Planning on going for a holiday? A few things to consider are where you want to go, how to get there, and whether you can afford to do so! Nowadays, budget airlines (and their threat to regular airlines) have made flying the easiest and often cheapest way to travel, especially if you’re headed overseas. But sometimes when you see some of the charges that crop up, it doesn’t seem like such a ‘deal’ anymore. We at SaveMoney.my understand this pain and have come up with some top tips to help you reduce the costs of flying.
Tip 1 – Book in advance
Unless you are booking package holidays, book flights early. Business travelers will often pay top dollar at the last minute, so airlines hike prices closer to the day. Therefore try to book your flights as soon as possible which could save you hundreds of Ringgit per flight.
Tip 2 – Use a credit card associated with an airline
By using a credit card that offers benefits when flying with a particular airline, you get to save money in a couple of ways. First, some cards earn you extra points or miles when purchasing a ticket. For example, the Maybankard 2 American Express Credit Card gives you 5x points and cashback on a weekend (of course, you have to remember to only buy your flights on a Saturday or Sunday!).
Meanwhile, some airlines might charge you a ‘card handling fee’ or ‘card processing fee’ for Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit cards. However, some airlines waive these fees if you use a related card (such as AirAsia and their BIG prepaid credit card) which means you can avoid paying this additional credit card charge – extremely handy if you are a frequent traveler.
Tip 3 – Be careful of travel insurance
Protection is never a bad thing, though insurance policies sold with flights are often overpriced. Sometimes the cost of your insurance can be more than 2 or 3 times the cost of your flight so think about it! SaveMoney.my’s advice: you can usually get travel insurance for a fraction of the cost elsewhere.
Also beware of certain airline sites that have it set as a default and require you to un-check a box (or something similar) in order to remove the policy. Before purchasing your ticket, always ensure that you are paying the right amount.
Tip 4 – Avoid seat selection / Plan your baggage allowance
If you are not fussy about your seat, avoid paying the ‘additional fee’ for seat selection. Some airlines can charge up to RM50 per seat booking so do be aware of these charges.
If you intend to have check-in luggage, make sure you plan in advance how much you will need to check in. If you think you may need to bring oversized items or extra kilos on your way, make sure you book it in advance, otherwise having excess baggage not included in your ticket at the airport can raise astronomical charges.
Now enjoy your holiday, knowing that you have saved money!