Best travel deals (March 2023): Flights, hotels and more

PHOTO: Unsplash

You've probably heard by now that Cathay Pacific is giving away 12,500 free round-trip tickets to Hong Kong.

Just imagine the amount of dim sum you could buy with the money you'll save!

But what if Hong Kong just isn't your jam?

I mean, some of us travel to feast on local cuisine, but others might fly the skies for a scenic escape from the city. 

No matter how old you are (students, we're looking at you), which credit card you have, or where your travel bug wants to take you, we've got you covered this March holiday season.

Read on to find out which travel site is giving you a $111 present for their birthday, how to get a US$88 (S$119) angbao on top of 15 per cent off on tours, and three ways you can get discounted flights if you're a DBS cardholder. 

1. For the Hong Kong enthusiast: Free round-trip Cathay Pacific air tickets to Hong Kong

PHOTO: Cathay Pacific

No, you’re not dreaming. And no, this isn’t a scam.

As part of the “World of Winners” campaign sponsored by Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK), Cathay Pacific is giving Singapore residents 12,500 free round-trip tickets to Hong Kong.

Wondering what we did to deserve this?

Now that Covid-19 is pretty much behind us, Hong Kong wants to recover its pre-pandemic tourism traffic.

They’re throwing their doors wide open and giving you the warmest invitation to come visit. So, how do you get your hands on free round-trip tickets to Hong Kong?

First, you need to be a Cathay member. Then, visit the campaign website from March 2 to 8, 2023 and answer three questions correctly.

Don’t wait, because you need to be one of the first 12,500 entrants with correct answers to win. Winners will be announced and contacted on March 20, 2023.

  • Promotion details: Free round-trip air tickets to Hong Kong
  • Campaign period: March 2 to 8, 2023
  • Trip duration: Two to seven days (dates flexible, but subject to blackout travel dates)

Unfortunately, this promotion doesn’t apply to you if you’re below 18 years old. But don’t sweat it – students, we’ve got another travel deal for you.

2. For students: Up to 10 per cent off Emirates flights

PHOTO: Reuters

Is your nose buried in books but your head's in the clouds?

If your study sessions have been full of daydreams about trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu or exploring the stunning caves in Halong Bay, this is your chance to get away.

As long as you’re a full-time student between 16 and 31 years old on the date of departure, you can get up to 10 per cent off on Emirates’ Economy Class and Business Class fares.

Plus, Emirates is also throwing in an extra 10kg or one extra piece of baggage allowance and flexible options to change your flight.

Just book your flight from now till March 31, 2023 using the promo code STUDENT, and don’t forget to bring a valid student ID or acceptance letter from your school or university at check-in.

  • Promotion details: Up to 10 per cent off air tickets for students
  • Booking period: Now till March 31, 2023
  • Promotion code: STUDENT

3. For DBS/POSB cardholders: Up to 10 per cent off Qantas or Qatar Airways flights

PHOTO: Pixabay

You’re in luck if you have a DBS/POSB credit card. Pay using your card to get up to 10 per cent off flights on Qantas and Qatar Airways.

The Qantas flights eligible for the discount include one-way and return flights from Singapore to Australia, New Zealand, and London.

Additionally, flights to UK/Europe via London on certain British Airways flights are also eligible if you’re flying from Singapore to London on Qantas. (If you’re wondering what British Airways has to do with this, both British Airways and Qantas are members of the Oneworld alliance. That means that their promotions occasionally cross over.)

  • Promotion details: 10 per cent off Qantas flights with DBS
  • Booking period: Now till Dec 31, 2023
  • Travel period: Now till Dec 31, 2024
  • Promotion code: FLYDBS

Not really keen on travelling to the countries above?

DBS cardholders can also get up to 10 per cent off on Qatar Airways flights from Singapore to 70 destinations from Athens to Zurich. 

4. For HSBC/DBS cardholders: 11 per cent ($111 cap) off flights, hotels and attractions on Traveloka

PHOTO: Traveloka

It’s Traveloka’s 11th birthday, and they’re giving you a present.

Pay using your DBS/POSB credit/debit card or HSBC credit card to enjoy up to 11per cent off with a cap of $111 for flights, hotels and Xperience bookings (i.e. attractions and activities).

You will need to hit a minimum spend of $500 for flights, $300 for hotels, and $100 for Xperience bookings, but these might be easy to hit depending on where you’re going.

5. For the lazy planner: Up to 15 per cent discount and US$88 off Trafalgar tours

PHOTO: Screengrab/Instagram/trafalgartours

If you love to travel but despise the planning process, this one’s for you.

From now till March 29, 2023, book a tour above US$2,800/pax under Trafalgar’s “Big Tour Sale” and get up to 15 per cent off, plus an additional US$88 “angbao” (read: discount) per couple.

Do take note that while you need to book your tour by March 29, 2023, the travel dates for this promotion are between April 1, 2023 to Oct 15, 2023.

So if guys have got your heart set on a trip during the March holidays, sorry folks.

But if your travel plans are more flexible, you can always book now for any date in the April to mid-October period.

  • Promotion details: Up to 15 per cent and US$88/couple off for “Big Tour Sale” tours
  • Booking period: Now till March 29, 2023
  • Travel period: April 1, 2023 to Oct 15, 2023
  • Promotion code: TRAFALGARCNY23

6. For the retail therapist: Up to 40 per cent off attractions, retail, and dining in Dubai/UAE

PHOTO: Screengrab/Instagram/Emirates

Who’s ready to pamper themselves with a full-body massage, have fun at Dubai’s flagship theme park, shop till you drop at Tommy Hilfiger, and feast at Shangri-La Dubai’s Shang Palace?

We haven’t even told you the best part: You’ll get all that for up to 30 per cent off with My Emirates Pass.

From now till March 31, 2023, fly to Dubai or UAE with Emirates and hang on to your boarding pass – all you need to do is present it at over 500 participating venues across Dubai and UAE to enjoy special rates.

These include discounts at the region’s top attractions, retailers, restaurants and luxury spas. 

If you lose (or know you’re going to lose) your physical boarding pass upon arrival, no worries.

You can also show your digital boarding pass along with your photo ID.

  • Promotion details: Up to 40 per cent off attractions, retail, and dining in Dubai/UAE with My Emirates Pass
  • Travel period: Now till March 31, 2023
  • How the discounts work: Just present your boarding pass at the participating venues

And lastly, for everyone: Don’t miss our 2023 travel insurance giveaway!

From now till March 31, 2023, purchase travel insurance with MoneySmart’s participating providers and stand a chance to win $888 cash each week.

All winners will be announced by May 5, 2023.

This article was first published in MoneySmart.