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10 Cost-saving Tips Every Traveller Will Need For Their Year End Holiday

According to Booking.com's latest research on the travel trends of 2023, budget-savvy travelling is among the top trends, with 68% of travellers paying close attention to how much they plan to spend and when they actually spend during their trips. Despite the ongoing economic and energy crises, 50% of the respondents still believe that investing in a vacation is a top priority.

 

So it is all about striking a balance between saving and spending while you’re planning for your holidays. Here are a couple of tips on how to save on your year-end vacation while enjoying it.

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10 Cost-saving Tips When Travelling During The Holiday Period

By starting your trip preparation with early planning and bookings, it will allow you more time to do research and compare prices for the best deals and discounts. This enables you to make informed decisions, find cost-effective options, and take advantage of early booking discounts, ultimately saving money by securing the most affordable flights, accommodations, and activities.

Renowned travel portals like Agoda, Booking.com, and Expedia are convenient and great options to compare prices for all your travel needs. Many portals offer package deals, bundling flights and hotels, which can result in cost savings. 

On the other hand, booking directly with airlines, hotels, and rental car companies eliminates middleman fees and commissions associated with travel portals. Booking directly with airlines can also allow you to accrue frequent flyer miles and loyalty points.

When you book directly with airlines, hotels and rental car companies or via some online platforms, they usually provide best-price guarantees in their seasonal offers. These guarantees ensure that you secure the lowest available rate for your accommodation, flight, or service. 

An example is Google Flights, which can help you keep track of any price drops by sending you up-to-date email notifications with price guarantees (depending on your selected country and currency in the Google Flights app.

Cheaper flight tickets, accommodation bookings and even attraction tickets are definitely one of the best parts of travelling during off-peak seasons. Besides, you'll get to immerse yourself better in the local culture without having to tolerate the tourist crowds. So, try going to a popular destination that is well known for its winter activities in the summer or autumn, visit a place that is known for its summer activities during their winter season instead, or head to the tropics during the rainy season, and you’ll be surprised with what you’ll find.

Buses, trams, subways and even bicycles are often affordable, especially in urban areas. For example, in many European cities, you can use public transport to explore at a fraction of the cost of taxis or rental cars. You can even try carpooling and ridesharing through credible services like UberPool, Lyft Line, or carpooling apps, which can significantly cut down transportation expenses and help you avoid the danger and high costs of unmetered taxis.
Bringing just your carry-on backpack to go on your vacation can help you minimise or have no check-in baggage at all. This will shave off some cost from your airline ticket booking as you won’t have to pay for check-in baggage. Moreover, having less backpack or luggages will help you avoid attracting attention from pickpockets and save you the cost of losing your baggage.
Several budget-friendly accommodation options around the world, similar to Airbnb, offer cost-effective and unique lodging experiences as compared to the usual hotels. Besides Airbnb, platforms like Vrbo and HomeAway offer a range of rental properties, from apartments to cottages, often at lower prices than hotels. Camping or renting an RV can also offer budget-friendly accommodation options, especially in national parks and scenic areas.

With the year-end holidays nearing, the probability of terrorism threats may increase, and the likelihood of natural disasters occuring may be higher due to the impending winter storms in regions like North America and East Asia.


You’ll need to be prepared for such situations with travel insurance. You can either buy your travel insurance directly from your preferred travel insurer’s website or tap on travel insurance comparison platforms like MoneySmart’s travel insurance comparison tool which offer promo codes that help you save on your premiums.

Time your visit with local festivals, parades, or cultural events that are often free and offer a taste of local traditions. Besides beaches or parks which offer free access, you can even seek out historic sites and landmarks, some of which are open to the public at no cost.
Besides redeeming your air miles for free or discounted flights, you may want to leverage on the accumulated reward points earned from your credit card usage to help you to shave off some travel expenses for free stays at your preferred hotel or accommodation.

Using a mix of credit cards during your trip can help you get air miles, cashback, free flights, hotel stays, dining rewards, or other benefits. If you can’t decide between cashback or miles, the DBS Vantage VISA Infinite Card allows you to switch your rewards flexibly between up to 2.2 miles per S$1 spent or 2.2% cashback.

As for generous welcome air miles, the UOB PRVI VISA Miles Card offers 50,000 air miles upon sign-up, the most generous in our list to date. Find out on MoneySmart's Best Credit Card for Overseas Spending and compare different credit cards and their perks while you decide on the most cost-effective ones for your trip.

Best Travel Insurance For Your Year-end Holiday

MoneySmart Exclusive
$35,000 Lucky Draw | Best Value Plan
MoneySmart Exclusive
$35,000 Lucky Draw | Best Value Plan

Starr TraveLead Comprehensive Silver

Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$500,000
Trip Cancellation
S$10,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$5,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$48.3650% Off
S$24.18

[Score a Rolex, Apple iPhone, MVST Luggage & More! | FLASH DEAL]
  
• Enjoy 50% off your policy premium
• Get an Eskimo Global 1GB eSIM with every policy purchased.
• Additionally, receive up to S$50 via PayNow OR 1 x Apple AirTag (worth S$45.40) and up to S$20 iShopChangi e-vouchers with eligible premiums spent. T&Cs apply.
  
BONUS: For a limited time only, there are over S$19,600 worth of gifts to be given away:
1x Rolex Oyster Perpetual - 124200 34mm Silver (worth S$9,000)
1x Apple iPhone 15 Pro 128GB (worth S$1,664.25)
5x MVST TREK Aluminium Large Suitcase (worth S$790)
1x Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones (worth S$589) and many more!
Increase your chances of winning when you refer friends today. T&Cs apply
  
PLUS, score S$100 iShopChangi vouchers in our giveaway on top of existing rewards. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 19 Jun 2024
MoneySmart Exclusive
Best Medical Coverage
MoneySmart Exclusive
Best Medical Coverage

Allianz Travel Silver

Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$500,000
Trip Cancellation
S$5,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$3,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$4657% Off
S$19.78

[GIVEAWAY | Receive your cash as fast as 30 days*]
 
• Enjoy an exclusive 57% off your policy premium
• Get an Eskimo Global 1GB eSIM with every policy purchased.
• Additionally, receive up to S$40 via PayNow and up to S$20 iShopChangi e-vouchers with eligible premiums spent. T&Cs apply.
 
PLUS, score S$100 iShopChangi vouchers in our giveaway on top of existing rewards. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 30 Jun 2024
MoneySmart Exclusive
$35,000 Lucky Draw | Most Comprehensive
MoneySmart Exclusive
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MSIG TravelEasy Standard

Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$250,000
Trip Cancellation
S$5,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$3,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$3840% Off
S$22.80

[Score a Rolex, Apple iPhone, MVST Luggage & More! | MoneySmart Exclusive]
    
• Enjoy up to 40% off your policy premium
• Get an Eskimo Global 1GB eSIM with every policy purchased.
• Additionally, receive up to S$45 via PayNow OR 1 x Apple AirTag (worth S$45.40) and up to S$20 iShopChangi e-voucher with eligible premiums spent. T&Cs apply.
   
BONUS: For a limited time only, there are over S$19,600 worth of gifts to be given away:
1x Rolex Oyster Perpetual - 124200 34mm Silver (worth S$9,000)
1x Apple iPhone 15 Pro 128GB (worth S$1,664.25)
5x MVST TREK Aluminium Large Suitcase (worth S$790)
1x Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones (worth S$589) and many more!
Increase your chances of winning when you refer friends today. T&Cs apply
    
PLUS, score S$100 iShopChangi vouchers in our giveaway on top of existing rewards. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 19 Jun 2024
MoneySmart Exclusive
$35,000 Lucky Draw | Add-on Covid-19 Coverage
MoneySmart Exclusive
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FWD Business

Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$500,000
Trip Cancellation
S$10,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$5,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$29.0725% Off
S$21.80

[Score a Rolex, Apple iPhone, MVST Luggage & More! | MoneySmart Exclusive]
      
• Enjoy up to 25% off your policy premium.
• Get S$20 iShopChangi e-voucher and Eskimo Global 1GB eSIM with every policy purchased. T&Cs apply.
      
BONUS: For a limited time only, there are over S$19,600 worth of gifts to be given away:
1x Rolex Oyster Perpetual - 124200 34mm Silver (worth S$9,000)
1x Apple iPhone 15 Pro 128GB (worth S$1,664.25)
5x MVST TREK Aluminium Large Suitcase (worth S$790)
1x Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones (worth S$589) and many more!
Increase your chances of winning when you refer friends today. T&Cs apply
      
PLUS, score S$100 iShopChangi vouchers in our giveaway on top of existing rewards. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 30 Jun 2024
MoneySmart Exclusive
Most efficient claims for flight delay
MoneySmart Exclusive
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S$500,000
Travel Cancelation
S$5,000
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S$2,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$3440% Off
S$20.40

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Valid until 30 Jun 2024
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$250,000
Trip Cancellation
S$5,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$3,000
Total Premium
final-price

Check Out The Best Travel Insurance in Singapore

Best Travel Insurance Benefits Coverage For Holiday In Southeast Asia

Best Travel Insurance For Travel insurance planEstimated premium rate
Overall good valueBubblegum travel insurance plansFrom $34
Budget travelFWD Premium planFrom $22
Flight diversion/cancellation/postponementSinglife Travel Plus and Prestige plansFrom $51
Overseas medical coverageAllianz travel insurance plansFrom $36
Pre-existing conditionsMSIG TravelEasy Pre-Ex plansFrom $44.50
FamilyDirectAsia travel insurance plansFrom $30
Elderly

Tiq Pre-Ex travel insurance plans by Etiqa

From $27
Travelling while pregnantMSIG TravelEasy Pre-Ex plans From $44.50
Extreme sportsStarr TraveLead Comprehensive plansFrom $30
COVID-19 coverageAIG Travel Guard plansFrom $38
*Estimated premium rates are based on a 4D3N single trip plan to a Southeast Asian country, data last updated in October 2023.

Best Travel Insurance Benefits Coverage For Travelling To Europe

Best for Travel insurance plan Estimated premium rate
Overall good value Bubblegum travel insurance plansFrom $193
Budget travelFWD Premium planFrom $84
Flight diversion/cancellation/postponementSinglife Travel Plus and Prestige plansFrom $173 (Singlife Travel Lite is from $119, most basic tier which excludes free cancellation benefit)
Pre-existing conditionsMSIG TravelEasy Pre-Ex plansFrom $181
Overseas medical coverageAllianz travel insurance plansFrom $180
Elderly

Tiq Pre-Ex travel insurance plans by Etiqa

From $230
FamilyDirectAsia travel insurance plansFrom $97
Travelling while pregnantMSIG TravelEasy Pre-Ex plans From $181
Extreme sportsStarr TraveLead Comprehensive plansFrom $81
COVID-19 coverageAIG Travel Guard plansFrom $140
*Estimated premium rates are based on a 14-day single trip plan to Europe, data last updated in October 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get discounts or the best prices when booking my airline tickets, accommodations and other travel necessities?

Start with comparing prices on travel portals like Agoda, Booking.com, and Expedia for all your travel needs. Many portals offer package deals, bundling flights and hotels, which can result in cost savings.


If you book directly with airlines, hotels and rental car companies, look out best-price guarantees in their seasonal offers. These guarantees ensure that you secure the lowest available rate for your accommodation, flight, or service. When you find a better deal elsewhere, the provider will most likely match it or refund the price difference.

What is the fastest way to get travel insurance coverage for my year-end trip?

The quickest way to get travel insurance is through your preferred travel insurance mobile app. Other ways include purchasing your travel insurance via an airline or travel insurance company’s website or by contacting your insurance agent. If you prefer to do it yourself via a comparison platform like MoneySmart, you’ll be able to do a quick comparison of the best rates available for you.

My trip is cancelled after I have purchased my travel insurance. Will I be able to get a refund?

Yes and no, this depends on when you submit your trip cancellation request and the departure date of your trip. Most travel insurance companies will accept your claim if your request and the valid reason for cancellation is submitted within 30 days of your departure.