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Travel smart and save more

15 Jan 2021

Everyone has different goals in different life stages but many Hongkongers set travelling as their prime goal believing there is “no point of working hard if you cannot enjoy their life”.

A recent survey1 conducted by an online travel platform revealed that 15% of Hongkongers survey respondents splurge a staggering HK$120,000 on travel in 2019, while almost half of the respondents said they spent at least HK$ 40,000 for travel.

Since we are all stuck at home amidst the pandemic, why not make use of this spare time to plan on how you can reduce the cost of travel?

1. Travel during the off-season

“The Best Time To Book & Travel”, the research report published by international travel search engine Skyscanner reveals November is the best month to travel as it is offseason for travel hotspots like London, New York, Tokyo and Taipei, while May is offseason for Paris, Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City.

The report suggests that travellers should book flights 4 to 5 months in advance to get the best deals. Combined with booking off-season, booking flights in advance can help you save up to 15% in flight tickets alone.

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2. Using credit cards abroad can be expensive

It’s common to use credit cards for shopping when travelling overseas. However, the exchange rate and transaction fees charged by different credit card issuers vary, so it’s worth doing your research.

Some cards offer the Dynamic Currency Conversion that allows the cardholder to settle the bill in Hong Kong dollars, but the exchange rate varies significantly. The exchange rate varies can be as much as 1.5% to 4% and reaching even 5% in certain locations. In addition, banks charge a transaction fee while card issuers may impose a cross-border transaction fee. As the costs add up, it is probably better to settle in the local currency or even pay in cash.

Apart from finding different ways to save money, you may also use online tools for managing the travel budget.

1Source: Hong Kong Economic Times, 2020

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