Practical Advice: Money-Saving Travel Tips

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MEALS

Before your next trip away, plan to make some extra portions when you’re cooking at home. Pop them in the freezer and you’ve got ready-to-heat travel meals.

Farmers markets and local fruit and vege stores are a good way to get well-priced fresh produce, and you’ll be helping out local small business-owners too.

Service station snacks are very tempting, but they’re also very expensive! Instead, get these in advance when you do your supermarket shopping – buying nuts and nibbles from the bulk food section is much more economical.

Love good coffee? Consider a basic espresso machine or coffee plunger and some good quality coffee. Fill up a flask with hot water you hit the road, and be sorted for coffee throughout the day.

FUEL

Depending on where you’re travelling, the price of fuel can vary by 20c/L or more. Download the Gaspy app to see where the cheapest fuel is in your area.

Take advantage of the fuel discounts available through the NZMCA’s Kiwi Fuelcard.

Keep your motorhome maintained. Regular servicing, and good quality tyres with the correct pressure and wheel alignment can all help reduce the amount of fuel you use.

The heavier your vehicle, the more fuel it will consume. If you’re not going to use your e-bike or golf clubs on this trip, leave them at home and you’ll use less gas.

MEMBERSHIPS, LOYALTY SCHEMES AND COUPONS

Online coupon sites such as GrabOne and Treat Me offer some good discounts on attractions, restaurants and more. So if you do decide to treat yourselves to a night out at a good restaurant, you can still save some cash.

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Some campgrounds also offer good loyalty schemes and memberships that can save you lots. Another way to save on campgrounds is to stay longer. Most providers charge a higher rate for short stays than for longer stays.


Memberships with organisations such as the AA and the NZMCA offer a range of good discounts and benefits.

TOP UP YOUR INCOME

Need to supplement your travel budget while you’re on the road? Consider seasonal work in horticulture, farming or hospitality. Right now, there is a huge demand for seasonal workers, and because you have your accommodation with you, motorhomers are a great fit. A good place to see what’s available is seasonalstaff.co.nz.

In between travels, consider using a peer-to-peer RV rental platform such as Mighway or Camplify. You can rent out your motorhome or caravan to others and earn some extra income by doing so.

SOLAR POWER

Solar panels use the energy from the sun to provide you with free power. It works by charging your motorhome battery, which you can use as needed. It does involve an upfront cost, but the long-term savings are worth the investment.

LESS IS MORE

Just like motorhoming, minimalism is all about freedom. It means thinking carefully before buying something. Do you really need it? How will you eventually dispose of it? Is there an alternative that doesn’t involve a purchase? Find out more at theminimalists.com.

Freecycle.org is a worldwide organisation with a mission to encourage waste reduction, save resources and help members save money. People can log in to find things they want, or give away things they don’t want.

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SET UP A TRAVEL ACCOUNT

Credit cards can be a costly way to pay for your holiday. Account fees and interest add up quickly, and when the credit card bill arrives, you can end up feeling negative about your travels. For some, a travel account is a good alternative. By budgeting for a set amount each week or month, and depositing this into your travel account, you’ll soon have a decent sum to enjoy. And you’ll feel better spending cash that you’ve saved rather than knowing you’ll be paying extra interest down the track.

RESPONSIBLE FREEDOM CAMPING

As the name suggests, freedom camping means doing so without spending anything on campground fees. There are hundreds of responsible freedom camping locations in New Zealand, each with different rules and regulations – including having your RV certified self-contained. A good resource to find out more is freedomcamping.org.

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