Guess what? We are back in Malaysia! Yes, all four of us, including Little K who’s barely 3 months old. We booked this trip last year thinking that since I would be on maternity leave for a good few months, might as well make use of the leave and travel home to see our family. Plus our families will get to see the baby for the very first time too!
Since we will be here for a good few weeks, I have been planning to have a mini holiday of our own in Penang. Why Penang? Well it’s the place where I started working right after graduating, and also the place where Saucer and I first met. So it is quite a special place in my heart. To get started on our mini getaway, I tried out this new website called Traveloka.com, which is one of the fastest-growing flight/hotel-booking platform in Southeast Asia.
My choice of hotel was Golden Sands by Shangri-La, because Saucer and I used to go for special romantic dates here while we were still dating. Hotel booking using Traveloka was really fuss-free and easy, which is important for a busy multi-tasking mother. What I love the most is that the displayed price is nett and final, unlike many other sites which would add a service charge or tax only after you click on it. Just to compare, I entered the desired dates and hotel in Agoda and it came up with a nightly price of RM350. On first sight, it appears to be cheaper than the rate displayed on Traveloka, which was RM393. However, there was a fine print underneath saying that service charge and hotel tax were not included in the Agoda rate. Only after I clicked on Book did the final price show up, and the total became RM816.20 for 2 nights, vs RM786.25 in Traveloka. That’s a saving of RM30, enough for a good few plates of char kuey teow when we’re there! Imagine the savings if we were to stay there for a week instead of 2 nights!
Just from this comparison alone, I am sold! While I was at it, I was curious to find out how the comparison for flight prices were. One of the places that Saucer and I wouldn’t mind visiting again is Hong Kong, even though we’ve been there before. We love the variety of food, the shopping, the attractions and the fact that they use Cantonese, which we are familiar with as well. We agreed that one day when both our kids are a little older, we would return to Hong Kong and let them experience what we did before.
Using Traveloka, booking flights was as easy as booking hotels. I just needed to enter the travel dates and destination, and the website would search through all major airlines and display the nett prices for me. It’s just like having a few extra hands searching through different websites, while I sit back and relax. The bonus point? Some of the prices displayed are even cheaper than booking via the airline’s website itself! Just look at this rate displayed by Traveloka for MAS, which was RM494.42 nett. For the same selection in MAS website, the rate was RM496.90. The difference is not much but with this economy, every cent counts right? It does make me wonder how Traveloka manages to get a rate cheaper than the airline’s official website itself, but as long as I get to save, who cares?
Now that I’ve gone through the process of comparing and booking via Traveloka, I must say I’m quite impressed with how user-friendly it is and how it allows users like us to access the best rates without having to put in much effort. Our next travel destination is set, how about yours?