Tiffany x Traveloka: Escape to the KL Journal

Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Full disclosure. I’m a bargain junkie. I store coupons in my wallet, have a pretty solid list of go-to apps for deals, subscribed to almost every kind of membership possible for discounts, and more often than not, take me to a mall and I’d be able to point out which store has an ongoing promotion. I’m all about stretching whatever ringgit I have, and especially so when spending on my wants.

In comes Traveloka, a pre-trip planning site that’s all about helping you get that bang for your buck. If you’re a fairly frequent traveller, you don’t need me to tell you that Traveloka isn’t the only player in the flight+hotels booking scene. But after getting acquainted with it, what I can tell you is that they’re all about playing this game well.

1. Flights + Hotel bookings

I think the ideal app is one that anticipates your needs. So checking out flights is pretty much the standard across all pre-trip planning sites where you key in the details of your journey (namely the departure and destination airport, dates, number of passengers, number of nights), and you wait the standard amount of time for the page to load with the cheapest flights available (about 30 seconds to a minute depending on where you’re going). Traveloka has all of that, and a little more.

Along with the usual calendar which highlights the lowest fare, it also includes the local public holidays which makes it so much easier for planning trips on long weekends!

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Lowest fares marked in green, February public holidays marked in red.

So you’ll need a little discernment when it comes to state holidays. For example, if it’s the Sultan of Terengganu’s birthday, the app would still mark it as red, but you’d be able to check out what the occasion is and evaluate its relevance to your state. But all in all, it makes bookings easier, saves you time, and don’t we all want travel planning to as fuss-free as can be?

I wish all travel sites did this!

2. Price Alert

If you’ve already downloaded one of the booking apps, you may be a little reluctant to add another to your home screen. But Traveloka’s Price Alerts alone is enough to make it worth the extra seconds needed to download the app, especially if you’re the sort to plan ahead for your trips.

It’s  no  secret that I’m in a long distance relationship, but along with a wonderful  boyfriend and many hours on FaceTime, comes an implied annual commitment to  fly  over  6,000  miles from KL to London, which can be very expensive if not well strategized. I asked around and it’s not unheard of to hear of friends who have paid over RM3,000 for a return ticket to London.

So price trackers aren’t new and plenty of sites allow you to set alerts for flights for a particular date have fallen in price. But Traveloka distinguishes itself by how flexible its alerts are!

For example, if I knew I wanted to go to London some time in April, the price alerts allow me to:
  • set the duration of my trip e.g. 11 days
  • set specific dates or the range of dates in which I’m willing to go e.g. 1 April - 30 April
  • set the maximum budget e.g. RM3,000
  • set the class I want to fly e.g. economy, business, etc
  • set the frequency of the alerts received e.g. daily, weekly
This makes a massive difference to trip planning because if I have a season I don’t want to miss (like sakura season in spring!) but still want to get the best price, this omits a lot of the guesswork in picking the best combination of dates for my journey.

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I’ve set some alerts for London, Philly and Sydney to visit my boyfriend, sister, and brother.

3. 0% Installment Plan

Okay, so I don’t think we should be going on a holiday if we plainly can’t afford it. If you’re willing to pay installments, you’re better off saving a little bit every month till you’ve reached your savings goal, then you spend on what you want. But I do see the value in not having to pay a lump sum to go on vacation.

Especially if you’re booking flights far in advance, it doesn’t always feel worth the pinch when you’re RM5k dryer in your bank account in January for a holiday in December. That’s money that would’ve been interest bearing had you let it sit in a fixed deposit!

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Traveloka introduces 0% installment plans (only for Maybank cards) so you aren’t charged extra for paying over a 6 month or 12 month period. There are some terms and conditions that apply though so be sure to read up before opting for this. If it’s a trip you were going to take anyway, and you’re confident you’ll be able to meet the monthly payments, it’s a really good way to spread out your big ticket travel expenditures over the year.

4. #honestprice + Best Price

We live in a time where the bargain app ecosystem has developed so much that we can pretty much approximate our entire budget for a trip before we step foot in it. But c’mon, how many times have you gotten excited over a perceived good deal for a flight online, only to realize that once you’ve added travel taxes, credit card surcharge and a multitude of other misc. fees, the flight was no where near the bargain you thought it was?

Title here’s self-explanatory! Traveloka’s quoted prices are the #honestprice so what you see is what you get. Bundle that together with its “Best Price” feature, which lets you redeem hotel credits for a purchase you’ve made if there’s a better price out there for the same details, and you’ve got confidence that what you’re booking is the cheapest and most transparent price you’d find.

As you can tell, I’m totally sold on Traveloka, but let me qualify the enthusiasm by saying that at least right now, it’s primarily geared for the Asian market. When I searched up flights from London to neighbouring European cities, the usual Easy Jet and Ryan Air flights didn’t come up. In fact, it took several searches before any flights showed up on the system. But for flights from Asia or to Asia, I highly recommend it! They’ve paired up with several airlines that offer exclusive deals to Traveloka members, so you’d have access to flights prices that other search engines won’t even be able to pick up! Definitely worth the download, available on Google Play or the App Store and you can do so here.

I got the chance to learn more about Traveloka when I was invited for a staycation in KL with one of the hotels featured on their site, the Kuala Lumpur Journal. Picturesque, relaxing, and set in the heart of KL, it’s the sort of hotel I’d recommend for those looking for something modern and cool. If you’re into supporting local, even better!

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Traveloka 2Open, leafy spaces that transforms into a chill speakeasy at night. Best part? Free-flow cocktails for ladies night on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays!

There’s been plenty of times my friends and I have discussed going on a staycation, possibly heading for a night out and having somewhere to spend the night after. The Journal sounds like just the place to hang with your friends, take gram worthy pictures, and enjoy all KL has to offer.

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Made myself very much at home beneath the fluffy sheets!

DSC_0104My roommate, Rika Jue, was getting ready for Comic Fiesta and I just had to try on her wig!

2017-12-27 12.12.33 1Getting to know Rika Jue and Renness.

I’m hardly a big time blogger (4 posts in 2017 is hardly reassuring) but I got the chance to partner with Traveloka thanks to The Butterfly Project, a blogger community set up by the ever enterprising Tammy who really created such a warm, welcoming community for those who blog.  It was my first time at a Butterfly event (lol so I was technically a caterpillar) but I wasn’t made to feel awkward or alone at all. Huge thanks to my roomie, Rika Jue, who took photos for me, introduced me to people and teman-ed me so I was never alone.
The bloggers I met and the teams behind the collaboration with Traveloka and the Journal were all so nice! I felt a little like a fresher back at university, and although I told myself to not do anything embarrassing for at least 24 hours, before half the day was even up, I had stabbed a wan tan a little too enthusiastically and of course, it had to fly across the room to the horror of a few around me. Couple that with hammering my fingers at the leather workshop they organised for us (more on that another time!) and a few stumbles here and there, by the end of the staycation I think I got a bit of a reputation amongst the Traveloka team for being so incredibly clumsy. “Any new bruises ah?”

2017-12-27 12.53.01 1Escaped with Traveloka! Thanks for the snap, Eros.


But praise the Lord, I escaped unscathed and will be back soon as I won myself another night’s stay at the hotel thanks to my #talkatiff video. LOL sorry if I’m more famous one day maybe I’ll host a giveaway, but for now, I’m excited to go back to play tourist in my home city.

Happy new year, everyone! My resolutions for the year are a little belated as I’m going to spend the week thinking about them, but if you have any suggestions of good habits to adopt, feel free to drop me a comment or an email!

This post is written in collaboration with Traveloka, which sponsored our stay at KL Journal.





1 comment on "Tiffany x Traveloka: Escape to the KL Journal"
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