Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hong Kong Trip Tips

My recent trip to Hong Kong was really significant to me because it was my first time planning a holiday (excluding Genting cause it's still close to SG) from the start to the end without my parents/elder sister's help! xD
I'm aware of how dependent and useless I sound right now hahah
but nonetheless, I'm glad I had this chance to learn by myself and I'd like to share my experience with those who are planning to travel with your friends or bf/gf for the first time without your parents! :D
Hopefully you'll be able to find some tips which will come in handy for your trip! :)

Anyway when I said "by myself", I meant Martin and I okay haha cause it's the first time for both of us ^~^

1. Airplane Tickets
We flew budget, of course :x
While our parents always try to choose the more luxurious airlines for us when travelling as a family, we were alright with budget airlines because we were more concerned about the air ticket pricing than extra leg space~
And we had to cut costs because we booked the tickets at the last minute so it was quite expensive.

How did we choose which budget airline to fly?
Scoot, Tiger, Jetstar etc... since their prices are all pretty similar, we decided to choose by Time Of Flight.
We went for Scoot in the end because their flight that day arrived at Hong Kong around 6+am, which gave us plenty of time to start our day! :D

Some of the other airlines had flights which arrived at 2pm or even 5pm.. which I didn't fancy, because I really wanted to have a nice hearty Hong Kong style breakfast the moment we arrived there! xD
Plus, budget airline doesn't serve food (unless you pay extra), so we were really looking forward to breakfast!!! :D

2. Hotel Booking
We booked a hotel through agoda.com and it was really fuss-free I was so surprised!
As in, I never booked a hotel by myself before and I didn't know it was going to be so easy hahah xD
If you visit their website, everything's pretty self-explanatory, and the most important thing you'll need is to have a credit/debit card to pay for your accommodation.
Once that's settled, you'll have one huge burden off your shoulders! :D
No need to bring a lot of $$$ with you to pay for the hotel, no need to worry about touching down in HK and not having a place to stay, you can drop your baggages at the hotel and start your day immediately etc! ^~^

3. Amount of $$ Spent
When we planned the trip, we first asked ourselves what we'd like to get out of this trip.
A luxurious, pampering and relaxing holiday, or one that's full of adventure and exploring;
to dine at more atas restaurants with obviously better standards of hygiene, nice ambiance etc,
or we won't mind street food and just standing around stuffing our faces~~
So these are the things you need to consider before drafting out your budget.

Also, shopping!
What will you want to buy? Do you always buy a ton of things when you shop?
Are you looking to buy branded bags and shoes at a cheaper rate overseas? Or are you more into budget shopping? Or a mixture of both?

For Martin and I, we weren't going for the branded goods and just thought it'll be nice if we saw any cheap and nice clothes to buy. But no pressure ^~^
I think the shopping in Singapore for girls is really good too so I wasn't planning to buy the entire Ladies' Market in HK back haha xD

It's safer to bring more money than less, definitely.
But don't be super kiasu, overdo it and convert too much currency because when you change it back to SGD, you're actually losing money unnecessarily due to the exchange rates that benefit the money changers more.

Here's the total amount of $$ the two of us spent on this trip (including souvenirs, transport etc) for 4 full days (flew back on 5th day early morning) as a gauge:
$1, 600
I think it's a reasonable amount as we went to quite a few tourist locations (which are usually more ex), did quite a bit of shopping too, though the shopping for guys was a lot better than girls and cabbed a few times when we were lazy LOL.
Actually most of our $$ went to FOOOOOOOD! :P
Restaurants, cafes and street food all day everyday~~
Cause we walked a lot and I felt like I was constantly hungry in Hong Kong hahah xD

4. Planning the Trip
With the awesome Google.com, planning a trip has never been easier.
With blogs, forums, reviews, apps and whatnot, it's really easy to find out which areas have nice food/ good shopping!

Just search for "hong kong famous food" or "hong kong food recommendation" or maybe "rickshaw noodles hong kong" "egg tarts hong kong" if you'd like to be more specific,
and you'll definitely get a list of recommendations from these sites! ^~^

I'm not an expert about good food, but I did eat a ton of yummy food in Hong Kong and I've listed all the places in my Hong Kong vlogs as best as I can!
So please watch them if you're interested to find out the locations ^~^

What's really important will also be printing a map of the MTR line in Hong Kong (or the country you're visiting), because it'll really help you to organize your trip better, along with your findings of famous food places from google! :)
Whether you're taking the MTR or taxi, planning your trip beforehand would definitely help you save time and $$ when traveling!

5. Outfits
It's advisable to wear comfortable shoes if you're planning to walk a lot.
Also, it'll be smart to find out the weather condition, average temperature etc before packing your luggage!
I find that teeshirt dresses are awesome because they're super simple to throw on, doesn't take as much luggage space, great for moving around (without exposing yourself unnecessarily), and you can wear the same pair of shorts underneath them for 5 days and no one would even know :X AHAHAHA

And here's my Hong Kong Lookbook with outfits courtesy of:

I really hope this post was helpful to anyone who's planning a trip to HK, or anywhere else~~
If I missed out on anything, please tweet me @rachelltan_ or leave a comment on this post via imotiv and I'll get back to you! :)

Thank you for reading, love you all!