As working parents who love to travel with our kids, it’s essential that we try to maximize every holiday trip. Our annual leave is limited, our disposable income is limited and having to coordinate with our kids’ holiday schedule is another tall order. So, whenever we can, we try to travel free and easy because it offers us flexibility to fully experience a country according to our pace, budget and needs. This is especially important because young kids tend to get impatient during long bus rides or unnecessary stopovers at malls. As a family, we’ve travelled free & easy to exotic lands as far away as Iceland. It may sound daunting at first but entirely do-able.
We share some tips on how we maximize our DIY Free & Easy Holiday Trips:
1. Doing Online Research: Months before the trip, we diligently set aside time in the evenings (after the kids go to bed) to surf blogs, and online travel sites like TripAdvisor etc… to put together a feasible, family-friendly itinerary. This includes researching on the modes of transport to get us from one place to another, the opening times and entrance fees of the attractions, the noteworthy activities which our family can try etc. Travelling with young kids require advanced planning as we want to maximise the limited time we have in that country. We also exchange itineraries of common destinations (such as Tokyo, Hokkaido, Perth, Hong Kong, Taipei etc.) with friends to tap on collective wisdom.
2. Booking of Hotels and Air Tickets Online: A key part of the research would be to look out for best deals for flights and accommodation which typically form the largest chunk of the travel costs.
For flights, we usually choose reputable airlines that offer the most discount at time of booking. It helps to use websites that allow us to set alerts when the airfares fluctuate. For regional destinations, we fly budget airlines. When travelling mid-long haul (such as to Iceland or Hokkaido), the transit timing would be key – we do not want a transit time that is too short and risk missing our connecting flight, or one that is too long as we waste time waiting around or worse, waste money booking an extra night at an airport hotel. We take advantage of websites (such as Hotel.com) that give loyalty rewards where we can accumulate and redeem free nights of hotel stays. For accommodation, cleanliness, security and proximity to facilities and public transport are key considerations for us. In safer cities, we have booked Airbnb apartments.
3. Booking of Attraction Tickets and Day Tours: Here’s another pivotal tip that will make or break your trip. Whenever possible, book attraction tickets online so as to avoid any last minute rush and long queues. During our first trip to Universal Studios Japan, the tickets we purchased online saved us from a 4-hour queue (yes!) for the Harry Potter ride. Booking your tickets in advance allow us to focus on being present with the family to take in the sights instead of worrying about the logistics.
Booking of tickets are not just confined to attractions. This includes booking for rail passes, cruises and even museum, gallery or theatre tickets as in the case of New York, London and Boston to name a few. Basically, all we needed to do was to just print, bring along our tickets and show up. Voila! We got to skip the queues, save time, save costs (it’s usually cheaper to book online with promo codes).
Let KLOOK do the work!
Imagine our delight when we got to know that the good folks at KLOOK can help with all these important holiday planning tips! With KLOOK, we are able to seek advice for our free & easy trips and browse through their range of packages from airport transfers, WIFI routers, city tours, fun attractions and even dining privileges without having to scour through scores of unreliable, unverified websites. KLOOK travel offerings extend from Asia to the Americas and now even to Europe.
KLOOK takes our worries off even BEFORE we travel so that we can rest assure our well-deserved free & easy holidays with the family will be hassle free. We love how intuitive KLOOK‘s website is and travellers can even earn KLOOK credits upon every booking, which can be used to offset future KLOOK purchases.
There are tons of handpicked, curated travel experiences which the KLOOK team has classified in these 5 categories: Attractions & Shows | Tours & Sightseeing | Activities & Experiences | Food & Dining | Transport & WIFI. Booking on KLOOK‘s Website or App is entirely safe and seamless. This June school holidays, we are bringing the kids’ maternal grandma on a short Free & Easy trip to Taiwan and we’ve done most of our legwork using KLOOK. Can’t wait to re-visit our favorite city again!
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