But big destination holidays are proving a little harder to justify for many people, with inflation, unfavourable conversion rates and increasing airfare costs working against us.

So what do you do when you’re feeling cooped up and need a break? That’s what we asked travel specialist Jason McKay of House of Travel Nelson – and he had some great suggestions for cost-effective, memorable travel destinations for this summer and beyond.

1. Save on airfare with a trip to the Gold Coast

It seems pretty obvious, but with plenty of direct flight options at reasonable prices, the Gold Coast is one of the easiest destinations for Kiwis this year. It’s very popular for a reason!

As Jason says, “Australia is great for young families and couples, since it offers the perfect mix of novelty and adventure without the culture shock.”

“The Gold Coast offers a little bit of everything. You can swim at world-class beaches, spend your days sightseeing, and explore an endless range of international cuisines. Some people really want the city living, so apartments are ideal – or they’ll go for glamping cabins for something with a bit more of a ‘bach’ feel.”

If you want to spend as little as possible on international plane tickets, then focus on the activities and the experiences possible in this stunning, exciting stretch of Australia.

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. Photo taken by Sean O'Brien.

2. Get off the beaten track in Samoa

Unlike the most popular Pacific Islands like Fiji or Tahiti, Samoa offers the same gorgeous waters at a lower price tag. Samoa is steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty. Spend your days exploring the fruit and fish markets, hiking along remote waterfalls, and swimming with sea turtles and giant clams!

“Beyond just the resort options,” adds Jason, “Samoa also offers traditional fale accommodation – small thatched roof baches right on the beach.”

“These come cheaper than typical hotel rates, and you’ll get a much more authentic experience with the chance to support local families. Plus there’s something incredible about living practically on the water that’s far more meaningful and connected to life in Samoa that you don’t get at a resort.”

A beach surrounded by palm trees, blue sea and a cloudy sky in Manase, Samoa

Palm trees in Manase, Samoa by Matej Halouska

3. Control costs by booking an Intrepid tour

One of the best ways to ensure you don’t go over-budget is to book an all-inclusive package. If a European Contiki tour is a bit out of reach, then it’s worth checking out a backpacking adventure option.

Intrepid tours offer a few different options – from hostel accommodations right up to three-star hotels. You’ll get the added benefit of a group atmosphere, with anywhere from 5 to 15 people in your group travelling together on minibuses, trains, and local transport.

“And with like-minded people choosing the same types of tours, you’ll be in great company,” says Jason. “It’s incredibly easy to get in and out of activities, too. You can choose either city-based tours or book an activity-focused trip full of hiking, kayaking, and outdoor excursions – whatever suits your lifestyle.”

This is a great option for people looking for a safe and fun way to travel to locations like Vietnam, with a perfect balance between flexibility and security, and very affordably priced too.

“Not all tour packages are just for luxury holidays,” adds Jason. “Get the most out of your travel days by looking at backpacker-style travel packages and discover new places from the ground. You’ll create some really exciting memories, and that’s worth everything.”


Photo by Mike Swigunski on Unsplash

Everyone deserves an adventure – and your next one could be closer than you think. Chat with your local MTF Finance office about your next holiday, and where you can go without breaking the bank.