11 Ways To Get Memorable Travel Adventures Without Breaking The Bank

A smart traveller would tell you that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

1. A smart traveller travels in groups

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Taking advantage of group discounts and splitting the bill for taxis, hotel rooms, and even tour guides can reduce your expenditure. So plan a trip with your friends, or if you're travelling alone, make friends with other like-minded holidaymakers and spend a day together.

2. A savvy traveller plans early and knows when airlines are offering discounts on airfares

The airline industry is very competitive in offering the lowest airfare to the most exotic destinations. Full-service airlines have also been seen offering cheaper airfare compared to budget carriers on certain flights during promotional periods. That's good news for you. Compare prices and travel dates of several airlines to score the cheapest flight and most convenient travel period.

3. A wise traveller travels off-season

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You get pretty good deals when you are travelling during the off-season period - enjoy the hotel at a fraction of the price and avoid the crowd. Just make sure that the weather is good!

For example, a resort in Disney World in the US would start at USD $77 during the low season of 1 January to 11 February, USD $99 during the regular season of 18 April to 28 August, and USD $109 during the peak season that occurs from 12 February to 17 April.

4. A careful traveller checks multiple hotel-booking sites before making a decision

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Hotel booking sites such as Agoda, Booking, and Expedia may charge different prices for the same hotel, be sure to check and compare prices before booking.

5. A slick traveller eats like a local

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Let's face it, hotel breakfasts are either overpriced, tasteless, or both. Leave the tourists spots and save the burgers and fries for home. Be adventurous, eat what the locals eat. Neighbourhood cafes and street food stalls are not only cheaper, they bring you a step closer to the culture too.

For instant, you can get cheap and delicious street food in Bangkok. The street is filled with pop-up food stalls serving fresh and tasty local favourites like the chicken mamasan curry and sticky rice and coconut milk with mango at local prices.

6. A bright traveller takes advantage of credit card deals

Credit cards typically offer good deals on air miles, discounts on hotels and overseas dining, offers on car rental, the list is endless. Better yet, apply for a travel rewards credit card and enjoy the special perks for frequent fliers.

For example, HSBC's Home and Away privilege programme has offers and rewards for travels around the world including 7% of Agoda hotel bookings worldwide, 10% off Hertz car rental, and special rates at hotels and spas with the HSBC credit card.

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7. An intelligent traveller never lets student, membership nor senior citizen discounts go to waste

Always pack your student card, ID and membership cards with you. In Europe, an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) gets you 35% discount off Eurail Trains Passes. In Egypt, students get 50% off the ticket price of historical sites, including the Pyramids of Giza while in Sri Lanka, citizens of South India gets a fraction of the price off heritage site like Srigiriya.

8. A bold traveller saves on accommodation by sleeping on overnight buses and trains

Consider taking the sleeper bus or train if you are going to be on it for 7 hours or more. Not only would you be saving daylight, you would also be saving money. Just pay a little more for a better grade of public transportation, carry a neck pillow with you, and snooze all the way till daylight.

9. A thrifty traveller never leaves the country before claiming the retail sales tax refunds

One of the joys of shopping as a foreigner is that you don't have to pay retail sales tax in certain countries. The names vary from country to country, but the concept is the same- In Australia it's called the Tourist Refund Scheme where you claim a refund of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Wine Equalisation Tax (WET); In the UK it's called the Value Added Tax (VAT) refund.

The regulations for claiming the tax refund differs for each country because there is usually a minimum spend amount imposed and a restriction on the types of products for which tax refunds can be claimed. The method of getting your refund varies too, but as a rule of thumb, bring your passport with you when you are shopping, look out for retailers that participate in tax-refund schemes, and arrive early at the airport or border crossing with the necessary documents and purchases to show the tax-refund counter.

10. A resourceful traveller knows where to get the best exchange rate

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According to TripAdvisor, money changers in Malaysia usually give a better a rate than Bureau deChange or banks. The same might not apply to every country. For places like Sri Lanka, travel site Just Landed advise against changing your currency at private money changers as it could be a scam. Many hotels and airports around the world do offer money exchange services for convenience but beware of high transaction charges. Save the hotel exchange services as your last option.

11. A knowing traveller goes to the grocery store

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Hotels, restaurants and touristic areas will overcharge you. Go to a local grocery store to stock up on bottled water or even bread and butter for a fuss-free breakfast.

Be a smart traveller and apply for a HSBC Credit Card. Stand to get a travel voucher and cashback worth up to RM1,250.

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