Who wouldn’t want to save money whenever possible? With peak travel season fast approaching, it’s a good time to think about how to get most out of your trip without breaking the bank. While transportation accounts for a bulk of your vacation’s price tag, beyond the plane tickets, there are a number of small tweaks and hacks that will help you to cut cost. Try these 5 hacks on your next vacation and your wallet will thank you.
Search in incognito mode
If you search for hotels or flights to a certain destination a lot, airlines and travel websites will use your search history against you and advertisers’ algorithms will pick up on how interested you are and increase the prices. To avoid this trap, you can trick the system and hopefully get a cheaper ticket by clearing your cookies.
Pay in the local currency
As a rule of thumb, when you are ready to pay for your purchase with your credit card and you have to choose whether to pay in Singdollars or the local currency, pick the latter. This currency conversion service is called the Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC). In a nutshell DCC is a service offered by payment solution providers such as Global Blue, First Data and Euronet Worldwide, that allows you to pay Singdollars when using your credit card overseas. However, according to a Straits Times report, the currency conversion is done at a rate that is unfavourable to you as a consumer. The additional revenue generated from this transaction is shared between the payment solution provider and the merchant. You can avoid exchange fees altogether and use your debit card instead and withdraw cash from an ATM.
Book ahead of time
Websites like Skyscanner and Expedia is a good way to compare ticket prices. Play around with departure and return flight dates and check if ticket prices differ on different days of week. If you are booking a long flight, keep an eye on discounts and promotions. Also, instead of booking your flights a month or two before your trip, a recent survey by Skycanner found that the best time to book for Singapore travellers to enjoy the cheapest fares (to Singapore’s top searched destination) is between 21 to 25 weeks in advance, with average savings of 21 to 22 per cent.
Stay in a central location
Transportation adds up quickly, so you may consider staying in a central location. Alternatively, choose a hotel or apartment that allows you to walk to all of the destinations on your itinerary. If you are staying in a city, make sure you check to see if there is a subway or bus stop in the vicinity.
Get a city tourism card
Depending on the card, you can be entitled to a free entry top attractions, discounts at eateries and shops, skip-the-queue at busy attractions, free public transportation, and sometimes even free city guides. In the same vein, if you are planning to go to ticketed events or attractions, you’ll most likely pay less by getting the tickets online from sites like Klook than you will once you arrive - even if you are buying them from your phone while making your way there.