Created on Thursday, 17 November 2011 00:00
Written by Enilyn Eng
The economy might have shrunk but holidays are still a must as a reward for all the hard work done throughout the year. So here are some tips to squeeze the most out of your travel buck!
Be registered on the mailing list of your favourite airlines and budget airlines for latest promotions. When there's news of mainstream airlines venturing into the budget market or the launch of a new route and new airline, that's when the promotions come flooding in. However, there will airfare watchers like yourself. Getting updated at the soonest is not enough. You have to have groups of travel buddies who are clear the periods they may travel or not as well as their destinations preferences. This way, you will not lose out in the game of fastest fingers.
Consider couch surfing (CouchSurfing.com) and house swapping (many country-specific websites available). Or, even better, if you have a friend in that country, bunk in with him or her. Interacting and living with a local or someone who has been in the country for a long time helps you infiltrate the culture faster and not to mention set real gems apart from tourist traps.
For bigger countries such as Japan and the United Kingdom, internal travel might make up the biggest portion of your travel fare. It could be cheaper if you make plans ahead of time and plan your route wisely. Read guidebooks for an idea of the best way to travel internally, whether to save the cents or for the view that accompanies the journey. Sometimes, domestic flights may even be "free", save for the taxes, but there are restrictions such as baggage weight and the like. For certain countries, especially European ones, cycling is a great way to take in the sights as well as a way to keep your weight in check while enjoying local gourmet delights! Some hostels organise group cycling trips that will enable you to make some friends on the road.
Keep an eye on exchange rates for the best time to change the dough as well as if it is off-peak season which will make a big difference if you have to stay in hostels or hotels. However, a destination is often high-peak or low for a reason such as weather, sights or festivals. Decide what you may compromise or not.
Also, which part of the country or which city you choose makes a big difference too. Rural areas are cheaper and they offer more down-to-earth experiences such farm stays. Simple pleasures are often the most memorable – and the least costly.
Travel Buddies 4-Ever
Four is often the best number to travel with. Not only will you multiply the amount of fun, you divide the costs as well. As a rule of thumb, four is the best number for cab rides and in times you need to split, two by two is good to go. Sometimes, the company makes all the difference so choose wisely!