It’s that time of the year again where everyone is planning their getaways! Are you the type who loves to travel but hates to plan for it?
Here are 5 easy shortcuts that will minimize your planning hassle while maximizing your travel value!
1) Reference Itineraries From Your Favorite Travel Bloggers
This is by far the fastest way to shorten the amount of planning needed. Why go through the hassle when others have already done the hard work on your behalf?
Throughout the year, follow travel bloggers whose style you enjoy, and then draw inspiration from their travel itineraries… Or just copy them wholesale!
Some of my favourite travel bloggers are…
Buttergoesbudget by Mandy Cheong :
It’s written by a Singaporean university student who is traveling around the world with a modest budget.
It’s great because:
She knows the things that a typical Singaporean likes to do. Plus, she notes down the total amount she spends on each trip, helping you plan better for your trip. Spending only SGD 1000 in Greece for 7 days? Sign me up!
World of Wanderlust by Brooke Saward:
The travel blog & guide of an Australian travel writer who managed to turn her hobby into her dream job.
It’s great because:
Brooke is an adventurer at heart. (You’ve got to be if you dare to travel around the world alone for extended periods of time!) The reviews she shares are refreshing and honest. I like reading her pieces because they don’t have any of those pretentious luxury vibes you usually get from other travel writers.
2) Check Your Plane Tickets Using Sites Like Skyscanner To Get A Gist Of Prices
Instead of wasting precious time comparing ticket prices across various airline websites, use sites like Skyscanner to quickly sieve out the prices for the dates you are traveling.
What I love most about Skyscanner is that it has the calendar option that allows you easily find the cheapest ticket for the period you’re traveling. This saves you the trouble of refreshing the site to check for the price on different dates. Even some of the best budget airlines I know only allow you check the prices of ticket a few days before and after.
3) ALWAYS Check The Weather Season
Airlines are constantly having discounts for different destinations at various points of time in the year. Knowing that, I happily booked a heavy discounted flight to Taiwan during the promotional period without planning the itinerary beforehand. I reasoned that I could always do it sooner towards the date.
When I finally got down to planning my trip, it dawned upon me why my Taiwan tickets were going for so cheap. It was TYPHOON SEASON over there! Thankfully, we avoid the worst of it by a few days but the experience taught me the important lesson of checking the weather over at the other end in future.
4) NEVER buy winter clothes in Singapore, buy their local brands instead
Having trouble planning what clothes to bring? Underpack rather than overpack and shop over there instead. Not only do the locals know what kind of clothes keep them warm, they also sell it cheaper.
Singapore has an extremely limited range of winter clothing and they are very pricey as well. Most of them are also stylistically-challenged other than Uniqlo’s fall/winter season collection.
When I was in Alaska, I managed to snag a stylish softshell jacket by an Alaskan local brand at just over $70. Frequent travelers would know that an equivalent North Face jacket would retails at over $300!
The same thing happened earlier on this year in New Zealand where I managed to help one of my friends to snag a local brand jacket at only $120. We later went to outdoor shops like Kathmandu and Patagonia only to find a similar jacket retailing over $599!
5) Ask The Locals
When it doubt, ask the locals. It could be anyone, even be your hotel receptionist or the hostel owner. I have found that they always give better advice than any of the guidebooks. As they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do!
Image Credits: jayantrana.com