Traveling abroad doesn’t have to be expensive. With “piso fares” and budget hostels, visiting another country is no longer intimidating for Filipinos. Here are some of the travel hacks you can do to enjoy a more affordable vacation.
1. Do research, research, research.
Never plan a trip to a country without any idea how to get around or what you can do during your stay. One of the best – and cheapest – ways to do your research is through crowdsourcing. Talk to those who have recently gone to the place you’re planning to see. Nothing beats first-hand stories and advice from people you trust.
One of the things you definitely should know about is whether a country is expensive or not. You can easily gauge this by checking the price of a Big Mac. For example, in the Philippines, a Big Mac costs P134 or around $2.68, while in Australia it costs around $4.81 – almost double the Philippine price. You may also check the cost of a taxi fare to gauge how expensive (or affordable) a certain city is. For example, taxi fares in expensive destinations like Tokyo or Singapore usually cost a lot too.
You may also want to, check the country’s weather forecast – this will give you an idea as to what clothes to pack. The last thing you want to do is to pack clothes that aren’t comfortable and don’t appropriately protect you from the elements.
Apart from the weather and the prices, you should also travel equipped with apps like Google Translate and Google Maps to help you communicate with locals and to navigate the city seamlessly. You can also check online community billboards where you can ask users for info.
2. Plan an itinerary.
This means more savings. While spontaneity can be exciting, a well-planned trip will help you stick to your budget and spare you unnecessary expenses. How many museums will you visit? Will you go to a theme park? Do you plan to take all your meals in nice restaurants? Nothing beats meticulous planning. So before you step onto that plane, make sure that you know which spots you want to see and how much it’ll cost you.
When you book your accommodation, find out if they are near the places you want to visit. Look for a hotel near subway stations and bus routes. This move will spare you from spending too much on transport fares like taxis, which can be very expensive in certain cities.
Smart travel tip: Be strategic! Plan your trips by geography and distance.
3. Stick to a budget.
It’s natural to be tempted to spoil yourself during the trip; after all, you only get a few vacation leaves in a year. Treat yourself, but make sure it won't leave you broke.
Moneywise, a couple of things that leave travelers peeved are unplanned (and unnecessary) credit card purchases and ridiculous roaming charges. As much as possible, try to keep transactions card-free so you are better aware of how much is leaving your wallet and how much is left behind.
As for avoiding sky-high roaming charges, consider getting a local SIM card in case you need to call someone at home. It's cheaper than roaming, but keeps you connected with family and friends. Better yet: Turn off your cellular data, rent a wi-fi hotspot, or make use of the free wi-fi in hotels, restaurants and in other establishments.
Smart travel tip: For cheap pasalubong, hit the supermarkets for local snacks and food items.
4. Get friendly with locals.
The best way to save money is to get first-hand tips from the locals. You can do this by engaging in small talks with the hotel staff or by simply chatting with the barista of a nearby cafe. Be as friendly as possible, and show them that you’re interested to know more about their city. They can also help you design do-it-yourself sightseeing trips, which can save you a lot of money. Who knows? Someone might even offer to tour you around the city for free.
You can also check local magazines and announcements in coffee shops for promos, sales, and bazaars. Some magazines even have coupons for freebies.
5. Find a trusted travel agent.
If you don’t have enough time to prepare, you can find someone (or something) to do all the planning for you. As the go-to booking app for hotels and flights in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, Traveloka is finally available in the Philippines to help Filipino travelers plan the adventure of a lifetime.
With Traveloka, booking is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Simply download the Traveloka App, search and pick a hotel or a flight, review your booking, and pay! (The app sometimes even offer cheaper rates compared to the website with its app-only promotions and discounts!) There are different payment methods including over-the-counter payments via Dragonpay, 7-Eleven, Coins.ph, and several major local banks like BDO and BPI. They are also equipped with a secure booking and payment system, as well as a 24-hour call center service to cater to your queries and concerns any time of the day.
Through the years, Traveloka has built a reputation of trust, as proven by its strong partnership with various hotels and airlines. This ensures that you will have no problem in getting a room, making your trip a hassle-free experience. It also helps you get exclusive flight deals and bargain room rates that you wouldn’t find elsewhere. Another great thing about using the Traveloka App is that there are no hidden charges. What you see is what you pay for!
On your next trip, be sure to check out www.traveloka.com/en-ph/hotel or download the Traveloka App so you can have a one of a kind travel experience!
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