5 Websites That Make Your Vacations Cheaper

On my last vacation, I almost got myself a $1,200-a-night suite. I pulled out my MoneySmart name card, explained that I was a world famous blogger, and that I expected a fair discount (of around $1,200 a night). I was able to lock myself in the room for 15 minutes before I was upgraded. To high security in the local jail, that is. After that experience, I figured it’s best to turn to more, um, specialized websites for my vacation discounts:


Great Wall of China

“Eh, where’s the toilet ah?”


1. The Luxe Nomad

The Luxe Nomad has listings for hotels in South East Asia. Bali, Laos, Malaysia, all the places with nice beaches and too many Australians. And while hotel listings are nothing new, the Luxe Nomad has money saving flash sales.

During a flash sale, listed hotels cut their prices by as much as 40%. So a $1006-a-night room might become a more affordable $610 a night. These aren’t like the budget hotels I’m always forced into either (i.e. not so much hotel rooms as potential sets for a Psycho remake). Some of the Luxe Nomad’s listings, such as the Cape Sienna and Sukothai, are luxury names.


Big rocks on the water

Pictured: The only cheaper rooms you’ll find in Thailand. Nice though, huh?


The site also lists upcoming flash sales, in addition to what’s there.  I don’t know how far ahead these go, but it looks to be around two weeks. If you’re not the sort to over-plan vacations, that short period isn’t a big deal.

Just follow the sales, and see where they take you (Spoiler: Smashed on a bar floor and wondering who took your wallet. But it was awesome fun).


2. Kayak

As you can tell from the name, Kayak is all about airline tickets. See the connection? Planes? Little boats powered by oars and grunts? Yeah, neither do I.



We were inspired by the average budget airline. As in this kayak could get there faster.


Anyway, Kayak is a functional as it is unglamorous. The site aggregates flight information from other sites, like Travelocity and CheapOair; then it lumps the results on one page. That does for plane tickets what SmartLoans.sg does for home loans. To use it, just head over there and enter your flight details: Where you’re going, when you’re going, what class (I’m told mine is “none whatsoever”), and you’re set.

Kayak also recently added car rentals and hotels. If you’ve tested Kayak for these purposes, do comment and let us know how it went. For more in-depth updates on air travel, follow us on Facebook; we’ll look at the issue in a future article.


3. airbnb

What is it with travel sites and bizzarely irrelevant names? Oh wait, airbnb stands for Air Bed and Breakfast. Which considering it’s a vacation rental site, still falls under 50% on Ryan’s “Scale of Making Sense”.


Dinner table suspended off the ground by a crane

The first Air Bed and Breakfast had uncomfortable beds, and tended to block pigeon migration.


I’ve mentioned in another article why vacation rentals have been all the rage these past years. If you’re adventurous, on a tight budget, and are handy with an axe should you end up trapped in a psycho’s log cabin, go rental!

Just enter where you want to go at the title screen (let’s try Iraq, that’s pretty popular). And look, there a listing for where you can rent there. If you skip the more exotic options (you can hire castles on this site), you can usually find a guest house or apartment cheaper than a hotel.

In my experience (grand total of twice), a vacation rental room cost about $80 per night, which beats most hotel rates.


4. Your Various Coupon Services


Eye inspection

I see fine, but could you add a touch of myopia? There’s a Groupon voucher for contact lenses today.


I’m talking about services like Groupon. And if you haven’t heard of Groupon before, do show me the secret portal to your secluded other dimension. But just in case:

Groupon gives you discounts on a daily basis. These are sort of “flash discounts”, which are valid for that day only. The service is free. What a lot of people forget to do is to set the relevant city. So if you’re going to Montreal, for example, you want to unsubscribe, then re-subscribe with Montreal as the city.

Yeah it’s a bit awkward, but it’s not like you’re losing anything. Anyway, coupon services usually ensure that there’s at least one dining offer going on; that might save you some money on meals. Especially if you’re gone for a couple of weeks on end.


5. DirectAsia Travel Insurance


Tons of luggage reaching the ceiling

“Why no sir, there aren’t any bags missing from the check-out.”


DirectAsia is actually an insurance company. By staying online, they reduce the cost of their premiums.

DiretAsia’s travel insurance has some interesting alternatives:

  • An annual plan for frequent travellers; so you don’t have to buy each time
  • Play with the coverage to only get the protection you need (e.g. remove coverage for personal belongings, if you just have one backpack of junk)
  • Get special rates if you insure a group or family

You can get coverage in a matter of minutes. So even if you’re leaving this weekend, just take about 5 – 10 minutes to look at their quotes.

Image Credits:
IvanWalsh.com, Jason Cartwright, natalielucier, Annie Mole, roger momaertsrobefs

What are your favourite sites for budget travel? Comment and let us know!

Get more Personal Finance tips and tricks on www.MoneySmart.sg

Click to Compare Singapore Home Loans, Car Insurance and Credit Cards on our other sites.

More From MoneySmart

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a movement in the West Valley Fault. The West Valley Fault has moved four times in the past 1,400 years at an interval …

  • Subaru XV now priced among sedans
    Subaru XV now priced among sedans

    Motor Image Philipinas (MIP), the authorized distributor of Subaru in the country, has positioned its brand new crossover SUV, the Subaru XV, well within the sedan segment’s price range. This move, according to MIP, was made to give the public an opportunity to experience the brand’s unique automotive technologies by lowering its price. Buyers of […] The post Subaru XV now priced among sedans appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options