More often than not, when it comes to planning for a holiday, the first thing that comes to mind is the destinations that you would like to visit as well as well as the means that you will need to have in order to go to these locations. And with that said, budget plays an important role in determining how your vacation is going to turn out and sometimes, we may overspend without realising it on things that we could have avoid buying in the first place. Hence, we’ve spoken to a few seasoned travellers for their advice and here are the tips that they swear by.
Bring Your Own Water Bottle
As long as your water bottle is empty, there’s no problem in checking it in with your flight. Boiled water is usually provided for free be it in hostels and hotels and some countries like Australia, the tap water is safe enough for normal consumption.
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Samples and Miniatures are Your Best Friend
The next time someone passes you samples of their products on the street, don’t be too quick to reject them. You won’t need to spend on any extras if you are already well-stocked from the start. Tissues, lip balm, body butter, perfume vials are among the things commonly attached to a magazine. If you purchase cosmetics or skincare from over the counter brands, don’t be afraid to ask for sample products that you wish to try out. Stash it aside and you can use it for your next getaway.
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Pack Your Own Travel-Size Toiletries
If option 2 is not available, you can always pack your own travel-size toiletries. Daiso/Mr DIY/ Guardian and Watson are among the places that stock up on travel-size bottles. This way, you will not be subjected to buying the readily-available travel size toiletries which may cost a lot more in spite of its size.
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Eat At Off-Peak Hours
Some places offer up to 30% discount on food items if you choose to dine in at off peak hours and when it comes to exploring places, you can afford to eat any time before or after the lunch rush hour. Keep yourself hydrated and eat when the lunch crowd is already gone. Getting a seat during this hour is easy too as you do not need to contend with office workers who may have a fixed lunch hour period that they need to adhere to.
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Bring Dried/Canned Food and Make Your Own Meals
Dried food items such as oats and tuna are indispensable and comes in handy when the price of food in some places is priced over your expected budget. To make oats more nutritious and flavourful, add in nuts and dried fruit and voila, a hot meal in less than 5 minutes. Tuna works well with water crackers and as salad toppings too if you are having difficulty in procuring a fresh loaf of bread.
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Choose Supermarkets/Wet Markets over Convenience Stores
A quick Google search will let you know the location of nearest shopping malls that is within the vicinity of your accommodation and through their mall tenant directory, you may be able to find out if the mall. Lost in translation? Prior to your trip, download a Google Translate app and use it to translate the words that you have difficulty in comprehending. For instance, countries like Japan and Korea may not list down their shops in roman alphabets so it’s best to memorize the word スーパーマーケット or 슈퍼마켓, which translates to supermarket in the afore-mentioned countries.
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Buying Souvenirs in Bulk at Dollar Stores
Sometimes souvenirs at tourist spots can cost up to 40% more due to the prominence of their location and the foot traffic that they receive every day. Haggling at these places may prove difficult as they have to ensure that they don’t undercharge to cover the space rental costs. Dollar stores offers more bang for buck especially if you are buying in bulk for others. Having said that, if the souvenir is a one-of-a-kind locally produced design, do note that the sellers have the right to charge it higher to cover workmanship costs so it’s more ethical to pay for the price that they have in mind.
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Keep an Eye for Discounted Rates for Tourist Spots
Some places require you to pay a lot more for a certain date (such as a public holiday) or visiting at a particular season such as cherry-blossom viewing months from March to May in Japan. Look out for other spots that may be just as spectacular but less harsh on the wallet strings. Groupon occasionally offers deals for popular spots at a fraction of price so it doesn’t hurt to check if some of the offers coincide with your date of visit. If you’re staying at a hostel, do note that some of them are able to sell tickets to popular landmarks at lower prices as well.
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Make WhatsApp calls
Missing home already and you don’t have your laptop with you? If your accommodation comes with free Wi-Fi and the connection is stable, try WhatsApp calls instead. For those who are residing in hostels, just make sure that your calls are not disturbing other hostel dwellers that may be resting as they would like to have their privacy as well. Schedule your calls and leave your Skype/Viber sessions for another time.
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Calculate Fares Beforehand and Walk Whenever Possible
For the convenience of tourist who may be unfamiliar with the local transport system, most major public transport sites will have a route and fare calculator which you can use to plan out your routes. For instance, Singapore has http://mrt.sg/fare which calculates the MRT/LRT Fare and Travel Time. If the location is not too far off from where you’re staying, why not walk to the place you intend to head instead? Some of the landmarks are closely linked together, for instance in Singapore, from Gardens by the Bay to the Asian Civilisation’s Museum is just a distance of 1.6KM, meaning it’s a 20 minute walk. Not only would you get to save money, you will be able to stay fit and healthy too.
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