• Taking your long weekend vacation on a low budget

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    KRISTEL SILANG

    Most of us may now be planning out-of-town trips for next week’s Holy Week work break. Just as with any other trip, related expenses could go overboard without a proper budget in place.

    Here are some tips on how you can save on your holiday this long Easter weekend:

    Take advantage of credit card promos when booking your hotel and flights. You may use websites such as Traveloka, Agoda and Trivago, which provide comparative options so you can find the best deals. Most of my friends book through these websites and find more competitive rates to choose from. To illustrate, Lloyd Hotel in Zeeburg, Amsterdam usually costs P25,491 a night, but if you book a room through Agoda for April 13 (Holy Thursday) to April 16 (Easter Sunday), it will only cost you P17,867 a night.

    If you have a tight budget, you could choose a nearer destination. Road trips would be perfect for this. If you’re flying out to a local destination, a two-way ticket for one person would cost roughly P4,000, but a road trip would allow four people in a car for a transport budget of about P2,000 to P3,000 if you’re driving to a nearby destination.

    In Episode 12 of Extreme Cheapskates, there was a family that didn’t go on vacation that was farther than 100 kilometers from their house so they could save on gas. While you can opt not to go to that extreme, that remains a possible option in this country. If you’re coming from Metro Manila, you may go on a low-budget holiday in Tagaytay, Baguio, Batangas, or Baler.

    Have a family gathering at home. You may invite your extended family members to visit you at home where you can enjoy bonding moments together, given that most commercial establishments will be closed over the long weekend. The key to making it an enjoyable get-together is to plan the activities in advance and ask guest families or individuals what food they prefer to bring.

    Taking a break from work can be an enjoyable time without putting so much strain on your pocket, especially now that the cost of travel has gone down drastically. Focus more on reflecting on the Holy Week element of the season, instead of worrying about the financial burden a good vacation entails.

    Kristel Silang is content manager at MoneyMax.ph, a financial comparison website aiming to help Filipinos save money through diligent comparisons of financial products.

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