The new-age traveller’s guide to saving money
Image adapted from: Source
Packing your bags for multiple quests to conquer the world and its beauties can more often than not leave you in a financial tangle, especially when you run into unforeseen obstacles that dig deep into the folds of your wallet.
But if nothing can come between you and your intense love for travel, here are 10 money-saving hacks we've compiled from the most experienced of travellers to give you the most bang for your jet-setting buck.
P.S. Read on to the end to find out how you stand a chance to become a mileage millionaire!
1. Save money with a yearly travel insurance
A five-hour flight delay, a lost of luggage, landing up in the hospital overseas - when you’re constantly travelling, the reality of Murphey’s Theory is too hard to ignore. What can go wrong, very possibly might go wrong.
That’s why even the most penny-pinching travellers know that travel insurance is not something one should scrimp on. But rather than make a new insurance purchase for every trip you take on a whim, real nomads invest in yearly plans from under $100 for that complete peace of mind.
2. Opt for a multi-city SIM card over a wifi egg if you're travelling to a cluster of destinations
Although equipping oneself with a Wi-Fi egg for the duration of your travels might seem like the most cost-efficient option, this only applies to single destination holidays. For adventurous souls looking to check more than one city off their travel bucket list, multi-city SIM cards pack the best deals. Some global SIM cards also give you international data bundles of 1GB for use in over 100 countries!
Plus, it also beats having to charge your phone AND the Wi-Fi egg.
Note: Just look out for the country coverage on each card.
3. Do groundwork on the best money changer in Singapore without even leaving your home
This app was created for all of us travellers constantly riddled with guilt and regret over changing our money at the wrong rate.
Not only does Get4x let you search and compare all the available rates in town for the currency you need, the app even lets you go one step further by letting you lock in that rate with the money changer of your choice so it doesn't fluctuate in the time it takes for you to get there. Fully functional in 13 countries around the world, you’ll never have to lumber from one money changer to the next in search of the best rates.
4. Shave up to 60% off attraction prices
Every well-experienced new-age jet-setter knows that paying full price for an attraction is a cardinal sin. Especially when snagging discounts are just a few clicks away with Klook. Not only does the app give you discounts of up to 60% off attractions, its all-inclusive city passes also include merchant discounts around the city and cover the unlimited use of the subways, tramways, and buses.
5. Let the ‘everywhere’ feature on Skyscanner plan your next trip for you
Don't care where you go as long as it's out of here? If your main criteria for any holiday is cost, Skyscanner's "To: Everywhere" option will let you choose your next holiday destination based on the cheapest air fares available for your selected dates. That way, you’ll have more leeway to spend on the things you really love.
6. Stock up on miles to earn yourself business class upgrades or free trips
Source: Singapore Airlines
More than just racking up life experiences and memories to last you a lifetime, don't let your frequent travels go to waste. Sticking to a handful of airlines under the same membership alliance like Star Alliance can earn you enough miles for you to offset a portion of the cost of your next booking, give yourself a Business/First Class upgrade, or even redeem a free round trip to the destination of your choice!
7. Use an app to discover available seats on flights up till the day of departure
"Only 3 seats left at this price!" - this notice has admittedly spurred quite a few of us into prematurely clicking the "Book" button even before we're certain of our travel plans. But before you jump the gun and book your flights on the first travel website you visit, use an app like Seat Alerts to give yourself options across 150 airlines all the way up till the time of departure. That way, you'll know you've snagged yourself the seat at the best price.
You can even set alerts for the seats you want and receive notifications on its availability as soon as it frees up!
8. Grab & Uber over Cabs in countries with language barriers
You can barely utter the words “Hello” and “Thank You” in that foreign land that you’re in, but instead of just hopping into any cab you manage to flag down, you’re better off booking your ride with Uber or Grab instead.
All you need is data or an active Wi-Fi connection and you won’t have to utter a single word to your driver throughout the entire journey. Just type in the english equivalent of your foreign destination and the app will sort everything out for you. Not only will they not be able to rip you off as all fares are set and recorded, you can also opt to charge the fare to your credit card if you’re running low on cash, and you won’t have to fork out a physical cent.
9. Use tompang to help people buy stuff and earn extra monies
No, you don't have to resort to busking or washing plates in a hostel to fund your endless travel plans. If you’re constantly find yourself in the homes of highly coveted items, apps like Tompang The World let you earn money just by helping a stranger back home with their overseas wishlist.
10. Convert your leftover currency into usable dollars
While the ziploc and store method of keeping cash from your leftover travels might've served you well, these TravelersBox kiosks will serve you much better.
Just hit up one of the 8 kiosks situated around Changi Airport Terminals 1 and 3, and convert your petty cash to useable gift cards for brands like Starbucks, Skype, iTunes, Google Play, GRAB, and Lazada.
Flying smart with Star Alliance
Source: Singapore Airlines
There are two things that most travellers are quick to cut back on in their attempt to save money: Flights and Accommodation. While snapping up the cheapest flight available seems like the most logical solution to the expensive reality of travel, seasoned travellers know better.
With a total of 28 member airlines under its belt, Star Alliance offers travellers the most extensive network of airline service in the world and supports over 18,400 daily departures and more than 1,300 airports to 191 countries.
Source: Star Alliance
Its members are also privy to exclusive ticketing and check-in counters, access to pre-flight member lounges, baggage facilities and other services.
The Star Alliance lounge in Buenos Aires Source
The way it works is simple - the more you fly with any Star Alliance member airline, the faster you earn your miles. Accumulate enough, and you'll unlock flight awards in the form of using your points to pay for a flight, or an "upgrade" of seat class from economy to business.
There's also more incentive to work your way up to the Silver and Gold membership status with perks like priority airport check-in, extra baggage allowance, priority boarding, and baggage handling that await you.
Not forgetting exclusive access to over 1,000 Star Alliance lounges worldwide - the perfect place for you to freshen and fuel up while waiting to board that long haul flight.
So don't write frequent flyer miles off as negligible, especially if the airlines you're used to flying with is a member of Star Alliance.
Stand to win a million Star Alliance Frequent Flyer Miles!
In celebration of Star Alliance’s 20th anniversary, 21 lucky winners will become mileage millionaires overnight!
All you have to do is:
- Upload a photo of your favourite cultural experience on their photo app
- Tell them what makes it so special
You just might be walking away with one million miles to convert to free flights across the globe! The contest closes on the 31st of July, so get cracking!
The winners will be announced on September 28, 2017.
This post was brought to you by Star Alliance.