We’ve talked about ways you can fly up front for less this week. Today, I’d like to talk about more creative ways to travel.
I’ll use our upcoming photo expedition in Thailand as an example. This was one of our most popular events last year. So, if you’re thinking of joining us this Dec. 10-16, here are creative ways to see more of Asia and enhance your overall experience.
(Can’t make it to Thailand this year, use the tips below to turn any upcoming trip into an adventure…)
** CREATIVE TRAVEL IDEA #1: Add a stopover to your trip and see two countries in one trip.
On your way to Bangkok for our Thailand photo expedition, for example, you can stop in Singapore. You could visit the home of 8,000 birds from 600 species… see rainforests and relax on sandy beaches… enjoy a River Bumboat tour… and savor a local favorite – a kaya recipe spread on a slice of crispy toast served with a Ya Kun coffee or tea… and more attractions, all for free, as part of the Singapore Stopover Holiday, offered on Singaporeair.com.
When you book this package by March 31, 2012, you’ll receive a 10% discount on hotels, too. The package also includes return airport transfers, unlimited rides on the SIA Hop-on bus, and more.
Go to Singapore Air, click on “Book air ticket now (include Singapore Stopover Holiday),” and click on the “multi-city itinerary” to activate the Stopover opportunity.
** CREATIVE TRAVEL IDEA #2: Book a Round-the-World (RTW) ticket and add more than one city to your itinerary.
For RTW fares, I use AirTreks.com. You can use their TripPlanner at www.airtreks.com to plan your routes. It’s fun, as you can plan a dream trip and get instant quotes. Plus, TripPlanner inserts gateway cities in order to give you the best possible price and routing.
On my last trip to Bali in March, I stopped in Seoul, South Korea and can highly recommend the Korean night dining tour.
Seoul is a great starter city if you’ve never been to Asia. It’s not as crowded as most other cities, it’s clean, lots of people speak English, and respect is very important in Korean culture, so it feels safer than most cities.
For those with more experience, or who are traveling with a companion, I can also recommend Shanghai, Xian, Beijing, and Tokyo. Check the weather, as it gets really cold in some of these cities (a far cry from the weather you’ll get in Thailand). And do your research before jumping in. That, or consider tip #3 below…
** CREATIVE TRAVEL IDEA #3: Book an extension tour and leave the planning to someone else.
After our Thailand photo expedition, let’s say you want to visit another city but don’t know much about it.
Vietnam, for example, is a place I’d like to go and I’ve never been.
There are a variety of incredible tours for experiencing the Vietnamese culture through City-Discovery.com. You can explore surrounding villages known for their ceramic, wood carving, lacquer, statue- or furniture-making skills, for example. (the “Vietnam Village Discovery – Small Group Tour” is only $34.99 per adult. )
Or, you could join the locals in Tai Chi activities in the early morning. Then, experience the “real flavor of Pho” – a traditional local breakfast. Followed by a Vietnamese coffee at a rooftop café in Hanoi’s old quarter overlooking the Hoan Kiem Lake. Plus, learn how to cook a number of local dishes at a family-run Vietnamese restaurant – and enjoy a feast, afterwards (as part of the Hanoi Sunrise – Small Group Tour, only, $44.99 per adult. www.city-discovery.com/hanoi/tour.php?id=6569 )
Or, cross over the Huc Bridge (literally meaning the “Place Touched by Morning Sunbeams”) to a tiny island, where you’ll visit The Ngoc Son temple. And, later, witness the hustle and bustle of Vietnamese life from the comfort of an armchair in a one-hour cyclo tour. Cyclo (pronounced see-clo) is a Vietnamese version of a cycle rickshaw, originally used as the main form of transportation in Vietnam. (Enjoy this, and much more, as part of the Hanoi Full Day City Tour, only $73.75 per adult).
If you have any other ideas for creative travel, please post your comments below.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]