Sunday, July 03, 2022 | Dhu al-hijjah 3, 1443 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Pay less, travel smart

Economical travel allows a traveller to use the means of transportation like planes, ships, trains or buses at discounted prices and compromise with luxuries of choice seats, great meals and drinks during the trip. It also requires light luggage, being content with unusual flight timings, and accepting stopovers (transit) during the trip. In short, ‘economical travel’ is the skill of proper trip management and all reservations intelligently.


Opinions differ about this type of travel. Some see it as “useless” because it imposes certain restrictions, while travel is supposed to be an enjoyable and free trip to achieve the desired goal. Some, however, support it as it allows a traveller to roam around the world with minimal expenses.


Issa al Hinai, an entrepreneur and a travel fanatic, confirms that some people still believe that economical travel is a lie and one cannot make an enjoyable trip at an all-inclusive cost that does not exceed RO 200. He emphasised that a traveller can avoid many unnecessary expenses and stressed that economical travel might not be suitable for family trips in most cases.


Al Hinai talks about a number of secrets for ‘economical travel’, including booking in economy class. “The ticket is the first and most important cost of the trip. You can book an economy ticket on a non-luxury airline with excellent and not tiring flight standards. The biggest difference is often the lack of a seat screen. By searching and early booking, you can find that with the flexibility of timing and without transit”.


The second secret is to take the least number of luggage. Al Hinai says, “This will help you book a super economy ticket and move around with more flexibility and completely without extra costs. Take appropriate and fewer clothes and move with more flexibility. Try it!”. Also, reduce unnecessary expenses. “Avoid buying unnecessary expensive necessities before and during travel is a requirement, including your clothes, unimportant accessories, urgent and unthoughtful reservations and eating in places crowded with tourists”. Al Hinai advises that the person be aware in advance of the costs of living in the destination countries and travel to low-cost countries.


Contrary to what some may do from being drawn behind celebrity ads, Al Hinai says that the fourth secret is to stay away from this completely. “Celebrities sometimes travel at zero cost, or at a cost that means nothing to them but may not suit you’’, he explains.


Fifth, YouTube is not always a correct and accurate option to take travel information from, even for ‘economical travel’. He calls on everyone to avoid tourism companies, as they take tourists to specific places only that fit their contracts.


In addition, travelling outside the peak time and during summer helps you get a low-cost ticket and lower service prices in tourist countries in all respects. This also helps to get more comfort in services and enjoy the places as well.


In addition, moving to several places in a matter of days will mean that a person will incur high costs of transportation, so he will try to reach faster, regardless of the price and reservations. Al Hinai says, “In order to get used to new places, you will spend more money in the beginning. Stay in specific places carefully and discover them well.”


Al Hinai believes that using programmes dedicated to travel for reservations and transportation reduces the total cost, saying: “You must plan well for travel because every country has a specific system of transportation. This will help you reduce the cost. You do this by choosing the cheapest and most appropriate transportation and linking roads with each other. Such as flight reservation programmes, public transportation programmes, use Airbnb”.


It is also important to travel with one or several people to reduce costs and share them. “When you travel with your friends or with one person, the cost of some goods, transportation, accommodation and other costs will be distributed”, he clarifies, adding, “in the event that a person has friends abroad in the destination country, this is a really useful thing as friends may offer accommodation for free or guide you to good hotels. Friends may help you know the culture of the country, the best transportation for mobility, the least expensive and the right markets to buy’’, Al Hinai adds.


One of the preferable ways of economical travel is to walk as much as possible. “Walking can help you explore new places that you did not know, or at least help you reduce the costs of moving within the city, especially during crowded times.”


The last tip is to avoid eating and shopping in well-known places (mostly city centres), as these places are often attractive to tourists and it is easy to buy from them. “Choose the same product from other nearby places with the same quality and a huge price difference’’,


Al Hinai recommends.


@zainabalnasseri


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