Here's A Money-Saving Travel Checklist That Actually Works

Here’s A Money-Saving Travel Checklist That Actually Works

You don't need to be a crazy rich Asian to afford travel. Here are some travel hacks to reduce your travel expenses!

There’s no doubt that travelling is expensive.

Between your flights, accommodation and travel expenditure, a vacation could easily set you back a pretty penny. This, however, shouldn’t stop you from seeing the world, especially with so many nifty apps at our fingertips, awesome credit card rewards and promotions to be enjoyed – all of which can help to pare back your travel expenses.

The trick is to start thinking and planning smart; the next time you’re planning a trip abroad, be savvy and use this money-saving checklist to save some serious cash!

One of the easiest ways to save money on your travel expenditure is leveraging on credit card rewards and discounts! Other than earning cashback and air miles, many credit cards have ongoing promotions that reward you for spending.

Start planning a well-deserved break and redeem a complimentary Delsey Belfort Luggage* simply by charging your travel expenditure – across airlines, accommodation and tour agencies – to your Maybank Credit Card from 7 to 30 September 2018.


*Terms and Conditions apply. View all T&Cs here.

1. Getting cheaper flights

Use flight aggregators

Image credit: Skyscanner

With so many different airlines in the market, it can be tedious to compare prices to find the best flight deals. This is when flight aggregators come in handy; they do the hard work and aggregate all the available airlines based on your given destination and travel dates.

Some aggregators find you the cheapest flights, while others can also find you the best timings, airport options and airline rewards. Go for the one that suits your needs and always cross check against other aggregators to ensure that you’ve got the best deal! Just remember to look out for any hidden costs.

Keep your information private

Airlines and online travel agents sometimes adopt “dynamic pricing”, meaning they set prices based on your browsing habits and personal information. Prices may go up depending on where you are located geographically, or how many times you’ve visited the site. That means you might actually be quoted a higher price every time you visit the site.

Always remember to clear your cache before you book your flight tickets. Alternatively, use incognito mode or a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to make sure your data remains private while you do your research and make your booking.

Book in advance

Whether it’s your flights or your accommodation, the adage “early bird gets the worm” almost always holds true. The closer you book to your travel date, the more expensive it is to secure a flight or room. If you can, always make sure that your flights and accommodations are the first things you book before your holiday!

2. Get discounts or rewards while booking

Use credit cards with rewards

With your travel expenditure, it pays to use a credit card that rewards you when you spend, especially on big-ticket items like flights and accommodation. Other than providing cashback on your spending, credit cards sometimes offer exclusive promo codes and deals, air miles and even free gifts!

Maybank Horizon

For example, the Maybank Horizon Visa Signature Card rewards you with an equivalent of up to 3.2 air miles with every dollar spent on your local dining and 2 air miles with every dollar spent on travel and foreign currency expenses. Just for the month of September, Cardmembers can earn additional 1 air mile with a minimum spend of S$1,000.

Maybank Family & Friends

The Maybank Family & Friends Card is also one of the best cashback credit cards in the market, providing 8% cash rebate at participating merchants and similarly, for the month of September, Cardmembers can get additional 1% cash rebate on top of the 8% cash rebate with a minimum spend of S$1,000.

You also stand to enjoy exclusive rewards like the current promotion that Maybank is having, which allows you to redeem a complimentary Delsey Belfort luggage when you charge your travel bookings to your Card. Simply charge a minimum of S$3,000 to your Maybank Credit Card across airlines, accommodation and tour agencies, to redeem a complimentary 70cm Delsey Belfort Luggage in grey (limited to the first 250 redemptions). If you charge more than S$5,000, you can redeem a 76cm Delsey Belfort Luggage in purple (limited to the first 600 redemptions). Promotion ends on 30 September 2018 and you can find out more here!

Promo codes and cashback sites

Online travel vendors are always running promotions and just because you don’t receive any emails about it, doesn’t mean there aren’t any ongoing deals! Before completing your booking, always remember to do a quick Google search for any ongoing promotions and promo codes.

Image credit: Maybank

Other than traditional discounts, there are other avenues that you can earn some additional savings as well! Although cashback sites don’t accord you with immediate discounts, they provide you with a certain percentage of money back when you make a booking. This cashback amount can go towards offsetting your total expenditure in future.

3. Opt for alternate types of accommodation

Other than flights, accommodation is probably the next most costly part of your travel expenditure. While you can similarly apply credit card discounts and other promotions to your hotel bookings, you might want to explore alternative accommodation options which don’t compromise on quality and comfort!

Bed and breakfasts, shared housing and other holiday rentals

Shared housing and other unique holiday rentals are gaining popularity as the accommodation of choice while on holiday. Not only can it be cheaper than traditional types of accommodation, you sometimes get even more value and comfort than a hotel or hostel for the same price point. Moreover, you still can enjoy your own privacy by choosing between a room or the entire apartment.

The ability to book an entire apartment also means that it is also a great and affordable option for families or those travelling in groups. Bed and breakfasts and other experiential homestays also allow you to get great advice from your local hosts on where to go, what to do and what to eat in the area for an authentic local experience!

House Sitting

Though still largely a Western concept based mainly in Europe and North America, house sitting is an extremely low-cost accommodation option. Watch over a local’s house while they are away, and in return, you get a place to stay – a win-win situation for both parties! Most house sitting communities have an annual membership fee, but it’ll still work out to be cheaper than the cost of a hotel room.

Overnight flights or trains

Kill two birds with one stone if you’re travelling long distances from place to place. By taking an overnight flight or train to your next destination, you save the cost of one night’s accommodation and get to maximise the daylight hours at your next destination at the same time. 

Remember to charge your hotel and lodging bookings to your Maybank Credit Card to earn cash rebates and also to redeem a complimentary Delsey Belfort Luggage from 7 to 30 September 2018!*

Charge a minimum of S$3,000 across not just your accommodation, but also airlines and tour agencies, to redeem a complimentary 70cm Delsey Belfort Luggage in grey, or S$5,000 to redeem a 76cm Delsey Belfort Luggage in purple.

Start charging your travel expenditure to your Maybank Credit Card today because redemptions are limited!


*Terms and Conditions apply. View all T&Cs here.

4. Know whether to get a SIM Card, WiFi Router or Roaming

For most of us travellers, having access to the Internet is a must, especially for navigation purposes. While it is convenient to just grab a data SIM card at the airport, there are many other options in the market that may prove to be cheaper, depending on your destination, data usage, length of stay and number of travel companions.

For instance, data SIM cards are usually the cheapest option in many Southeast Asian countries, but in European countries where getting a SIM card is pretty pricey, going for a WiFi router might be a better option. The WiFi router is also handy when you’re travelling in a group because a single router can be shared amongst a few people, translating to lower costs!

Telcos are also stepping in and provide affordable data roaming add-ons that may prove to be a lot more value for money. If your data usage is low, you might even want to consider doing away with data completely! Use the WiFi in your accommodation, cafés you visit, or even share a hotspot with your travel companions.

5. Get your exchange rate right

Getting a bad exchange rate can result in a substantial amount of money lost, particularly if you’re changing a large sum. However, it can be quite a hassle to run around from money changer to money changer, comparing rates. Instead, use sites like Get4x that will tell you, in real-time, which money changers in the country are offering the best exchange rates!

Image credit: Insights Unspoken

Even while travelling, it’s good to keep track of the exchange rate that you have changed at, so you know exactly how much you’re spending. Estimated currency conversions can be quite significant and might cause you to overspend during the course of your trip! Using apps like Elk that help you to make quick currency conversions, will help you in keeping a tighter rein on your expenditure.

6. Save on transport and attractions

Concession and tourist passes

Transport costs and attraction tickets are small ticket items, but in the grand scheme of things, they can add up to quite a fair bit. If you’re travelling as a family, many destinations often provide concessions for children and seniors so make sure to check before making your purchase!

Remember to check out the tourist desks as well to see if you can get exclusive tourist passes. Tourist passes often accord huge discounts not just on transport, but also attractions and other entrance fees. The London Pass, for example, is exclusively for tourists and offers free entry to over 80 attractions, options to skip long queues at attractions, a free guidebook and more!

Book online in advance

Booking attraction tickets are often cheaper online, and booking beforehand can guarantee the availability of tickets. You might even be able to get discounted family packages on these sites at a much lower price than if you were to purchase them directly.

See? Travelling doesn’t necessarily have to burn a hole in your pocket after all! Remember, the key to saving money is to be smart and savvy. Plan ahead, do your due diligence and you’ll be on your way to an exciting and affordable getaway!

Use your Maybank Credit Card to enjoy even more rewards and rebates on your next holiday! Charge your travel expenditure to your credit card and Maybank will get you started on your adventure with a complimentary Delsey Belfort luggage*.To redeem, simply SMS to 79898 from 7 to 30 September 2018 after making your transaction(s) – it’s that simple!


*Terms and Conditions apply. View all T&Cs here.

Brought to you by Maybank.

About Author

Chloe Ang
Chloe Ang

Chloe spends her life trying to find the divine balance between eating, reading and travelling. When she’s not bounding off to explore new places, she’s likely slothing it out and stuffing her face. Her dream is to eat and read her way around the world, but her ultimate dream though is to be a cat.


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