Travel in style even on a tight budget

PHOTO: Brunei Times/ANN

For most people, travelling is one luxury that they want experience but can hardly afford. Paying for airfare, accomodation and meals can leave a huge dent in one's wallet.

But one can indulge in travelling without having to break the bank. The Brunei Times interviewed several of these savvy travellers who managed to travel even on a limited budget.

One way to reduce your travelling expenses is to book your flight a few months ahead of your planned trip.

"You get the best prices for airline tickets if you buy early. So make sure you decide early where you want to go and book the tickets at least six months in advance," said Mastura Yassin.

The 27-year-old teacher said that apart from booking tickets early, she opts for budget airlines and always looks for the best deals online.

"Airlines are always having their promotions so keep an eye out for the best deals to the destination that you're planning to visit," Mastura said.

Another seasoned traveller, Ariana Salleh, advises travellers to save money on accommodation by looking at reviews online and finding out which hotels give the best value for money.

Ariana prioritises cleanliness and comfort over the luxuries that a hotel room can offer.

"Our days abroad are usually packed with activities. At the end of the day, we just want a clean bed to lie on so why waste money on expensive hotels," said the mother of two.

Travelling in groups can also save a lot of money. Ariana usually travels with friends and family who can share the costs of accommodation, food and transport.

For those who love to shop, travelling in groups can also be beneficial if one goes over the maximum luggage allowance.

"You can split the excess weight of your baggage with the people you're travelling with so you don't have to pay the charge for excess baggage," she said.

Mariana Abdullah, an online entrepreneur, advises against going to shopping areas near tourist attractions.

"I've learnt that you should really avoid tourist areas if you want to save money. That holds true especially for me because I source the material I sell from my travels," she said.

Having contacts in the country that you're visiting helps save a lot of money, according to Mariana, as they can tell you to where the locals shop and eat.

Most of the time, shops and restaurants in tourist areas charge exhorbitant rates.

"Supermarkets and bazaars are really the best places to shop if you want the best prices. As for food, (dining in a local restaurant) is always the way to go because that's the best way to know a culture, and most of the time, it's also the cheapest way," she said.

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