Have you blown the budget on Christmas but are desperate for a summer break? We show you how to have the best of both worlds with our budget holiday guide.

Mother and daughter with Australian flag at the beach

Holiday locally

There’s no need to go overseas or interstate for a great holiday break. It’s a cliché, but many of the most beautiful holiday locations are in our own backyards. Look on-line for places you have yet to visit (websites such as tripadvisor.com.au are a great place to start), ask friends for recommendations or plan a short break to a favourite childhood holiday destination. Taking your kids back to a place where you spent your summers can be a truly magical experience. Holidaying locally will reduce your travel costs and support your local community.

The Neck of Bruny Island, Tasmania

Hire a home

Luxury hotels are perfect when you really want to splash out, but you’ll find better value and sometimes better facilities when hiring a holiday home on-line. Websites such as airbnb.com.au connect people looking to rent their homes with people who are looking for accommodation. Properties are available all around the world, and you get the added benefit of living like a local. Check out the reviews before booking properties and look for hidden costs, such as cleaning fees and non-refundable deposits. Check insurance requirements as well.

Swap it up

If you really want to save money and perhaps make friends in the process, consider swapping your home with a like-minded family. Sites such as aussiehouseswap.com.au connect you with others looking to holiday in your area. It costs $65 a year to join, but that’s a small price to pay for the savings you’ll make.

Couple Looking At Digital Tablet

Set up camp

If you’re a nature lover, there’s nothing quite like a camping holiday. Camping is budget-friendly, flexible and can take you to places otherwise impossible to access. Set up costs can be expensive, but once you have your gear sorted you’ll be right for many years to come. Caravans and cabins at holiday parks are other great options. Australia has a wonderful variety of camping destinations – bush, beach and outback. It’s important to be organised and prepare for every eventuality.

Wild Camping and Relax in Nature

Stay put

If all of the above options are out of your price range or just too much effort, consider a holiday at home. Staycations have become increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s not surprising when you think about it. You have nothing to pack, no bookings to make and you can spend the money you’ve saved on having fun in your hometown. Often you need a holiday to recover from a holiday, but not this time! Simply relax and enjoy.

Backyard Staycation

Written by Kate Shaw and Jason Barnett