Sailing the ocean, visiting exotic locations, living the high life with fine wine and dining – it’s no wonder that many a bucket list is adorned with luxurious cruises. But even all-inclusive packages have hidden items that can rack up more than you expected. Here’s how to save a few dollars to extend your trip.
What costs can you expect?
You can sail the South Pacific for as little as $700 per person, which sounds very affordable, but will this grant you all the bells and whistles you desire? If you want to travel as far as Tahiti, the Caribbean or Europe, your budget will certainly be in four figures and maybe even five. Don’t forget flights as well.
Cruises also tend to have extra costs, which can include:
- Excursion fees: These could reach a couple of hundred dollars for all-day tours and visits to special attractions.
- Dining options: The cruise ship’s nightly buffet may be included in the fee, but drinks and snacks on the pool deck aren’t, nor are the special restaurants on board.
- Spa treatments: If you want all that extra pampering, you’ll usually be expected to pay for it. The same goes for hair salons.
- On-board activities: If you get bored of quoits, you may need to shell out to attend a fitness class or try your luck at the casino.
If your dream is the ultimate cruise where you don’t have to compromise your holiday by penny pinching, then save up as much as you can in advance.
1. Get swapping
Some easy changes will soon see the cash build up.
- Piggy bank for real bank: A proper high interest savings account will earn you interest on your holiday fund.
- Hotels for home: Holidaying at the Hotel de Home and exploring your own city this year will save you $100+ a night.
- Daily for weekly: Swap your daily coffee for a weekly, swap your weekly cinema or meal out for monthly, and bank the difference. In just six months this could add a further $4-500 to your cruise fund.
- Take-outs for eat-in: Just swapping a café lunch for a home-made sandwich can easily save around $50 a week, over the course of a year a total $2,500.
2. Get scrooging
Most of us splurge at Christmas, so this year save the money towards your dream holiday instead.
- Skip presents: And give each other cheques towards the cruise (for birthdays too).
- Reuse, recycle: Use last year’s decorations and regift unwanted items.
- Avoid overindulging: Ease back on the festive food and save yourself for the tantalising eating options on the cruise!
3. Get saving
Save the cents and the dollars will follow. There are many innovative ways to effortlessly save money.
- Round up: Round all your purchases up to the nearest $5 or $10 and put the spare change aside.
- Luxury tax: Put a 20 per cent tax on all “luxuries” you buy. When you get those $180 shoes you don’t really need, there’s another $36 in your holiday fund.
- Vice levy: Penalise yourself for every alcoholic drink or cigarette – another $1 in the fund each time.
Finally, don’t forget that you can also hunt down discounts. Sign up to discount sites and social media feeds for cruises – you may be surprised by how many offers and amazing discounts you’ll receive. An ultra-luxury cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most people, so ensure you’ve got the cash to carry on cruising in the comfort and style you’ve always dreamt of.