How to travel in style, even on a budget

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Admit it. You get jealous when your friends post their pretty pictures of the luxury hotel in Palawan, the food trips they had in Cebu, and the road trip in Baguio and Sagada, you should be happy for them because they are having the time of their life.. But instead, you look at yourself and take some self pity pills coz you are stuck in your corner because you can’t travel yet. There may be different reasons why you can’t travel at the moment, most of the reasons why people can’t go and have the time of their life is due to lack of travel funds.

I feel you. Here’s a virtual hug.

But just to let you know, you can travel hack your way to get those great holiday pictures in your social media timeline without splurging.

If this makes you curious, read on to get more tips on how to travel in style on a shoestring budget.

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Look for discounts and promos
Whether in airplanes, hotel or hostel bookings, you can always wait for discounts and promos and book them on that perfect timing. The only downside is that the promo effectivity is usually 6 months away, but it shouldn’t bother you. At least you get a discounted price rather than paying the whole amount. Online travel agencies like Traveloka also provide discounted hotel and flight deals as well as coupons that you can use on top of your hotel/flight booking. Imagine a discounted hotel and another PHP 800 off.

Be friendly with hotel and airline staff
It’s great if you know someone working in the airline or travel industry because they occasionally give vouchers. But if you don’t know anyone yet, don’t fret. Just smile and be friendly. You never know if that great smile can give you an upgrade. Once upgraded, be ready with the selfies.

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Freeload
Take advantage of your large group of friends or your large family clan. Usually it is cheaper to travel when you are with a group of people. And it’s a plus if someone will be paying the bill. It’s a great feeling to be able to travel and stay in posh hotels or eat in luxury restaurants for free because someone is paying for you. But do not forget to give back if life is giving you generously also. You can’t be a freeloader forever.

Look for companies that will sponsor you to travel

If you’re fond of playing detective, there are mystery shopping agencies out there that lets you evaluate a hotel/airline or restaurant, all expense paid. You will need to make sure the staff don’t find out that you are the mystery guest otherwise they will treat you extra nicely and you won’t produce genuine review.

There are other companies that will let you travel in style without you spending personal money. You just have to browse around the internet to look for this.

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Order a coffee at a luxury resort

Go to a luxury hotel resort, those with rooms that cost around 100USD per night. But don’t book a room there, just go to the restaurant and order coffee and stay for 3 hours. Occasionally roam around the resort and take pictures like you really booked a place to stay there. Boast on your social media timeline by taking thousands of selfies to make sure you tell everyone that  you have been there.

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Take pictures of everything posh.
Take a picture of the sunrise or sunset. Who cares if you slept in the bench of the bus station, as long as you don’t tell anyone, they will never know. So yeah, focus on the best things in life and delight in the feeling that you capture a sunset or a sunrise while others are slaving in their office desk.

Take pictures of that posh restaurant, even if you only ordered noodles.

Take a picture of yourself beside a luxury car, even if it’s not yours.

Insert yourself in holiday pictures
This is not really recommended but if you’re over the top jealous and you want to prank some friends, you can photoshop your pictures in some holiday photos… just make sure you have the guts to own it on your social media feed.. If you get caught and if you don’t have a very good excuse, then suck the shame until everyone forgets about it, but hey it’s the internet and you’ll never know if your blooper will remain there forever.

But while you’re at it and having the time of your life posting posh pictures on your social media, make sure you don’t get the wrong people jealous — you don’t want to upset thieves and motivate them to break into your house.

These are my tips — feel free to add more in the comments if you want.

Enrico Dee

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