So after all that planning and deciding the dates, I decided to start checking the prices of hotels, and the different airlines. Since I was pretty much the most free person among the three of us, (or maybe it’s just something I like doing xD), I did most of the price checking and comparing, and after double confirming with my friends, booked the flights before the price decided to rise any higher. 😛 We originally planned for our trip to be
from the 29th of April to the 3rd of May but because I bought the tickets late, the price rose and it cost us about RM200 or so extra per person 😦 (we wanted to stay there during the weekend for the Chatuchak Weekend Market).
I managed to save RM140 instead of RM130 using a CIMB promo which was valid until 30 April 2015 (see here), then got my cash back from Maybank using their Amex card because I booked during the weekend. (I did this using a CIMB promo that gave me a voucher to use after I entered my CIMB card number, and then when paying for it, I entered the voucher code and I entered my Amex Card number for payment instead. Make sure you’re doing this on the weekend to get the Maybank2Card cashback). This gave me the cheapest option for the hotel.
Some advice before planning your trip to Bangkok (Or any other place):
– DECIDE YOUR BUDGET: Decide how much you’re willing to spend for the trip. You can spend as little as RM 500 (with the right timing of hotel and flight booking and a short stay at a budget hotel or staying in a dorm, eating cheap street food) and above. You can google for websites that help you estimate your expenditures. But in my opinion, you should always bring a little more than you need so you’re not suddenly strapped for cash in an overseas country and then you’ll have a real bad time there.
– PREPARE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS: Get your passports, visas (if needed) early! Don’t wait til last minute or you might forget or not have enough time. Always print everything you need before you leave, your itinerary, your hotel booking, maps, boarding passes, groupons (if you bought any).
“Always always, book as early as you can.”
– BOOK EARLY: Always always, book as early as you can (for both hotel & flights). Check for the best (cheapest) time to fly, I usually just recommend AirAsia if you’re not sure where to start looking. You can also try Malindo Air, JetStar or Malaysia Airlines. Or you can use websites like Expedia or Trip Advisor to compare prices between Airlines, they also give you pretty good deals to get your hotel + flight tickets together.
– AIRASIA SALES: If you’re planning really early and can wait a little, wait for the AirAsia sales where they drop prices really low. Those are the best times to get your flight tickets :D.
– AIRASIA PAYMENT – USE DIRECT DEBIT: There’s a few ways to pay for your AirAsia flight bookings:
– Direct debit (they deduct directly from your bank account e.g. using Maybank2u, CIMB Clicks, PBeBank.com, RHB Bank, AmBank Online, Bank Rakyat, Hong Leong Online).
– Credit/Debit Cards (You can use AMEX, Visa or MasterCard)
– Using BIG points (these are AirAsia points which you can accumulate by flying AirAsia, or by spending with their debit card).
– Others: (These are not done online but in their offices or by telephone)
– Sales office – credit card /cash
– Airport sales counter – credit card / cash
– Kiosk – cash
– Call centre – credit card/ payment over ATM / over the counter
Caution: Don’t use Credit/Debit cards to pay as you will be charged an extra PROCESSING FEE (PER PERSON e.g. RM8 for Bangkok) for it. Cheapest option & most convenient is to use direct debit – RM4 (per booking). You can check for all extra fees and charges for AirAsia here.
– CC & OTHER BENEFITS: Check your credit card benefits, like before I booked my hotel on Expedia, I checked for any benefits for CIMB or Maybank card users, and found out I had a 10% off when using a CIMB debit/credit/kwik card, check out other CIMB benefits here. You can also check out Shopback, they give you back some cash whenever you log in and rebate you a certain amount after a certain period of time (be advised, please check the time taken before you can redeem and use the cash)to your shopback account and you can use the cash to shop for other stuff available (I didn’t use this because I didn’t know about this until after I booked and paid for the hotel). Click the link to get RM5 to your account (i’m not sure whether it’s instant or it’s after you make a purchase) and RM5 to mine (very much appreciated) or you can just go to the direct site here.
– GET RID OF THE EXTRA CHARGES: If you’re flying AirAsia, there are a few extra charges that might be defaulted such as check-in luggage, insurance, seat allocation. Make sure you untick those boxes when booking your flight. You can see all the specific instructions and screenshots here.
– FLIGHT + HOTEL PACKAGES: Websites such as Expedia, Asia Travel, Asia Web Direct, AirAsiaGo, all give you the convenience of booking a hotel & flight for the best price. However, I still think for the very best price you should book them separately (You should compare the prices though, it might have been only true for my hotel & flight).
– BOOKMARK AIRASIAGO PROMO PAGE: After I booked the AirAsia flight, they redirected me to this AirAsiaGo page which gave me a pretty good discount for the hotel I wanted to stay in. However, I did not save this page and lost the URL, but in the end I found a cheaper option using the method I mentioned above. They usually give you about a week or so to book for that promo price. Make sure to compare these prices to the ones on Expedia and the normal AirAsiaGo prices!!
These are some of the tips and tricks I have used to save the most I can before booking my flights & hotel :). Please please let me know if there’s anything I can add here or if my info here is no longer updated. 😀