So many places, so little money!
Almost everyone loves to travel but unless you are the super rich and famous, most of the ordinary folks like us are on a budget every time we want to get that new stamp on our passport. Even though lots of travel quotes tell us that travelling experiences are things money can’t buy, travelling definitely requires money. So here are some tips that can be used to save some money so that more trips can be taken!
by Travel HANter
23 Aug 2017
- Choose the right credit card for payment
With everything going cashless, always choose the right credit card that gives you the highest rebate and points for your purchases.
HAN-dy tip: Look out for minimum spending and cap for a rebate. E.g. OBCB 365 has up to 3% cash rebate for online purchase but with minimum spending of $600 and the rebate is capped at $80 per month.
Save on air tickets
- Be sure of your travel dates
To get the cheapest air tickets, especially when travelling during the public holidays, be sure to book in advance. Most budget airlines have almost huge discounts at least once a year but most of them will require you to book in advance. By making sure of when your travel dates are, we can be sure to “chope” the best deal when the deal presents itself to us!
- Like and subscribe to airline’s social media
Most airlines manage their own social media platform and deals are often published on them. Like and subscribe to get the first-hand deals.
HAN-dy tip.: Some airlines like Cathay Pacific and SQ sends out subscribers only deals via email before announcing the deals to the rest of its audiences.
- Use websites like Skyscanner or Zuji to compare flights
Skyscanner compares fares from each airline and allows you to book from your preferred source. It also allows you to have a rough idea of the cost when you are planning your trip.
Zuji has frequent promotions like flight rebate or discount codes on hotel bookings. They even have a rebate and free luggage when you book a flight and hotel package.
HAN-dy tip: Zuji charges a booking fee for flights but usually the rebate will cover the booking fee and the final cost will still be cheaper than booking from the airline itself.
- Choose the right payment method to pay for your air tickets
Most budget airlines charge an admin fee when you choose to pay by credit card. The fee is usually insanely high (e.g. $20 for Scoot). Save on admin charges by choosing payment methods via AXN or SAM machine, which charges an admin fee, but significantly lower (e.g. $6 for Scoot).
HAN-dy tip: For scoot, if you don’t mind the hassle, another hack to bypass the admin fee would be to purchase the cash voucher which charges NO ADMIN FEE. Do take note that they only allow one voucher per transaction so be sure to get the exact amount. They do, however, allow you to combine the cash voucher with the voucher you redeem with your Krisflyer miles.
- Use your miles to redeem voucher for budget airlines
Earning miles has not been a favourite reward when I’m using my credit card for purchases. I personally prefer cash rebate. So I have very little miles that I’ve earned from my already very discounted air tickets and those little miles are insufficient for me to redeem a full-fledged airline ticket. Thankfully, most full-fledged airlines have their affiliated budget airline(s) so what we could do is to redeem vouchers for their budget counterpart.
For example, a one-way ticket on Singapore Airlines to Bangkok requires 12500 miles. A $30 Scoot voucher requires 3200 miles. Doesn’t seem like much but at least I can use it to offset the luggage fee rather than let the miles expire.
HAN-dy tip: The option of cash + miles can also be chosen to offset the price of air tickets.
Save on hotels
- Promo codes
PROMO CODES! There is always a promo code for an online website you use to book your hotel. Simply do a google search to save on hotels! What we can do is to use websites like TripAdvisor or Trivago to compare the prices on each website before choosing the cheapest option, followed by using coupons code (which I usually refer to MoneyLobang).
HAN-dy tip: For some international hotel chains, most websites do not allow the use of a coupon. Try Zuji as it sometimes allows the use of discount coupons.
- Use points or miles to offset cost
Booking with Expedia using the app earns up to twice the points. We can redeem $30 for every 5000 points. For hotels.com, get a free night with minimum 10 nights stay. Qantas also rewards points for hotel and even Airbnb bookings. The points can then be used to offset either the air ticket or hotel booking. Members can get 3 points per AUD $1 spent on hotel booking and 1 point on AUD $1 spent on Airbnb booking. Sometimes, there is also a promotion awarding 3 points per AUD $1 spent on Airbnb.
HAN-dy tip: For international hotel chains that do not allow the use of a coupon, book using miles or points. Book directly from the hotel which at times have special member rates if you book directly with them.
Save on travel insurance
- Buy during NATAS/ travel fair periods
During travel fairs, most travel insurances have 40 – 55 % discount for a single trip and 20% for an annual plan. Remember to purchase them prior to your trip!
HAN-dy tip: Do your calculations before deciding whether to get an annual plan travel insurance. Unless you travel a lot annually to the same region, a single trip plan will usually add up to be cheaper after discount.
- Use a credit card that provides free travel insurance to pay for your air tickets.
Save on travel insurance. Many credit cards like Citibank, OCBC, AMEX and HSBC provide complimentary travel insurance when you pay for your air tickets with their cards. Check if your card is eligible and the things that are insured before booking!
HAN-dy tip: For OCBC, only OCBC 365 comes with complimentary travel insurance. For Citibank, the travel date must be within 6 months from your ticket purchase. Filling up a form activates the free insurance.