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Travel & Holiday

There’s room for savings

Find more affordable ways to accommodate your needs
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - April 13, 2011
By: Sheila Lim
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There’s room for savings

Aside from airfare, lodging is usually the other expense item making up the bulk of a holiday budget. But there’s no need to chalk up hotel stays of $100 or more during your entire trip – here are some ways to trim down your accommodation costs:

  • Alternate hotel stays with more affordable accommodation options. Besides backpackers’ inns, motels, hostels, homestays, pensions, B&Bs (bed-and-breakfast), camping lodges and hospitality exchange programmes, the wide variety of options includes houseboats in places like Kashmir, Kerala and Amsterdam, and kibbutz hotels, holiday villages and country lodgings in Israel.

The main highlight of staying in homes, farmhouses and other privately-owned properties is the personal attention you will be accorded. You’ll also get a true taste of the local ways of life. However, you must be prepared for “culture shocks”, and be respectful of the local customs, traditions and social etiquettes.

Do some homework before your trip to shortlist alternatives to suit your needs, preferences and budget.

  • Another way to save on accommodation costs is to surf the Internet for last-minute offers. Many hotels give discounts on their unsold rooms and sell them through specialist booking agents (these special rates are usually not advertised by the hotels themselves as guests who have paid full rates would obviously be displeased). Such agents can save you money as well as legwork, especially in larger cities, as they can help you contact hotels within their network for accommodation within your budget.
  • If your destination is somewhat out of the way, like a small town or village, you have good chances of finding affordable accommodation options upon arrival as these are not likely to be listed on the Internet.
  • You could also check with the locals which hotels/pensions have opened recently upon arriving at your destination. Being “new kids on the block”, such facilities will usually offer incentives, better services and/or lower rates to fill their beds.

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