Holidays aren’t necessarily expensive, but they do incur expenses.
While transportation accounts for a bulk of your vacation’s price tag, beyond the plane tickets, there are a number of small tweaks and hacks that will help you to cut cost. Try these 6 budget-saving tricks on your next vacation, and your wallet will thank you.
(image: Gayatri Bhaumik)
If you search for hotels or flights to a certain destination a lot, airlines and travel websites will use your search history against you and advertisers’ algorithms will pick up on how interested you are and increase the prices. To avoid this trap, you can trick the system and, hopefully, get a cheaper ticket by clearing your cookies.
As a rule of thumb, when you are ready to pay for your purchase with your credit card and you have to choose whether to pay in Singapore dollars or the local currency, pick the latter. This currency conversion service called the Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) – a service offered by payment solution providers – allows you to pay in Singapore dollars when using your credit card overseas.
However, according to a The Straits Times report, the currency conversion is done at a rate that is unfavourable to you as a consumer. The additional revenue generated from this transaction is shared between the payment solution provider and the merchant. You can avoid exchange fees altogether and use your debit card and withdraw cash from an ATM instead.
(image: Gayatri Bhaumik)
Visiting websites like Skyscanner and Expedia is a good way to compare ticket prices. Play around with departure and return flight dates and check if ticket prices differ on different days of week. If you are booking a long flight, keep an eye on discounts and promotions.
Also, instead of booking your flights a month or two before your trip, a recent survey by Skyscanner found that the best time for Singapore travellers to book and enjoy the cheapest fares (to SG’s most-searched destinations such as Bangkok, Bali, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur and London) is between 21 to 25 weeks in advance, with average savings amounting to 21 to 22 percent.
Transportation adds up quickly, so you may consider staying in a central location. Alternatively, choose a hotel or apartment that allows you to walk to all of the destinations on your itinerary. If you are staying in a city, check to see if there is a subway or bus stop in the vicinity. And if you have kids in tow when travelling through Asia, check out these hotels with themed rooms that the LOs would love.
Depending on the card, you can be entitled to free entries to top attractions, discounts at eateries and shops, skip-the-queue promotions for busy attractions, free public transportation, and even free city guides.
In the same vein, if you are planning to go to ticketed events or attractions, you’ll most likely pay less by getting the tickets online from sites like Klook than you will buying at the spot – even if you are buying them from your phone while making your way there.
Text adapted from www.youngparents.com.sg and www.thefinder.com.sg, August 2018
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