
Now that you have your itinerary and hotel bookings made, it’s time to search for the most affordable way to get there. Booking a cheap flight takes perseverance, patience and a pinch of luck. If you are in luck, you may be able to snag some flights at cheaper fares.
A return ticket on budget airlines like Scoot and AirAsia can cost about S$700 to S$900 per person. That definitely takes a huge chunk off your holiday budget, which means you might have to sacrifice on sightseeing or even accommodation during your vacation.
Some of the helpful tips to remember when scouting for a cheap flight is to use websites like Kayak and/or Skyscanner to look for the cheapest flights. If you are flexible in your travel dates, you can gauge which date offers the cheapest flight to fly using these websites.
We understand that looking for the cheapest flight can be a stressful affair as you will need to scour the Internet to check the fares regularly. Of course, you can reduce your fares by redeeming the air miles accumulated in your credit card, but that can take some time to accumulate enough points to make any meaningful redemption.
If you can eliminate this cost completely, it will definitely leave you more room for exciting adventures in Gold Coast. One way to do that is by scoring yourself a free return ticket.
CIMB Credit Cards is now giving away a free all-in return ticket to Gold Coast for new CIMB Visa Signature and/or Platinum MasterCard cardholders. Simply apply for CIMB Visa Signature and/or Platinum MasterCard online from now till August 31, 2016 and swipe up to S$5,000 within three months from the card approval date or before 30 November 2016, whichever is earlier.
The free all-in return flight via Scoot includes 20kg check-in baggage, taxes and fuel surcharges. For more information on the eligibility, check out the terms and conditions.
But what’s the fun in travelling solo? If you can fulfil the above requirements, bring along a few travelling companions because you are also entitled to redeem up to five all-in return tickets at just S$395 nett each. That’s about S$305 savings per return ticket!
A trip to Gold Coast may be your long-awaited and deserving break away from your hectic work life. However, if you are not careful in planning your vacation budget, you could come back with a debt that can stress you out even more.
Knowing where to get the best deals and how much everything will cost, will definitely help you manage your budget better. Now, a family trip doesn’t have to be financially stressful – just get started with getting the right credit card that gives you all the perks to satisfy your wanderlust.
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