Money Stuff

Making your travel budget work for you


Planning in advance can help you have the holiday of a lifetime — without breaking your travel budget

Jodi Markham says she and her husband James share a simple philosophy on travel — “Life is here to be lived and the world is here to be seen”.

The Wellington couple spent seven months travelling Asia in 2011, and are now planning a big trip to South America.

The Markhams share their love of travel with many other Kiwis — a 2016 survey by found almost one-third of Kiwis had flown more than five times over the past two years, well above the global average of 27%.

Kiwis are also famous for loving a bargain, and for making their travel plans well before they go on holiday. Like many of us, Jodi and James are savvy travellers who know that advance planning is the key to making their travel budget stretch as far as possible.

“I like a good deal and I like to have all the boring stuff planned before we go. Then we can be more relaxed about things when we arrive,” says Jodi.

“We check the exchange rates and do comparison shopping to get the best deals on flights and accommodation. James and I have the same attitude to travelling — we want to enjoy ourselves without over spending.’”

Jodi and James are kept busy with their online store, which sells binoculars, telescopes and hunting equipment. They also plan to have a family one day, but Jodi says they’ll always make travelling a priority. “I’m already looking forward to taking our kids on a world trip.”

Jodi shares her top three travel tips:

  1. Book popular attractions before you leave. “We booked tickets for Alcatraz four months before our honeymoon in San Francisco because we’d heard it books out fast.”
  2. Check out exchange rates before you travel. If the rate’s good, buy your foreign currency in advance.
  3. Be prepared to change your plans to get the best deals on flights. “James has found flights to Thailand that are very cheap providing we don’t mind spending a day in Melbourne,” says Jodi. “We’ve saved lots of money — although I may spend most of it shopping in Melbourne!”


A Loaded for Travel card lets you lock in a good exchange rate before you travel, so you can enjoy your holiday without having to worry about breaking the budget. Loaded for Travel cards are available at your local Kiwibank and at