When traveling throughout the Philippines, land travel is still the cheapest. Sitting in a bus from Visayas (or worse, Mindanao) to Luzon, possibly for days, is not exactly a pretty thought. Using the sea lane, through passenger ships, is more comfortable but it still eats up precious time. Air travel is the fastest and most convenient mode of transportation, preferred by tourists who have little time in their hands and more cash to spare.
Airfare, however, may be comparably the same, if not cheaper in certain instances, with that of the other modes of transportation between the 7,107 islands of the Philippines. Here are some tips.
Book in advance
We’ve already said that, but we’re making sure you remember it. Low-fare airlines offer promos in various times of the year (but don’t expect generous promos during peak seasons, like Christmas). Promos booked in advance are much, much cheaper than tickets you buy a day or two before your flight. A P1 round-trip promo will easily become a P4,000-plus purchase, one way, if you buy the ticket one day before the planned departure.
Stick to your promo flight schedule
You’re ecstatic that you’ve availed of a good promo. Then, as the day of the travel wheels (or flies?) nearer, you decide, for whatever reason, to re-schedule. This is the time when you’re going to wish to have read the fine print. Many promo fares are non-refundable and non-transferable. Which means you might end up paying more at the airline counter. It happened to me once. It could happen to you.
Take the first or last flight
Not all time slots are created equal. The first flight (which is usually before dawn) or the last flight (when half the world is already asleep) is usually cheaper than other flights. Of course, we can’t do anything if you hate to wake up early.
Take the Tuesday or Wednesday flight
Days furthest from the weekend are usually less expensive. Would you normally take a vacation in the middle of the week? Most probably you’ll say “No”. And that’s the reason why it’s less expensive.
Choose off season travel
Airlines and other carriers make a killing during peak season, including Christmas. Also, there are usually no promos during peak seasons. Worse, the sea of humanity makes the travel more, how shall I say it, challenging. So, to get away from all these, choose off-peak travel. In the Philippines, that’s June to mid-December.
If you have other tips to share, please use the comment section below. (Thanks to our friends from GoTravelBliss Travel and Tours for sharing these tips.)