Asked on 18 Jun 2019
Hey guys, i realised theres alot of tips and questions on savings and investing but don't really have much tips and hacks on travelling.
Recently saw a lot of promotions and deals on air tickets like 50% off from scoot and other budget airlines have discounted fares as well. Thus I was thinking to plan a trip and was wondering if there's any special hacks or tips that you guys can share!
Currently I havent decided on which country to go yet so maybe you guys can suggest some good place to go!
Buy your tickets wayyyy in advance. Usually, the earlier you buy, the cheaper the tickets are.
If you want to stay connected when you are overseas, you can consider getting a wifi egg or a SIM card. Wifi egg can be rented at Changi Recommends; SIM cards can be bought online at qoo10 / Klook. Be sure to check out the reviews first before buying!
Do you really need a luggage? If you are travelling on a budget airline, luggages cost extra. If you are comfortable with bringing just a backpack, you can save quite a bit of money!
Plan your trips. Using google maps, mark out the places you want to go. Then plan your schedule. You can potentially save lots of $$$ from taking less train/bus/taxi rides, if you plan your schedule properly.
Do you really need to eat expensive food? Cheap food can taste really good too! Be sure to use TripAdvisor when you are on the go to check out places to eat. Alternatively, be on the lookout for places with lots of locals eating at. Chances are, these are the good (and potentially cheap) places to eat at.
Actually I think the key is whether you are a traveller with more of time or more of money?
If you are the former, ie more of time, you are not so encumbered by regularly monthly deadlines, and have the ability to choose the timing of your travel vs the promotions the airlines have since most promos are there to boost the seat occupancy and make sure the flight is travelling at close to full capacity? For them, you are incremental revenue on flights that are probably less than half full.
If you are the latter, with more time constraints due to your job or commitments, vs the amount of money paid, then you would be looking to maximize the value of your $$ vs comfort and other requirements.
As an example of Scoot and fares to Taipei, I have long gave up on Scoot, and gone for EVA instead because
1) I am not so young and don't really like red eye flights and have to sleep in a cramped seat. I get very annoyed by lack of sleep that younger folks dont mind.
2) usually cheaper flights include to some extent weird hours, and off season (ie most pple have to work and no holidays so you have to take leave for one or more parties). One thing to consider is those weird hours meaning you probably have to cab to airport. For me, the additional 36 - 50 dollars on the cab fare is an cost that could offset the savings you get on the fares. But I stay in jurong, and maybe this doesnt affect u as much. Also do consider if the weird hours might lead to earlier hotel check in or earlier checkouts and how that affects the overall budget due to additional one day stay? I've been burned by Scoot prolonging the flight delays that lead to a lot of discomfort and planning headaches, I enjoy the comfort and reliability of EVA air.
3) for the so called budget airlines, you have to pay for check-in luggage, or hand carry above 7kg. This annoys me greatly. There's no food / snacks / drinks which EVA has pretty much costed all these into their fare. Because you could be doing all these costs at different times, you may not immediately see sometimes the budget airfare could end up more expensive than regular airfare. Not forgetting I could usually watch two or more movies on the EVA, and on Scoot, I could be sitting beside a girl who justed showered and really needs to flick her wet hair around every five minutes and really disturb my sleep.
4) edited to add one more. Budget airlines usually have fixed non-refundable tickets. If you found out you booked the ticket and a typhoon / earthquake / tsunami hits, you cant change the tickets. With normal airfare, you could at least maybe change the date w some small charge or none at all. But for me, I could substitute typhoon with some super duper last min request by an auditor or a colleague who fell sick with hand foot mouth / gave birth / quit / you never know....
These are some of the nuances that plagued me in recent years, that led me to believe budget is often the more expensive / costly option...
try using shopback to earn cashback on your hotel and flight bookings! fairly easy website to navigate on, so i think this is a must! it also works with most of the popular booking sites so you don’t have to worry! my referral link for us to get $5 each - https://app.shopback.com/sgp?raf=CkZeGk
always buy baggage online. if you purchase last minute at the airport, you are overcharged for the ‘processing’ fee. if you manage to exceed, try checking or asking the staff what is the minimum numbers of hours before the flight that you can purchase the baggage online.
be nice to the staff who serves you, because they are also the one who will help you waive off your baggage. not only that, they’ll make sure you have a smooth journey for the entire flight up to the best of their ability!
ask for seat changes for free. yes, you’ve read right. i’m not sure for other budget airlines, but the one i work for allows free seat allocation at the airport (not counting emergency exit seating). sure, you could always be safe and purchase seats online but i think it’s worth a short to try at least a few times and see how flexible the staff are.
use klook to get tickets or book additional activities for your trip! they offer wifi egg, shuttle services, attraction tickets and etc at a discounted rate. furthermore, most of the attractions have a separate counter for online booking sites such as klook and thus you don’t have to queue there on the day you’re visiting and just cut the waiting time + save money!
always bring a foldable bag of some kind with you when you travel. for me personally, i use a foldable duffel bag that can expand to quite a large size. i’ll use it when my luggage is too full to fit anymore stuff, exceeding my baggage kilos i purchased, or to maximise my carry on of 7kg since i’ll only carry on a backpack weighing like 2kg onboard.
before booking, make sure you know the airline’s sales period. usually for budget airlines, there are weekly sales like take-off tuesdays at scoot. make sure to maximise your savings with this!
try using Airbnb if you have not had the chance to. i’ve used it twice so far and i’ve saved up quite a fair bit from booking an entire apartment/house and splitting the prices with my friends. most of the listings entitle you to a washing machine, shampoo, iron, and even a kitchen! before booking, you can check the reviews of fellow travellers who booked the place before to ensure you are getting a good airbnb! here is my referral link - first time users will get $45 off a home booking! https://abnb.me/e/1xvtnMbGGX
A lot of good suggestions here :)
Here are some of mine:
1) book flights and hotels early - plan, plan, plan. i usually book flights up to 6 months in advance and can get them at a fraction of the cost. You can also spend a week monitoring price fluctuations using Skyscanner and lock in the lowest rate
2) use ShopBack for your flights (eg SIA) and hotels (eg Agoda, booking.com) for substantial cashback!
3) apply for YouTrip debit card with excellent FX rates and no fees!
4) use apps like Klook for good deals on local attractions
5) I usually apply for wifi router either from Changi airport wireless rental or other providers. Changi has frequent promos like 30% off (subscriber to their newsletter) and their router can support multiple devices quite reliably
Use skyscanner or other websites to compare flights to your destination. Sometimes other overseas airlines can offer great deals that you cannot find if you just use the airline's website. My flight to Tokyo was about $550 with Delta Airlines, which I think it's a good deal.
Secondly, travel agencies does offer good deals for flights & hotel packages, which can beat prices booking them seperately online. I have gotten Thai Airways + 3 nights 5 start hotel stay and airport transfer to Bangkok below $500 (and it's during Christmas period), which may cost more when you book them seperately. Go look around and you will be surprised.
Hey! Here are some simple things I do before making a travel purchase (:
Make sure you use the right credit card! For example, I know UOB Prvi Miles gives 10mpd for Agoda and 7mpd for Expedia, you might wanna use those booking sites to maximise your credit card rewards.
Look out for deals in places like Shopback which can stack with existing promo codes AND credit card rewards. I always make sure to use Shopback cause they have AWESOME hotel cashback, try to book during upsize cashback periods! There was once I booked a hotel for $400 for 5 nights, and there was 18% cashback so I got back $72
Also, are you doing a solo trip or a group trip or a couple trip? Anyway, if you wanna go budget and have a great time experiencing different things, I strongly suggest doing a few cities in Vietnam! I went to HCM, Da Lat and Mui Ne previously.
This is for a 7 days trip (I spent $600 incl accoms, flight and expenditure, not a budget trip!)
HCM needs no introduction, there's bars and cafes and museums etc to go to.
Da Lat is a quaint little town with loads of hipster cafes and it's 18deg ALL YEAR ROUND. You can book an easy rider day tour, where you'd ride behind the guide on his motorcycle around the vietnam countryside (it's super chilly and shiok) and have coffee in the middle of the mountain.
Mui Ne is a beach side town, and there's sand dunes there! So we woke up at 4am in the morning, took the 4wheeler up the sand dune, it's literally a desert and watched the sunrise. AMAZING. and then in the evening we went to the beach and watched the sunset.
Hope you find a good place to go and happy travelling!
I've done a 18 day Vietnam trip under 1k SGD before, backpacking style. Our route was Mui Ne, Dalat, Nha Trang, Hanoi, Sapa, Ha Long Bay, then back to SG. The trip had a good mix of leisure, water sports, shopping & nature so I would reccomend it! Some travel tips:
travel in a group (it's much easier to negotiate)
spend some nights travelling via sleeper buses
travel light (you can bring lesser clothes since there are many laundry shops there)
eat local food
plan your overall travel route well to maximise your time & expenses
scrimp abit on accoms if you can (we booked via booking.com and mostly stayed at backpacker hostels ~10 sgd/night. They can be a little noisy but rly worth the price).