This year is shaping up to be another great year for travel, and there’s no time like the present when it comes to exploring more of our wild and wonderful planet. While many people cite a lack of funds as an excuse for not being able to travel, you can save a lot of money as you plan holiday trips—if you’re smart! Whip out that air miles credit card and see how you can make the most out or air miles and get more travel perks.
Whether you’re going on your first solo adventure or taking a much-needed break from work, today’s competitive tourist marketplace makes it easier to take advantage of great travel deals. Here we have just a handful of tricks you can try the next time you’re booking a trip:
Shop around for package tours
Some travel agencies in your locality may offer exclusive deals for all-in-one package tours. So long as you go with a trustworthy agency, you can save more time and money. Tours are especially helpful if you’ve never planned your own trip before. Look for group tours with an itinerary spanning multiple cities, or even multiple countries.
Travel outside of peak season
Bucking conventional wisdom when booking your trips has its perks: you free yourself from the long lines and stifling crowds that accompany major holidays, and you can get better service from locals more determined to earn your patronage. One important thing to remember is that peak travel times in your country may differ from peak travel times elsewhere; do your research on their major holidays, wet/ dry seasons, and summer months.
Use your credit card perks
Credit cards aren’t just for shopping and booking plane tickets anymore! If you love to travel, you can sign up for a card with a popular frequent flyer miles program that lets you save money whenever you fly. Some cards specially branded for travel will also offer exclusive perks such as discounts and airport lounge access. For instance, the American Express Cathay Pacific Credit Card comes with a complimentary Green Tier membership of the Marco Polo Club and free access to Plaza Premium Lounge!
You may also consider applying for a new credit card to take full advantage of the welcome offer and save a ton more! As you need to spend a certain amount on your new card within 2 or 3 months to be eligible for the welcome offer, travel expenses would be ideal for that. As a welcome offer, the Standard Chartered Worldmiles Card offers 8,000 air miles (or $800 cash back) for the first $8,000 spent on the card, and you can earn as much as 46,000 miles! Apply now through MoneyHero to get $200 Starbucks cash coupon on top of the original welcome offer!
Find alternatives to popular destinations
For every hot-ticket destination, there is bound to be a more affordable but equally interesting alternative nearby. People vacationing in Europe, for example, can consider checking out low-key historical spots or small festivals in the region instead of flocking to tourist-heavy places like Paris or Rome.
Eat like a local
Many people travel abroad to try new experiences and immerse themselves in the local culture. And unless you have special dietary restrictions, food should be no exception. Dare to seek out the tastiest (and cheapest) haunts for local cuisine instead of eating at the nearest McDonald’s or an expensive tourist trap. You can even try your hand at cooking with local ingredients and exotic flavors you can’t find at home.
Opt for serviced apartments instead of hotels
Whether you’re planning to stay in a foreign country for weeks or months at a time, establishing your base of operations can make a world of difference when it comes to your personal comfort. These days major cities offer serviced apartment rentals that charge by the day, with conveniences that most hotel rooms don’t, such as an in-room washing machine and kitchenette. Other cheap alternatives you can try are bed-and-breakfasts and hostels.
Go on a cruise
Going on vacation with your entire family? Want to go out of town without dragging your overworked body from place to place? An all-in-one cruise package can be just what you need if you’re more after relaxation than adventure. Bask in the serenity of the high seas, avail of fun onboard activities with your loved ones, or even sample bits and pieces of the local culture wherever your ship drops anchor.
Chances are you’re reading this article online. You might as well maximise your Internet access to make travel planning a breeze. Shop around for plane tickets and accommodations, using sites native to your planned destination to find more affordable rates. Trawl message boards and expat forums for insider tips about your destination. If you’re bringing your smartphone, consider downloading free apps tailored for your experience. Here’s wishing you a happy trip!
Wherever you plan to go, don’t forget to carry a credit card for travel emergencies! MoneyHero.com.hk can help you pick and compare the right card for racking up air miles and making purchases abroad. Visit the MoneyHero credit card portal for fast and reliable assistance. Want more handy money-saving tips? Keep exploring the MoneyHero blog for all kinds of great info.
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