Sunday, July 13, 2014

8 Tips on how to save money to travel the world when you're young

Travelling the world need not be done only when you're retired. Many people dream of travelling the world when they have the money but it need not be the case. You can travel around the world even when you're young. When we're young, we have all the energy but not the money to travel the world. However when we're old, we have all the money but not the energy to travel the world. There's a solution to this. Here's 8 tips on how to save money, plan and execute your inexpensive free & easy travel the world dream.

1. Get Cheap air tickets
Air tickets are cheap nowadays thanks to the increased competition even on budget airlines. Fancy a $200 air ticket to Taiwan and $300 air ticket to Japan? These prices have been offered before and I've seen it at least 2 times if you're flying off from Singapore. The prices already includes taxes and it is 2 way with return inclusive. There's no longer a budget terminal in Singapore now so you can fly off from the comfort of Singapore's Changi Airport's main terminals and enjoy the facilities and shopping along the way.

The trick to cheap air tickets is to be in the know of promotions from airlines companies. You can sign up for their newsletter by email or follow them on their Facebook page. I personally got a $200 two way ticket to Taiwan just because i followed and liked the Scoot airlines Facebook page. There are promotions from Singapore airlines too if you're not fond of taking budget airlines. My friend got a ticket to Japan for $600 on Singapore airlines. Sounds good? The promotions are getting more aggressive as more competition arises. It's good news for passengers like us.

2. Get cheap accommodation
Apart from the airfares, accommodation will be your next biggest expenses for travelling. Try to plan at least 1 month ahead of your travelling date to compare hotel prices in the country you're visiting. If there are recommendation from friends or family members, it'll be even better as often they will get you the best budget deals with good quality. The last thing you want to have is to find a cheap room but you don't enjoy it at all.

If there are no friends or family members to recommend hotels to you, you can actually still search it easily on the internet. Websites like offer the best hotel deals which i use all the time to compare and source for good and affordable hotels. They actually rate the hotels in terms of the reviews they received from guests who stayed at the hotel before. There are pictures of the hotels clearly shown and also they collect guest reviews and feedback of the hotel services, room conditions and even the breakfast that they serve. Reading the reviews of other hotel guests gives you a good idea of the service you would expect from the hotel when you get there.

Zuji Singapore offers all in one airlines and accommodation packages. They have a package to Bangkok for 3 days 2 nights for $300 per person. This includes a 2 way air ticket by Singapore airlines and 2 nights stay in a 3 starts hotel. They also have 4 day 3 nights packages to Vietnam at $300 per person also. Of course these packages are promotional items and is only limited for a period of time. Make sure you sign up for their newsletter too.

So, its easy to find the best hotel deals. Just search the areas you are going to visit, sort the hotels by reviews and compare the prices. Then, read the reviews, see the pictures and the locations and decide if you want to stay in it. Every time when i follow the above, all the hotels i stayed in are what i expected it to be.

3. Get familiar with the city on the first day
You need to know where you're going so you don't waste too much time and money. It is important to stay in the city near the airport on your first and last day. The first day is to get familiar with a foreign country and to plan your necessary routes out of the city for later dates. Set aside one day in the city and stay overnight there. You will be able to get your needed train tickets for the next day, a public transport concession card and all other stuff that you need.

For your last day, it's better to end back at the city and stay the night which is near to the airport so you got enough time to pack your luggage and enough time to reach the airport. You don't want to end up rushing to the airport and in the end still miss your flight. If that happens, it'll be a holiday ending in disaster as you'll not only have to fork out extra money to take the next flight home but worse still spend the next few hours or days staying at the airport with absolutely no comfort.

4. Get prepared in advance
Before you even travel on a free & easy trip, make sure you do your research a few months before your travel date. Google is your best friend in searching for suitable itineraries, places to visit and how to get there. You'll most probably find some blogs where other people wrote on their own personal overseas trip. Some are kind enough to list down the places they visit, the transport they took and even the cost involved. This will greatly help you to budget for your trip and save money in the process.

5. Get on the local public transport
To me, travelling is about experiencing the local culture. The best way to experience that is to get on the country's own public transport system. You'll see adults getting to work, children going to school all on the bus and trains in that country. I still remembered i took a public bus from Taiwan's airport to the city and along the way, many adults were getting on the bus to get to work. It does feel weird to see local people going to work while i'm here on my first day of holiday.

Public transport is also the most cost efficient way for you to travel. Some countries do have discounted rates on public transport such as Taiwan where you can buy their concession card at any train stations. In Japan, they have the rail pass specially for tourists. You just have to pay a fix rate and you can travel unlimited on selected trains and bus services. How cool is that?

6. Get to the local food centre and restaurants
Tourist places have tourist prices while local places have local prices. When you're looking for food, avoid the tourist areas as the prices will most probably be marked up substantially. Find the local food at the small alleys or where you see mostly local people. Chances are the prices will be cheaper too. Also, food will be more authentic at these local places compared to tourist destinations. It's like would you rather have a meal at Singapore Zoo or would you have a meal at a local hawker centre if you're living in Singapore?

7. Get to the right places to shop
Shopping is what most people would do especially if you have ladies travelling with you. However, you do not need to buy everything you see in that country. It'll be foolish to buy something of the same type and brand with the same prices in your home country. Not only you waste the money but you also waste the strength to carry the item you bought all the way back home. Unless it's much cheaper or it's something you would not find back home, you should probably give it a miss.

8. Get the right currency
Changing your home currency to a foreign currency may sometimes be confusing. Most of the time, you'll see either more zeros or less zeros as compared to your local currency. If you changed your local $1 for $10,000, make sure you do not mistaken it as $1000. If not at the end of your trip, you'll realise you spent 10 times more than what you actually planned for. It's a complete disaster.

Believe it or not, many places can be visited at below $1000 per person. I went on a 8 days Taiwan trip at only $705 per person. You can read my previous post on my Taiwan trip here: My 8 days Taiwan trip all under $800. I'm thinking Japan can be travelled to at below $1000 also. That's if i manage to get the $300 airfare when the next promotion comes. The dream of travelling the world when you're young can be a reality. Now how about you? What are some of your travelling saving tips?

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Related Posts:
1. 8 days Hanoi, Halong Bay and Sapa trip at $600


  1. BMW (Bus, MRT, Walk) or BW (Bus, Walk) and do it like the locals. Eat like the locals.

    I took a few bus route from end-to-end.

    Quite fun!

    Now I know why it is called Free and Easy.

    Plenty of free time and easy to travel. Can't get lost with end-to-end bus ride.


    1. Hi Uncle CW,

      Great to travel free and easy. It's where we get to really enjoy ourselves and immerse into the country. And, i can choose the places i want to go.

  2. Hi SGYI,

    Good tips! Travelling on a more conservative budget is something I really struggle with these days. I am planning an upcoming trip to Melbourne and Sydney for 10 days and it seems like it's going to cost an arm and a leg. =p

    More to learn from you in this area. =)

    1. Hi 15HWW,

      Wow Melbourne and Sydney. It does cost more to travel to Australia. Still, there are promotions on airfares there too.

      I love to travel but don't have too much money so I have to be thrifty but at the same time still get to travel at my age without affecting my retirement goals.

  3. I always booked my hotel at and do my research at tripadvisor.

    SG Wealth Builder

    1. Hi Gerald,

      Thanks for the additional tip. Heard about but never use before. Would consider this when I plan my next trip. ;)

  4. I always ended up spending more than expected on journeys. Thanks to better planning and money management tips from my friend who is a Forex Fund Manager that now I can save pretty much on anything I do. Thank you SGYI for the suggestions, I really loved your article.