On Airline Seat Sales

11 November 2009

A little less than two weeks ago, Cebu Pacific had this crazy seal sale which enabled me to buy tickets for my Mom and three siblings from Manila to Singapore at less than 100 SGD. Take note that the price I mentioned was for all of them and it comes with free baggage allowance. How fun can that get right?

Now comes another crazy sale; Air Asia is giving away free seats. All you have to do is pay for the airport tax and a booking fee per sector and you are all set to fly to their numerous destinations. Full details below:

Picture 3

FREE SEATS ARE BACK!!

This seat sale is applicable for all flights of Air Asia – I confirmed this when I spoke just a while ago with my fraternity brethren who apparently booked a ticket for two persons going to London from Kuala Lumpur at only 2,600 MYR. 

Just a warning though, server might hang once in a while because of the number of people also wanting to get a piece of this promotion.

Oh yeah, when my family visits me here next year courtesy of the cheap tickets of Cebu Pacific, they will not be staying here in Singapore since they have been to this place previously. Instead I have booked us a ticket to Bali, this time courtesy of this promo from Air Asia.

I love these seat sales, I wonder who is next? Calling Jetstar and Tiger Airways, can you do something really BIG? 🙂

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On Packing Light…

14 October 2009

Whenever I wander around, there is dire need to pack lightly as I don’t usually buy any airline entitlement to bring any check-in baggage. Don’t blame me guys; not getting this will save me around 30 SGD on a roundtrip journey. My trusty 30L backpack is sufficient for me during most trips I went to.

this is traveling light - taken at the Thai border enroute to Siem Reap, Cambodia

this is traveling light - taken at the Thai border enroute to Siem Reap, Cambodia

Now let us all be honest and assess ourselves; some of us really don’t try to travel light and take far more than what we really need on our travels. I will try to share some insights I have regarding the topic on packing light.

The Bag:
  • If you are traveling in a budget airline, try to limit yourself to bringing only one piece of bag. Ensure that it is not too large so you can just carry it onboard – you can save on your trip from this!
  • If you really need to carry more than your hand carry allowance, try to avoid taking in a heavy luggage.

The Items:

  • Try to ask yourself on each item you can packing whether you really are going to use it. The key here is to bring the essential items only. As for me, I use to bring a book or two but I later realized that I never get the chance to read them anyway.
  • Leave some items that can be bought abroad (and sometimes this will even be cheaper) – case in point, we bought a 150 ml bottle of sunscreen here in Singapore for our trip to Phuket, Thailand only to find out that it cost around 30% less in our destination.
  • The bulk of your items will be on clothing; try to minimize what you bring by selecting clothes made of lightweight materials. If you need to warm yourself up, do so by layering your clothes. No need to bring bulky heavyweight items.
  • Some attractions require travelers to maintain modest dress requirements, particularly for women. A sarong should do for this, keep it handy if ever there is a need for you to enter a temple.
  • No need to bring 3 pairs of shorts! Believe me, one will do.
  • No need to bring lots of footwear. The important thing here is to bring the more comfortable pair. If you need to really bring two pairs, wear the heavier item and pack-in the lighter one.
  • Leave electronics such as hairdryers at home as these are available if you are booked in a hotel.
  • Gadget chargers – in this digital age, certain items are essential such as mobile phone, digicam and even laptop computer. If there is a need for you to bring charger for these, make sure you research beforehand the electric plug in your destination and get an adaptor if necessary. It is a bummer to bring these bulky chargers only to find out, you cannot use it because of plug incompatibility. CLICK HERE for an idea on what outlet plug to expect in your next destination.
  • Bring along a handy and light bag for use during the daytime. Use it to store items such as the guidebook, snacks and souvenir items.
  • Well if you really insist in bringing a book, try not to bring a volume of the Twilight Series… 🙂

It takes a while to master the art of packing light but it is not that hard really. As with most things in this world, it just takes practice, practice and more practice…

In the past, I have often ranted as to why I need a visa to countries such as Germany, USA, Canada, etc. There is a very high probability that if you are holding a travel document from the Philippines then you definitely need to apply for visa in these first world countries a few weeks prior to the actual trip. Even when then if you decide to apply, getting a visa is still dependent on the decision (or probably mood) of the consul of that particular country.

417px-Philippine_Machine_Readable_Passport_(maroon)

The current maroon Philippine machine-readable passport

The past few years though, I have come to appreciate my passport as it gives me visa-free access to countries in the region. Clearing immigration during past trips to Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos was a breeze; I just simply line up and answer a few questions and most importantly I didn’t have to pay for anything.

I have stumbled upon this page from Wikipedia, which outlined the countries, and territories in which a Filipino can have visa-free access or at the very least can apply for visa upon arrival. According to the article “it is estimated that 62 countries and territories (highlighted in blue and green patches in the map) granted visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to Philippine passport holders, while 41 countries and territories are visa free accessible.” All the areas in grey requires pre-arrival visa while the lone red patch is Iraq, a country in which Filipinos are prohibited from traveling. Click on the image below to be redirected into the webpage which outlined the complete list of these countries.

800px-PhilippineVisaFree

To my fellow Filipino readers, if you are planning a trip next time somewhere, do go back to the Wikipedia link above to find out whether or not you will be needing a visa beforehand.

If your passport is expiring soon, Nina of Just Wandering posted an article several weeks back on how to renew your Philippine passport in 30 minutes

Oh yeah, anyone planning on going to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro? Better start saving up as there is a free 90-day access for all of us… 😉

Pinoy Lah!

21 September 2009

Any plans of visiting us here in Singapore soon? Look no further and check Pinoy Lah – a new online project by the Singapore Tourism Board, which was launched yesterday at the Podium Mall in Mandaluyong.

click here to visit the website!

click here to visit the website!

Although this new website does not provide yet a very comprehensive list of what to do here in Singapore, the basic travel essentials as well as some travel stories should give every Filipinos an idea of what to expect in this small island state.

From a page in Pinoy Lah:

What’s LAH got to do with it?

You know how we use ‘Po’ and ‘Opo’ here in the Philippines? Well that’s how Singaporeans use their ‘LAH’. This is the most famous of Singaporean expressions used at the end of sentences for emphasis. “OKAY, lah” or “SORRY, lah” “Very funny, lah”

And yeah, if you register on the website and answer a very short online survey before the deadline on 16 October 2009 you might stand a chance to win one of the 12 MP3 players, which they are giving away. Click HERE for a chance to become one of the winners.

If you have further questions regarding Singapore that is not tackled in the above website, please feel free to direct it to me and I will try my best to answer it. 😉

It was refreshing to spend the weekend here in Singapore after two consecutive weeks of exploring some parts of South East Asia. It was basically back to normal for me and I got up at almost 11 in the morning.

I am particularly excited today, as we will be going to the NATAS Travel Fair. This twice a year event brings together the finest travel specialists, tour operators and national tourist organizations in one roof to offer their popular and unique holiday packages – at discounted price. Truth be told though, I really did not expect to get something big (like a tour with price tag of above 500 SGD). All I wanted to do was look around for ideas on an interesting new regional destination and maybe book for resort accommodations for two planned beach holidays this year.

Follow Your Heart!!

Follow Your Heart!!

We arrived at the venue, Singapore Expo, at past noontime already and decided to eat first before proceeding to the travel fair. I had Subway Sandwiches for lunch; my first to eat such as I am really not into sandwiches (most especially this overpriced brand).

There wasn’t any queue yet when we bought our tickets, probably most people were still enjoying their lunch at that time. We got our ticket for just 2 SGD; got a dollar discount as we paid it via MasterCard which I think was one of the major sponsor.

Just like the previous NATAS Travel Fair, which we attended earlier this year, the two halls of the Singapore Expo were packed with travel related exhibits from various vendors. Most are travel agencies enticing customer to buy their unique tour packages. There were also exhibits from the various airlines. Of course, different countries managed to set-up their own booth as well in order to promote tourism. Even the Philippines was there; sadly though, the exhibit of my country was very plain. It would have been better if they had made it unique in order to attract attention.

the booth of the Philippines

the booth of the Philippine Tourism Office

an actual bus brought in by Transtar

an actual bus brought in by Transtar

SQ is still promoting the A380

SQ is still promoting the A380

There was a stage that was set-up towards the back part of the exhibition hall wherein we saw a lot of entertainers performed onstage (mostly cultural dance). Most notable of which was the preview performance of JUMP, a Korean comedy blending various martial arts such as Taekwondo and Hapkido from Korea, Wushu and Drunken Fist from China, and Capoeira from Brazil. I was so amused that I got tickets from SISTIC on their Sept 12 performance at the Esplanade Theatre.

We went out of the exhibition hall after 2 hours. We didn’t go home empty handed; we bought tickets for the Singapore Flyer, which were sold at a bargain for 34 SGD a pair (SRP of 29.50 SGD per ticket). We also bought voucher for a customized photo album that was sold at a Buy 2 Get 1 Free promo. We figured it would probably be good to get an organized hard copies of our holiday snaps.

As for the resort accommodation, we found out that it would be better if we get the book online rather that getting the land transfers packages being offered by the travel operators we inquired as it was cheaper by a mile.

As for the regional destinations, I managed to get some interesting travel ideas but we didn’t buy any packages as the prices were simply way above our budget. I am contended on getting these new ideas, learn more about these places and hopefully get there soon in the future; doing it my way, budget style…

One thing I really like about living here in Singapore is the relative cheapness when it comes to traveling around the region. Seat sales are abundant – with 3 big budget airlines out there wanting to have a piece of your hard earned money. An example that I am looking forward to is the below:

Something worth taking a look at

I haven’t tried Air Asia yet but it is something that should be worth exploring as it flies to more destinations than the 2 other LCC. Readers from the Philippines might want to explore the possibility of flying out from the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and from there connect to other destinations such as Siem Reap, Yogyakarta, Phuket, Krabi, Bali, among others.

As to how really cheap it is, we will know by midnight tomorrow…

Waiting for TR 422

24 July 2009

It is already almost 6 in the morning here in Singapore, I still have not yet slept (and I probably will not get some sleep until I am 30,000 ft above the ground). I got home from work at around 3 in the morning (I work London Hours, so 3 in the morning is normal for me). In a few hours, I will be boarding TR 422 bound for Penang in Malaysia.

I honestly don’t know what to expect in this trip (I will try to make a daily summary of my activities), all I know is that I always wanted to visit Penang and Langkawi. Amongst the places in Malaysia, these 2 are the places I want to go which still remained unvisited by me. So when Tiger Airways made a reasonable offer to me online a few weeks ago, I immediately grabbed the opportunity and bought the return tickets (costing just SGD 95). 

I have to admit, working here in Singapore has really been a great for someone who wants to travel as it very cheap (not to mention the fact that you are earning relatively higher than elsewhere) – so while I am here in the island, I will make the most out of what these budget airlines can offer me. Next month will be an adventure as well (WATCH OUT FOR IT!!)

Now it is a quarter past 6, dawn is just breaking and birds are already singing. Meanwhile I should start packing and as soon as the MRT opens, I should board it for a 45 minute ride to Changi Airport.

Welcome to Whattaworld Version 2.0 – this should be a lot better than the first version!!