I would like to share a few travel Money making/Saving hacks here from my personal experience:
- Do you know that you can get paid for flight delays over 4 hours? On the 29th of September, Turkish airline delayed my flight by 33 hours. Even though they accommodated us in a 4 star hotel and took “care” of us, I got to my destination and filed claims. I tweeted and my hotel in Istanbul were livid at this (Apparently, Turkey is building a world class tourist impression to the World and no one should mess it up) and called Turkish Airline. I got a Value of 600 Euro which I could either take as cash or as miles etc. I could have gotten more given the long duration of the delay but I had no strength for further fighting. Went to redeem this value a few days ago.
2. If you shop abroad ensure to go to Customs for Tax Refund at the airport on your way out to get your money back. Some countries will want to see your purchases and the receipts must be stamped, some others like Switzerland believe in people and honesty. They don’t need to see what you bought. You don’t want to be paying tax in another man’s country.
3. Take advantage of offers, promos, clubs etc that Services provide. For e.g I joined Miles and Smiles for Turkish airlines and have accumulated a lot of miles and will smile soon. I saw on booking.com that a referral entitles you to some discount on next booking and some discount too for for the person referred. I made use of this. At some point during my sojourn, I wanted to go to a less busy place, more like the countryside in Netherlands, So I chose somewhere called Almere. I decided to use airBnB so I could experience living in a home there also. My stay was originally to be for 3 days but at the end of the 2nd day I decided to go to another city. A nice message to my host and a promise to give her a good review did the trick for my cancellation refund. Even though I checked out 1hr late the next day as my decision to go somewhere else Was spontaneous, I got a refund later from airbnb by negotiating with the host.
I stayed in a couple good hotels over time and somehow had accumulated some points. Good thing I read my mails to see this. I used these points to get a room in Park inn by Radisson in Amsterdam for 1day and paid for another. 1 free day is a lot.
I got a $25 voucher from airBnB last year for a trip from last year. I booked and paid for a room somewhere in Paris and didn’t show. I was called to ask why I didn’t show and I explained that it wasn’t the center of town and I needed to stay somewhere at the center of town. I tried to call the host but we couldn’t communicate properly due to language barrier and so Airbnb apologized and gave me a coupon for the above value. I also got an Uber refund and $15 voucher last year in Paris because of same. Uber driver and I couldn’t communicate.
3. For those who like to do tours with guides or go to the famous places where they are, it’s always best to buy packages as they are cheaper. Buy a package that has let’s say 3 activities in 1 instead of buying them individually.( I personally unravel cities my self and hardly do tours)
4. If you fly European flights, you will always have to pay for your additional luggage separately. It is cheaper by a whopping 50% to do this online than over the counter.
5. Water is expensive. The cheaper alternative is to get a carry on bottle that keeps water at a certain temperature, around town you may see free water vending machines (very hard to see these though)I see people get water from the sinks in rest rooms also but the Nigerian in me thinks it yuck..so I can’t do this. The math is, Water can cost up to 8 Euro/bottle however the rest room may cost 50 cents to use. All outlets close to city centers or tourist attractions sell more expensive. This is basic logic. If you have activities close to tourist attractions best come prepared.
A typical example is when I was in Dubrovnik. So water near my hotel was 5Kunas however near the old city I bought a croissant and needed water and the shop was selling for 14Kunas. Upset at the price difference I left without buying.
Less than 1 hour later, heavily dehydrated and climbing the walls of the old city, A vendor had strategically set up a shop up there. Water was 21Kunas! Guess who bought for fear of dying??!
6. As for food 🙄🙄🙆🏾 if you do conversions to Naira, you may not eat. I tried to get hotels that offer free breakfast, sometimes the difference isn’t much. And you get to eat enough as you may need the calories if you will be out scavenging the city most part of the day. There’s also the option of buying food from Supermarkets rather than restaurants. I met some Moroccan friends who would buy everything needed to make sandwiches and do it themselves cutting down their cost by more than half as compared to buying ready made ones from supermarkets and comparing with buying from restaurants the price difference is huuugee. Still, the perks of travel should include eating freshly made meals by chefs in restaurants if food is your thing….
7. Also, if you can afford it, it may be best to get hotels that offer shuttle services from the airport. Coming in tired and probably with luggages, you may not want to start looking for trams, buses, trains, Uber etc to take you to your accommodation plus you get to save money. If you use airbnb you never know what your host may be capable of doing for you for free or a small token. It’s best to take advantage of these things.
It’s in the little things. I find that service providers outside our shores do more are more flexible and keep their word. They are very customercentric and avoid legal actions.
Save a dollar, gain a penny here and there if and when the situation arises.
Look out for more posts from me in the coming days…See ya!