How to save money when travelling
I love travelling. And every year, one of my goals is to save enough money to travel to another country. But yes, travelling can create a big dent in your savings, especially if you let your excitement run away with you.
How many times have you planned a trip only to exceed your budget? What about those times when you travelled on an impulse, a weekend trip that your friends suddenly thought of because it’s the long weekend? Here are just some tips so that you don’t go overboard.
1. Wait for the sale.
Airlines periodically hold promos or sale for their plane fares. The key is to identify when these sales would be. Cebu Pacific is one carrier that regularly holds sales. Just last July 2009, it held a 50-percent sale on most of its domestic and international flights. I was lucky enough to book a two-way ticket to Hong Kong this November for only P3,500.
What you can do is regularly check their websites. If it’s available, sign up for email alerts so you’ll be informed if they have upcoming and ongoing promos.
But to really be able to save money, try mock booking. By mock booking, you can know how much is the regular fares for your favorite destination. Once you know this, you can see if it’s worth to book during a sale. Keep in mind that during fare promos, not all seats are included.
2. Plan ahead.
Planning ahead is the key. When you plan ahead, you can set a budget and save for it. It’s also a great goal for your family. You and your husband have something to look forward to if it’s an “alone time” vacation. If you’re travelling with your kids, they have something to look forward to for the summer. You can even use this as a reward for getting good grades in school.
Planning ahead also allows you to fix your schedule. You can inform your office in advance so that your boss won’t schedule important events while you’re gone.
3. Research, research, research.
This goes hand in hand with planning ahead. When you plan ahead, you need to complement it with a lot of research. Go online and visit different hotel and destination websites. Some hotel websites offer lower room rates than the travel sites while some travel sites offer better rates than the hotels.
Researching also allows you to plan your itinerary. Most travel destinations have their own websites. Check these sites and see how much an entrance fee would cost. Even transportation systems like Singapore’s MTR have its own website. You then get an idea how much to budget for it.
4. Travel light.
Travel like a businessman. Cebu Pacific deducts a couple of hundred of you avail of its Go-Lite, a program for travelers who do not check in their baggage. Ever since, my husband and I have availed of this service. Because most of our vacations abroad last for about three days only, we only need to pack the most basic. There were even times that our stuff just fit one small baggage.
5. Use your miles.
Some credit cards like HSBC and BPI give you miles every time you charge your purchases. You can use these miles to pay for your plane fares or get discounts for partner hotels. But make sure that when you charge something to your credit card, you pay it off in full every month. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying more.
6. Compare prices.
Some vacations cost less when you do it yourself. But there are also trips when getting a travel package are more cost-efficient. Make sure you compare DIYs and travel packages to ensure that you are getting the best with your money.
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