Malaysians love a bargain. So what’s better than bagging yourself a deal for your next holiday with these money-saving tips?
Amazingly, we are already towards the tail end of the year. Some of you are probably longing for a well-deserved break now and others may already be planning for an extended holiday at the end of the year. Whatever your travel plans may be, we all love a good deal and want the best bang for our Ringgit.
So how do you find the best deals and possibly save some money on your next holiday? Here are some top tips for you to find deals on flights, hotels and more. So read on…
Time your travel
You want to travel when other people aren’t travelling.1 Which often means when schools are in session.1 If you’re a parent, this can be problematic.1 But if you’re not, you should be travelling when the kids are in school and their parents stuck at work.1
Another option is to travel off-season if your time is flexible.2 Look out for deals in the “shoulder season” just before and after the high seasons.2 Airlines, hotels and travel companies often offer deals to stimulate travel in those softer months.2
For example, if you are planning a trip Down Under to visit Sydney, don’t pick peak tourist season between December and February.3 Instead, the best times are September through November and March to May.3 These months skirt Sydney’s high and low seasons, offering travellers comfortable temperatures, manageable crowds – and potentially more affordable prices on flights and accommodation.3
Many of us probably book our travels online now. If this is you, make sure the industry isn’t taking advantage of you.1 When we book online, companies are watching our habits.1 So you want to make yourself as invisible online as possible when you are booking travel on your computer or mobile phone.1
This means getting rid of your cookies and your history if you do airfare searches, or changing servers when you’re looking for travel information.1 By setting your browser to incognito or using a private browser window, you might be able to find a lower price because the website cannot use their tracking cookies to determine any previous browsing history you might have had.4 These simple tricks can help you save money.1
Ticket prices can fluctuate based on which days of the week you travel.4 So being flexible with your arrival and departure dates can help get the best deal and save you money.4 Even if you can only be flexible on one end of your trip, you can save by flying on a Wednesday instead of a Friday, or the day before a major holiday when more travellers tend to fly.4
It’s not just when you fly that matters. When you book also matters when it comes to price.1 It’s not an urban myth that there’s a best time to book airline tickets.1 Statistically, if you book your airfare on a weekend you could potentially save money.1
Get in early
Generally, you will be able to score better prices the earlier you book.5 If you are looking for flights to a certain destination, find out when fares for the next year will be released and jump on those fares when you see them.5 Travel search engine Skyscanner analysed more than 250 million flights over a three year period and found booking on average 19 weeks before your travel date if you are travelling from Malaysia will score you the cheapest fares.6 Data also suggests that the biggest savings can be found through advance planning to faraway destinations by booking 28 weeks before departure.5
Explore the high seas
Cruises, with all-inclusive pricing, are pretty affordable and offer great value for money holidays.2 Plus there are often good deals around.2 But beware once you on board, as they will try to upsell you everything.1 Port excursions are also incredibly overpriced unless you make your own arrangements and explore the destinations on your own.1
Planning a holiday abroad from Malaysia?
Source: Skyscanner, Skyscanner reveals when is the best time to book your flight from Malaysia, 7 March 2016.
Opt for a business hotel
Business hotels can provide great deals particularly in Europe.7 The reason is business trips are less likely to take place during peak summer or holiday seasons, leaving some hotels aimed at business travellers with plenty of rooms to spare.7 While leisure hotels will probably be increasing their prices during these periods, business hotels may offer you a better price.8
Book with a new property
Once you have decided where to stay, find the newest hotel openings in the area.8 Often, newly-opened hotels will be looking to increase business and get the word out, which can lead to lower rates and the ability to snag upgrades.7 Even the nicest hotels offer special discounts during their opening weeks or month, making their usually expensive room prices more affordable – you just need to keep your ear to the ground.8
Do some homework, be a savvy traveller and bag yourself a deal for your next holiday.
Travel money tips
Simple ways to get the most out of foreign currency exchange rates and save on your holidays
Research the exchange rate and buy early
Firstly, the only way to know if you are getting the best exchange rate is to know what the current rate is.9 And with the Internet, that’s easy. With websites like XE.com and Oanda.com, for example, you can use online currency converters to track the movements of rates.9 If you are concerned about currency volatility before you head away on your holiday, you could periodically check on the rates, buy and accumulate the foreign currency you need over a period of time before your trip so that you will be less affected by currency swings.10
Now, there’s an easy and convenient way to do this with the all-new HSBC Everyday Global Account11. You can open your account in Ringgit Malaysia and get automatic access to eight major foreign currencies
– including the United States Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Great Britain Pound Sterling, Hong Kong Dollar, Australian Dollar, New Zealand Dollar, Singapore Dollar and Euro – in one account11. With real-time rates, you can convert your Ringgit Malaysia to one of the eight available currencies whenever the rates are favourable to you for your holiday.
Use the right credit and debit cards
Many credit and debit cards will automatically calculate exchange rates for you12 and likely charge you a fee for cash withdrawals9 when you use them abroad. So the smart choice is to get a credit or debit card that waives all foreign transaction fees, or you could be paying more than 3% on every purchase.12
To avoid the unwanted surprise of fees after your holiday, you could choose to carry the all-new HSBC Everyday Global Visa Debit Card on your holidays. The HSBC Everyday Global Visa Debit Card gives you convenient access to your HSBC Everyday Global Account as you travel around the world, allowing you to buy and pay for purchases in Ringgit Malaysia and the eight major foreign currencies with zero currency conversion fees13 and overseas administrative charges on retail purchases. And if you need cash on your holiday, you can withdrawal cash across ATMs worldwide as well.
Even before your holiday, you can use the HSBC Everyday Global Visa Debit Card to pay for major purchases like flights, hotels, car rentals or other online bookings and potentially save with zero currency conversion fees13 and overseas administrative charges on websites that do not charge any transaction fees when using credit or debit cards.
To take advantage of the HSBC Everyday Global Account and Visa Debit Card on your next holiday or learn more about how you can use this all-new all-in-one account for your every day foreign currency savings needs, contact your Relationship Manager today.
13 Applicable to successful retail purchases, online shopping and cash withdrawals performed with Visa debit card under the 8 available currencies only. For transactions on HSBC's Global ATM network, the entire transaction amount shall be converted at the prevailing HSBC exchange rate if you have insufficient supported or non-supported foreign currency to complete a transaction. For Visa Plus ATM withdrawals and retail purchases, the entire transaction amount shall be converted at the prevailing HSBC exchange rate if you have insufficient supported foreign currency to complete a transaction. The entire transaction amount shall be converted at the prevailing rate as determined by Visa International for non-supported foreign currencies. All these transactions will be declined if there is insufficient fund in the Ringgit Malaysia credit balances.