The best ways to save when you're travelling on a pension

Whether you’re heading overseas for an exotic adventure or staying closer to home for a quiet break, there’s nothing like the thrill of heading off on holiday.

The only dampener on the fun though can be the cost, which can quickly skyrocket out of control if you’re not careful with the your planning and wise to the little tricks you can do to avoid hidden costs.

Holiday budgets can be particularly tricky for pensioners and retirees who often have to be more mindful with their money than others.

Luckily, we’ve found some great ways to get around extra fees and save you hundreds along the way so you can sit back and enjoy your well-earned break without the stress!

There are plenty of ways to cut costs along the way.

1. Buy a travel pass

Walking is definitely the cheapest way to get around a new city, but if you’re not too thrilled by the idea of traipsing all over town for the day pick up a travel pass for public transport instead. Buying a daily or weekly pass (depending on how long you’re there) will save you bucket loads compared to buying single trip tickets throughout the day. Check out what kind of transport is best for you – in Paris you might want a train pass, while a waterbus pass is the best way to see Venice. Alternatively you can hire a bike for the day and see the city from a whole new perspective!

2. Act your age

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Act your age... but only when necessary!
Act your age… but only when necessary!

If you’re over 65, you might be in luck! Many museums and attractions are free to seniors, meaning you can literally save hundreds of dollars on ticket prices. If it’s not free, you still might be able to your ticket at a discounted price. Europe, in particular, offers lots of free gallery and museum tickets for seniors. Head to the venues website before you leave to see what kind of deals they offer seniors, that way you’ll know exactly how much you need to budget for before you set off on holiday.

3. Don’t open the minibar

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Say no to over-priced drinks and snacks.

It’s tempting to grab a treat (or a drink!) from the minibar after a tiring day of exploring, but you’re better off picking up a few things while you’re out and saving yourself the cash. Many hotels in western countries charge up to €8 (AU$11.84) for a bottle of water now, while you could easily get a couple of drinks and a bite to eat for the same amount at the local grocery store.

4. Buy your travel insurance online

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There are plenty of trustworthy travel insurance sites out there.

Most people tend to organise their travel insurance through their travel agent, but you can often save money by doing it yourself online. There are a number of reputable companies selling travel insurance online these days and you can use a website like to find the best deals available. Best of all it only takes minutes to organise!

5. Call your phone provider to avoid high charges

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Save yourself some dollars and cents on your phone bill.
Save yourself some dollars and cents on your phone bill.

Before you head off overseas check with your phone provider to make sure you don’t return home to a nasty phone bill. Call, text and data costs can skyrocket when your overseas, but there are easy ways to avoid it. If you have a smart phone you should be able to easily change your setttings to turn off your data roaming; otherwise call your provider to organise the change. You’ll still be able to use the wifi hotels and restaurants along the way.

6. Pre-book tourist passes

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See the world's most famous sites for a fraction of the cost.
See the world’s most famous sites for a fraction of the cost.

There are great deals available for those who are savvy enough to think ahead and pre-book tickets for events and venues. If you’re heading to Rome, for example, you can buy a three-day Roma Pass, which costs €34/£29 and gives you free travel on public transport, plus free access to two sights, and discounts of around €2 on others. This saves you the trouble of having to organise everything separately, plus saves you precious money in the bank.

Do you have any holiday money-saving tips? Where will your next holiday be?