Best ways to save money on your holidayKhe Thai
Malaysians love travelling despite a sluggish Ringgit and an economy that is just chugging along. It is projected that outbound trips made by Malaysians will reach an estimated 14.2 million by 2021. This is partly due to Malaysia having one of the highest public holidays in the world! However, with the looming economic slowdown and the continuously increasing cost of living, planning for an affordable and cheap holiday is also becoming increasingly difficult. Here are some of the best ways to save money on your next getaway:
Time your retreat
This goes without saying – there’s always a peak travel time versus an off-peak travel time. Travelling during off-peak season can save you a lot of money, particularly on airfares and on hotel accommodation. Apart from that, entrance fees for places of interest can also be significantly lower during off-peak seasons. The only downside to this is that off-peak seasons do not usually coincide with school holidays.
Places with favourable interest rates
Currency exchange is probably one of the key criteria in deciding your next overseas holiday. Take for instance, it was MYR1 to THB10 five years ago compared with MYR1 to THB7 currently. However, the Indonesian Rupiah has been relatively stable the past five years. Therefore, timing the time you exchange foreign currency can save you a few extra Ringgit.
Save on accommodations by staying in alternatives such as Airbnb, hostels or other private accommodations compared with resorts and hotels. This is especially true if your travel plans involves significant outdoor activities and minimal time spent in the hotel. In addition to this, note that booking an accommodation early does not necessarily mean cheaper rates. Sometimes, there are some last minute deals or rooms that are still vacant going for a much lower rate.
Pre-booking discount vouchers
While pre-booking meal vouchers and pre-paying entrance tickets might mean early upfront payments and advance pre-planning, pre-booking is usually cheaper compared with over-the-counter prices. This is because pre-buying means locking in ahead of time. The only downside to this method is that there is usually no-way of getting a refund should your plans change midway through your holiday.
Online tour guides
20 years ago, it was probably common or even the only way to go to use tour guides for holidays in unfamiliar places. However, with the advent of mobile applications, one can travel unfamiliar places guided by only a mobile app. Such apps are able to advise you on how to get there, places of interests to visit and even able to provide you with detailed explanations of these places of interests.
Collect memories, not souvenirs
While on your holiday, avoid spending money on souvenirs such as fridge magnets, postcards, t-shirts etc. Rather, focus on collecting memories, taking more photographs and basically, just to enjoy yourselves at that point in time. The saying goes, memories are priceless.