Nix the No­tion of “the cheaper, the bet­ter.”

Cosmopolitan (Philippines) - - You, You, You -

Come on, a va­ca­tion is sup­posed to be fun— and there’s no fun in scrimp­ing on lit­er­ally the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence. There’s a dif­fer­ence be­tween trav­el­ing cheap and trav­el­ing smart, and the lat­ter in­volves mak­ing choices and de­ci­sions that make your trip more sulit and less tinipid. “It’s true that we get what we pay for, so save enough for a rea­son­ably-priced trip,” says de la Paz. “You don’t need to travel cheap—if I find that I need more money, then I would de­lay the plans so I can save a lit­tle more.” Yes, the pres­sure is on to cross Cam­bo­dia off your list of must-vis­its since ev­ery­one you know has been there, but if you’re cut­ting ev­ery cor­ner bud­get-wise, no sun­rise over Angkor Wat is worth the stress. Con­sider splurg­ing on ac­com­mo­da­tions if you feel the ho­tel is worth the ex­pe­ri­ence, but know that means shelv­ing your plans of hav­ing Miche­lin-starred meals at ev­ery turn. Same goes for buy­ing a bet­ter plane ticket to suit your sched­ule or com­fort lev­els, but scal­ing down on trans­porta­tion or lodg­ing al­lowances. “It’s all about bal­anc­ing the bud­get you’ve set—and you have to be cre­ative,” sums up de la Paz.

treat your trip like a project.

Use those project man­age­ment skills you prob­a­bly take for granted on a daily ba­sis. Once you have your ap­proved bud­get or fund, do your re­search and your field­work. It could be as sim­ple as con­stantly check­ing Skyscan­ner and Airbnb for deals or your credit card for pro­mos. De la Paz cites travel fairs as a great av­enue to score good deals. Well-trav­eled friends and rel­a­tives are also a gold mine of information that you might not or­di­nar­ily read on­line (at her friend’s sug­ges­tion, de la Paz got to ex­plore Greece in a rented car for only 80 euros for five days!).

think pre-pack­aged, pre-paid.

Itin­er­ary plan­ning is ex­cit­ing, but the op­tions can be over­whelm­ing—caus­ing you to maybe spend too much just to fit ev­ery­thing in. Que rec­om­mends book­ing rep­utable pack­ages that in­clude tours, ho­tels, and trans­fers. “That’s so be­fore I leave, most of the trip is al­ready planned out and paid for. That means I only need to worry about bud­get­ing my pocket money.”


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