3 Fresh Ways to Enjoy a Weekender on a Budget


We’re all deserving of a holiday, though the events of 2020 left many in financial strain. Still, though, and perhaps more than ever, we deserve the opportunity to rest and recover, and to experience something new. It’s the least we can do for ourselves after a challenging time.

The opportunity to travel overseas is still a little ways off for the time being, and so for the trips we do plan on taking, we’re having to look closer to home. In addition, we’re searching for experiences that don’t break the bank, yet still allow us to reconnect to ourselves, our loved ones, and in some cases, our natural surroundings.

Below, we’ve put together three suggestions for an affordable weekender you can take as soon as this weekend — yes, even in Melbourne’s current lockdown.

1. Arrange a house swap

Chances are you have a friend living out of the city. Perhaps in order to become a property owner, your bestie or couple friends purchased a home a little ways away in a more regional part of the state, and are feeling pretty smug about it now that they’re paying less rent than you and no longer have to worry about commuting (ah, the beauty of working from home).

If you’re lucky enough to get an invite to stay in their spare room, great — that’s a free holiday! But another option is to suggest a house swap for the weekend. Just as you may be craving a weekend away from the city lights, your pals up or down the coast may also be hoping to spend a weekend visiting friends and family in the city. Engage in an open discussion and if the moment feels right, consider offering your home up for a house swap.

Cost: Zero. 

2. Book via local holiday rental platforms

The big booking sites charge their own fees, and it makes total sense why. With their advanced algorithms and kink-free mechanisms, popular booking platforms make browsing for holiday rentals really easy, and they employ a large number of staff who consistently work to simplify the process for its holiday-happy users.

While we love using those sites (sometimes we browse properties for fun), we’ve discovered that a nifty way of saving some serious coin is to browse and book via local listing sites. For example, instead of searching the big platforms for properties in a certain destination, do a little digging and search for holiday rental agencies in the local area, which more often than not, manage the exact same properties found on the big booking sites.

I recently employed this tactic when booking a weekend away down the South Coast with my family. By simply using a local holiday rental platform, I saved over $400 on the exact same property that was listed on a major booking site. I’m telling you, it works.

Save: Up to 20% off

3. Go camping

A little time spent researching should link you up with a bevvy of awesome camping sites within driving distance of your home. Whether beside lakes, beaches, within national parks or remote clearings, Australia is abundant in picturesque camping spots that are both unique and affordable.

Even cheaper is the option to pitch a tent in your own backyard (if you’re lucky enough to have one). The benefit of doing this is you can choose the perfect weather, carry out comfortable luxuries like your proper mattress, and enjoy creature comforts like a hot shower and a functioning bathroom.

It’s a great option for young families looking to show their kids a different experience, while still saving money and ensuring the family stays safe.

Cost: Free! Provided you have the equipment.

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