The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. I remember the day I saw this statement from one of the notebooks I got from my brother and it made me realize that there is more to life than what my comfort zone can offer. A bright and wonderful world waiting for me to experience, discover, and fall in love with.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have not traveled the world but I have been to 2 countries aside from my own and I’d like to how I planned those trips because who said traveling is only for the rich? Hahaha...
6 things I think about when I travel on a budget
1. Choosing the Country
The first country I ever visited was the beautiful country of Thailand, to be specific the marvelous city of Bangkok. Known for its culture and people, I chose this city not only for the culture and the people but also because of the film Love of Siam. A story of Love and Friendship. I wanted to understand how this country worked, how hospitable the people are and experience what it has to offer.
I also considered the exchange rate of my Philippine Peso to Thai Baht. Remember, when on a budget, always consider the rate to determine how much in total you will be bringing.
2. Dates of Travel
Traveling on a budget has taught me how important flexibility is when it came to travel dates. It works well for people whose jobs give them flexible hours but if flexible dates are not an option at least strive hard to get the cheapest of the day’s fare. Some Airlines offer promotions that cuts the amount of the ticket up to 80-90% on certain dates and holidays so schedule wisely…
3. Book Flights Wisely
When I traveled to Bangkok, my airplane ticket was around Php 8,000 with Philippine Airlines as the carrier. Don’t get me wrong the flight was great, the flight attendants were friendly and meals were included in the price but spending huge amount of your budget on the ticket is something I would not suggest even if you can afford it, after all this is traveling on a budget. When I traveled to Hong Kong with my sister we got our tickets for a very affordable price. Here’s a screenshot of the receipt for reference.
Our Hong Kong tickets...
So book wisely. My carrier of choice has been Cebu Pacific from the start. They offer a variety of options with way too many promotions and recently I found out that they have started a rewards program similar to that of Philippine Airlines where you earn points when traveling. When booking your flights remember the following things.
Go on Incognito Mode (Chrome) or InPrivate (Firefox). Airline’s websites downloads cookies in the background that remembers your last visit, making it fairly difficult to find good rates. If you prefer, you can clear your cache and cookies to make sure that when you get to the website you’ll have a great chance of getting those promo fares.
If you can’t find the flight you want or can afford, there is always tomorrow. That is why I personally prefer that the travel dates be flexible.
Most of the time, the promo comes on declared holidays to reel in the majority. You can wait up to midnight before the holiday and be the first one to grab the promo or you can check every day. You will need a lot of what they call PATIENCE...
Understand your payment options. Cebu Pacific offers a variety of options to pay for your flight. You can pay online using a credit card, pay over the counter, you can also pay through banks and the bancnet network. For more details please visit www.cebupacificair.com
Lastly, join rewards program and make sure you get those points when traveling. It’s not going to mean much right now but when you get enough points you can enjoy free flights and many more.
4. Be SMART with Hotels Too
Similar to what you would do when you book a flight, booking your hotel is equally important and timely but nothing is ever easy when you are on a budget. That's why you should take enough time to make sure you are ready with everything before you travel. After you have booked your flight it is now time to book your hotel. What I have been using so far is the Agoda.com Website. They have offered me a variety of cheap but great places to stay in. I have not tried any other website or app but feel free to give it a try and let me know in the comments section. Always remember to be careful when providing personal and banking information online through websites you do not trust.
5. Deals, Discounts and Many more
Nowadays there are tons of ways you can get a discount on either services or admissions fees, you just have to look for them. Take for example my trip to Hong Kong. Before we traveled, we decided that will we will visit Madame Tussaud’s Wax museum so when we checked out their website, they gave us something we could not resist. Check it at www.madametussauds.com
When you book online, you'll save a significant amount of money for you to keep or spend for something else and what's neat about the tickets is that they offer a 20% discount if you visit another Madame Tussaud’s like the one in Bangkok.
6. Research, Research and Research some more
Remember to do as much research as you can of the country you will be visiting. It is important that you understand, even only the important ones, how the country operates, their traditions, language, culture and even personality so you can be prepared both physically, mentally, emotionally and most importantly financially.
One of the best pieces of advice I have heard so far was from Sonia Gil. She said to use your common sense while traveling. If you see a dark path leading to somewhere you are not familiar with then you should probably steer clear from that path. It’s the same as you would do in your own country which totally makes sense. Sonia is an amazing travel b/vlogger so if you have time, check her YouTube channel out by clicking on this link Sonia's Travel
So there you go.. The top 6 things I consider when traveling on a budget. I hope this helps you in any way.. If it does let me know... If it does not, always remember that these are my preferences so feel free to try things that make you comfortable. Happy Traveling!!...