If you’re an avid traveller, it’s highly likely that you’ve been to Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and/or Thailand – six places ranked among Singaporeans’ favourite destinations.
And since these are our top picks as holiday destinations, it’s likely that you’ll visit them again in the coming year, so, here’s presenting seven travel hacks that will save you lots of money and hassle the next time you plan your trips. Ps, read until the end to find out how you can be one of 10 lucky winners to win return flights to not one, not two, but ALL SIX destinations!
1. How to get more legroom on a plane
Sometimes you can get extra legroom for free. Check in early and ask the gate agent nicely whether you can move into the bulkhead (first row of economy class) or the exit row. Do be aware that the first row of exit row seats often won’t recline. However, if you can’t get a free seat upgrade, consider paying more for the extra legroom, especially if your flight is going to be more than four hours long.
2. Use the rate advisor function on your currency converter for accuracy
It’s likely that the rate in your currency converter app (we use XE) will differ from the rate you paid for at the money changer, and will certainly differ from what your bank will charge for your credit card purchases. You can activate this function and enter your own rate instead of the market rate reflected by default in your currency converter app.
3. Get your laundry washed, dried and pressed for a few cents a piece in Thailand
Here’s one great reason to pack light for those getaways to nearby Thailand – you can get your sweat-soaked clothes laundered cheaply. Instead of getting your laundry done by the hotel’s room service, look around your street to see if there are local laundry shops. Depending on whether you’re in a high-end area, each piece of laundry should only cost 10 to 20 baht (S$0.40 to S$0.80). It will take between 24h to 48h, but your items will be neatly pressed and folded and placed in a sealed plastic bag by the time it is returned to you. If you didn’t purchase luggage space on your budget flight, this is an excellent way to make sure that you don’t exceed the cabin luggage weight restriction.
Source credit: tastythailand.com
4. It’s faster to take a train than a taxi from KLIA to KL Sentral
Save yourself some time and money when you next fly to Kuala Lumpur – rail is faster than taxi by a good quarter of an hour when you want to get to city central. The KLIA Ekspress departs every 15 minutes during peak hours and doesn’t have to contend with traffic jams and toll booths. Buy your tickets online at http://www.kliaekspres.com for meaty discounts. If you have to buy your ticket at the station, choose the self-service kiosks – you’ll get 10% off.
5. Everything, including the international airport, shuts down in Bali during Nyepi
Nyepi is the Balinese Lunar New Year and falls on the first day of the new moon after mid-March. The island capital, Denpasar, stages the most impressive new year’s eve parade, where the natives gather to perform music and make offerings to huge monster dolls called ogoh-ogoh. On the day of Nyepi itself is a day of silence and complete inactivity – restaurants, bars and shops are all closed and no one is permitted to leave their home or hotel. It is believed that if evil spirits descend on the island, they will decide that it must be uninhabited and leave it alone for another year. Naturally, the international airport will be closed too. So beware of this date when planning your Bali vacation!
Source credit: Lonely Planet
6. Book your Sydney Opera House tour tickets online to save money
This UNESCO World Heritage site begs to be properly explored with an insider tour which will bring you to areas normally off-limits to visitors. Visitors are strongly urged to book tours in advance and what better way to do it than online? You’ll save a few dollars off the AU$37 adult ticket price when you do that on https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com.
7. Earn extra spending money by offering to help fellow Singaporeans buy stuff from your travels on Airfrov
You can offer to help fellow Singaporeans buy back rare souvenirs from your overseas travels & earn a small fee on Airfrov! It’s a Singapore-developed app which matches those with purchase requests to travellers who are happy to help bring home their coveted overseas items.
8. Just spend $15 on one prepaid SIM card across six destinations and get mobile data the moment you touch down
If you travel to any of these 6 destinations – Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand and need data on the go, you only need to keep one prepaid SIM instead of buying multiple SIM cards. That’s right – StarHub Mobile Prepaid SIM enables you to data-roam in these six Happy Roam destinations at Singapore data rates, without having to pay for any data roaming charges.
Get started with a StarHub Prepaid SIM at only $15, and it comes with $18 credit which you can use to purchase a data plan to use on your trips.
It’s really convenient as you can get the Happy Prepaid SIM at StarHub Shops, 7-Eleven or Cheers convenience stores, and even at Changi Airport (Travellers counter and UOB Currency Exchange counters) right before you depart! This way, you’ll be able to skip the overseas prepaid queues upon arrival and get mobile connectivity the moment you land.
You can also use the Happy Prepaid App to manage your account no matter where you are. From checking your balance and data usage, and even top-up your credits while overseas with your credit card!
We hope that these eight tips will help make planning for your next trip a breeze! Now, it’s contest time!
Happy Roam contest
Contest period: Until April 15 2016
Prizes: Win a pair of return tickets to Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and Australia. A total of 10 winners will be picked!
To participate: All you need to do is buy a NEW StarHub Mobile Prepaid SIM card, and SMS ROAMALVIN to 6122. Plus, our readers will also get to enjoy extra $5 bonus credit!