Thursday, March 28, 2013

How to save money on Holidays :

We are not the geek types… right? We work hard and party hard? What’s in a life if you do not get an opportunity to sit back, relax, spend quality time with family, explore nature, take parent at a divine place or chill in hills…. Well at it takes is to open your minds and pack your bags. Well holidays are an expense and like any other purchase, you have a right to get full benefit of it and also save in case you can. You must be planning something in summer vacation, hence thought sharing some insight on this topic.

Most people enjoy holidays (also feel more energetic & focused afterwards) & on other hand few people get a heart attack when it comes spending holidays. Because last time you went for a trip, you came back with a hole in pocket and memories how travel agent made you his scapegoat? How the bookings that you made using your friend’s reference to a resort turned out to be a nightmare. How you made a balloon out of money and came back exhausted and with a firm mind that – no more holidays from now onwards...
Here is how you can have king size holidays, relax and save few grand:

15 ways to save money on Holidays

1)      Fix a budget: always be sure what you have in your plate. If you keep an open budget than sky is the limit. If you really wish to save some money it all starts from the budget. Fix an amount you are comfortable to spend. If it is a major holiday like a foreign travel or travel with many destinations over a fortnight or more, it is advisable that you plan for it at least 2 years in advance so that you have time to allocate and save funds for this big expense.

2)      Fix the destination: the major problem happens when you are not sure of a destination. See this is a blockage as most things like mode of travel, stay, forex requirement etc can be estimated once the location of visit is zeroed upon. So first thing first, do thorough research on Google about the places that fit into your budget. Ask family members and friends who will accompany you. Take into consideration the likings and health of the fellow travelers.

3)      If possible avoid peak seasons as the rates are at least 25%-50% more of the normal rates. But we all know during peak season only the kids are free. In this case try to travel on the latter part of the season. If you travelling on a weekend, include week days also so that the rates gets average out.

4)      It is always better to travel in a group. Custom made tours are costly. Also besides socializing you can avail group discounts, joint transportation cost and other group benefits. Also it gives you comfort and safety when you travel in a group comprising your family members and friends.

5)      You have also to decide between a local agent and a travel company. Often destinations within the state or renowned tourist destinations are well covered by local agents of reputation. So you may get a trip with more frills if you plan it on local basis.

6)      Once the place is finalized, call agents and search on internet for the relevant package/deals/rates of the requirements. Do not expect customization to highest degree. A bit of here and there should be flexible.

7)      Book early to avail discounts and cheap fare or tariffs. Also when booking early check the refund ability clause in case of cancellation. Normally air tickets can be rescheduled by paying a fee.

8)      If you are booking an international travel, internet might be very useful. Try to google the names of low cost airlines. There are lots of low cost airlines like, Dragon Air, Scoot, Wizz Air, Cambodia Angkor Air and Jetstar, which are not covered by air ticketing websites/portals. You need to go to their websites and compare the airfare. There is a substantial difference and you can save a good amount of money.

9)      For accommodation, try to search new properties that have recently come up. These properties are struggling to get business and will give you a good deal. Also instead of more number of rooms ask for bigger rooms with extra bed facility. This also saves a lot of money.

10)   Try getting accommodation with free facilities like breakfast, happy hour snacks, spa, gym, sightseeing and wifi.

11)   Try to get the place of accommodation near to airport or railway station. This saves lot of commutation time and money. Also avoid local cabs if the city has a good public transportation. A place looks different when you travel it in a metro, tram, rickshaw or a tonga as the case may be.

12)   Always carry download or list of restaurants and place of entertainment of the place you are visiting. If you are traveling long, food related issues may play a spoil. If food becomes a problem, stick to basic instead of experimenting and hunting restaurants and the basic is pay a  visit to local grocer and get some bread, biscuits, butter, jam and namkeen.

13)   If travelling international, keep an eye on the exchange rate. Do consult someone who is frequent traveler to that country. Sometime it is better to exchange currencies at the destination.  Exchange at reputed merchants only. Also ask for the currency limits and disclosures required for that particular country. The limit of carrying the INR, local currency, dollars and bankers cheques/travelers cheques are different for each country. Be conversant to these rules and regulation to avoid penalties and stress.

14)   At normal rate a call made from US may cost Rs 150 per minute and RS 75 per minute for roaming. It is advisable to purchase a calling card which will reduce the communication expenses. These are issued by Airtel, Matix and Reliance Communication. Also if you get internet it is advisable to use chat and Skype for reaching the near and dear ones.

15)   Must Carry Essentials: First aid kit, own toiletry, list of emergency contacts, a list of call centers of all the credit/debit cards use, all discount coupons/vouchers that you can avail and  printouts/downloads of all travel information.

Well you have also travel quite a bit and may be more than me. Share your personal experience in the comments section, how you saved money on travel. Also share if you made a mistake and took costly holidays, so that many of us can be benefited. Well summer vacations are ahead of us… let’s enjoy and be happy to save.
Source : tfl

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