I know backpacking is the top answer if you want travels to be really tipid! I love backpacking. In fact, I was into it for almost a decade! But, this post is not about it..
It started when I entered my 30s. With adulting and my tita bodehhh (lol), I would always now prefer to have a more relaxed and convenient way to travel. After all, we deserve a relaxed vacation from time to time. But, how can the “tipid” part fit in? I had to be creative with ways on how to, as much as possible, still save for travel and still enjoy a well-deserved vacation from work and all the adulting. Haha! After all, we have our own priorities when it comes to expenses.
1. Research and compute.
If you plan ahead and have an extra time to compare airfares and other transportation fares, hotels, and tour expenses, do it!! You can budget accordingly if you have time to join travel fares, seat sales, and hotel discounts. I remember booking a flight to Vancouver just because I stumbled upon a sale alert theough farecompare.com with one airline and took note of the last day of the sale. We saved 20% from the usual airfare. We just had to budget so we can book it just in time for their last day.
Also, check the tourism websites of each country or city you will visit. There are tips on when airfares and hotels peak and when are the travel related expenses become cheaper. When you double check the price, there is a difference as much as 50 to 70% just because of the change in season.
As for the transportation, try checking the cheapest and most convenient way to travel. If you are in a bigger group, it is usually cheaper and less time consuming to travel by renting a car. Thanks to my husband by always reminding to compute the comparison for the transportation.
2. Take advantage of mile perks, rewards points, and rebates.
This is one of my favorite strategies recently. Since travel related tasks is not really a chore for me, I have randomlybcreated an excel file of different partner establishments of the airlines we have miles with. One time I can share it with you. It really works especially if we need to travel for a wedding or other commitments during times that is really not in our travel “schedule” or budget. You can again compare the rates if it will be better to just use the miles especially for one way usage or for transfer of miles. If it is your own miles and you will only use it for one way. Compare which way is cheaper if you are only to pay for one way (and use the miles for the other half of the roundtrip). For example, I just booked a flight to Singapore and it seems that going to SG is cheaper than going back to Manila. So I’d rather use my miles for the flight going back.
I also prefer to stay with hotels I have rewards card or are partners with airlines I have miles points. You can earn additional miles by doing so.
I also used my credit card rewards points and converted it into miles.
3. Coupons (Online Discount Sites)
There was a time that I got addicted to online coupons. In fact, my getaways a few years ago to Puerto Princesa and Corregidor were because of online coupon deals. I also had several staycations to nearby Clark and Tagaytay hotels which were purchased at really low rates.
The Puerto Princesa 2-night accomodation and land transfers including tours at 2,500 pesos! The hotel was a four star hotel. The Corregidor day tour included roundtrip ferry fare (aircon), tours, and lunch at less than 2,000 pesos each. The hotel staycation deals I got for only 1,000 per person (overnight stay with breakfast) and the hotels I remember were nice cozy hotels with spacious family rooms.
4. Family and friends
This always works! I have been blessed to have family and friends who are willing to share their home in their provinces or cities they live in. I am sure you also have some in your network. What is surprising is that in the Filipino culture, sometimes we even get disappointed if we do not get to “host” our friends. But, ofcourse this depends if they volunteered and are willing.
I remember going to Ilocos and spending nada for accomodation expenses because my office who hailed from Batac, nicely shared their home and his mom made the best Ilocos empanadas! I am always grateful for those experiences especially when I just started working with entry level income range. I just cannot give up my wanderlust hehe.
Accommodation is not the only thing I got for free because of family and friends. They are also the best tourists! I think Singapore is Asian city I frequented the most. But, I keep coming back! Grateful that my family always welcome us in their home. My cousin Em and his fiance’ are the best tourists! They always bring me to fun and unique places we cannot usually find in blogs or outside the usual touristy ones. They also give us tips on transportation, entrance fees, park schedules, and hotels (more recently since my relatives moved to Calgary) so we can still get cheaper rates!
I originally only put in Family and friends as the fourth section of my post. But, I remembered how we were able to save a lot during a day trip to Macau (from Hongkong). I can never forget this as we practically did not pay for anything in terms of transportation from the time our ferry docked to the port in Macau. We saw several people working from hotels trying to wait for their guests who will probably stay longer than us — and most the people who welcomed were Pinoys! They voluntarily gave us tips on what bus take for free! I do not even remember how we went to Venetian Macau and Macau Tower without paying a cent haha. I think there were free bus rides to some tourist spots. We even attended the Macau Food Festival because of a Filipina who was incidentally in the same bus we rode from Venetian. All these with the help and tips from or fellow Filipinos. Thank you Kuyas and Ates, I still remember you hehe.
And just recently, I went to Portland and Seattle. Before that, I met with a Vancouver blogger and she also gave me tips about the cities too aside from Vancoucer which I mentioned in a previous blog. I love blogger meetups! Haha. You see it pays to connect and ofcourse be sincerely friendly.
Just remember to also be a good host if there is an opportunity. After all, it is good to pay it forward.