It has been almost a year since I last had a holiday in the USA and I’m having the itch to travel again! I know some of you are probably thinking about travelling during the National Day week and making it a long weekend. Alas, work beckons for me. Nonetheless, here are some tips on how to still go on a vacay without breaking your purse.
1. Travel off-season
This is probably not that feasible for those with children and can only go on family holidays during the school holidays. But if you don’t have any children, then don’t fight with these folks and you’ll get cheaper flights and accommodations for the rest of the months!
2. Book cheap flights
I’m not just talking about budget airlines. I’ve managed to travel to Japan on Singapore Airlines and with hotel thrown in for less than $2,000 and that’s because I trawled through discount sites such as Groupon and MISA Travel to check out what bundle deals they have. Helps if you’re signed up for airlines’ newsletters because sometimes, they cut out the agents and give direct deals.
3. Book alternative accommodations
Besides typing “cheap hotel rooms” into Google, here are some recommended sites that I use whenever I am looking for cheap to reasonably priced hotel rooms:
getaroom.com and Priceline are great for those holidaying in the USA.
For Asia spots, I used to use www.asiarooms.com but they’ve since merged with LateRooms.com.au.
And another favourite of mine would be Airbnb. Airbnb isn’t always the cheapest if you’re travelling in a small group but it’s great when there are more than 2 of you. Also, if you are travelling as a family and your flat is going to be empty during your holiday period, why not host on Airbnb too and earn some money to offset your holiday?
Sometimes, I travel to cities where I have friends living there so that I can bunk in their spare room. Saves me money and all I’ve got to do is pay them in kind or treat them to a nice meal one day.
4. Don’t buy expensive souvenirs
This is probably quite hard for some of us. But let’s be honest. A lot of these souvenirs are dust collectors. What are more precious would be the experiences, photos/videos and food you get to try when travelling. The only reason why I enjoy buying fridge magnets, though, is because I collect them on my fridge. Nonetheless, I only limit myself to one per city and I normally go for the cheapest ones.
5. Eat cheap local food
Ditch the expensive restaurants (unless you’re going on a gourmet tour) and eat what the locals eat! That being said, do be wary of sanitation and just ask your hotel to recommend great local cuisine or do a bit of research online before heading to the country.
Have fun at your vacation and just remember to have a budget and to stick to it!