Watch your wallet

A frequent flier enjoys some of the best things in life for free
By Heinz Bulos

Life has so much to offer, and it doesn’t cost a lot to enjoy it. Take for instance Jo-Ann Galimpin, 35, who works for an international development institution. Traveling the world is part of her work but when she takes trips for short vacations, she does what smart consumers do: do research and take low-cost carriers.

“There are plenty of budget fares from Clark and even Manila going to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur and onwards to Cambodia, India, etc.,” Jo-Ann shares. “Do your research before traveling. A friend swears by Lonely Planet for tips on accommodation and tours.” When she flies to the United States, she makes use of Northwest Airlines’s cash + miles promo, which is available usually from September to December.

She really gets practical when it comes to food and entertainment. She avoids eating out by bringing lunch from home. But when she does, she eschews drinks that can add 20%- 40% to your bill. She also foregoes going to coffee shops like Starbucks or Figaro. Instead, she buys beans from them and brews the coffee herself.

Going to the mall is a quick way to separate you from your money. So Jo-Ann eats at home first and brings some quick snacks and water to avoid spending. Better yet, she advises, “Instead of going to malls on weekends, bring your family or friends to parks or museums, or take a short trip to Tagaytay or Laguna for some fun in the sun.”

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