Travel Tips

April 01, 2016 Explorer Gabor 0 Comments


As I started planning my own overseas trips before turning 20 and have organized many overseas business trips, I have a pretty good idea how to plan a trip or two.

Travel cheaper using reward points

Being a regular travel for leisure and business, I was collecting a fair share of frequent flyer points.  Enough to pay for the four of us to go to Fiji and Bali in the last few years.  My credit card also collected points that could be transferred to Virgin’s Velocity Frequent Flyer at the measly rate of 2.5 points per frequent flyer point.

Looking for something better, a quick google search led me to Point Hacks.  Keith and his team are a wealth of knowledge and quickly showed me there were other credit cards that would give me 1.5 or 2 frequent flyer points for every dollar I spent.  Hubby and I ditched our old credit cards and, with the generous sign-on bonuses, amassed over 100,000 frequent flyer points in two months.  It’s not costing us any extra and we’re now heading towards our goal of four free flights to the USA.  Disneyland, here we come!

It’s also worth signing up for hotel reward programs as they regularly reward their members with special offers, even if you haven't accrued any points.  Some of the main ones are:

IHG (Holiday Inn, Intercontinental, Crown Plaza...)
Hilton Honours (Hilton, Waldorf, Embassy Suites...)
Starwood Preferred Guest (Sheraton, Westin, St Regis, W hotel...)
Accor (Novitel, Sofitel, Mercure, Pullman...)

Travel Ideas & Inspiration

Apart from the usual suspects (see below), one of my favourite sites to explore for holiday ideas and inspiration is Holidays with Kids. Their top 10 holiday resorts page is a good starting point, followed by a quick site search for a destination will bring up a range of interesting stories and ideas.

If you’re thinking of a family holiday to Bali, check out Together We Roam which includes a Complete Guide to Bali with Kids.  It’s a great blog for travel inspiration, especially if you are travelling with little kids.

The usual suspects

As the world’s largest travel site attracting over 350 million visitors each month, you're most likely a user of TripAdvisor.  It’s my starting place when researching a destination.  The Trip Advisor forums are a great place to read about different things to do, such as mountain buggy riding in Bali and boutique places to stay, like small trendy hotels in the heart of Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Trip Advisor hotel reviews are handy for reading the experience of similar travelers and to see get a rough idea of prices.  I’ve never made a booking through Trip Advisor, preferring to deal direct with the hotel as I usually secure a better deal this way.

Ready to go - Singapore Airlines

Other great tools for researching hotel and flight prices are Skyscanner and Kayak.  I found seats to Singapore on Singapore Airlines listed on Skyscanner cheaper than I could find on the airline site.  Skyscanner linked to Singapore Airlines for the booking and payment so they were there all the time, I just couldn’t find them.

In addition to searching for flights, hotels and car hire, Kayak offer the Trips travel assistant which you can use to search for flights, track prices, create an itinerary and receive updates.  I haven’t used this feature yet though it looks interesting and I’ll give it a test run in the near future.

I hope these tips help you when next searching for travel ideas and inspiration.  Enjoy exploring further…

Looking for some tips on how to plan your next adventure or family vacation?  Head over to the Travel Planning page to explore further.

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