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10 budget holiday ideas for cheap holiday deals over Christmas

Are you dreaming of a Christmas holiday but worried about breaking the bank? Well, fear not! There are plenty of budget-friendly options that can still give you the holiday spirit escape you deserve. Whether you’re looking for a cosy cabin in the woods or a sunny beach day retreat, we’ve gotten the team together to brainstorm seven affordable holiday deals that won’t leave your wallet feeling empty.

The holiday season can be a stressful and expensive time, but it doesn’t have to be. With some careful planning and a little creativity, you can enjoy a memorable vacation without blowing your budget. From exploring charming small towns to taking advantage of off-peak travel deals, there are endless possibilities for an affordable Christmas getaway.

10 budget holiday ideas

Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or foodie, there’s a budget-friendly getaway option for everyone. While us in Australia may not get the winter wonderland, we get the advantage of beautiful beaches in the height of summer (just be sure to pack the sunblock). From staycationing for the summer to getting outside and embracing life outdoors, we have 10budget holiday ideas that’ll keep the excitement of Christmas going well beyond December 25.


If you’re not keen on dealing with airports and traffic during the holiday season, why not consider a staycation? A staycation allows you to enjoy a budget getaway from the comfort of your own home. And don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be boring!

To have a successful staycation, it’s important to break free from your everyday routines. Take the time to clean your house before your staycation begins, so you won’t have to worry about it during your break. Plan your meals in advance or budget for takeout and dining out. Let your friends and family know that you’re taking a break by changing your voicemail message. And just like you would on a traditional vacation, create a daily itinerary to make the most of your time off.

But you don’t have to stay inside the whole time! Be sure to explore your own city or town and take advantage of local attractions and events. You might be surprised by what you find just a few blocks down the road.


Camping is a great option for a budget getaway over the festive season for a reasonable price. Instead of spending a fortune on 4-star hotel rates, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of nature by camping in a nearby national park or campground.

Camping is a perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature and have a memorable holiday experience without breaking the bank, allowing the kids to enjoy the outdoors instead of staring at their device screens.

Three small children smile inside a camping tent, while their parents sit in fold-up chairs in the background.

Road trip

One of the best ways to enjoy a budget getaway over Christmas is by going on a road trip. Not only does it allow you to explore new holiday destinations, but it also gives you the freedom to stop and discover hidden gems and natural wonders along the way.

Whether you choose to visit a nearby city or take a ferry to Kangaroo Island there’s always something to see along the way to your destination. A road trip is a great option for those looking for affordable holiday deals.

Plan a day trip

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly getaway over the Christmas holidays but don’t have a lot of time or want to avoid putting too many miles on your car, consider planning a day trip or two. Take a closer look at what’s available within a 50 km radius of your home and embrace the opportunity to become a tourist in your own town. There may be sights and experiences that you haven’t yet explored or places you haven’t visited in years, with some amazing deals to find in the process.

This can be a particularly enjoyable option if you have kids, as they will experience these familiar places in new and different ways as they grow. Additionally, utilising Facebook to seek recommendations for local attractions can be a helpful tool in planning your day trips.

House swap

House swapping is a fantastic option for those looking to have a budget-friendly getaway during the festive season. By trading homes with a friend or family member, you can experience a different location without having to spend money on accommodation.

This quintessential budget getaway involves staying in another family’s home while they stay in yours. You can organise this directly with friends and family who live in other cities or states, or you can utilise a reputable house swap service like Aussie House Swap or Home Exchange.

These services allow you to connect with other households from across Australia and even the world. The best part is that most house swappers are willing to take care of your pets and gardens while you enjoy your stay in their home. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved!

Off-peak destinations

If you’re looking for affordable holiday deals over Christmas, peak season can be a less than ideal time to pay for accommodation, so consider visiting some off-peak destinations. By off-peak destinations, we’re referring to places that are less popular during the Christmas season; places that most people won’t think to visit this time of year.

Not only can you enjoy a quieter holiday break, but it can also result in finding better cheap holiday deals on accommodations and activities. By exploring these lesser-known destinations, you can save money while still enjoying a memorable getaway during the holiday season.

A small laughing girl blasts a hose around the backyard, sending water spraying everywhere.

All-inclusive resorts

One great option to find some great budget holiday ideas is to look for all-inclusive resorts that offer special packages and deals specifically for the festive season. These resorts provide everything you need for a relaxing and enjoyable vacation, including accommodations, meals, and various activities.

By opting for an all-inclusive resort, you can have a stress-free holiday experience for a reasonable price.

Last-minute deals

Be sure to keep an eye out for last-minute travel deals and discounts when planning your holiday getaway. By being spontaneous and flexible with your travel plans, you may be able to find great cheap holiday deals on the cheapest flights and holiday packages.

For example, public holidays are a less than ideal time to book a flight, so be sure to plan your travel dates in advance. And stick to those travel dates, make sure not to get sucked in to the international travel package that leaves on a public holiday recommended by your local travel agents.

Skyscanner’s Christmas flight deals is a useful tool to find a wide variety of affordable options. The site is regularly updated, giving you plenty of time to save and plan for other aspects of your trip.

Additionally, consider flying on Christmas or New Year’s Day for potentially cheaper fares. You can also use Skyscanner’s ‘Fly Everywhere’ feature to explore destinations within your budget price. By combining these strategies with a house swap, you can enjoy a fantastic budget getaway.

Become a local expert

To save some money on a budget-friendly holiday activity over Christmas, why not become a local expert in something you or your family love? Whether it’s pizza, street art, art galleries, theme parks, ice rinks or playgrounds, you can choose a subject and explore every aspect of it in your local area.

Take a few weeks to search for the best pizza joint in town or visit different playgrounds and rate them. You can even create a photo journal or Instagram feed showcasing the array of attractions in your area.

Not only will this holiday project be tons of fun, but it will also help you discover hidden gems in your own neighborhood. Additionally, it can serve as a valuable resource for others, giving your opinion on the top-rated tourist attractions on many local historic centers. Share your findings on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or even start a blog to connect with friends and family.

Group trips

And lastly, consider planning a group trip with friends or family in order to save money on your holiday getaway. By splitting the costs of accommodations, transportation, cost of theme parks and activities, you can significantly reduce your expenses and enjoy a budget-friendly vacation.

Not only will this allow you to save money, but it also provides an opportunity to create lasting memories with your loved ones. Having more people along for the cheap family holiday can also result in more travel tips. So gather your group, note down some of the amazing deals you find and start planning for an affordable and enjoyable holiday getaway!

How can MyBudget help with budgeting for a holiday getaway?

For more ways of finding cheap holiday deals over Christmas and other travel money tips like this, check out more articles on the MyBudget Blog and start waving goodbye to your money worries! You can have a fantastic getaway without staying at 4-star resorts and jumping on the next cruise line.

If you need help balancing your budget this Christmas – or planning for the year ahead – call MyBudget for a quick chat on 1300 300 922 or enquire online. It’s free and could be the best Christmas present you ever give yourself! We’re here to help.

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This article has been prepared for information purposes only, and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information in this article you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.