It’s easy to whip out your credit card and start booking your trip, but it takes a pro to do so on a budget.
Here’s some tips to fly further for less – especially useful when your travel dates fall within long weekends or peak season!
Nope, you didn’t imagine that price increase on the flight to Bali after searching for it a few times.
Most websites and flight search engines install cookies on your browser that tracks your visits. Every time you return to the site, prices rise a little. This is because they know you’re serious about making your booking, or else you wouldn’t keep coming back so often. It’s also their way of pressuring you into making your booking before prices rise even further.
To avoid these sneaky price hikes, clear your browser and search while on incognito or private mode. This keeps the websites from “remembering” your visits, enabling you to see the lowest price possible.
Mailing lists from airlines and booking sites like Skyscanner or Agoda are a treasure trove of deals.
By signing up for updates, you’ll be able to access last-minute and limited time only specials or discounts.
Many ridiculously cheap flights are available for 24 hours, and it’s easy to miss out if you don’t let them inform you about these crazy deals.
If you hate drowning in marketing emails, create a separate email address exclusively for subscribing to travel booking websites. This also makes it easier for you to spot deals. Check it twice a day as you get closer to booking your trip to grab sweet, last-minute offers.
Get an air miles credit card 3 – 6 months before you book your ticket. This gives you enough time to rack up enough miles for a free upgrade, discount, or a free flight.
Here are some of the most popular air miles credit cards in Singapore.
While it helps to look at the base miles, also consider the welcome miles offered by each air miles credit card. An extra 8,000 miles goes a long way into helping you get a flight for less.
Everyone knows that budget airlines are a great way to save. But you can also end up spending more if you fail to read the fees and fine print.
For instance, pre-purchasing check-in baggage is often more affordable, but this price is ridiculously jacked up at the counter.
Also pay attention to the weight, height, and number of bags you can check in, as budget airlines charge a hefty fee for excess weight.
Before you make a booking, you’ll need to make a deposit using your credit card.
Sometimes, the deposit is not refundable if you cancel on short notice. If the deposit is refundable, there’s a better chance you will only get part of your money back.
So if you’re still waiting for confirmation from your friends, or aren’t sure about your exact travel dates, avoid making the booking.
If you must book right away, check the cancellation clauses and make sure you’ll get a refund.
After you book a refundable hotel room, check out DreamCheaper.com.
This website tracks the price of all hotel rooms. When your room price falls, it will cancel your current reservation and rebook the room at the cheaper price.
The potential discount can range anywhere from $30 to $300, depending on the location and the season, so it’s totally possible to nab a discount on five-star digs.
The thing with these last-minute deals is that they’re difficult to predict.
If you need to fly during specific dates, like long weekends in Singapore or before Christmas, book your tickets as early as possible.
Rarely do flights get cheaper as your travel date approaches, especially during these peak times. Don’t waste your time and money waiting for a sale that might never come.
If you own a credit card, chances are it offers a hotel discount, even though it’s not an air miles card.
Many non-travel credit cards have partnerships with hotels or travel booking sites. For example, the UOB YOLO Card is more known for its restaurant discounts, but you can also use it to get 10% off hotels at Booking.com, or S$70 off flight and hotel packages at Expedia.
Uncover these hidden deals by visiting your card provider’s rewards or promotions pages. You can also check out these credit card deals at Agoda for 2016.
By Lauren Dado, SingSaver, 4 August 2016
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