When it comes to travel, everybody has their own advice. My biggest piece of advice: just start!
We often wait. Wait until we have more money saved up. Wait until the kids are older. Wait until the spouse/partner/best friend can go with us.
However, a better time might not ever come. So be flexible, do some research, and hit the road!
Having lived in Korea for a decade, and traveled around Asia extensively, most of these tips will be Asia specific. However, many of them can be applied for travel all around the world.
Your two biggest expenses when traveling will be accommodation and transportation. Realistically, you’re probably going to have to fly at some point.
Choosing an Airline
There are many low cost carriers (LCC) in Asia. Some of these are great for short-haul flights. However, do be aware that the price you see often isn’t the price you’ll pay. These LCC’s have a way of charging for every little thing. Want to pick a seat? Want something to drink? Want to check a bag? Want to pay with a credit card? You’ll have to pay for all of these things!
LCCs also tend to have less legroom, and they need to fit more people in the plane. For me, this is sometimes a deal breaker.
Check out other flights, as sometimes after all the fees, you’ll end up paying the same, or just a little more, for a flight on a major carrier. If you’re on a strict budget, you might only be on the hunt for the cheapest flight. That is totally fine – BUT – do your homework. Check the safety record of the airline. There are some LCCs in Asia that I refuse to fly due to their poor safety record. You’ll have to make that call for yourself.
When choosing an airline, I normally check Sky Scanner, as it seems to be a good place to find bargains.
Frequent Flyer Programs
I’m not an expert on FFPs, but there are plenty of people out there who are. This information isn’t new. But if you think you don’t fly enough, and that signing up for a frequent flyer program isn’t worth it, you’re WRONG!
Signing up is free, and there are no disadvantages to enrolling. You’ll be surprised just how quickly miles add up. You can also get a credit card that allows you to gain miles. Again – there are plenty of resources on the web for this, so I won’t get into that.
One of the most stressful parts of traveling is choosing where you will stay. You need to research an area. Then research the amenities, price, read the reviews, etc.
It can be overwhelming. Personally, as a 30-something year old traveler, I look for certain amenities:
- free breakfast
- free Wi-Fi
- a lock box in the room
- reviews that state the place is safe
When booking rooms, I always check out Agoda.com first. Their website is simple to use, and they have great prices. They also have a rewards system that allows you to collect cash for your next booking. It’s a very generous system.
Next, you’ll want to find things to do. This is a vacation after all, right?
Whenever I travel, I never leave home without the app called ‘Klook‘. This app has been so helpful in helping me plan everything from SIM cards, to airport transportation, to activities and meals.
More info to come soon!