Sunday 20 May 2018

Tips on saving money on a trip

I am currently in Japan for my family trip. Japan is not a cheap country to travel to hence we were actually considering between Taiwan and Japan. However, we decided on Japan in the end as I went to Taiwan last year and I have never went to Tokyo before. My brother also preferred Japan as he went recently and wanted to explore more places there.

 From the beginning, we wanted to book the air tickets first so we went to see air ticket deals. We had a few options, namely ANA, Japan and SQ. We checked the respective prices for the 3 airlines and found SQ the lowest. We tried to fly on a day that would cost cheaper and also flew back on a cheaper day. So we are flying off on a Tues and back on a Thurs. Each person came up to a price of $747 return trip.

Going on a trip definitely wasn't going to be cheap. For past few years, I have been traveling with my friends and usually we sit budget airlines like Tiger-air or Scoot. So it has been awhile since I have sat a non-budget airline. Well, since we have spent quite a lot on our air tickets, we decided to save on our lodging. We considered Airbnb since staying together would save much more than having 2 separate rooms. However, my brother did not have a good experience with the airbnbs that he stayed previously in Japan as they were dusty and not very well kept. I tried looking around for a few good ones. And while searching, I came across a gem, it is not an airbnb but an apartment hotel. It is rather new so there are not much reviews for it. SO...GET READY FOR IT.

It's called MIMARU TOKYO AKASAKA. When I first saw the listing, I saw the Ueno branch and really liked the layout of the room. Hence, I searched further and managed to find the Aksaka branch, we found the location of apartment hotel to be 400m from Akasaka Station and 800m from Roppongi. It was at a reasonable location and price range was good.

Through the planning for this trip, I learned a few tips for saving money during your trip.

1. Using a private window to do your bookings.

I am sure this is a common tip that has been passed around. When we wanted to make our bookings for the air tickets, we used an incognito window to do it and the prices were constant. I booked tickets for my previous trips before and did not use an incognito window, and the price tended to fluctuate much more. I am actually not too sure but the prices seemed to remain the same when I booked it through the incognito window as they won't be able to store cookies.

2. Using Shopback while booking tickets and accommodations

I really loved this, I actually created an account on ShopBack a few years back as they had a promotion where they would have a signup bonus of $8.00, so I went ahead to create. I forgot all about it until this trip and managed to book my accommodation through it. The cashback for Agoda was pretty substantial, at a 6% cashback value. It's really great feeling that you didn't need to pay the full price for something, I guess psychologically you feel like you have saved and benefited from the deal.

3. Booking lodging near to stations

This was a point brought up by my mum, she went to Japan a few years back and the hotel that they booked was quite a distance from the station about 1.5km away. Every morning when they needed to make their way out it was okay but after they were done for the day, lugging all their purchases and to walk back 1.5km was tortuous. They did a few times took cab back. However, accommodations nearer to stations could cost higher and this is when you can maybe gauge if you would spend more on transport or lodging. For example, Japan taxi are on the expensive side while Thailand would be cheaper so maybe in Japan, accommodation would be good to be nearer stations while in Thailand, it can be further.

No comments:

Post a Comment