[Wanderlust Tips May 2018] Cost management is always a top concern for travellers. In order to manage the cost, you need to set up an effective strategy for hotel reservations, transportation, sightseeing and dining at each destination. Wanderlust Tips would like to share some tips to help you plan your budget effectively for an affordable yet enjoyable journey.
1. BOOK HOTEL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
Before booking, you should learn about the location, quality, services, amenities, rooms and prices to choose the best hotel. One advantage of online booking services is that they have huge and authentic data of customers’ assessment, feedback and photos of the destinations. This makes it easier for you to make decisions rather than relying solely on hotel advertisements.
Hotel booking websites often offer incentives for early reservations. Therefore, it is recommended to book 60 days in advance to choose cheap and good quality hotel rooms. If your booking is close to the date of departure or the holiday, you will have to pay much higher fees. Currently, there are many useful booking sites that provide users with many price ranges as well as quality comparisons among hotels in the same area. In particular, you can make reservations without paying immediately or cancel the room free of charge within a certain time. During the waiting period for payment, you should consult other options or keep track of the booked hotel, as you may find better deals.
Typically, hotels have many promotions for customers such as the anniversary of establishment, customer gratitude, golden hours, events and holidays. You can update this information by registering to receive emails on promotional announcements. In addition, resorts or hotels always offer all-inclusive services to help you enjoy your holiday without having to worry about issues such as rooms, meals, drinks, transportation, or entertainment programs. These kinds of service packages will save you more money.
2. FIND CHEAP FLIGHT TICKETS AT THE RIGHT TIME
Currently, some airlines provide supporting tools to compare airfares over several days, so you can choose the most appropriate date and time with reasonable prices. Before or after peak season and holidays is when ticket prices are cheaper. Each destination will have its own low tourist season; this will be the time when many airlines sell super cheap tickets to create demand. Therefore, you should hunt for cheap tickets at these times.
If you’re always ready to travel, last-minute flights are always a great bargain that you should not miss. Keep in mind that last-minute flights are not always expensive; some sites even specialize in selling cheap last-minute tickets.
Cheap flight ticket campaigns are organized throughout the year. Information is often posted on the website for visitors to keep them up to date with regards to incentive programs. However, in order to avoid missing these tickets, you should subscribe to receive emails directly from the airline.
You can also use the price tracker function of the flights you plan to book, and the airline will notify you by email when the price changes. This is also an effective way to help you choose the right time to book with the best price.
In addition, promotional programs will also help you save the costs. In order to increase incentives for customers, airlines continually organize promotions in cooperation with banks. For instance, when customers use a bank card from that specific bank, they get discount. Or using co-branded cards will help customers accumulate flight miles to exchange for flight tickets at the end of the year.
Many travel agencies and airlines also offer a variety of promotional forms such as code and discount vouchers, which you can buy in advance to use before having any travel plans. They will also help you save a lot of costs.
3. USE TECHNOLOGY TO EARN MORE INCENTIVES
With the rapid development of technology, many websites and applications have cooperated with big brands to get attractive deals for their customers when shopping online. Before traveling to a new place, you should search information about restaurants, cafes, entertainment venues, and famous attractions. Also, do not forget to look for possible deals on some websites or applications that offer discount codes and vouchers, or packages of items or services. You can purchase these codes and vouchers in advance or directly go to the stores to check the products and services first, then buy them using your international credit card to get discounts. Be a smart shopper by using technology that saves you money rather than spending a great deal of cash at the store.
Over the past few years, more people use bank cards instead of cash. Besides the advantage of quick payment processes, bank cards are widely accepted in most countries in the world, users can enjoy many promotions when booking, ordering food, and shopping. In addition, the cards have high level security, when detecting suspicious transactions, you can call the bank to lock your card immediately.
Besides paying by card, many people have tried out many new payment methods, such as Visa Contactless – Payments are made by just the touch of your card on the reader. This allows you to pay without having to leave your card in the hands of a stranger and also allows safer transactions as you do not need to use or reveal your pin in public like mobile payment. Moreover, you could earn cash back on transactions you make with bank cards. These methods are still new in Vietnam but have long been used worldwide and are popular among foreigners.
4. USE PRIVILEGES FOR MEMBERS
Most of the hotels, flight ticket and tour booking websites have a policy that allows member to accumulate points, allowing them to get discounts or exchange points for their next flight. You should register to be a member of the websites to get full benefits and incentives. Today, the cooperation of luxury brands helps customers enjoy many incentives, discounts, and gifts when using the linked programs.
Registering to the membership program of hotel groups, associations,and airline alliances will offer you many benefits. Large corporations such as Accord, IHG, and Marriott always have attractive policies which apply to their members when they book hotels, resorts, restaurants, spa and associated facilities around the world. Another suggestion is the SkyTeam alliance with 20 members including Vietnam Airlines, helping you to travel anywhere in the world offering many incentives. Besides, you can also save travel costs for your itinerary by using use accumulated points to exchange for free airfare.
5. BUY TRAVEL INSURANCE TO REDUCE RISK
Travel insurance is a “safe ticket” for trips. When customers encounter risks or natural disasters while travelling or participating in tourism activities, being hospitalized or having accidents while on a trip, they will receive a compensation payment. In such situations, travel insurance will assist travellers to protect, handle and ensure to minimize the damages to people and property.
Currently, many companies offer various travel insurance packages with different compensation levels. In Vietnam, there are four basic types of travel insurance: domestic travel insurance, travel insurance for Vietnamese travelling abroad, travel insurance for foreigners travelling in Vietnam, and international travel insurance.
Before choosing the insurance packages, you need to consider the medical cost and the possibility of risk of your upcoming destination. Furthermore, you should regularly update the promotional information of different insurance companies to enjoy the best price.In case of emergency, for those who do not know English while travelling abroad, at anytime and anywhere, you can call the hotline (848) 823 4120 of International SOS to receive timely support in Vietnamese. Even when abroad, your calls are completely free of charge.
Oanh Kim | Wanderlust Tips