Traveling is a luxury.
Only the well-off can afford to travel.
It’s spending beyond my means.
Nope. Hell no. Not true.
I board a plane or hop on the bus almost every month and with how much I’m making, and believe me it’s not a lot, I’m still within my spending budget.
I went on a 5-day Bali escapade for only Php20,000 (roughly 450USD) And yes, that’s inclusive of airfare, lodging, and pocket money. Here’s how I did it.
LOOK OUT FOR SEAT SALES
Booking a flight is just the first step of the journey you’re about to take. You wouldn’t want to shell out much this early. Score a seat sale when you chance upon one. It can be tricky, so know how to play the game. Here are a few pointers:
If you want to gets dibs on good seats and the perfect travel dates, don’t wait for the day itself to book. Be on standby as early as 11:00pm the night before. The sale is most likely live by then.
- If it’s not a holiday, check when the current promo will end. They will come out with another promo the next day. Watch out for it still. It might be a good one. But again, be on standby the night before.
Round trip, all-in domestic flights on seat sales range from Php1,300-Php1,700 (30USD-38USD)
Round trip, all-in international flights (within Asia) range from Php3,000-Php6,000 (68USD-136USD)
Ah, just something to take note of. You know how they say “You get what you pay for”? This applies to booking plane tickets too. Sure, you scored a good deal. Just don’t expect the most comfortable seats and the luxury of getting free food on board.
COMPARE BEFORE BOOKING
Just because an airline holds seat sales doesn’t mean they always have the lowest prices. Never get swayed by the low prices screaming out on their websites. You’ll be surprised but the more established airlines have just as competitive prices and sometimes, they even come out cheaper!
There are websites and mobile apps that aggregate all the flights across all airlines to help you canvass for airfares. What’s convenient about these tools is that all prices displayed are inclusive of taxes other airline charges. You don’t need to estimate anymore. Oh, and you can also book straight from them.
SKYSCANNER (Available on web and on a mobile app)
HIPMUNK (Available on web and on a mobile app)
MURANGLIPAD.COM (Available on web)
What’s adding a few bucks if it means you’ll get more comfortable seats and even free snacks on board? Just a thought.
BUNK AND SAVE
Staying in a hotel is not the only option for lodging when traveling. Live a little and try staying at a hostel, a homestay, or try couchsurfing! These are the best places to meet and befriend fellow travelers.
These are my go-to booking tools for lodging:
HOSTELWORLD (Available on web and on a mobile app)
AIRBNB (Available on web and on a mobile app)
BOOKING.COM (Available on web and on a mobile app)
COUCHSURFING (Available on web)
I’ve never tried couchsurfing before but I’ve met fellow solo travelers who have. I’m putting this on my must-try list.
WHILE ON TRAVEL
SPLURGE ONLY TO INDULGE
There’s only one thing worth spending for when on travel: FOOD. Try to take a break from shopping. You can do that back home! Instead, give your taste buds a break from your usual menu and indulge on the local delicacies.
(Coffee and tea tasting at Kebune Bali Agrotourism in Bali, Indonesia)
Taste the experience. Apart from giving yourself a treat, it’s a good way to get to know a place’s culture. It’s not everyday you’ll get a chance to pair your breakfast with coffee from animal poop or end a meal with a chili ice cream.
(Breakfast and coffee at Kafe in Bali, Indonesia)
PLAY HARD TO GET
Don’t be a gullible tourist. There will be instances when you’ll be ripped off by locals. Not all do, but be smart enough not to be a yes man and bargain as much as you can especially when availing of tours and buying souvenirs. Just don’t be rude. Interact and be a friend.
Round up your expenses for the trip and give yourself a pat on the shoulder. The experience is worth way more than what you spent.
The next time you spend Php1,500 drinking on a Saturday night, just think you could’ve had that cold beer by the white sand beaches of Palawan or Boracay.
It doesn’t take much to see wonders. Just remember. You can afford to travel. You just have to be willing to afford it.