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Stay in Oz cheaper that Asian Country
30 replies to this topic
Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:08 PM
I was in the travel agent today collecting some brochures and picked up Bali, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji and the Gold Coast.
Yes lots I know as not sure where exactly to go and when.
Anyway was asking the travel agent for family friendly suggestions of ideal places to go that are on the cheaper side and when she gathered all the brochures she put the Gold Coast on top and said "this one is the cheapest"
I said "really??"
What do you think to those who have been to both an Asian destination and Gold Coast.
I thought Bali or the like would be cheaper it even mentioned yesterday in the Herald Sun that Bali is cheaper than camping!
Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:14 PM
Perhaps she is taking passports, travel insurance and a trip to the travel dr into account?
If you'd need to get a passport specifically to take the trip.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:54 PM
Its really dependent on what sort of holiday you want. Where you would be flying/driving from if passports need to be purchased, level of accomodation etc
Plus of course which Asian country you would like to travel too.
I would never go through an agent you can book everything online and find great deals. No one is going to organise your holiday or get you the best price better than you.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:08 PM
Thanks for your replies intd242 and jessie123
jessie 123: I had never thought of booking myself online.
Have you done so? If you have do you have a certain company you book through to recommend?
Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:14 PM
Accidental double post - see below
Edited by spersephone, 07 January 2013 - 04:16 PM.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:15 PM
That article was ridiculously skewed. Of course it's going to cost around $6000 to take 20 people with you camping for 2 weeks. What a stupid rationalisation!
How about one family? And add in the cost of airfares to make the comparison fair?
We go away for three to four days at a time, camping (in a camper trailer) in a powered ensuite site. We try to avoid the peak periods and most popular spots, just going on the outskirts of a place we want to visit. It still costs us a bit, but if you compare it to a hotel it's far cheaper. And if you compare it to overseas travel, far far far cheaper.
And I'd like to add that if we ever manage to go overseas, another essential cost would be travel insurance. I hear too many horror stories from people who didn't budget for that.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:40 PM
For me overseas is cheaper. We usually holiday each year in Vietnam as it is significantly cheaper with better food and service than Australia. My parents have an apartment in FNQ that we can use but we have been there for holidays and it costs a bucket. With airfares, hire car and then occaisional restaurant (no hotel as we have the apartment) Queensland was way, way more expensive than Vietnam.
That said though I am pretty confident in negotiating my way around in Vietnam - I don't think that it would be appropriate for someone whose not used to travelling in Asia.
For me it is much better value the luxury hotel are only about $100US/night, the food is cheap and amazing, the coffee unbelievable and the service puts Australia to shame. Queensland is appalling for service.
Before we had our baby we would stay in cheapo places ($15-20/night) and have one big splash out in a gorgeous hotel at the end. The last few years we have stayed in slightly fancier places but it is still very affordable. I book everything myself and we travel on Jetstar, Scoot or Air Asia. The airfare is cheaper than flying to Cairns.
I'd never travel anywhere with out travel insurance.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:29 PM
We go o/s and the sunshine and gold coasts are essentially in our 'backyard'. We do weekends away on the coast regularly but prefer to go o/s for 'proper' holidays.
There's a few reasons that we go o/s but mainly it is for the different culture and experiences. I would get bored spending 2 weeks on the Gold Coast but that's possibly because I have spent so much time there already.
It's cheaper to holiday there than o/s if you are looking at average 4-5 star accommodation because you save on airfares, foods a good quality, language isn't an issue and Medicare is available. Cheaper o/s accommodation is available because they don't have the same overheads as Australia and upper luxury isn't really available in Australia. I've found accommodation o/s to be more flexible with accommodating extra children too which also saves costs. We had 3 children under 6 at one stage and a resort on the GC would not allow us to stay in a king suite. They insisted on 2 double bedrooms which actually had a smaller floor space but they were the rules.
I prefer to book directly myself but I am comfortable with reading fine print. If you are not, it may be easier to use a travel agent.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:49 PM
Hi, we travel a lot OS and use a combination of web search and travel agent.
Some travel agents will match or better airfares you find on the web, you need to take a printed copy of the price you find. Webjet.com is a good airfare source, you sometimes find that going direct to the airline websites show some good deals. I usually then take the flight I find to the flight centre, get them to book it and buy the travel insurance at the same time
For accom, I first search booking.com or expedia.com then cross check hotels I find with tripadvisor.com which has traveller reviews and more importantly traveller photos, so you see the real thing not the glossy set up photos.
Last minute.com has very cheap package deals, again check the hotels with tripadvisor.com
The above is true for both Australia and overseas travel.The nice thing about an Asian holiday, is that you really feel like you have had a holiday and a different experience as well
I would second Vietnam as a destination, great people, lovely beaches, excellent fake products....
Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:57 PM
Don't purchase travel insurance from the travel agent... Super expensive. I had a quote for $915 for insurance which cost me $185 elsewhere. Same policy, same insurer and underwriter. Same method of contact if something went wrong.
I book mine all via Internet. Airfares direct with airlines, book accommodation direct with hotel.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:02 PM
It can be cheaper, if you don't count the hours of research needed to be done to make it so. it is possible to have a relaxing holiday in Asia without ever making a bed, doing the laundry, food shopping or cooking a meal for very little.
But it does involve being out of your comfort zone , in that you organise it yourself and stay at places without a big name or large online presence.
Equally, it is possible to have the holiday i just described and spend serious bucks. We have now done both.
The second option appealed because we have a little more money now and only had 2 weeks away. Staying in more known hotels and having them organise taxi pick ups and drop offs for our first time in Vietnam made things much more expensive than they needed to be, but my exhausted family appreciated it.
On our cheap holidays, we had more time (at least three weeks each time ) and were more relaxed. feel free to ask me how to do it if you need help.
We also have cheap holidays in FNQ, but don't go to attractions, don't rent a car or eat out much. we rent a self-contained apartment, cook all our meals and just hang by the beach and pool with family. this would be as cheap as our asia trips, but not as relaxing because all the household chores remain.
ETA: this FNQ trip is more mentally relaxing, as we don't need to negotiate other cultures/traditions etc.
Edited by unicycle, 07 January 2013 - 06:04 PM.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:05 PM
sometimes your up front is more expensive than australia but whislt you are there much much cheaper. In Bali for example you can stay in a nice room for $100 us a night - that is a nice room, there are much cheaper. You can have a massage every day for about $10, have manicure pedicure, eat out much much cheaper, we splurged on expensive dinner in bali cost us $100 - that was FLASH. The service is better as they live on tips - you also get to see another culture and perhaps come to appreciate what we have here.
Good luck - enjoy
Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:26 PM
A few years ago we looked at going somewhere else for Christmas. Our choices were broome or Darwin even in the wet season it was pricey. Lord Howe island again very very pricey. I started looking at overseas packages we went to Vanuatu for half the price. We just came back from a holiday now an have decided while we want to go to the same area we need to book a cabin with what will be the little one. We are looking at $800 - $1800 for cabins in a caravan park! Even paying full price in Bali in a medium star place we will be heaps better off accom wise. We need to factor in the cost of flights and I haven't looked at those in depth but I remember that when we booked Vanuatu, Bali also had the same sort of deals for around the same price.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 07:35 PM
Thanks for the replies very interesting reading and info.
So what has been your favourite family holiday and why?
Where would you recommend to go and when?
Couple of votes for Vietnam already.
How did you go travelling with toddlers to these places?
Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:25 PM
We holiday outside of Australia for the price but mainly to experience different cultures, have adventures and educate ourselves about how other people live/work etc.
We have travelled in Asia with children on a few occasions.
Ranging from 9 months to 7 years.
I love Thailand, in particular Chiang Mai in the North.
I loved Vietnam especially Sapa and Hoi An
Cambodia, we went to Siem Reap and plan to go again to phonh penh and Sihanoukville
Penang in Malaysia.
From experience the hardest age on a plane has been between 9m-2. ( if they are on your lap!)
I think my fav travel memory as a family was the overnight train to Sapa in northern Vietnam and exploring by motorbike the hill tribes and sitting with the women breastfeeding my daughter while they fed their kids and we talked about parenting x
Also arriving at Siem reap airport and 70 kids with signs and shouting " welcome cooper" after cooper raised enoughoney to build a new kindergarten for them x
Enjoy your planning!
Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:09 PM
I think overseas is cheaper. We spent 1 week in Bali last November in a 4 star hotel. We paid $50 per night per room and this price included a full buffet breakfast each morning. I purchase it online through expedia when the rooms were on a good special. Each night we ate at one of the restaurants down the road. There were 2 adults and 4 kids and each night we spent $17 approx in total and we stuffed ourselves full of food and that amount included 6 drinks. Travel insurance was $98 for 8 days.
Edited by Fabulous, 07 January 2013 - 10:10 PM.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:21 PM
I lived in Vietnam for two years and have no idea where the "luxury" hotels are for $100.
Luxury to me is 5 star and I can assure you, in Vietnam they will charge you for it.
I have to laugh at the idea of 'good service' too. Nice, friendly but good wouldn't come into it. My DS is 5 now, he was 18 months when we moved there. Its the last place I would travel to with kids, if you have medical problems (ie an accident, you need to be air evacuated to Bankok) for proper treament.
These are the realities of Vietnam.
However, I guess I have a jaded view after living there.
Loads of people do travel there with their kids though.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:51 PM
From Perth it's cheaper to fly to Bali and stay there than it is to drive down south and stay there
Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:59 PM
I guess it depends if you count the flights.
We stayed in gorgeous 4.5 star accom. in Thailand for $35 a night including breakfast, but it was the off season (still hot and beautiful). And dinner for three including drinks was around $20 per night. There is no way you could do that anywhere in Oz. However, if you factored in the cost of the flights and averaged them over the 2 week holiday it would possibly have been cheaper to stay in Australia. And since we were a long way from any major centres, the service was fairly average (lots of very lovely locals with no idea what they were doing!) but that added to the charm really!
ETA it did take a lot of time doing internet research to find a good place and a great deal. It would have taken much less time to research somewhere in Oz, but I guess it depends if you enjoy that sort of thing.
Edited by libbylu, 07 January 2013 - 11:07 PM.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:10 PM
It depends. I did a lot of research and wanted 1 wk fully inclusive of flights hotels, food and alcohol. For 4 of us we got a week in Fiji for $4100. The same option in Australia would have been $7500. However there were people from Australia at the same resort who got flights and accommodation way cheaper but didn't have all inclusive so probably ended up paying nearer to te $6 k mark. So just be wary and research what costs you will be up for if you take a "cheap" package holiday. We could have done an Australian holiday for te same price if we had booked ourselves somewhere where we could have made our own brekkies and lunch and maybe eaten out a couple of times for the week. For us knowing exactly what te holiday cost and not having to "save money" while we were away was a massive part of the attraction. We also contacted travel fiji and they matched the best price but gave us 2 adjoining rooms for the same price as one room
Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:50 PM
we just travelled interstate and overseas. OS was about half the price, all things included. We did have to book ages in advance, and looked around for cheap flights
Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:07 AM
I have PMed you, OP, but thought I should add about Vietnam publicly because it was just mentioned and we only Just returned. Prices in Vietnam seem to have gone up, and while itis very possible to travel cheaply ( look at Hostelworld online) ,
There are really expensive places to stay: think the Nam ThAi in Hoi An ( which a parent raved to us about, just google it to see why we could never afford it and even the Saigon Morin in Hue is expensive during the Christmas ( high season). Factor in four people instead of two and it is possible to pay $100 and up for less than five star. We are at the stage where we want a separate room for the kids where possible and that didincreas prices.
But, we got to eat the most amazing food in beautiful restaurants for a fraction of the cost of in Australia and other costs were low, like laundry and meals in general.
Service is not awesome, that is for sure, but most people tried to some extent and having a son really helped break the ice a number of times.
For an easy getaway to vietnam, I would suggest fly straight in to Danang, get the hotel to organise a taxi into Hoi An and Bob's your Uncle.
ETA sorry about the iPad thumbs. Hope it makes sense.
Edited by unicycle, 08 January 2013 - 12:08 AM.
Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:40 AM
We always look at both Oz and OS and OS is always cheaper. We find pacific islands are great for short, week long breaks. Vanautu and Cook Islands are all lovely and cheap and not full of as many tourists as Bali or Fiji.
Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:51 AM
Just to throw a spanner in the works - we're going on holiday in beginning of Feb and only booked just before xmas so not far enough ahead to get amazing deals but we were in the same boat. Looking at Bali, Thailand, Fiji, Vanuatu etc. we don't have kids yet but are going with friends who have an 8 month old baby.
Depends on how old your kids are I guess, but we ended up ruling out Fiji due to it being cyclone season and the constant threat of a coup - lots of ppl also said its quite expensive or at least close enough to AUS prices once there so that didn't appeal.
Our travel agent recommend FNQ quite heavily too - interesting? But we really wanted OS.
Our friends weren't keen on Bali or Thailand (we have all been b4) due to the vaccinations for their bub and not having enough time to get a full course of shots plus she is on formula and they didn't want to have to worry about drinking water, eating fruit etc etc
Same goes for Vietnam/Cambodia so we looked at Malaysia and Singapore but heard mixed reviews.
Vanuatu we heard is it good if you're staying in a resort and don't want to do much sightseeing so we finally ended up with Hawaii! Everyone says the best, safest and cleanest place to go with a family. A bit longer flight but we get the best of both worlds with time in a maui resort and time in Honolulu to shop as well. Plus AUD $ being strong everything there is very cheap (not Bali but u still feel like its a bargain!)
I highly recommend Holiday Planet and My holiday centre who are online travel agents, much, much better prices and service than any of the the deals we could put together ourself and heaps cheaper than flight centre quotes.
Believe me I know, as I spent about 10 days solid researching and getting quotes!
Edited by MrsShine, 08 January 2013 - 08:53 AM.
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