Thanks to the boom of budget airlines and innovative budget accommodations such as AirBnB and backpacker’s hostels, travel has become more accessible to the everyday person. Indeed, travel is an enriching experience, letting one discover the world, experience the diversity of cultures and peoples, understand rich histories and meaningful traditions, and gain a better perspective of life in general.
Of course, travel doesn’t come without challenges — after all, it is about stepping out of one’s comfort zone in order to become a better and wiser person. With the influx of so many budget travel options, planning the perfect trip has become more confusing than ever.
Here some quick tips to help you cobble together the perfect travel experience that will not only satiate your wanderlust, but will also give you the trip of your dreams!
- Know your travel style
Some people prefer their trips to revolve around shopping, others would opt for the adventurous route with plenty of activities and sight-seeing, while there are a handful who want to treat their getaway as a staycation of sorts. So ask yourself if you prefer city life, or if you’d rather travel to somewhere that’s totally different from where — and how — you live. Be honest with yourself about where you really want to go — that’s the first step toward realizing your dream vacation and finding the best travel deal.
- Be patient about your research
Part of the fun in travelling is planning it — and that includes researching on possible travel destinations. Unless you have lots of time to waste, you don’t need to spend so much effort clicking on every link you come across. Just rely on top Google search results and see what experienced travellers have to say. Being a smart traveller equates to having the patience to check out what travel deals are available and not just snapping up the first interesting one to come along.
Remember to be organized as you plough through your recce. Bookmark websites that may have potential travel deals according to your preferred destination and mode of travel. If you want to be truly meticulous about it, you can even create an Excel worksheet to help you compare your shortlisted deals and packages.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Do ask complete strangers and bloggers online the stupidest questions, like if it’s better to book tickets from the airline’s website or through a third party. Be respectful and make sure that you’ve read everything before posting a question — you don’t want to annoy the blogger or web administrator by repeating a question that has been asked and addressed already.
- Be smart about buying your plane tickets
Buying air tickets way in advance is one of the biggest mistakes most travellers make. People have the wrong assumption that prices go up near their travel dates. That IS true to some extent — with most, if not all, airlines, buying your ticket a day or two before your planned departure can definitely cost you more. To be perfectly safe, however, just book and buy your tickets six to eight weeks in advance. Also, it’s better to purchase your tickets mid-week (Tuesday to Thursday), as prices tend to go up during the weekend.
Lastly, if you want to get good deals, plan your flights to depart and/or arrive mid-week, for the simple reason that more people travel on weekends. It’s the law of demand and supply at work: Air traffic is busier on weekends, so of course airlines will charge more for those days.