Paying for unnecessary stuff is not cool. Additional service fees and charges add up in your travel expenses. Here are 7 easy ways to cut travel expenses by up to 50%.

Be alert on seat sale (save 30-50%)

Simple. You’ll be one of the first few people who gets notified for any promotions, seat sales, and discounts.

Social media is not even enough. You have to subscribe via email so that you will receive all updates straight to your inbox. And yes, check your emails frequently and book in advance.

Related: 7 Lessons On A Trip To Boracay

Here’s the membership page for Philippine Airlines, (aka Mabuhay Miles), CebuPacific (aka GetGo) and AirAsia. On top of the newsletters, you can also earn points/miles for every flight that you can redeem later on.

But take note, on some occasions discounted round-trip tickets doesn’t even save you since they are just playing the numbers.

Here’s the scenario: a destination trip is 70% off but the return trip is 170% more expensive which makes it a break even. Crazy but true. You are not saving a dime.


In this case, you can search other return flights from other airlines to avoid the sale scam. I have done this many times already and it saved me a reasonable amount of money.

I don’t normally buy tickets at regular prices. Why would I when I can have it 30-50% off?

Be flexible on your travel dates (save 30-50%)

Most of the time you are not really particular on your travel dates unless it is intended for the honeymoon, birthday or spur-of-the-moment trips. I do not personally recommend the latter, by the way.

Related: Cut Travel Expenses by 50%

Major airlines are targeting promotions during off-peak season to major destinations. Hence you are leaving money on the table if you really wish to go to Boracay on Labor Day to catch the #LaBoracay party.

April and May are when ticket prices skyrocket caused by the excessive desire of wanderlusts to go out during summer.

Skip all the travel package deals (save 20%)

Travel agencies sprout like mushrooms in social media nowadays. Countless travel deals are thrown away every single day and man, they are enticing.

If you want to save on your travel expenses, by all means, avoid them.

Travel packages are unreasonably expensive and less customized. You pay more for less and the service is on par with normal.

Related: Offbeat Things To Do in Boracay

Since they also exist for business, they are charging stellar prices for added service of organizing air and land transfer, food, and accommodation. Why pay when you can do it anyway?

But don’t get me wrong. Travel packages are still great if you want a hassle-free journey.

Call the hostel directly (save 20%

Another item often overlooked is the accommodation. In the past year, I was solely using travel apps like AirBnb and Expedia for booking hostels. It saved me a lot rather than staying at expensive hotels.

But lately, I just found out I could even save more by calling the hostel directly via landline or cellular number and it saved me even more.

Here’s how:

  1. Search for cheap accommodations through the Expedia app.
  2. Once you find the name of the hostel, Google it and get the contact number.
  3. Most of the hostels have cellular numbers so call them directly and boom, you’re booked instantly!

I have tried this already when I went to Davao. I found out that Expedia is charging 20% more on the room rates! That is how much I saved times the number of days I stayed. Big savings.


Ditch the taxi (save 80%)

Transportation is one of the challenges while traveling. Sometimes when you are lost there is no other way but to ride a cab and tell the driver to go to the nearest SM. I know, I tried this already. An emergency is an exception.

In normal conditions, avoid riding a taxi for not only it is expensive but most drivers exploit the opportunity of overcharging you – either through scammy taxi meters or stellar flat rates.

Related: Amazing Camping Experience in Borawan

Ride the public transportation (used by locals) instead – jeepney, tricycle or pedicab. Don’t act like a tourist but a local.

And for any questions you have in mind, ask a local. 90% of the time they will help you.

It also pays to be bargaining all the time. Few bucks saved when accumulated is worth a hundred.

Eat where the locals go (save 40-60%)

You can stretch your travel budget by simply choosing where to eat. If you want to go to a famous resto you’ve been dying to go to, do it just once for the sake of experience but not on your entire 3 days 2 nights stay.

Take note that travel isn’t food alone and not all delicious foods are expensive.

When I went to El Nido it was really one of my itineraries to go to Altrove Restaurant – an Italian restaurant famous for its brick oven pizza.

It was a bit expensive but it was really worth it. Just one dinner (for experience sake) and I never went there again.

Be safe (priceless)

Accidents are more expensive than being safe. Should have put this on top of the list but I didn’t because you would think this is very obvious.

It is but not really when you’re high and stoked. Think again.

Although accidents are inevitable, we can decrease (or even eliminate) the likelihood to happen. One of the best ways to do this is to be mindful on your surroundings.

You can’t expect to be safe if you go alone 1 AM in the morning in the outskirts with lots of drunk locals. Not a good idea.

Likewise, it doesn’t make sense if you wear jewelry and show it off publicly. You might not be wearing it again.

Mindfulness is being aware in the present with yourself and with other people. Of course, this shouldn’t interfere with your activities. You should know it yourself if it is not safe (then you need to avoid) so it won’t cause you any harm.

Bonus: Do you have a Life Insurance? (priceless)

This is not to exaggerate. We will never know when a serious incident hits us – maybe not at this time (who wants to?) but eventually, it will.

Life insurance should be one of your priorities. Yes, on top of your future business and travel plans. Here’s why.

Life insurance will save you and your children from any unlikely incidents that will affect your family financially.

Think about being laid off from work, health conditions or accidents (from travel or by other means) that may affect your income. Life insurance can help you with that.

If you want to know more, hit me an email and I can give you a free quote.


Travel is part of life. We go into places and immerse onto experiences to rejuvenate us from the daily grind. Travel, however, is expensive and requires ample budget and preparation.

If we all just go travel right away without proper planning (and saving), we might be spending on unnecessary things that will blow up the travel budget and will affect our nest egg.

Proper planning and saving is a “must” for a worry-free trip. Do you have any other tips not mentioned in this post? Please leave a comment below.

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Written byPaul Dabuco
I’m Paul Dabuco, the man behind Juan Investor, one of the top personal finance blogs in the Philippines. I’m passionate about investing and digital marketing. When I’m not blogging, I’m either tinkering on my clients’ Facebook ads or beachbumming. You can read more about me.

Leave a comment

  1. Paul Dabuco 12/01/2016 at 05:05 - Reply

    You are welcome, Justin. Thanks for visiting my blog

  2. Anonymous 12/01/2016 at 04:23 - Reply

    Very well thought, simple yet effective tips! Couldn't thank you more enough

    – Justin

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