From hotel bookings to packing ideas, we’ve put together our top 10 tips and tricks that could save you a little hassle and dough for your next holiday getaway.
1. Book your flight and room together
These days you can get incredible discounts when you book your flight and hotel room together. However, do bear in mind that cancellations are typically not permitted. While this may hamper your travel flexibility, it will save you quite a bit if your dates are firmed up. To check out such packages, log on to online travel agents such as ZUJI.
2. Check out the new kids on the block
Brand loyalty might be pretty beneficial if you’re a frequent traveller. But if you aren’t, try checking out newly opened hotels instead. These new spots typically have lots of empty rooms, and they’d be more than willing to offer free upgrades or throw in a few freebies to build their customer base. Being new, they’d naturally want to encourage returning customer or get guests to talk about their fabulous service.
3. Try checking-in late
This is one of the few instances where the early bird will (probably) not get the worm. As the day goes in, front desk agents will have a better sense of occupancy for the night or the next few days. By checking-in later in the day, there may be more room for you to negotiate an upgrade. Alternatively, try making booking during the off peak periods or even weekdays as there’s typically more open rooms during those times.
However, do try to avoid asking with other guests around, as they will not want to start a chain reaction. So play smart and be discrete when inquiring about upgrades. Don’t forget to be polite when doing do, a little smile with some Ps and Qs can sometimes go a long way.
4. Go long
For hotels, it’s less work for them to keep one customer than constantly turnover a room. So if you’re staying at a hotel for over a week, reach out to the hotel directly to share the length of your stay. That way, you may be able to negotiate a better deal with them.
5. Share your special occasion in advance
If you’re making a booking for a special occasion, like a honeymoon, birthday or anniversary, don’t be afraid to let the hotel staff know. Part of hospitality is to make your stay the best possible and many hotels tend to give complementary upgrades to celebrate your special occasion. So you if you’re lucky enough you might find yourself in a surprise deluxe suite with champagne and chocolates awaiting your arrival.
6. Stream media to your hotel TV
You’re in the mood for a blockbuster movie, but you don’t want to pay for the hotel’s crazy pay-per-view fees. So what should you do? Ensure that you pack yourself a HDMI cord that allows you to plug one end into your mobile device and the other into the TV. Stream movies through your device, and switch the TV to HDMI mode, and voila! You’ve just saved yourself a little extra cash.
7. Stay powered
These days we travel with a wide range of devices. Between smartphones, tablets, gaming devices and music players, outlets can become prime in-room real estate. To save yourself from your electrical conundrum, make use of the USB input on the back of your room’s TV to charge your devices. Alternatively, be sure to pack a portable power strip so that you’ll have multiple plug points available at once.
8. Save that shower cap
Let’s face it, who really uses the hotel shower cap? Instead of its intended purpose, these nifty plastic wraps serve as great “shoe cases”. If you have sandy or dirty shoes you need to store in your luggage with your clothing, just make use of the free shower cap to pack your shoes. Not only will these prevent the icky stuff from getting into your suitcase, but also makes packing a lot neater as compared to regular plastic bags.
9. Turn the beat up
Looking for a little amplifier to turn up the volume for your smartphone’s vacation playlist? Just grab an empty drinking glass in the hotel room and place your smartphone within for an instant sound boost. Just remember not to crank the volume up too high that your neighbours call the front desk.
10. Keep a look out for deals
Follow travel agencies’ social media handles or subscribe to mailing lists to ensure you’re updated on the latest travel deals. If you’ve got flexible dates, you can also pounce on timed offers on travel coupon sites. But be sure to read the fine print before making your purchase, as most sites don’t offer refunds. However, there are the exceptional few such as ZUJI Exclusives that offer a full money back guarantee within 21 days of your purchase.
Another alternative is to keep your eyes peeled for flash sales and credit card promotions that can happen throughout the year. Don’t know where to start? Check out the OCBC Flash Sale with ZUJI here to snag your first deal!