There’s that infamous R-rated shirt that best sums up the mentality of most people nowadays—Trabaho. Ipon. Travel. Enjoy.
Unlike the previous generations where there was a measure of success (usually based on the things you own) –buy a house, a car, investments, financial security and hopefully travel during their retirement years, today is a different story. These markers of success are no longer as meaningful as they once were.
And this is not just a millennial mindset. Every other generation are opting out of accumulating stuff and exploring experiences instead. Everybody loves to travel, even those who swear they don’t: and the two most common excuses: “I don’t have enough time” or “I don’t have enough money.”
If there’s one thing all of us are given equally, its time. We all have 24 hours a day and 7 days each week. Even if you have a full time job, its all a matter of scheduling.
So what about money?
Money doesn’t have to be an issue either, you just need to know how to spend your hard earned cash on your priorities and save as much as you can on the less important stuff.
Summer may almost be over and if your profile photo is still from a vacation several seasons ago, don’t fret, there’s still time to get some tan at the beach, explore some temples, or maybe consider that dream destination you’ve been saving up for years!
Ask any seasoned traveler and they’d tell you its all about smart traveling—don’t worry because there are a lot of ways for you to save money during your travel — the way, you won’t ruin your vacation experience by going into heavy debt or emptying your bank account.
Here are 8 travel hacks to help you make the best of that break:
Go for budget flights. Flights can eat up a lot of your travel budget, and there’s no shame in looking for seat sales.. A few times a year, some airlines offer seats for as low as one peso. It’s the best opportunity to bring down your vacay expenses. Besides this, there are other promos you can get from airlines, travel agencies, and even credit card companies that can substantially bring down your air fare.
Skip the hotels.Let’s face it. All you need is a dry, safe, warm, and reasonably clean place to sleep. After all you’d be spending most of your day exploring. A basic shelter that keeps away the cold, rain, and insects, has a lock on the door, and located in a safe (read: not crime-ridden) locality will do just fine. All the other niceties that hotels have simply drive up the room rates.
For the smart traveler on a budget (in this case, you), a hostel will do just fine. Nowadays, travelers seeking to save on accommodation costs have a number of options: home rental, couchsurfing, home stay, etc.
“Couchsurfing” is an arrangement where a homeowner allows you to sleep on the couch or in a room either for free or for a small fee. This works best, of course, if the homeowner is someone you already know in the place where you are travelling.
The person could be your relative, friend, friend of a friend — something that may come easy to Filipinos since we tend to have large social networks.
Besides payment in cash, the homeowner might agree that you pay in the form of a certain service you provide (like teaching him or her Tagalog or English, if they want to learn the language) or simply because, well, they want to make new friends and have good conversations.
A home stay arrangement essentially means you are allowed by the house owner to use the premises for a certain period of time. Payment for this can come in the form of money, or you may simply be tasked to house sit: watch over and clean up the house, take care of pets, etc. This usually happens when the homeowner is on a trip somewhere else and needs someone to watch the house.
As for home or room rentals, there are several apps for that where you can easily and instantly book accommodation at the tip of your fingers.
Plan for a long vacation.Why? Wouldn’t that cost you more? Not necessarily. It’s the shorter trips that usually cost more because you’ll have very little time for transport and travel to the places you visit.
So that means choosing accommodations closer to the city center (where rentals are expensive), taking quicker and more convenient transport like taxis; or even booking a tour package where visits to several destinations are all squeezed into just two, three, or four days. This usually entails more expense because you’ll pay for a dedicated bus or shuttle to take you around.
If you take the budget approach and schedule a longer vacation, you can opt for places farther away from the urban center (rent is cheap) and take the slower transportation that locals use. You also have more time for walking around instead of having to pay for fare. Walking is slow, takes more time, but it’s absolutely free!
Go for quality over quantity. Don’t try to visit too many places during your trip. It can make your travel experience a quick, shallow, and meaningless experience. Imagine, for example, going to five destinations in three days. If you factor in travel times, you might just end up spending an hour in at each place — just enough time to gawk and take a selfie before you have to rush off to the next one.
Pick your priorities. Then plan on spending more time at each place. That way, you get to know the place, the people, and learn about the culture more. Now that will make your vacation truly worth the time, energy, and expense.
Eat where (and what) the locals eat. Sure, it’s tempting to pick out a fancy restaurant to have your meal. But that will likely charge you so much for the food. Do a bit of research and you’ll find out cheap places with good food that the locals prefer. These places will likely provide delicious local cuisine without the high prices.
Pack light. Pack like a backpacker, not like a tourist. Bring only the essentials and a minimum number of clothing. This lets you save on any extra charges you might incur for your checked in luggage. Some travelers can even pack all their gear inside one carry-on luggage — but that might be a bit extreme. Still, if you can manage it, why not?
Get travel insurance. Smart travelers know how to prepare for the unexpected. While not everyone feels they can afford travel insurance — getting it can save you from a world of trouble, stress, and expense.
Always look out for promos.Saving up on travel expenses should be done even before you choose your destination and book your flight. Savvy travelers update themselves on promos on destinations, places to stay, restaurants, plane seats, etc., so they can grab the best deals as soon as possible. Even credit cards nowadays offer great deals on travel, like discounted airfare and deferred payment, with a very low or even zero interest.
So don’t wait any longer. Time to start planning your vacation wisely and have a wonderful trip!
Be sure to check out The Great BDO Travel Sale 2019 happening from May 31 to June 2 at the SMX Convention Center Aura. Qualified BDO cardholders can get great deals and discounts from participating airlines and travel agencies.
BDO Cardholders can also avail the 0% interest on 3 months installment term and then get billed two months later. But do note that this is applicable to Philippine Peso Credit Card transactions at the event venue for select partners only.
To know more about The Great BDO Travel Sale 2019, visit BDO’s official website at bdo.com.ph. Like them on Facebook at facebook.com/BDOUnibank to be updated on the latest news on BDO.