April 19, 2019

Flight tickets, accommodation, transportation, and experiences make up the bulk of the expenses for most trips. While you can't totally avoid these costs, you can find ways to save 10 - 20% on them.

The money you saved can then be used in other areas of your trip such as food expenses or shopping.

This is especially important for you if you are traveling to a country with a stronger currency compared to our ringgit. Every dollar saved can mean multiple ringgits kept.

This is why we’ve decided to compile some of the best money saving tips you can use to cut down your expenses on big-ticket items like flight tickets, accommodation, transportation, and experiences.

Who knows, you might discover a new favorite money saving method you can use for life!

Let’s get to them!

Ways to Save Money on Flight Tickets

Flight tickets are probably one of the hardest areas to save money in on a trip, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Here are some popular ways to save money on your next flight ticket:

1. Use cashback websites to book flight tickets

As the name suggests, cashback websites are sites where you can get some cash back on purchases you make. So instead of paying full price, you get a discount in the form of cash back.

Cashback sites usually have hundreds or thousands of offers up, including flight tickets.

As an example, for a ticket with a price of RM100, you can usually get between 1 to 1.5% cash back. So after you purchase the ticket, you'll get between RM1 or RM1.5 back.

The catch is that the cashback isn't instant. You’ll usually need to wait a few months after the trip before you can withdraw the cash back to your bank account.

While you can't use the money on your trip now, you can always save it up for your next trip!

In Malaysia, Shopback has one of the most comprehensive collections of offers. One of the flight carriers which has an offer on Shopback is Malaysia Airlines, which offers a 1.5% cash back when you use Shopback to make a purchase:

Coo, right?

For Chrome users, you can even install Shopback's Buddy Chrome extension to get informed about available cash backs immediately. This way, you won't miss a single cash back!

2. Book flight and accommodation together

While it's common practice for most people to book their flight and accommodations separately, many don't know that you can save a lot of money when you book them together.

These hotel + accommodation packages are offered on sites like AirAsiaGo and Expedia.

Take a look at this:

If I were to book a return flight from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore from the 15th to the 18th May 2019, I'll need to pay RM435 for just flights alone:

But if I use a flight plus accommodation deal, I only pay RM2,061 for flight and accommodation:

According to AirAsiaGo's calculations, this was a savings of RM131.15 per person with this bundled deal:

Explore sites like Expedia and AirAsiaGo for bundled flight and accommodation for bundled deals like these!

3. For AirAsia flights, use BigPay for booking

If you are a frequent flyer on AirAsia, you'll want to make sure you have AirAsia's BigPay card with you when you make flight bookings on the website.

A BigPay card gives you two main benefits: 1) You can get your booking fees waived and 2) You can gain Big Points on bookings you make using it. The Big Points can later be exchanged for discounted flights or even free flights!

While not all carriers will have a card like BigPay, if you’re a frequent flyer on AirAsia, you’ll be able to save big bucks with BigPay!

Ways to Save Money on Accommodation

4. Use cashback sites to book hotels

Other than getting cash back for flights, you can also use cashback sites to get discounts on hotels booked on popular sites like Booking.com and Agoda.

In fact, Shopback offers up to 9.0% cashback for hotel bookings made through its site. Take a look at the offers:

If you frequently book hotels using these sites, you'll be happy to get some money back using Shopback.

5. Get AirBnb referrals

Other than hotels, short-term accommodation rentals like Airbnb have also become popular among travelers.

But did you know: you can get a pretty generous referral fee of up to $21 per person you invite to Airbnb who successfully complete a booking?

If you get 4 referrals, then you can already pay for 1 night. So if you're a frequent Airbnb user, you can start to invite your friends who don’t yet know about Airbnb to use their service and get paid!

Ways to Save Money on Transportation

6. Use tourist day passes

If you are someone who frequently uses public transport when traveling, you'll find that the costs will quickly add up especially when you're exploring a lot of places at once.

Instead of paying for one route at a time, you can opt for single or multi-day passes where you can pay a flat rate for unlimited use of the buses, rails, trains, and ferries.

These passes are usually available in cities that get a lot of tourists.

Some examples include Japan's JR Rail Pass which allows unlimited use of JR's trains and Osaka's Hankyu pass which allows unlimited train use along the Hankyu line.

Passes like these make it easy and affordable to explore a lot of new places without being too concerned about your transportation costs.

Be sure to check if there's a transportation pass available in your next travel destination to save some money!

Ways to Save Money on Experiences

7. Book experiences using deal sites

Experiences make up one of the biggest parts of travel. In fact, experiences have become the main reason why people even travel these days.

While experiences can mean just going to a new place and soaking in the sights and sounds of a whole new environment, some other experiences require an entrance fee.

If you are thinking of going to experiences that require an entrance fee, don't buy the tickets before checking out deal sites like Klook, Travelog, and KKDay.

These sites can usually offer an entrance ticket for popular experiences such as Disneyland and Universal Studios.

With Klook, you only have to pay RM299 for an entrance ticket to Hong Kong Disneyland:

 

On Hong Kong Disneyland's official site, you'll have to pay HKD$699 for one:

At the current exchange rate, that's about RM370!

That's a savings of around RM70 using Klook!

Be sure to explore Klook before buying entrance tickets outright and we're pretty sure you'll be able to save a few bucks here and there.

Bonus: Ways to Save Money on Unexpected Costs

Finally, let's take a look at one of the largest expense you might have on your trip: hidden ones.

Hidden, unexpected costs can suddenly ramp up your expenses way beyond your budget. This is why we think that other than just saving money on things like flight tickets, accommodation, transportation, and experiences, you should also prepare yourself for unexpected costs such as lost luggage, an injury or even mundane things like an umbrella for a rainy day.

Here are our suggestions on how you can prepare yourself:

8. Buy travel insurance

Nobody likes adding an extra cost to their trip, but insurance is one thing you shouldn't remove from your expenses. This is especially true if you are going on a long trip or going somewhere really far from Malaysia.

Travel insurance can cover things such as flight delays, lost baggage, injuries and more.

You can buy this with your air carriers if they offer them, or external travel insurance from your own insurance company or a travel insurance specialist.

Be sure to read the fine print on the travel insurance you buy so you get the right coverage.

9. Bring your own travel accessories

Now, this is one thing that a lot of travelers ignore or neglect: bringing your own things when traveling.

A lot of travelers don't bring things like an umbrella for a rainy day when traveling because they think it will be a waste of space in their already packed luggage.

But when they do arrive in their new travel destination, they'll find that the cost of buying a new umbrella can pretty much be more expensive than bringing their own (plus luggage!).

That's why we recommend packing as many of your own travel accessories as possible.

This will help you avoid any unnecessary spending from having to buy on the go, especially in countries with a stronger currency than Malaysia! Keep that money for food or some other activities instead!

Don't know what to bring? Check out our best recommendations:

Stay Organised When You Travel: Bring These 6 Travel Accessories With You (Available Online in Malaysia)

Travel with a Peace of Mind With These 6 Travel Accessories (You Can Buy Them Online in Malaysia!)

7 Space Saving Travel Accessories You Should Bring on Your Next Outside Malaysia

Most Useful Travel Accessories You Can Buy in Malaysia for Every Part of Your Travel Journey

Conclusion

Saving money on your flight tickets, accommodation, transportation, and experience shouldn’t be impossible if you make an effort.

With the use of cashback sites, bundled deals, flat rate passes, experience deal sites and more, you'll be able to cut back at least a few hundred ringgit, or even more if you are traveling in a big group of people.

By using these money saving tips for travel, we're sure you can save up to 10 - 20% of your trip fees!

Let us know: Have you used these money-saving tips before? Which one is your favorite?


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