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8 Lesser-Known Travel Hacks You Need To Know In 2024 To See More Of The World On A Budget

Money-saving travel hacks that you may not know about 

We don’t all roll in so much cash that we can country-hop in 5-star luxury on a whim; in fact, many of our holidays involve careful management of our finances through the year. Even if you don’t, but are still into stretching your dollar, we’ve got you covered with these lesser-known travel budget hacks so you can see more of the world with your dollar.

1. Draw cash from local ATMs with multi-currency e-wallets

For all the wonders of credit cards, they’re sadly not accepted everywhere. If you’ve had to run to a moneychanger to get some last minute cash, you’ll know that the rates are never that great; some of those in tourist hotspots unapologetically ripping you off.

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Current SGD-JPY exchange rates at a local money changer and multi-currency e-wallet mean you get more yen for your dollar using the multi-currency card.
Image adapted from: CashChanger, Revolut

Enter multi-currency mobile wallets, which have opened the gates to foreign exchange rates that are almost on par with wholesale currency rates, with no foreign transaction fees. Withdrawing cash at local ATMs means you access these rates as well – note that depending on which multi-currency wallet you’re using, you may be subject to weekend fees or plan exchange limits.

2. Buy e-SIMs online

Gone are the days when travelling meant losing connectivity, or restricting yourself to precious few messages to save on roaming charges. There were, first, the travellers’ SIM cards that you could purchase at the airport, or those you could order online and get mailed to you ahead of your trip.

Both of those, while cost-effective, mean you have to go through the hassle of switching out your SIM card, unless you have 2 phones or one that has a dual-SIM function. You’d have to activate them yourself, and language barriers can pose a problem if you encounter any issues.

jetstar travel hacks 2024 - e-sims
Image adapted from: Airalo

Downloading an app such as Airalo allows you to purchase e-SIMs for more than 200 countries in the world, all consolidated in a single app. Frequent travellers, you’ll want to try this app out. You can also purchase regional and global e-SIMs if you’re intending to embark on some heavy travel.

Take for example a 50GB e-SIM for Thailand: on the app, this is priced at USD$9.90 (~S$13.35), and is valid for 10 days, with 100 minutes of calls inclusive. Comparatively, a SIM card bought in Thailand is priced at ฿299 (~S$11) with just 15GB of data for 8 days, with ฿100 (~S$3.68), or 100 minutes’ worth of call credits.

3. Travel on new routes to enjoy special launch fare deals

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Koh Tub in Krabi.
Image credit: @vikalla via Instagram

There’s no better way to draw attention to new launches than special discounts and prices – ride on this by booking trips on the latest routes that an airline has to offer. Case in point: Jetstar’s new direct flights to Clark and Krabi, which will begin flying this June. When ticket sales were launched, one-way seats were going for $75 to Krabi, and $95 to Clark, with even better prices for Club Jetstar members.

You may have missed that deal, or the $148 tickets to Wuxi that were released last October, but hey – keep an eye on Jetstar’s website for the latest routes to hit their line-up of destinations.

4. Book midweek flights

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The Jetstar fare calendar in July from Singapore to Phuket.
Image adapted from: Jetstar

If you have the flexibility to choose your dates, definitely consider booking midweek flights. Expedia’s 2024 travel hacks report finds that flying on Thursday saves you up to 16% on your flight, while Sunday flights are comparatively more expensive.

Use Jetstar’s fare calendar function to score the cheapest possible flights to your intended destination – if you sign up as a Club Jetstar member, you’ll even have access to member-only fares, and discounts on frills such as baggage and seat selection.

5. Book luxe hotel stays on weekdays

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A room at the InterContinental Phuket Resort is priced at $427 on Tuesday, and $477 on Saturday in July.
Image credit: @intercontinentalphuket via Instagram

Make your dollar work the extra mile without dialling back on indulgence – it’s a known fact that accommodation will always cost more on the weekends, so spin that to your traveller’s advantage.

Save the atas hotels for the weekdays, when locals are less likely to have book staycays and the like. Then, move to a budget-friendly option for the weekend, or flip it around and start your trip on a weekend at the affordable digs, before rewarding yourself with a luxe stay the week after.

Plus, the hotels are less likely to be busy during the week, which means more comfort and less crowd during your posh stay.

6. Look up local PHs before making your bookings 

jetstar travel hacks 2024 - shibuya crossing
Image credit: via Instagram

Booking a holiday at least 3-4 months in advance, AKA planning ahead, is your best bet when it comes to securing good rates for air tickets and accommodation. Avoiding local peak periods such as long weekends and school vacations, is another way to dodge surges in air fares.

While you’re at it, another factor to consider when plotting dates is to find out when similar holidays are at your intended destination. Not only will accommodations cost more during these dates, ancillary costs including attraction ticket prices will also see an uptick. Planning your trip around these dates will also mean you encounter smaller crowds, as well as less competition for taxis and restaurant bookings.

7. Look out for free tours

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Image credit: @visitseoul_official via Instagram

We’re square in the age of free and easy travel – tour groups are a thing of the past for many younger travellers these days. Global connectivity and easy access to information are behind this shift, but NGL, sometimes you just wish you had someone local to bring you places.

You could book a local tour, but these are often pricey – go instead to websites of local tourism organisations, which often offer free guided walking tours which you can join. Conducted by licensed officials, these are catch-free, and the guides are locals who will be able to give you the lowdown on stuff you might not find on travel blogs.

If you’re headed to Korea, check out Visit Seoul for walking tours, otherwise here are some free activities in Japan you can consider for your next trip.

P.S. some airports, like Incheon Airport, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, and Narita Airport, offer free transit tours.

8. Look for travel “dupes”

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Image credit: @my_rarotonga via Instagram

Move over, Maldives – 2024 is the year of travel “dupes”, and if you’re looking for an idyllic sun and sea vacation, look no further than Rarotonga, which Jetstar flies to via Melbourne and Sydney. The largest of the Cook Islands, Rarotonga is unspoiled by commercial tourism, and is much more affordable than the more popular Fiji, or Hawaii.

Chase the cherry blossoms to lesser-known locales such as Wuxi in China, or escape the hordes of tourists in Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto to check out Yixing Bamboo Forest, an easy jaunt out of Wuxi in China. Less popular destinations equals fewer visitors and best of all, greater affordability.

A quick search on Google will uncover the best travel “dupes” of the moment, but if you’re looking for the real hidden gems, look to Lemon8 or Xiaohongshu instead.

P.S. There’s also a way to ensure you’re getting the cheapest flights possible. Check out the Jetstar Price Beat Guarantee. If you find flights with a cheaper fare, Jetstar will beat it by 10%, so it’ll pay off to do your research when looking for flights. Do note that T&Cs apply.

These hacks will help you save money on your trips

Kudos to you if you already have these travel hacks in your pocket. If you didn’t already know these hacks, congratulations – you’re on your way to greater savings and more holidays.

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The Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Image credit: @ivonne8a93 via Instagram

Fly with Jetstar for budget-friendly travel to loads of destinations – the no-frills airline flies direct to 14 different destinations out of Changi International Airport, with more coming up later this year. Some of these flights, especially those to more popular destinations such as Penang and Bali, operate every day of the week.

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Image credit: @andrefissore via Instagram

The low-cost carrier makes for accessible travel, with its direct routes to locations such as Wuxi in China, and Okinawa in Japan, opening up new options for us to explore. You can also score affordable flights throughout the year, as seen with Jetstar’s Make Every Dollar Count Sale where fares from Singapore to Penang are as low as $68.

If you’re looking for even more ways to stretch your moneys on vacation, check out their latest series of videos for more tips to #MakeEveryDollarCount.

Book a trip with Jetstar here

This post was brought to you by Jetstar.
Cover image adapted from: Tiziana via TrustedHousesitters, @vikalla via Instagram