Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Confessions of a travelholic ;p

My husband and I share the same hobby which is travelling! but just like any other people, sometimes we are also on tight budget. so this entry is basically the confessions/tips ugly truth on how to minimise our travel budget. ;)

Confession #1: Flight ticket.
Kami memang malas nk berebut2 kat Matta fair semata2 utk dapatkan a good bargain. bukan shj Matta fair, even kat website airasia pun kekadang malas nk berebut beli tiket. the reasons why we dont really like AA sale:
1. we must be willing to travel according to their date,(not ours!) in order to get the cheapest price.
2.must be willing to buy the tickets 1year before we travel.
2. willing to spend time utk loading the page, online at odd hours, and when u manage to get thru pun, u might need to Q kat the virtual queue, and willing to fill the forms for more than 2-3 time! kalau nasib tak baik bila time nak buat payment je, dan-dan tu jugak page hang.sakit jiwa! hehehe
3. hidden cost : need to really calculate the costs and compare with the other airlines before buying. sometimes bila tambah duit lugage, airport tax etc harga lebih kurang sama jer dgn flight lain.

my previous experience with the sale. at 12.30 midnite.

So biasanya kitorg akan plan ahead/target where to go, then akan monitor harga flight secara berkala. so far apa yg kitorg perhatikan harga flight pun ada turun naiknya, but for a very limited time lah dan takde iklan - kalau nampak harga flight turun, memang terus kena grab. dulu2 the cheapest flight from mesia to london yg kitorg pernah dpt dlm RM2000 je utk return via Gulfair..hehe lastmonth kitorg ke Phuket via MAS return was just RM300/person, ke Bangkok MAS return flight was RM300+/person, and we bought the tix dlm 1 month before departure. and for our recent trip pon kitorg dpt a very cheap flight tix, RM1000 return (will blog later)! ;)


Confessions #2: Sightseeing
We dont like to be restricted by schedules. So far tak pernah lg join any tour group/package sebab tak suka kena ikut schedule yg restricted and sometimes wasting our precious time waiting for other people. pastu jalan kena beramai2, beratur. nk snap pics pon tak selesa. Biasanya kitorg travel on our own, plan our own schedule and journey. usually we will do some homework (where to go, what to do, how to get there etc) before departure- the best is tripadvisor dan kalau boleh bring some notes or bwk travelling books as a guide. kat london dulu pergi pinjam kat public library bawah rumah jer.

from the airport, usually there will be budget airport transfer/bus/coach. or u can take their public transport to the city. taking a cab from the airport is pricey since taxi drivers tend to increase the fare to the tourists unnecessarily. but if u still need to take a cab from the airport, do some homework-check what is the normal taxi rate (u can read everything in tripadvisor), and try to bargain the fare.
  from salzburg airport we took the local bus. very challenging since they dont speak english very well. we did some homework and copied our hotel's address, but the pronunciation is totally different from what we thought it should be. hehehe great experience though.
 
 on a train from brugge to brussel. the train was packed, but we managed to squeezed ourselves in. i was too tired, and end up sitting on the floor.. hehehe

somewhere in paris: masa ni penat giler, muka kena sunburn, kaki dah macam nk patah sbb berjalan banyak. we sat at the very last row in a bus to get some 'proper' rest.


Confession #3 : Travel itinerary
Do some homework and plan ahead! if u are too lazy, get a travel book and just follow their itinerary.. make sure u visit their most significant places. if u hv a very limited time to travel, my advise is to take the hop-on hop-off tourist bus. but if u really want to experience their lifestyle and country, use their public transport. sometimes if we had a very tight budget, we will take the cheapest airport transfer and just walk to get to places in town. but make sure u wear appropriate shoes, pants/clothes/bags and backpacks. but definitely no heels! walking of more than 5km a day during travelling is was normal for us.

 
the shoes that brought us to several countries. at the New Acropolis Museum, Athens. under the glass floor is an archeological site.

Confessions #4: Food.
The biggest confession: we brought our own food whenever we travel!! biasanya 1day before departure saya akan masak something yg tak mudah basi dan tak bulky, then frozenkan. antara lauk favourite: rendang daging, sambal sotong dan seangkatan dengannya. ayam tak sangat sebab perlukan space/bekas yg besar. some people might argue, that we need to try their food etc. but for us, we cant really try their food, becoz our choice will be limited to vegetarian/seafood only, sedangkan kita perlukan tenaga utk berjalan/enjoy the view. and the main reason is ofkos sebab costs lar - seafood are usually more expensive. so masak our own food, boleh save money, dan bagi more energy.

siap bwk rice cooker lg. Manchester 2010. nasi putih, daging rendang frozen (dan dipanaskan dgn cara merendam dlm air panas),dan telur dadar yg dibwk dr london.

en route to Cornwall with a friend. rehat jap berpiknik, makanan serve kat belakang bonet kereta je. hehe
  
bekalan makanan di Phuket bebaruni. :p brahims, maggi and sardines are our bestfriends. siap bwk beras lagi tuh!! rice cooker kecik dibeli khas utk travel. 

our last europe trip was to Rome-Pisa early September 2011.  memandangkan sebaik shj pulang dr Rome akan terus back to malaysia for good, kitorg decided utk buang jer our travelling rice cooker kat rome! siap bungkus dlm laundry bag, pastu otw ke airport siap singgah kat tong sampah tepi jalan utk buang rice cooker. pastu cuak2 sebab ada polis tgk lain mcm jer. hahaha ala2 dispposable gituh! hahahaha :p

Phuket June 2013. rendang daging, telur dadar dan kari ayam brahims.

  
Big C Supermarket in Jungceylon Mall, Patong June 2013. meriah sungguh buah2an dan sayur2an kat sana!dan surprisingly supermarket ni penuh dgn mat2 saleh. diorg pun borong sakan, semua duk pakat beli raw food. agaknya diorgpon masak sdr gak kot. hehehe

Jungceylon Mall Patong. siap ada jual pelbagai jenis sambal belacan lagi okeh!!!
  
Phuket 2013: we went to the grocery and bought fresh chicken wings. otw balik singgah beli tomyam, balik apartment  goreng wings.

makan sampai lebam, with very minimal cost!

 and actually kalau ke negara yg mudah makan, we will try their food. cuma kalau ke negara mat saleh agak susah sket lar. masa ke salzburg dulu tak berani nak bawak food, dan kedai makan halal/kmuniti islam memang takde lansung. so in the end telan megi je as breakfast, roti for lunch and filet o-fish for dinner.  balik london lembik sebab kelaparan! ehehe :p

tapi kalau ke Istanbul memang wajib try their food. sedap dan not that expensive! mixed grill in Istanbul. 

risotto in Paris. ni kitorg makan kat cafe by the sidewalk, konon nak enjoy the scenery nk feeling2 duk paris kan. unfortunately tak sedap sgt, glamm je lebih. so terpaksa balik hotel makan megi! lol!!

the best tomyam is in Yana Restaurant, MBK Mall, Bangkok (Dec 2012).


Confession #5: Hotel
For us hotel/accomodation is important whenever we travel. I don't really like to stay at friends' houses. the reason why : inconvenient! sure takleh balik lambat sangat, pastu bila balik utk rehat kena spend masa utk berbual mesra dgn tuan rumah (kang org ckp sombong lak), sedangkan masa tu sure dah penat nk tide/rehat/prepare for the next day. 

biasanya kitorg akan cari hotel yg affordable+dekat dgn public transport+fair ratings kat tripadvisor. small hotel is ok, as long as they have a good review. kita perlukan rehat/tidur yg cukup utk dptkan tenaga travel keesokkan harinya. kalau hotel tak selesa, tak dpt tido dan rehat dgn baik sure akan mudah penat utk travel.

cuma lately ni bila budget utk kitorg travel dah naik sikit (alhamdulillah), so kitorg lebih suka utk stay kat serviced apartment. sebabnya boleh masak (dah boleh save duit utk beli/makan kat luar)! dan takyah bawak balik baju busuk!! hahaha :p


Confession #6: Budget/costs.
So how much do we usually spend? to be honest, dulu2 time kitorg buat 3D2N trip london-europe, our pocket money (for 2 paxs) biasanya dlm GBP100 (RM500) jer!!! yessss!! it was so cheap, and we were on a very tight budget!! student kaannnn!!!! dahla bernafsu besar lak tu, nak kumpul duit beli pinggan mangkuk, designer bags etc lagi kan.. :p 

usually the total costs utk flight and hotel for 2paxs was around GBP300,making the whole costs termasuk pocket money dlm GBP400 (RM2k) shj utk 3D2N london-europe trip!!

do we enjoy our trips? YES!
do we regret not trying any of their significant dish/local food? NO!
do we travel in poor? NO! :p

but sometimes,during travel kitorg indulge in luxury jugak.. esp lately ni, sejak dah tukar status jd career woman. sebab tersangat susah nak escape from work dan find suitable time utk travel, so bila sesekali dapat travel, terus hentam dan henjoy habis2an.. dah malas nk pikir budget sgt. :p


recent trip to phuket. kitorg naik SLK class mercedes as our mode of transport dr hotel ke Patong. tuk-tuk naik jugak, tp naik SLK merce lagi best sebab ada airconddd! hahahha :p