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If you’re a first time buyer for budget airline (Eg: Jetstar, Tiger Airways, Scoot…etc) tickets, here are 5 basic guidelines to follow:

 

1. Compare, compare, compare: Do your research. Follow the budget airlines on social medias (Eg: Facebook) or subscribe to their newsletters to keep yourself updated on the ongoing promotions.

Scoot

 

2. If time is not an issue, book the red-eye flights: Airlines usually offer lower fares for the first and last flight of the day.

For example: I managed to book return tickets to Hong Kong this January for SGD $77 per person. Cheap yes, but it was a midnight flight departing Singapore at 1.50am (reached Hong Kong at 5.45am), and then departing Hong Kong at 6.50am for the return trip.

Bangkok

 

3. Purchase checked baggage, meals, insurance and seat preferences only when needed: I usually don’t select any of those options. The 10kg cabin baggage allowance is more than sufficient for short trips and it’s cheaper to eat at the airport.

For seat preferences, I’ll approach and ask the check-in counter staff nicely. It helps if you are able to check in early, so that your request gets a higher chance of being fulfilled. This works too if you are travelling in a party and have booked your flights separately.

Tiger bites

 

4. Don’t pay by credit card: Paying by credit card will nearly always increase the cost of your tickets (see image below). However, sometimes you can escape paying the booking fees by choosing an offline payment method such as SingPost for Scoot and Jetstar. Always choose that option if available (Scoot usually removes offline payment options during their promo sales).

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For Tiger Airways, you should choose to pay via AXS for a one time $5 fee, as compared to $9 per trip.

AXS

Tiger CC

 

5. Pay using vouchers: This has been my all time favourite way to escape paying the credit card booking fees. Look for people selling airline vouchers and buy over at a discount. Later when there is a sale, book your flights and pay using these vouchers. Recently, I managed to buy a Jetstar voucher valued at $200 for just $150. Using this voucher not only saved me $50, but I also get to escape paying the booking fee.

Do read the terms and conditions before buying over a voucher. There is a clause for Jetstar vouchers which states that all outstanding balance must be paid using another voucher or credit card. However, using a credit card will add back the booking fee, so you should try your best to keep total charges below the voucher value.

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And… That’s all the basic guidelines I have at this moment.

Keep reading to find out how I managed to avoid paying booking fees despite the total cost of my airfare exceeding the $200 Jetstar voucher and for a bonus tip at the end.

 

HOW I BEAT THE SYSTEM

I wanted to book a return trip to Taipei with checked baggage included for both ways. The total price was $226, but I only had a $200 voucher and really didn’t feel like paying the $17 credit card booking fees for the outstanding $26 due. So I removed the checked baggage for the outbound trip and brought the total down to $199. Just nice.

After the initial booking, I went to “manage bookings” and add back the checked luggage for the outbound trip. Payment this time round is easier because no booking fees are charged for credit cards.

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BONUS TIP!

6. Dare to take risks: Even though Jetstar states that adding checked baggage after the initial booking would be more costly, I found that the opposite was true. A 15kg checked baggage add-on was $26 during booking and only $23 during post booking.

FB

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I’m so glad I took the risk because I got to save even more money!

 

I do hope this guide has been useful to you. Do comment if you have any more tips on how to save money on airfares.

Take care and have fun!

Regards, Charlene.

whereischarlene:

Excellent guide to my homeland, Singapore

Originally posted on littlegreybox:

There are a lot of cliché things you can do in Singapore and I’m sure you’d have a fun time doing them, things like visiting Raffles for the obligatory Singapore Sling (yawn). This guide isn’t going to drag your sorry, sweating carcass through the same holiday every other person before you has had, it’s going to thrust you into the world of the locals. Yes, thrust.

Most Asian countries are renowned for being affordable, Singapore isn’t one of them. If you’re a Singapore lover or proud national, don’t worry, I’m not bagging the place. The truth is there are two versions of the country: A) the version for tourists and rich expats and B) the version for locals with a realistic budget. Singapore is only as expensive as you allow it to be.

IMG_2319

The view from Ku De Ta, on top of the Marina Bay Sands.

The best place to…

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whereischarlene:

It’s like I’m addicted. I just visited 3 months ago but already I’m planning a return trip.

Originally posted on littlegreybox:

I don’t know anything about wine. Well, that’s not entirely true, I know I like white, sparkling and some rose. I also know there are a lot of memes doing the rounds about how important it is! That’s really the extent of it, shameful right?

Based on this, you wouldn’t think I’d be the prime candidate for heading to the Hunter Valley for the weekend. But here’s the cool thing, Newcastle and the Hunter Valley aren’t just for wine snobs with a perfect palate, they are also for regular people who just want a fun weekend getaway.

Newcastle is the perfect base for this weekend trip. By staying in Newcastle you get the best of both worlds, the Hunter Valley and its lush wineries are only an hour’s drive away and the cool bars and beautiful beaches of Newcastle are right on your hotel doorstep. You can be driving through…

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whereischarlene:

One word… Amazing!

Originally posted on Flavorwire:

Korean artist Jee Young Lee eschews Photoshop. Through painstaking attention to detail, she transforms her tiny 3.6 x 4.1 x 2.4-meter studio into surreal, fantastical settings. The sometimes-unsettling scenes from Body of Work take inspiration from Korean fairy tales and Lee’s personal life, ranging from a literal interpretation of a common Korean expression to an industrial take on her neighborhood in Seoul. But her work, which we spotted on BOOOOOOOM!, still seems a little unbelievable, even when you know she’s spent weeks or months on each set. The results are breathtaking.

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whereischarlene:

I don’t have a daughter but these are excellent points that can be applied for everyone.

Originally posted on wellfesto:

Mid-way through a recent group exercise class, the teacher lost me.  She didn’t lose me because of some complicated step sequence or insanely long set of burpees; I mentally checked out because of a few words she kept saying over and over.  “Come on!  Get that body ready for your winter beach vacation!  Think about how you want to look at those holiday parties!  PICTURE HOW YOU’LL LOOK IN THAT DRESS!

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whereischarlene:

So creative!

Originally posted on TwistedSifter:

 

Javier Pérez aka cintascotch, is an artist and illustrator from Guayaquil, Ecuador. A few times a week, Pérez shares a new doodle with his 20,000 Instagram followers. Each doodle incorporates everyday objects like paper clips, coins and scissors. The doodles transform the objects into something completely new and different.

It’s a fun and creative way to look at an object, even seemingly mundane ones, and reimagine them as something else. To see more playful diversions, be sure to check out Javier’s work at the links below.

 

Javier Pérez (cintascotch)
Website | Facebook | Behance | Twitter | Instagram

 

1.

doodles with everyday objects javier perez (10)

Artwork by Javier Pérez (cintascotch)
Website | Facebook | Behance | Twitter | Instagram

 

2.

doodles with everyday objects javier perez (3)

Artwork by Javier Pérez (cintascotch)
Website | Facebook | Behance | Twitter | Instagram

 

3.

doodles with everyday objects javier perez (7)

Artwork by Javier Pérez (cintascotch)
Website | Facebook | Behance | Twitter | Instagram

 

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As seen here.

This place is wonderful. The service is good, the food delicious and the overall ambiance lovely.

I ordered the Capri pizza ($22.90) while my friends ordered Lamb Shank ($26.50), Pork Belly ($27.90) and Crispy Spiced Chicken ($25.90). Overall we enjoyed the Capri Pizza and Lamb Shank the most. Heads ups about the pizza though (and the pizza only)… It is huge, definitely enough to share with a friend.

Finally, the desserts at Zinc are a must try. The Caramel Cheesecake and Snickers Cheesecake ($9.90 ea) are absolutely yummy and is a perfect way to end off the meal. All in all, I definitely see myself going back to Zinc for more pizzas and desserts.

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