Many take advantage of the Easter holidays to get away from the rat race for a few days. But leaving the planning to the last minute can prove expensive.
And with Easter less than two weeks away, getting away doesn't come cheap, says Bessie Hassan, money expert at comparison site Finder.
"Whether it's flying to Surfers Paradise, hiring a car to drive up the coast, or splashing out on entertainment, such as going to the movies or visiting theme parks, once you add up all the costs, school holidays can be an expensive time," she says.
However, there are many ways you can enjoy a holiday without breaking the bank, she says; for example, flying on cheaper days of the week, using fuel discounts, or engaging in a house swap rather than staying at a hotel or seaside apartment.
Sydneysiders Simone Plaza, husband Ken Stewart, and their daughters, Skye, 5, and Cassidy, 7, are heading off on a camping trip to Byron Bay.
The family has previously taken trips overseas at this time of the year to Thailand and Bali, but the couple want to keep a tight rein on expenses this Easter holiday period.
"We will probably head north to the Byron Bay area for three or four days," Plaza says.
"We have some good friends in Bellingen [on the NSW north coast] and are thinking of doing a house swap for a week with them after Byron Bay," the 38-year-old media professional says.
"We will be looking online at petrol prices before we set off," she says. Plaza intends to upload the 7-Eleven Fuel Store app onto her phone. The app allows users to lock in the best local petrol price for the next seven days.
When you buy petrol is important. Craig James, chief economist at CommSec, says the pattern with petrol prices now is to stay at lows for a short period after which time prices can lift 20 cents a litre in the space of three to four days before starting the downtrend again.
Peter Khoury, head of media at NRMA, says that Sydney petrol can be cheaper in the western and south western suburbs, where there are more independent petrol stations.
Kirsty Lamont, a director of comparison site Mozo, says that petrol discount vouchers can be good, as long as you don't spend more than you need at the supermarket and don't have to drive out of your way to find a petrol station to redeem the vouchers.
"Even with a discount voucher you may find cheaper petrol across the road from where you live," Lamont says.
Serviced apartments and short-term rentals through services such as Airbnb can be much cheaper than hotels, Lamont says.
"You'll save even more by using the kitchen facilities instead of buying all your meals and snacks out," she says.
Alternatively, singles and couples may like to check out Couchsurfing to find a place to sleep.
"Comparing hotel rates and actively searching for discounts can help you save on accommodation," Hassan says,
"Pre-book your accommodation; the earlier you're able to commit to a place, the cheaper it generally is," she says.
You could also compare affordable hotels online to find the right option for you.
Nic Emery, ME bank's head of deposits and transactional banking, says you should consider camping instead of staying in a hotel and chose a destination closer to home so you can drive and not spend too much on petrol, rather than flying.
Lamont says also be aware that campsites on the coast book out quickly, and, as with hotels, popular camping grounds can up their prices during peak periods.
No matter when you plan to travel, booking flights mid-week is generally cheaper than other days of the week, Hassan says.
And a warning on hot-spot price surges during holiday periods. The busy Sydney-Melbourne route has the biggest variation in ticket prices among the mainland capitals.
Buying a Sydney-Melbourne economy-class ticket four weeks in advance saves 25 per cent on the average price paid for the ticket over 12 months, travel comparison site Skyscanner found last year.
If you want to take advantage of the upcoming school holidays to visit either city you're more likely get a decent discount if you book immediately rather than later.
The prices of a holiday on the Gold Coast also surge over Easter as they do over Christmas.
Finder gives equal weighting to the costs of flights, accommodation and car hire for two adults to work out the "Easter tax" on popular destinations.
The cost of flights, hotels and car hire for five days on the Gold Coast starting Thursday, April 13, to Monday, April 17, costs $4921, or twice as much if the same holiday was taken in March or May.
Many families can be unprepared for Easter, Emery says. "Before you know it you're hit with the costs of over-priced chocolates, gifts, food and drink for entertaining, weekends away and interstate travel to visit family," he says.
Lamont says if you have to buy Easter treats, look out for discounts and compare unit prices. "You can often save big by wrapping a few eggs and a bunny in cellophane rather than reaching for over-priced boxed options," she says.
And if you have the kids at home for the holidays, plan ahead and prepare so they can have a mix of activity-filled days at home, holiday camp and outings that will not break the bank.
When out and about visiting attractions, always pack enough snacks and drinks to avoid pumped-up prices at popular attractions, Lamont says.