As promised last week, i’m sharing with you my tried and tested skills on how I always get to spend the cheapest way possible. I assure you that you can do all of these:
1. Buy your plane tickets ahead of time. Plan ahead, seize the promo fares. Sign up to their e-mail alerts.
2. Instead of eating in fastfoods, try the local carinderia. Who knows you might found something exotic. I remember ordering “ginataang palos” (eel cooked in coconut milk) while in Guimaras and it tasted awesome! Would definitely recommend it to everyone. I also remember eating BBQ outside Mambukal Resort instead of ordering expensive packed meals inside.
3. Limit your baggage on the allowed hand carry baggage (7kg). Do you really use everything that you bring? Do I need to explain further?
4. Use the public transportation the moment you arrived at the airport. This is one of the benefits of traveling light, you don’t need a taxicab when you arrive at the airport. You can just jump into a jeepney, motorbike or tricycle when you arrive. This would save you a lot which you can use for buying pasalubong.
5. Compare prices. Being free means you can choose want you want to buy and the same goes with what airline you choose. Let me tell you what your travel agent doesn’t tell you. Buy Cebu Pacific ticket if you are booking a month before the flight. Always compare Airlines. This applies to everything- food, inns, transportation, etc.
6. If it is possible, fly out by a different airport to cover more destinations. Ex. If you are on vacation to explore Central Visayas, Cebu-Bohol-Dumaguete-Siquijor. Try to fly into Dumaguete then fly out at Bohol. Don’t fly out of Cebu so as to save Terminal fee (Php200) and lessen the probability of delayed flights. In my experience, delayed flights often happen in busy airport hubs like Manila, Cebu and Davao.
During my Mindanao Challenge, from Manila I flew into Gen.Santos then after 16 days i found myself in Butuan going back to Manila.
7. Go to the public market. It has everything- culture, cheap food, local life and even souvenirs you can bring back home. A grilled fish in Mambajao, Camiguin only cost Php20 in the market, its Php70 at the restaurant.
8. Ask for discounts. I envy the Senior citizens ‘coz they always have that 20% discount. But hey you could always ask for a cut off. If you are a student, use your student ID (all ships give student discount and provincial buses often give S/P fare). You can also ask for a discount while booking your hotel or inn, most hotels give big discounts especially during off seasons.
9. Dress down. I always wear simple clothing when I travel. I do this because I travel not to impress but to learn. Let’s face it; most people would try to upsell things to a richer person. So, if it is possible, try to dress like the locals. This is a step higher than “ask a local,” “living like the local.” Don’t dress to impress, that’s too shallow and doesn’t add to your self-worth; what more, it could be annoying. Imagine someone with a coat and tie walking on Station 3, Boracay- uncool!
10. Try to speak the local language/dialect when buying. I used “pabakal” when I’m in Iloilo; “sagmamano ti ___________?” when I’m in Ilocos or Baguio; “pila ini” when I’m in Mindanao and “how much is this?” when I’m in America.
Bonus: Buy taho, bbq, siomai, banana cue, bread or peanuts. It’s cheap! I always do this to save money.
I wrote 8 Travel Tips for Backpackers months ago. You will find it helpful too!
Maybe I missed something? Can you tell me your travel secret? I’d love to know!