While we may not have much control over our earnings, we can certainly choose how we spend or save it. The right decisions can definitely help us earn a great incremental value in proportion to the amount spent.
Call it more bang for your bucks or stretching your dollar, who doesn’t like getting that free bowl on a box of breakfast cereal?
Loyalty programmes are all about getting more value for your money. Of course, they are more holistic and go much beyond freebies. So if your next holiday is around the corner, here’s a fresh take on planning it, keeping in mind the objective of smartly reaping rich rewards.
Opt for the off-season
If you plan to fly, travel costs generally constitute the single largest component of your holiday budget and can account for almost 30% of it. To work on bringing this expense down, plan well in advance and choose off-season travel dates for your destination, where you stand to save on both airfare as well as hotel room rates.
Be flexible with your travel dates
Additionally, since airfares tend to vary on a day-to-day basis, if you remain flexible with your travel dates, you can save more by availing the lowest possible rates. You can do this simply by checking various combinations of dates for your onward and return journey.
Leverage technology to help you save
Certain meta search engines can save you the bother of searching manually on an ongoing basis for the best airfares and hotel room rates. Once you opt for notifications, you will be intimated when the prices drop significantly.
Redeem your flying miles
Some of the largest airline loyalty programmes come with a plethora of benefits which encourage you to spend wisely and save more, so if you have a co-branded card of an airline, this would be the time to redeem your rewards. Depending upon your tier, you may get a discount on flight bookings or even a free ticket, discounts at partner hotels and restaurants, dedicated check-ins, excess baggage allowance, access to airport lounges, priority boarding, fees benefit on rescheduling dates, waivers on select seat charges and cancellation fees, and baggage tagging facility.
Shop according to your baggage allowance
If you’re planning to indulge in shopping when out on your holiday, bear in mind that what you buy will add to your luggage. Shop according to your baggage allowance and weigh your baggage at the hotel before you leave for the airport in order to avoid paying for excess baggage.
Save on stay and dining costs
If you are a loyalty member of an airline, check for the best rates at partner hotels. Alternatively, some hotel chains would automatically enrol you in their global loyalty programmes, offering you special rates on rooms, complimentary airport transfers, room upgrades, discounts at the spa and signature restaurants and even bespoke merchandise. At the lowest tier, you could end up saving at least 10% on room rates. Your card can also help you save up to 15% on your dining cost at partner restaurants, with several banks and airlines offering loyalty benefits on their dining programmes.
A forex travel card comes in real handy when you’re going abroad, especially if it carries multi-currencies. As a valued customer, your bank can offer you special rates on forex – both for cash currency as well as for the multi-currency travel card.
Don’t shy away from travel insurance
While you may not feel the need to buy travel insurance, those who have had to endure the consequences of loss of baggage, theft, or medical emergencies would tell you just how wise a decision it can be, especially if you have to pay for such exigencies in a foreign currency.
So next when you plan a holiday, you’ll have one more reason to rejoice, because your smart decisions and brand loyalty will actually pay you back, in more ways than you dreamt of.