Protecting your data. Stay safe and remain alert for unusual account activity and potential scams asking for your personal information. Learn more.

We use cookies to provide you with the best possible online experience. Read more

Money A guide to budgeting Follow our simple budgeting tool to help get your finances in order.
Lifestyle How to survive a family road trip on a budget Making the most of time on the road.
Money Getting the most out of your banking app We take a look at how you can use banking apps to help with things like budgetin...

5 ways to support regional communities


Take a different road trip on your next holiday and help support local communities.

If you’re planning to get away for a holiday, it could be the perfect opportunity to support local businesses and communities who might still be recovering from the impacts of Covid and last season's devastating bushfires. We’ve put together a list of 5 things you can do to help local communities get back on their feet, regardless of where you’re going.

1. Stop for a picnic

A full car, screaming kids, cramped muscles, bad music requests – need any more excuses to pull over for a rest? Break up the trip or detour through a nearby town to stock up on local produce for a picnic. Roadside stalls are hard to pass up for fresh fruit or veg and there’s usually one iconic establishment renowned for pastries, sandwiches or burgers, otherwise head to a grocer for some bread rolls and fillings to make your own. Stock up on snacks for the next leg of your journey and hit the road with the satisfaction of a full tummy and the knowledge that you’ve directly supported the community.

2. Buy a souvenir

Instead of wasting money on a tiny spoon you’ll never use or a snow globe that will just collect dust, invest in something that you’ll be able to enjoy and remember the region by. Check out local markets or retailers for unique wares you’re unlikely to find anywhere else, like a handmade quilt that you can use for seasons to come, or a bottle of wine or jar of honey that you can share with friends and family long after your trip. Keep an eye out for any items you think will make great presents – your friend might love a funky piece of jewellery, or some chutney will be a lovely gesture for that one person who already has everything!

3. Go on a scavenger hunt

Bring the tradition of a treasure hunt to life and make a list of items to purchase in the area you’re staying or during the road trip to and from your destination. Jot down your favourite things and go on the hunt to see how many you can cross off – the best coffee, chocolate or sweet treat could be just around the corner… 

4. Do an activity

Inject a little extra cash into the local economy by booking in for an activity. Take up the opportunity to try surfing if you’re staying by the coast, or maybe a hit a golf is more up your alley. Ask around for opportunities to roll up your sleeves and get involved with a farm visit if you’re heading inland, or simply unwind and treat yourself to a spa treatment. Hiring a bike might also be a great way to get around, or you could get on board a wine tour and sample what the region’s got to offer. Something as simple as a dinner out one night could make a big difference to a small business.

5. Share the love

We’ve seen how social media can be used for good, so add those positive vibes to your own account by documenting your trip and encouraging others to plan their own adventure. Take the time to chat with locals and help share their stories.

If you’re stuck for ideas, there are plenty of initiatives that can help you plan where to go or which businesses may need some extra support. Keep in mind many communities may still be dealing with a challenging year, so visit with an open mind and empathy.

Image by Huw Ashhurst 

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. This information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Information in this article is current as at the date of publication. We do not recommend any third party products or services and we are not liable in relation to them. Any links to third party websites are for your information only and we do not endorse their content.

Smart Saver Account

Give your savings a kick-start, and enjoy easy access to your money with this high interest account.

Read more

Send this article to friends and family

Lifestyle Snow trips during COVID-19 Here’s a few things to consider before booking your snow holiday this year.
Lifestyle Planning a caravan adventure Top tips to help you hit the road and see the great outdoors.