I have never asked for free Dhaniya and Mirchi, nor do I remember the last time I haggled to get the price of that pretty dress down. I am one of those Indians who rarely does street-side bargaining. But I am still an Indian and Indians are opportunist. Paisa Vasool-ism is in my genes and I use it for what I am best at - Traveling!
Budgeting and negotiation skills can get you some real extra value and save many green bucks when you are on the road, and so does knowing about some of those sites that help you choose the most economical option be it flight or hotel or food. So here are some of those excellent Paisa-Vasool-While-Traveling hacks that will either save your money or give you that 'extra value' for what you spend -
1. Accommodation -
o Booking.com - I have booked numerous hotels in the last two years through Booking.com and without paying a single penny in advance. If your plans change or you find a better place to stay, you can always cancel your booking without paying any cancellation fee. Now isn't that a 'paisa vasool' feature?
o Couchsurfing - Find a host in the city you are traveling to and you get to stay for - Free! And you also get to meet and interact with some locals. Don't forget to buy your host a small token of gratitude in return, that's basic courtesy. Yet imagine how much you ended up saving by choosing a local host instead of a hotel. What more 'paisa vasool' can you wish for?
2. Food -
o 'Breakfast Included' - If you are still booking a hotel, book one that mentions these words - 'Breakfast Included'. That way you end up saving on the price you would have paid for breakfast else where. #PaisaVasooled
o EatWith.com - We Indians don't mind paying those extra bucks, but it should be worth it. Who wouldn't love to sample some local food while traveling. But we really don't know how genuine the restaurants would be. Instead try EatWith.com where you eat at a local's home by paying him or her a small price in exchange for the amazing meal that they would cook for you - local and authentic. Some real Paisa Vasool you did right?
3. Transportation -
o Rome2Rio.com - This site works like magic. It shows you the most fastest and economical way to get from one place to another. It shows you the route and it shows you the approximate expense - in Indian Rupees. Imagine how convenient it is to already know which is the cheapest as well as fastest transportation option from Point A to Point B. Remember the saying, time is money. You end up saving so many extra bucks and time too.
o Skyscanner - Skyscanner is a flight aggregator that shows you the cheapest deal and lets you compare flight fares available across different booking portals. Skyscanner, however, won't book the flight for you and instead transfer you to the Airline's or travel site. It is a great way to find the most economical flight for your desired route.
We'll be happy to get the best deal through Skyscanner, but at the back of our minds we know we'll be flying economy. Whichever airline we book, economy class always means cramped up seats, less leg space and no privacy. We'll always crave to travel in Business Class and sometimes even First Class (in our dreams) and pacify ourselves saying - Every dog has his day. But when is that day going to come? The sky high prices are surely not coming down and that means you'll have to win a jackpot to experience the comfort of Business Class.
But wait, there seems to be a solution to this finally. The answer is Lufthansa's Premium Economy Class.
Well, doesn't the above picture sum it all? Yet, in brief, here are the 'extra' freatures of Lufthansa Premium Economy -
- Say goodbye to cramped up legrooms. The leg space in Lufthansa Premium Economy is 50% more than what you get in regular economy class.
- New wider seats which are way more comfortable.
- Separate Armrest would be the biggest hit with me. Have you ever been in a cold war with the passenger sitting next to you, each trying to get a more comfortable share of the thin armrest? Well, you are not alone. I surely have experienced this a zillion times and the separate armrest sounds like 'Phew' to me.
- Footrests to, of course, rest your foot. You know how much they are needed in those long haul flights to just stretch out and be comfortable.
- Storage space where you can keep your titbits and knick knacks.
- Fold-out table that helps in working on your laptop or while just reading a book. I have often opened the fold-able tray at the back of the seat ahead to keep a book on it while reading. And no prize for guessing what happens when the passenger ahead suddenly feels like reclining his seat. Bam!
- Extensive Food Menu to choose your dish from. Now when was the last time you were handed a Menu card in Economy class.
- Water Bottle always at your disposal at your seat because in long haul flights, it is very easy to get dehydrated. How thoughtful of Lufthansa, isn't it?
- Welcome Drink That's the best way to make me happy at the onset. Period!
- And it's not like you'll have to keep holding your drink. There is a Drink Holder in the armrest. How thoughtful - again.
- Bigger entertainment screen of the size 11/12 inches where you can watch movie or play a game or plug in to your favourite music channel.
- Remote Control to save you from leaning ahead every time you watch to switch a channel or fumbling to find those channel buttons fitted to your armrest.
- Separate Power Outlet to let your charge your gadgets even while you are 'in air'.
- Travel Accessories like moist towel, sleep mask, toothbrush and ear plugs are needed in a long duration flight and we mostly carry these if we are traveling in Economy class. If you are traveling in Lufthansa Premium Economy, you really don't need to as Lufthansa takes care of that need too.
- Extra Baggage!! Who doesn't love that? If you are traveling in Lufthansa Premium Economy you get free baggage allowance of 2 cabin baggage of 50 lbs. Paisa Vasool isn't it? And all this while we have been paying loads of money for those extra bags.
- Lufthansa Business Class lounge access is also available to Premium Economy travelers for an affordable fee. Imagine moving into a comfort zone even before the flight has taken off?
Well that, and all that I mentioned above are actually possible in the Lufthansa Premium Economy with a little extra fare than the regular Economy Class and that extra fare is nothing in comparison to the whopping fare of a Business Class seat. And not to mention you get so many extra features, 'values' to be precise, for the small upgrade amount you pay. Then why not? Isn't it what we Indians call as 'Paisa Vasool'ed - that extra value that we get in exchange for that hard earned money. The bottomline is 'It's a class apart!'.
Enjoy the Lufthansa Premium Commercial -
, by Sanghita Nandi