Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Most Cost Effective Way To Plan Your Travel Without Compromising on Quality

Travelling is the most common hobby which we as Singaporeans have. I see most people travel at least once a year and increasingly people are travelling multiple times a year. I love travelling also and its really to see more of the world outside as we live in a really small city in Singapore.

In this article, I'll share how I plan my travel for this coming year and some tips you could follow to really get some good deals out there. Its not about getting the cheapest option to travel as it would mean compromising on quality but its about finding the most cost effective way to plan a good relaxing travel experience.

Booking the flight

When it comes to travelling, booking the flight is always the first step. I use the website skyscanner to search for flight to the destination I want. Its easy just key in your destination and dates and click search and this website will search for the best flight across almost all airlines in the world. You can also filter base on your budget, preference for direct or transfer flights or the airlines you want.


Flexible on your dates? You can also choose to find the lowest flight tickets for the whole month by searching using the whole month as shown below:


After selecting the month (eg June), click search and it will show you a calendar view of the lowest flights available for the whole month:


That's it. You can find the best deal for your flight by using the method above.

Another tip is all airlines have several promotions at certain periods. You can subscribe to email alerts on the airlines website and you will get notified when there are promotions ongoing.


Booking the Hotel

The next major step for your travel plan is to find a good hotel to stay in. Trivago is a good website I always use to find the best deals out there. This website search for hotels in any destinations and then compares the best price across all other hotel websites such as Expedia, booking.com, hotels.com, Agoda and many more. Most of us may just search our hotels on one website such as Expedia but with Trivago, you can compare across all websites with just a click.

For hotels, besides the price as a comparison, I always emphasize on the location as well as the reviews. To me, staying in a good location will save time and also good reviews means a better stay and better travelling experience. With Trivago, you can sort the hotels by ratings and even see them on a map view.


After you find a hotel in a good location with good reviews, just select view deal and it will take you to the website which has the best deal to book your hotel.

Getting good hotel deals doesn't just stop here. If you own credit cards, banks do offer special deals for hotel bookings also. For example, Citibank card holders get 10% off hotel bookings on Expedia with any Citi card. Do note you can get this offer only if you book through the URL www.expedia.com.sg/citibank with promo code CITIEXPSG. I'm sure other bank credit cards do have such promo also so do check out the banks website for more information.

*Apply for Citi Cash Back card and get $300 worth of vouchers here



Buying travel insurance

The next thing to consider is travel insurance. To me this is quite important to get a peace of mind and its not too expensive also. NTUC is so far my favorite travel insurance as I've made claims before due to an unexpected cancellation of trip and they refunded me for all the expenses I incurred on flights and all that. NTUC almost always have discount on their travel insurance plans. The highest I've seen is 45% discount while most of the time is around 30%-40% discount.

FWD is another increasingly popular travel insurance which you can consider. They are the cheapest so far in the market but I'm not sure how good the claim process is? If you've claimed travel insurance from FWD before, do leave a comment below to share your good or bad experiences.


Getting internet in a foreign country

Wifi/data is extremely important for us now who can't live without our phones. Its also important when we need to use it to navigate around in a foreign country. If you're travelling in a group, you can consider Changi Recommends portable Wifi device which is quite affordable in my opinion. This device can connect multiple devices at a time to use the internet. Its as low as $4 for Asian countries including Japan and sometimes they offer promo with 2 free days off which they have currently. The best thing about Changi Wifi is you can collect and return the device  at the airport in all terminals.

Another alternative is to use your own Telco's mobile roaming plans. Singtel offers data roaming at $5-$12 per month for 1GB of data in up to 9 different countries. If you're travelling to multiple countries, this is a good choice. Starhub also has this happy prepaid card which has data roaming plans you can choose. I used this when I went to Australia 2 years back and it was quite affordable with good coverage.


Book travel attractions and transportation on Klook

While you're planning your travel, you would also need to book transportation or maybe local travel packages to enjoy your travel experience more. I always book any additional travel plans I need through Klook where I get can discounted tickets to attractions and transportation options.

For example, if you're going to Tokyo, you can book the train tickets on Klook at a discount and collect at Tokyo's airports on the day you arrive. You can also book Disneyland tickets in advance at a discount.

If you're new to Klook, you can get $5 immediately on Klook using my link here. Now you can book your travel experiences easily without any hassle.




Get additional cash back on Shopback

To push it even further, we can get additional cash back through Shopback. Shopback is my favourite cash back site to use not just for travel but for online shopping and almost any other things as well.

You can get cash back on flight bookings, hotel bookings as well. Look at all the places you can get cashback below:


I've got almost $50 in my Shopback account for me to cash out so far. You can use my lin6k to sign up and get $5 in your account straight away. I get $5 in return too.


Summary

Planning for travel becomes easier with all the resources out there. Let me summarise the complete travel plan below:

1. Search flights on skyscanner
2. Search for hotels using trivago or check your bank credit card privileges
3. Buy travel insurance with discount
4. Get wifi/data with Changi wifi or your Telco's data roam
5. Book travel attractions and transportation with Klook ($5 giveaway here)
6. Use credit card to pay for all the above to earn miles or cashback (Get $300 worth of vouchers when you apply here)
7. Get additional cashback with Shopback ($5 giveaway here)

That's a comprehensive travel plan! Any other ideas? Leave your comments below.


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