Jul 25, 2016

Cut Travel Expenses by 50% - 7 Practical Ways you Shouldn't Miss

 how-to-save-on-travel-expenses

Paying for unnecessary stuff is not cool. Additional service fees and charges add up in your travel expenses if you settle on what is already laid on the table. Here are easy tweaks that will help you cut your travel expenses by up to 50%.

1. Be alert on seat sales (save 30-50%)

airasia-seat-sale-promotions

Simple. You'll be one of the first few people who gets notified for any promotions, seat sales and discounts.

Social media is not even enough. You have to subscribe via email so that you will receive all updates straight to your inbox. And yes, check your emails frequently and book in advance.

Here's the membership page for Philippine Airlines, (aka Mabuhay Miles), CebuPacific (aka GetGo) and AirAsia. On top of the newsletters, you can also earn points/miles for every flight that you can redeem later on.

But take note, in some occasions discounted round-trip tickets doesn't even save you since they are just playing the numbers.

Here's the scenario: destination trip is 70% off but the return trip is 170% more expensive which makes it a break even. Crazy but true. You are not saving a dime.

In this case, you can search other return flights from other airline to avoid the sale scam. I have done this many times already and it saved me reasonable amount of money.

I don't normally buy tickets at regular prices. Why would I when I can have it 30-50% off?

2. Be flexible on your travel dates (save 30-50%)

flexible-travel-dates

Most of the time you are not really particular on your travel dates unless it is intended for honeymoon, birthday or spur-of-the-moment trips. I do not personally recommend the latter, by the way.

Major airlines are targeting promotions during off-peak season to major destinations. Hence you are leaving money on the table if you really wish to go to Boracay on Labor Day to catch the #LaBoracay party.

April and May is when ticket prices skyrocket caused by excessive desire of wanderlusts to go out during summer.

3. Skip all the travel package deals (save 20%)

no-travel-package

Travel agencies sprout like mushrooms in social media nowadays. Countless travel deals are thrown away every single day and man, they are enticing.

If you want to save on your travel expenses, by all means, avoid them.

Travel packages are unreasonably expensive and less customized. You pay more for less and the service is at par with normal.

Since they also exist for business, they are charging stellar prices for added service of organizing air and land transfer, food and accommodation. Why pay when you can do it anyway?

But don’t get me wrong. Travel packages are still great if you want a hassle-free travel.

4. Call the hostel directly (save 20%)


Another item often overlooked is the accommodation. In the past year I was solely using travel apps like AirBnb and Expedia for booking hostels. It saved me a lot rather than staying on expensive hotels.

But lately I just found out I could even save more by calling the hostel directly via landline or cellular number and it saved me even more.

Here’s how:
  1. Search for cheap accommodations through Expedia app.
  2. Once you find the name of the hostel, Google it and get the contact number.
  3. Most of the hostels have cellular numbers so call them directly and boom, you're booked instantly!

I have tried this already when I went to Davao. I found out that Expedia is charging 20% more on the room rates! That is how much I saved times the number of days I stayed. Big savings.


5. Ditch the taxi (save 80%)

ditch-taxi-use-public-transpo

Transportation is one of the challenges while traveling. Sometimes when you are lost there is no other way but to ride a cab and tell the driver to go to the nearest SM. I know, I tried this already. Emergency is an exception.

In normal conditions, avoid riding a taxi for not only it is expensive but most drivers exploit the opportunity of overcharging you - either through scammy taxi meters or stellar flat rates.

Ride the public transportation (used by locals) instead - jeepney, tricycle or pedicab. Don't act like a tourist but a local.

And for any questions you have in mind, ask a local. 90% of the time they will help you.

It also pays to be bargaining all the time. Few bucks saved when accumulated is worth a hundred.

6. Eat where the locals go (save 40-60%)

eat-where-locals-go

You can stretch your travel budget by simply choosing where to eat. If you want to go to a famous resto you've been dying to go to, do it just once for the sake of experience but not on your entire 3 days 2 nights stay.

Take note that travel isn't food alone and not all delicious foods are expensive.

When I went to El Nido it was really one of my itinerary to go to Altrove Restaurant - an Italian restaurant famous for its brick oven pizza.

It was a bit expensive but it was really worth it. Just one dinner (for experience sake) and I never went there again.

7. Be safe (priceless)

be-cautious-on-valuables

Accidents are more expensive than being safe. Should have put this on top of the list but I didn’t because you would think this is very obvious.

It is but not really when you're high and stoked. Think again.

Although accidents are inevitable, we can decrease (or even eliminate) the likelihood to happen. One of the best ways to do this is to be mindful on your surroundings.


You can't expect to be safe if you go alone 1 AM in the morning in the outskirts with lots of drunk locals. Not a good idea.

Likewise, it doesn't make sense if you wear jewelries and show it off publicly. You might not be wearing it again.

Mindfulness is being aware in the present with yourself and with other people. Of course this shouldn't interfere with your activities. You should know it yourself if it is not safe (then you need to avoid) so it won't cause you any harm.

Bonus: Do you have a Life Insurance? (priceless)

life-insurance-is-a-must

This is not to exaggerate. We will never know when a serious incident hits us - maybe not at this time (who wants to?) but eventually it will.

Life insurance should be one of your priorities. Yes, on top of your future business and travel plans. Here's why.

Life insurance will save you and your children from any unlikely incidents that will affect your family financially.

Think about being laid off from work, health conditions or accidents (from travel or by other means) that may affect your income. Life insurance can help you on that.

If you want to know more, hit me an email and I can give you a free quote.

Conclusion

Travel is part of life. We go into places and immerse onto experiences to rejuvenate us from the daily grind. Travel, however, is expensive and requires ample budget and preparation.

If we all just go travel right away without proper planning (and saving), we might be spending on unnecessary things that will blow up the travel budget and will affect our nest egg.

Proper planning and saving is a "must" for a worry-free travel.

Do you have any other tips not mentioned in this post? Please leave a comment below.

May 17, 2016

5 Unusual and Offbeat Things to do in Boracay 2016 (without the spoiler)

juaninvestor-boracay-sandcastle

On my 27th birthday I decided to take a trip to Boracay. Alone. Yes, this is my first time to travel by myself. The first time I went toBoracay was with my good friend on his birthday last Aug 2013. That was awesome! This time is more personal hence I traveled solo.

A lot of travel guides would tell you to go island hopping, banana boat, helmet diving and other mainstream stuffs. I have tried it already and don't wanna do it again.

Through observation and feedback from locals, here's what I did worth trying in your next Boracay trip.

1. Stay in a hostel

There are countless benefits of staying in a dorm or a hostel. But the top 2 reasons I considered most important is this: (1) cheap accommodation and (2) best avenue to meet like-minded travelers.

mnlbeach-hostel-room
Hello from the other side! Zen, my roommate. She's from China.
Some people are not comfortable staying in a hostel for safety and convenience purposes. I respect that especially for women. But if you think about it, you don't really need a luxurious room since you will be going out most of the time.

In the room there were 10 of us - 8 are from other countries and 2 of us are Filipinos. I got to know them and learned that they are from Canada, Singapore, China, Sweden, USA and United Kingdom. Pretty diverse.

I happened to know Daniel, a young consultant from UK also traveling alone. Ever since I knew him we went out together. Had a great time with this fella.

mnlbeach-hostel-room
Inside MNL Beach Hostel room. 10 people max capacity - 5 double decks.
I stayed at MNL Beach Hostel. The rooms and bed are pretty decent. For a very cheap price it is definitely a steal. Rooms are air-conditioned, mattress is fairly clean, staff is very accommodating and there's even a FREE breakfast. How's that for a P450 ($9) rate?

They also have fun-filled night activities to watch out for. Just ask the staff. For reservations you can contact MNL Beach Hostel. Tip: Call them directly to save even more. Don't use travel apps like Airbnb or Expedia

2. Barhopping with Boracay Pubcrawl

Initially, my birthday trip was intended for soul-searching. On a first thought I chose Coron. But since I would travel alone, I imagined life would be lonelier since nightlife is dead in Palawan. I opted for Boracay instead.

Clubs are sprouting like mushrooms in Boracay. Sunset is spelled P-A-R-T-Y. As soon as the sun is down, party-goers start flocking at the shore.

Right after our Mongolian buffet dinner, we joined the Boracay Pubcrawl.

boracay-pubcrawl-party-2016

For P900 ($18), we were able to meet good friends and 5 clubs including complimentary drinks. A yellow shirt and a rubber bracelet is provided as well to recognize participants during the pub-crawl. 

One thing worth noting about Boracay Pubcrawl is that it is introvert-friendly. They are aware that most of their guests are solo travelers hence they have games that encourages participants to introduce themselves to other people. Watch out for it! I'm pretty sure it'd be fun for you too.

Indeed, we #TurnStrangersIntoFriends. You can book Boracay Pubcrawl online

Tip: A friend recommended Backpacker Pubcrawl for a detailed list of pubcrawls around the world :)

3. Smoke a hookah

Whether you are a smoker or a non-smoker, this is a one-time experience you should never miss. For P600 ($12), one session normally lasts an hour.

This is the first time I smoked a shisha and with no bias, it really felt great. I was surprised that the smoke is sweet and pleasing, not harsh compared to tobacco.

smoke-shisha-in-boracay

Daniel and I had a very relaxing night smoking a shisha while gulping an ice-cold beer.

You can find a lot of hookah bars along the shore.

4. Cliff jumping at Ariel's Point

As for a meal, there has to be an entree, main course and a dessert. For me, pub crawl is the entree, hookah is the dessert and cliff jumping is the main course.

Cliff jumping is one of the most unforgettable experiences I've done. And when we talk about cliff jumping, only 1 name dominates - Ariel's Point.


Ariel's Point is a daredevil's paradise. It is located 15 minutes away from Boracay (via boat) where you can jump off a 5, 8 or 15 meters cliff.


A photo posted by P A U L D A B U C O (@fearless_wander) on

Note: Let's share travel pictures! Follow me on Instagram

For P2,500 ($50) you can eat, drink and cliff jump all you want! Crazy deal. Oh and it also includes boat transfers to and fro Boracay.

You can book a reservation online

5. Customize a sandcastle with your name, birthday, etc

My birthday trip would never be complete without the Boracay sandcastles.

I was about to have someone take a picture of me near the sandcastle when I saw a customized message that says, "I love Haifa"


A photo posted by P A U L D A B U C O (@fearless_wander) on

I asked a boy to create a phrase "My Bday" under the sandcastle. It was awesome! With excitement, they immediately snap photos. Happy 27th birthday to me!

Conclusion

My solo birthday trip is the best ever. I got to do a lot of first times - stayed a hostel, pub crawl, cliff jump and smoke a shisha.

I never regret the decision to travel alone. Though there are really times when you need a close friend to talk or go with you, the emotion just passes by. But if this emotion lingers and bothers you, this is the time you need to meet new people and listen to their stories too. Who knows, you are sharing the same feelings and you can relate to each other.

Solo trip is, however, not meant to be done all the time. It is when you need to reflect, release the tension, restore the muse and do the things you want to do without inhibitions.

What about you, ever done a solo trip? Where did you go and what have you done?

Mar 24, 2016

6 Ultra High Quality Websites to Feed Your Brain

Facebook is a total waste of time. You learn nothing.

In this post I will share to you websites I consider to be very important that I can’t live without.

coursera-logoYou may have known some of these websites. In fact some of them became viral in social media.

Make your time productive as I share to you these top websites I consider to be one of the best alternative to Facebook.

Feb 22, 2016

Apple's "Backdoor" Controversy Explained in 5 Minutes

The US Government demands Apple to create a "backdoor" to bypass the security features of a certain iPhone.

This is in connection to the unsolved case of San Bernardino shooting incident last Dec 2015.

The recovered iPhone, believed to be owned by the suspect, is the missing piece that if accessed, could significantly help the FBI to solve the puzzle.


man-holding-a-hacked-iphone

Feb 21, 2016

Amazing Camping Experience at Borawan, Quezon

borawan-island-while-riding-a-boat

If you are looking for a complete disconnection from urban life or a breakout from social media addictions, pack your bags and head immediately to Quezon province.

One Thursday afternoon in Dec 2015, my friend and I were planning a getaway as our first meetup.

We met thru Tinder and we believed it was time for us to see each other.

Feb 6, 2016

Bootstrapping to Get the Best Credit Card

dinosaur-head-man

Make no mistake. If you are receiving an average wage, getting a credit card is hard. I know, I've tried this. But there's a silver lining. In this post I will show you how to bootstrap your way to get your best credit card. Yes, there's a workaround.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

juaninvestor_author
JuanInvestor shares my tough journey to financial independence. My curiosity on wealth led me to books and actual practice. Here I share my experiences for you to learn and not to repeat the same mistakes. When I don't write, I like traveling to places I've never been. More about JuanInvestor.
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