Day 32: Managing Travel Expenses – Domestic Trip with 3 Months’ Preparation

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a seatsale and a credit card.

– My travel mantra

Whenever I browse travel blogs/websites, I could see many people who commented that traveling is pricey. Also, this is a sentiment shared by my friends. A friend of mine even says she does not want to travel because she feels bad to spend her hard-earned money.

Planning a budget travel needs a lot of patience and effort. But it is possible.


1st month: Buy a discounted airline ticket

A huge part of the money will always go to airfare/transportation. That’s why seat sales are there to help lower the cost.

Subscribing to the mailing list of domestic carriers ensures that I receive a notice of their seatsales. So far, I managed to buy a roundtrip ticket to Puerto Princesa by paying Php 890.00 (less than 20USD) only. My Manila-Singapore / Kuala Lumpur-Manila ticket costs Php 4367.58 (less than 100 USD). See? We don’t need to pay much to travel by air.

Another thing, I buy my ticket after the cut-off of my credit card. As I’m already starting to save money for the trip, I will be able to control my expenses in the next three months. It’s also better to do this when I know I can pay all my credit on time.

1st-2nd month : Book the hotel

Aside from seatsales, I also love the book-now-pay-later options offered by several booking sites. These sites also offer great discounts in room rate. That’s like hitting two birds with one stone. When I already know what my expenses will be in the next two weeks and I still have remaining budget, I book my room before the cut-off (along with the airfare, yes), so I have a few weeks left to save money for the trip. If not, I check the book-now-pay-later option and see if the date is after the cut-off.

If the book-now-pay-later option does not work, then it’s time for me to research for cheap places to stay.

2nd-3rd month : Research

This is the time I make a detailed research. Here is a sample of how I plan my itinerary and budget:

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If I’m not able to secure/book my room using credit card, I make a detailed research on my possible expenses. While computing, I also ‘plan’ my unplanned itinerary just to have an idea how much I might be spending. Doing this will help avoid being unprepared, which I might end up paying for more. I also put a buffer so that I can buy a cute souvenir. It’s better to shop for souvenir during the last day so that I don’t end up spending all my money on the first day.

I want to hear how you budget your travel. Feel free to post it here.

Cheers!

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