I went to Singapore and Malaysia last week. I made a little goal last year that I should travel to at least one foreign destination and at least one Philippine destination every year. Thanks to promo fares, this little goal of mine is achievable. Beyond the promo fare, the reality of having to spend Philippine-earned money in a foreign soil proves to be a challenge. I am budget traveler. I cannot afford luxuries. Thus, I find ways to spend as little as possible.
Here are ways I employ to afford a trip abroad:
1. Advanced booking. Promo fares are cheap because they are booked in advance. The downside: they are non-transferable, non-refundable, non-rebookable. The upside: there is no backing out. I got my June tickets as early as November last year.
2. Sleeping at airports. Our flight to Singapore arrived at 11:55PM. To save on hotel costs, I told my aunt that we should sleep on the airport. Many people sleep on airports. According to this website, Singapore’s Changi is the best airport for sleeping in 2011. Well, I got excited with this idea only to find out that the cool amenities are inside the transit area which can only be accessed after the immigration counter. This means I need to have a ticket that flies out of Changi to be able to access the cool sleeping areas. Still, I stuck to my sleeping-in-the-airport plan. We hit these chairs in the arrival area.
3. Traveling light. Because I do not want to earn my 15 minutes of fame by berating an airport personnel for losing my luggage, I travel light. Light travelers also save a few hundreds of pesos form their ticket cost. Pang-value meal na rin yung ma-save. Traveling light prevents me from shopping.
3. Free meals! I have friends in Singapore that I wanted to meet. They were generous enough to pay for our yummy meals. Below is our lunch at Din Tai Fung. My friend picked up the tab. Another friend treated us to breakfast and another one to dinner. Thanks, Gail, Maea and Jill!
4. Efficient Public Transportation. These Asian cities have a very efficient public transportation system. We used the MRT and buses to get around.
6. Walking around. I like walking. It makes me feel like I am one with the locals. It is easier to find my way by walking. It is a form of exercise at the same time. However, I traveled with a 67-year-old. I often forget that important fact. Movement was a little slower when traveling with a senior citizen. I got dagger stares whenever my navigational skills failed me. HA!