Save money whilst on the road


By Fay Gaffigan for Yahoo! Travel

Let's face it - travelling is an expensive hobby, and when you travel to some of the most expensive cities in Asia, you gotta make attempts to cut back, to make sure you don't have to starve the last few days of your trip. Here's how:


Singapore's one of the most expensive cities in the world, but it's also convenient, beautiful, and you gotta experience the wonders of a city state. Singapore residents also love their gadgets, so if you've got a smartphone, you're in luck. If you're intending to save money when travelling in a group in Singapore, download a free app called Pointpal onto your Android or iPhone.

Pointpal is basically a loyalty application - for example, if the bunch of you are travelling together and want some local fare, hit The Chicken Rice Shop at VivoCity before you take the monorail over to Sentosa. Get stamps when you make your purchases there and the 7th chicken rice is free. You don't have to have seven plates of chicken rice in one sitting, of course - it's pretty addictive so you can keep coming back. Pointpal has a plethora of merchants on their loyalty programme - from Vietnamese restaurants, to coffee joints to bars and eateries that offer wicked discounts on their booze.

Also, ladies, if you're out to party in Singapore, make sure you hit prime party district, Clarke Quay on Wednesday nights, which is ladies night. Entry is free, and some spots even offer free booze, amongst other things. Why not?!


Tokyo has always been known to be one of the most expensive places in the world, but you can travel on a more humble budget there if you choose. There's always the famed capsule hotels - where you have your own little cocoon to sleep in. For those who get claustrophobic, try staying in a Minshuku, which are reasonably priced Japanese-style B&B inns. If you can't afford to stay in a ryokan (Japanese inn), consider staying in a minshuku. The experience is definitely worth its price.

If you're looking to shop in the city, June, July, and January are basically the best months to find clearance sales: Japan's store sales are held biannually. Major department stores and shopping malls around the country run winter clearance sales from late December through January and summer clearance sales from late June through July.

Of course, you can also head straight for the 100-Yen Plaza, a chain of discount shops mushrooming throughout Japan. When you run out of toothpaste, need a new pair of underwear, or are looking for that perfect souvenir, like a set of Hello Kitty chopsticks, this is the place to come. And they have everything you can possibly think of. They've got shampoo, nail polish, batteries, umbrellas, Mickey Mouse watches. Gotta love the Japanese.

Hong Kong

While Hong Kong's markets are great for shopping up a storm, the city is also a fantastic spot to party. According to entrepreneurs Kate Tan and Maisha Miranda, the brains behind shopping site,, "you can always find a good party spot around Lan Kwai Fong. The more crowded it is, the cheaper it is."

Girls have it easy in Hong Kong, according to the duo who frequent Hong Kong for their buying trips and meetings with fashion designers, and spend the rest of their time in the city shopping and partying. "Dress up," Kate advises, "you're more likely to be let in for free into clubs if you're dressed up to the nines and look like you're ready to break it down and have a good time."

Maisha adds, "If you haven't been lucky enough to be born female, start your night early and start hitting the cars and clubs by 9 or 10 and make use of the happy hour deals. By the time the crowd comes in, you'll be happily inebriated and ready for a good night."