Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Notes of a Frugal Traveler -Part 2

During the times that my significant other, worked under a Japanese principal where no joining privilege was granted, I visited him in port two to three times per contract, at our personal expense and during his vacations, our family traveled overseas, where I  painstakingly learnt the following:
1.) It is best to go on package tours during the lean seasons (off peak time), fares are low and hotels are a lot cheaper.
2.) The best source of information are your friends and the Internet.
Get feedback and do your homework regrading the place of destination before you go.
3.) Have a definite purpose in mind for your travel..is it a  business trip, a shopping spree, a leisure one, or a combination  of one or all?
4.) Enjoy the wandering around, but don't exhaust yourself too much during the day.
5.) There are lot of things that can only be seen at night so save some of your energies..
6.) Don't forget to taste the local gastronomic delights: food, fruits, pastries or wine. Try your hands on the local arts and your foot on the local dance too.
7.) Keep a travel souvenir peculiar only of the place visited aside from your photos and videos.
8.) Don't go on bargain hunting, instead go for the value of your money when shopping.
9.) Join one or two of the land trips that is not included in your package deals.
10.) Always have a local map in hand and know how to get back to your hotels.
11.) If the local drivers are challenge with the English language, ( i.e.Thailand/ Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan), please let your travel guide or any of the hotel staff  write down in their local dialect the name of your hotel  and address before leaving the group and explore sights on your own.
12.) Travel light. These I know is easier said than done for us ladies, who needed the wardrobe for our pictorials for postings in the different social networking sites.
13.) Always bring your travel documents with you wherever you go.
14.) Keep a photocopy of your travel documents including that of your e-ticket in your hotels so that if anything happens while you are on tour or shopping , you can still go back home.
15..) If your budget can afford, and you travel frequently, it is wiser to own a refutable  club time shares as a buffer investment...it is valid for 30 yrs. and you can use it for exchange in accommodations both for local and foreign trips , the ownership  is transferable, and your time share can be donated as gifts.
16.) Know the weather at the destination. Wear comfortable clothing, and footwear. Day tours will entail a lot of walking.
17.) If no package tours are available at the time of your trip, it is best to book your flights online  to avail of discounted fares , so do  with your hotels, online rates are much cheaper than rock rates for walk-ins.
18.) Exchange your  foreign currency notes at legitimate money changers as much as possible.
19.) Carry a Credit Card or enough USD bills or other foreign currency, because some hotels will require  to present  a credit card or a deposit amount  upon check -in. The deposit is refunded in full, if you did not consume anything in the fridge of your hotel room, upon check out.
20.) Know which items are complimentary in the hotel room...bottled water outside the fridge, coffee, tea, sugar, cream are often free , but anything inside the fridge is chargeable to your deposit upon check out. Buy your  food stuff and drinks , in the nearest grocery stores.
Frugality is in the eyes of the beholder and is everywhere,  plan a trip and enjoy it. Have fun while you are still physically fit to travel. For the fashion conscious traveler, you can always go in style at your own risk! :)

Note: Also Posted in http://www.cebupacificpromos.com/notes-of-a-frugal-traveler-part-2/  as an entry to their monthly contest

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