Yelena’s Ultimate Travel Hacks
Traveling means relaxation but if you’re not a smart traveler, the experience can be stressful for your pocket. Lucky for you, Yelena is here to help you streamline your plans. If you have the money to splurge, you can stop reading as these hacks may not be applicable to you.
How to score golden flights?
We usually search for flights before we plan for our travels but scoring a cheap one is easier said than done. For us, we have websites/apps that come handy all the time.
Skyscanner - It’s heaven-sent for travel junkies like us. We prefer their website than the app because of the cheapest month feature. If you have extra money to spend but no specific destination in mind, use this app first. Scan the sky!Just input where you’re coming from and choose “everywhere” as your destination and “cheapest month” as your travel dates. You have to be flexible because Skyscanner will show you the cheapest flights for the next twelve months. Although you don’t have to worry if you have a specific month in mind, you can also opt to scan monthly cheapest flights. Usually after scanning and finding the flight we want, we’ll check either the airline website or Traveloka.
Traveloka - They claim to be the #1 solution for all our travel needs. For flights and hotels, yes it’s our go-to app. This is mainly due to their never-ending promo codes where we can get discounts ranging from P400-P800. What a hack, right?
So far we have booked more than 20 flights via Traveloka and almost all were discounted. Just keep posted on their ongoing promos. It will also help if you are a cardholder of banks such as BDO, RCBC, Citibank etc. Sometimes, you can get discounts by using your card when booking. However, there are instances where actual fares are not shown especially when airlines are having sales. If that happens, we directly book using the airline’s website. We make sure to always utilize the rewards programs of low cost airlines such as Getgo by Cebupacific and Big by Airasia.
Getgo - Traveloka is life but when Getgo is on sale, it is lifer. We were able to book more than 50 flights during their 10-point sale last 2017. It wasn’t all for us but some were for siblings, friends, friends of friends, partners of friends, relatives etc. Hahaha! For their 300-pt sale this year, we only scored 4 flights. Not bad.
The keys to scoring these crazily affordable flights are:
- Have a Getgo account/card, you can register at https://www.getgo.com.ph/
- Earn points (aside from flights, we earn mostly through our petron cards but you can check here for other ways to collect those life-saver points!)
- Book at the right time! For us, we follow Getgo and Cebu Pacific’s facebook pages and mark their accounts as “See First” so we can always see their announcements. They also give heads up to their members via email day/s before the actual sale.
BIG - We are actually not fans of Airasia because of the processing fees on top of their “all-in fares” but what we really appreciate is the major perk of being a BIG member during their Red Hot Piso Sale- that is being given a 24-hour priority access before the promotion reaches the public. Just a week ago, we were able to book a flight to one of our dream destination thru them. Yaaaay!
Where to stay?
There are quite a number of websites/apps that can help us find the perfect place for our stay.
Traveloka - The biggest advantage of this app, as we said earlier, is their discount codes. Before considering other platforms, we normally check if there’s an ongoing promo we can avail of. Another good thing about them is that the rate you see upon searching is the rate you pay upon checkout, or sometimes even lower (codes!). It is inclusive already of taxes and other charges. Did we mention that Traveloka doesn’t charge booking fees? Yup!
Cons: Pay upon booking and limited hotels as compared to Agoda and Booking.com
Airbnb - Best for staycations and when traveling with family. Compared to hotels and considering the amenities, private properties (fully furnished) tend to be a good choice. There are also choices like renting a private island or a yacht to yourselves. You can definitely enjoy accommodations that offer a unique experience compared to typical hotels.
And because we love you guys, we’re giving you P1,600 travel credit when you sign up using this link.
Cons: Security is not guaranteed. Also, we can only rely on our host who we wish is responsive enough to our queries.
Agoda - It’s cheaper than Booking.com and Traveloka (without using coupons). Use their app because rates are a bit lower. They also offer great deals but to specific locations only. If you are a BDO cardholder, you can get a 5-10% discount upon booking. One point also for having a wider range of accommodations available.
Cons: Other charges on top of the displayed rates, credit card is required to complete your booking
Booking.com - Quite useful when you want to lock a great deal but want to pay later. You can also book even without a credit card (select hotels only). But we suggest paying through cards because exchange rates are usually better. Trust us on this one. *wink*
To get a 10% refund on your first booking, use this unique link to find the perfect place to stay!
Cons: Other charges higher than Agoda
Bonus tips: Search through maps when using Traveloka, Airbnb, Agoda or Booking.com. It’s a feature that all of them have and is very useful especially if you want to stay near or within a specific area. There are also selected hotels that offer free cancellation regardless of your payment status.
What to do?
Aside from flights and accommodations, traveling is about gaining valuable experience. All thanks to these online platforms (Klook & Kkday), it’s now easier for us to discover what our destination has to offer. Whether we want to visit the usual spots or crave for something unique, they got our backs!
Gone are the days when we rely on travel agencies to organize a whole-week package tour. Imagine this list of things Klook and Kkday offer:
- Airport Transfers
- Sim Cards
- Pocket Wifi-rental
- Car Rental
- Bus and Train Tickets
- Meal Vouchers
- Admission Tickets
- Hop-on Hop-off City Tours
- Guided Day Tours
We can definitely do a DIY-trip and we can actually save more! What else? For admission tickets, booking ahead of time means skipping the long queues and a paperless e-ticket from our mobile. For pocket wifi, we just pick it up at the airport upon arrival and drop it off before we fly home.
Interested to use Klook on your next travel? We’re giving you HK$25 OFF on your purchases as soon as you sign up using this link.
- Research. Read blogs, watch youtube videos, download useful travel apps, and visit the tourism website of the country you’re visiting. By doing so, you can avoid being culturally ignorant because yes- each country is different. You have to know the basic etiquette which are normally mentioned on blog entries. If not, there’s google. You also have to check the latest weather forecasts or the season of your visit so that you can bring the proper OOTD and take precautionary measures.
- A student? An employee? Check the public holidays.
- If you plan to use your cards abroad, inform your bank. Easiest way is to call them so they can note it on your account. There are instances that they will flag it as being used for fraud abroad if your transactions are suspicious or abnormal.
- Take a picture of your passport and save it or email it to yourself. You’ll never know what will happen in case of an emergency.
- You can actually save by purchasing add-on baggage when booking your flight than adding after booking.
- If you are not buying a piso fare from Cebu Pacific or hot piso sale from Airasia, we really recommend considering other airlines. The fare may be higher but sometimes it’s already inclusive of travel tax, 30kg check-in baggage, and meals. Seats are comfier as well. You don’t even have to worry of flight delays, and schedules are way better than those low-cost airlines’ midnight flights. Just calculate and compare.
That’s it for now, Bellas! We will be writing more soon, so bookmark our website and make sure to visit us from time to time!
Got more questions? Contact us here.