Be a smart traveller!
This is always my motto before I even book a plane ticket for my vacations. I am not rich and I don’t pretend to be one. Neither am I a social climber. I will be honest if I think something is too expensive or not a good value for money.
Good news is that we don’t have to own a lot of money to travel (to some places, that is). Unlike before, people don’t usually have cheaper options so they ended up booking expensive airfares and staying at hotels. We are blessed because there are budget airlines, promo fares, discounted coupons, and affordable accommodations available to us nowadays. Plus, we have the convenience of the internet to research about these.
I believe in investing on experiences rather than on material things. Travel makes us rich in ways that money can’t. So I want to share with you tips on spending less based from my experiences.
1. Wait for promo fares
It takes a great deal of patience to book a good airfare deal. Never buy a ticket that is not on sale because it’s not worth spending too much on something you will only be on for a few hours.
Here’s a tip on when those promo fares are most likely to appear: (1) during public holidays, (2) on the day of the airline company’s anniversary, and (3) during the wee hours of night. Set a list of places you want to go and dates you plan to visit them. Then keep on monitoring for promo fares. Don’t settle for the airline’s website. Use third party websites such as Traveloka and Skyscanner as well.
2. Stay at budget hostels or dormitories
I don’t like spending too much on accommodations that I will only use for bedroom and bathroom. When I travel, I spend most of my active hours outside. I want to see more of every place I visit, so why would I stay indoors.
Try looking at the websites like Agoda, Booking, and AirBnB. You can score great deals from them. If you’re a solo traveller, I suggest looking at Agoda and target dormitories. It’s a great place to meet fellow travellers and build networks. If you’re travelling in a larger group, I suggest AirBnB.
Here’s an additional tip: Find a hostel/dormitory that offers unlimited water/drinks. It is not wise to spend too much on water during your travels. Trust me, you will get thirsty all the time when you explore. You might not realise it but your total consumption of water is actually expensive.
3. Don’t always eat out
I have a rule that I created for myself – Reward myself once a day but control myself twice a day. What I meant by this is to eat out at a local restaurant once a day as a reward but buy cheaper alternatives for the remaining 2 meals. I choose to buy bread or cereal at convenience stores or groceries for my breakfast and dinner. Then for lunch, I eat at a local restaurant that offers delicious food. By doing this, I am not depriving myself while being frugal.
I would suggest for you to do the same. Lunch doesn’t always have to be the reward. You can try switching them up according to your itinerary.
4. Book travel vouchers
You’ll be surprised that there are companies offering coupons for your travel essentials such as transportation tickets, internet/data plans, tickets, shows, and tours. My personal favourite is Klook.com. You can also try searching at KKday.com and many more.
You will have a great deal of discounts for a data plan (you need this during your travel! Never travel without a data connection). You can also find great deals of unlimited train rides and score combo deals of all the theme parks, aquariums, and shows.
5. Be wise in booking your tours
“The more expensive it is, the better the service.”
Wrong! I have proven this time and time again. From my last trip, the paid tours were a huge disappointment, while the free ones were the best. I wasn’t able to see Mt. Fuji because they suddenly decided to change the schedule to move our Mt. Fuji stop from late morning to late afternoon. It was already too cloudy during the afternoon. The worst part is, they didn’t even bother asking us if it is okay to change the schedule. The guide wasn’t engaging and friendly. These tours just exist for money. They don’t care if you have fun or not.
I’m not saying that all paid tours are a disappointment. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the best ones.
I hope these 5 tips will give you ideas on how to be a smart traveller. Money doesn’t grow on trees so be wise in spending it. Happy travels!