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Fly To Hong Kong With These Handy Travel Budget Tips

Need to recharge with a vacation in Hong Kong? You can still go for it without breaking your bank – if you know how to budget for your travel smartly!

Who wouldn’t love an occasional, well-deserved vacation to recharge their battery before getting into the rat race again? The short answer is: nobody.

However, the thing about vacations is that they are rarely cheap. Many people forego vacations because they simply can’t afford it but going for a vacation doesn’t mean bankruptcy you if you carefully plan and budget for it.

One of the best destinations for a vacation is Hong Kong – a bustling metropolis that is a wonderland for the adventurous, the foodie and also the shopaholic.

If you are ready to go for your urban adventure, here are some tips on how you can keep your expenses low while getting a taste of the Asia’s World City:  

  1. Getting a return flight ticket to Hong Kong

One of the biggest costs that’ll use up a chunk of your holiday budget is the flight ticket.  Booking a cheap flight takes determination, patience and some luck. The lucky ones, who do their homework, will likely find cheap flights online.

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Image from Cebu Pacific

A regular ticket with 20kg baggage allowance with Cebu Pacific cost about P10,014.87. Paying the full fare can take a toll on your holiday finances, and you will have to scrimp on sightseeing or even accommodation during your vacation.

However, you can cut this cost down is by using your credit card points to redeem your flight ticket. Earning and accumulating enough points to make any redemption can take some time, but there are ways to fast-track your earning.

Security Bank is currently (until September 30, 2016) offering a promotion to top up your Cebu Pacific GetGo points by 50%, with a minimum redemption of 800 points. Find out how the GetGo promo works.

To earn 800 points, all you need is to spend P16,000 on your Security Bank MasterCard. For example, if you are redeeming 800 points for a flight, you will get an additional bonus 400 points for free. The best part is, GetGo points do not expire!

You can do a partial or even a full redemption, depending on how many points you have accumulated. If you need more tips to secure a cheaper flight for your holiday, here are 4 Secrets to Booking Cheaper Flights

  1. Where should you stay in Hong Kong?

Another huge chunk off your holiday budget is the cost of accommodation. However, this does not mean you should choose your accommodation solely based on the cost.

Location makes a huge impact on your budget as well. If you stay in central location, you may be paying more for hotel but less on transportation. If you stay in the outskirts, hotel rates will be much lower, but you will likely spend much more on transportation.

The key to managing this is to find a balance of both costs, and also plan out where you want to go during your stay so you can choose a hotel that is in a strategic location for your itinerary.

If you have a good travel credit card, you should definitely get the perks of hotel discounts when you book using the card. Security Bank credit cards offer exclusive promos with attractive discounts when you spend with their partner merchants. While some discounts may seem minor, you can actually save half of your lodging budget with up to 50% off on some hotels and resorts.

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  1. What can you do in Hong Kong?

There are many things to do in Hong Kong and a 5-day stay may not be enough to enjoy everything available. Here are some of the exciting places and activities that you can include in your itinerary:

Place/Activity Cost per person
Hong Kong Disneyland + Transport P6,149.00
Lantau Island Visiting and Giant Buddha Cable Car Tour Plus Tai O Boat Ride P6,320.00
Ocean Park Hong Kong Admission P2,308.00
Hong Kong Harbour Night Cruise and Dinner at Victoria Peak P6,190.00
Big Bus Hong Kong Hop-On Hop-Off Tour P2,733.00
TOTAL P23,700

Based on the activities above, you are looking at paying about P23,700 per person (adult), and this does not include shopping yet.

That’s quite an amount and it will be quite risky to be carrying that much cash around while you are travelling. It is always advisable to travel with the right credit card, especially one that rewards you for your overseas spending.

If you are worried about overspending on your credit card, the Security Bank MasterCard comes with the eSecure function which allows you to set a limit to your online spending. This will come in handy when you are making online bookings for your day trips and tours. It also rewards you with 1 point for every P20 spent!

Not using your cash definitely comes with its perks, especially if you keep your cash in a high-interest checking account to help you earn some interest while you are away.

  1. How to shop like a pro in Hong Kong

A Hong Kong trip isn’t complete without tourista shopping. If you plan to go ham on filling your shopping bags, you should definitely not risk it by using cash. Overspending could leave you cashless in a foreign land if you are shopping with your cash.

With the right credit card, you can have a safety net with some cash left to cushion your pocket. Furthermore, whatever you spend will also help you earn rewards points that will bring you closer to that new TV, discounts on your next flight/hotel bookings, or a free date night on your favorite posh restaurant. You can also use points that you’ve accumulated to cut your next travel expenses!

However, you do have to be mindful of the foreign exchange fees when you swipe your card abroad. The foreign exchange fees are usually 1% to 3% of your purchase price. In fact, more than 90% of bank cards charge fees for transactions made abroad.

To avoid being charged this every time you pay with your card overseas, look for a card that does not come with this fee, such as a Security Bank credit card.

While 3% doesn’t amount to much by itself, these incremental savings add up that by the end of your trip, you’ll probably have enough cash savings to book your next one.

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You can finally tick the trip to Hong Kong off your bucket list with these handy holiday budget tips. A carefully planned vacation budget will definitely help you avoid racking up a debt that can stress you out after your holiday.

Knowing where to get the best deals and how much everything will cost will definitely help you manage your budget better. Remember, a vacation doesn’t have to be financially stressful if you have a bank that always has your back (and your wallet) covered.

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