Explore, Eat, Experience: Jax Reyes on Travelling Smart Around Asia

Asia‘s go-to destinations like Thailand‘s temples, Taiwan‘s markets, and Japan‘s Mt. Fuji offers the perfect escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Aside from being budget-friendly, these destinations provide a variety of immersive cultural experiences — from local traditions to unique food adventures. 
However, as any seasoned traveller knows, travel mishaps may happen. This is why it’s important to prepare for any uncertainties.

Wander Wisely: Jax Reyes’ Budget-Friendly Adventures in Asia

Jax finds serenity in the tranquil vista at Myanmar’s Dhammayangyi Temple, sitting peacefully during a trip back in December 2016.

Jax finds serenity in the tranquil vista at Myanmar’s Dhammayangyi Temple, sitting peacefully during a trip back in December 2016.

Known as a personal finance guru on TikTok and a well-travelled content creator, Jax Reyes shares his firsthand experiences of spontaneous travel adventures. His social media content focuses on things you can do in famous Asian destinations, as well as the importance of being prepared for any possible setbacks. 

“I believe that travelling opens your eyes to different perspectives, whether it’s done for leisure, discovering cultures, or trying new eats,” Jax muses. “When you broaden your horizon, you get to learn so much more about the world as well as people around you.”

New experiences should not cost that much

Jax poses in front of a cherry blossom tree in full bloom during his spring 2024 trip to Kyoto, Japan, one of his top Asian travel destinations.

Jax poses in front of a cherry blossom tree in full bloom during his spring 2024 trip to Kyoto, Japan, one of his top Asian travel destinations.

Staying true to what he does best — providing travel tips, Jax believes that travellers can enjoy different experiences on a budget. 

“Now that I’m more experienced, I realise that travelling can be fun without having to spend a fortune,” says Jax. 

Jax prioritises several factors for a smooth experience when planning his adventures. “The first one is your budget,” he emphasises. “Don’t splurge just to go somewhere; be prepared.” He carefully selects destinations and sights, always aiming for the most affordable hotels and activities.

He takes advantage of promos and online deals from different travel sites like Agoda, Klook, and Airbnb. Through these websites, he can plan his trips on a budget and find practical ways to navigate his destinations. For example, he purchases unlimited subway coupons that are more affordable than having to line up and buy individual tickets every time he takes the train and discounted QR access to certain attractions for faster entries than buying regular-priced vouchers on-site.

For Jax, Asian countries are the most budget-friendly destinations for first-time and experienced travellers. “Thailand has so many unique hotels and sights that are relatively much more affordable,” he says. Jax also loves Taiwan for its blend of Chinese and Japanese influences, its warm and welcoming people, and its amazing food. 

“Japan is another favourite of mine. It’s like a dream country for many Filipinos, including me when I was younger,” he says. Jax notes that with careful planning and the favourable Yen to Peso conversion, Japan has become more accessible compared to previous years. It’s now more possible to go sightseeing on a budget. In Osaka, Japan, for example, some museums offer free admission days. Always search for free activities at your destination, such as a street fair or art exhibition.

When revisiting a city, Jax tends to have a more relaxed schedule. He spends more time staying at the hotel and maximising its amenities. When it comes to food, his hack is to splurge on one good meal at a unique restaurant, and then opt for street food or local supermarkets and convenience stores for other meals of the day. “Sometimes, I’d go to 7-Eleven three times a day to buy my food. Their selection is inexpensive yet really good, so I get to save while still having a delightful meal,” he says.  

When travelling abroad, Jax emphasises the importance of debit cards with 0% foreign transaction fees. He advises, “Banks won’t charge you a conversion fee, ensuring that the exchange rate you see on Google closely matches what you’ll pay in Philippine pesos.” Additionally, he suggests choosing credit cards with the lowest transaction fees to minimise losses in foreign conversion fees, ensuring that every peso counts.

Another money-saving hack that Jax practices is leveraging special occasions when booking hotels or activities. He advises, “It does not hurt to ask or to tell them that you’re celebrating a big milestone.” This may result in complimentary perks like a free bottle of wine or cake and even free upgrades. “When I asked the hotel if I could get a higher room with a nice view of the skyline, they upgraded me for free.” This, combined with maintaining a courteous attitude, can lead to unexpected savings and upgrades during travels.

Stay ahead of travel uncertainties by having a safety net

Jax smiles beside an unlit sky lantern inscribed with his life wishes, marking his first visit to Taiwan’s famous Shifen Old Street in March 2024.

Jax smiles beside an unlit sky lantern inscribed with his life wishes, marking his first visit to Taiwan’s famous Shifen Old Street in March 2024.

Throughout his trips, encountering issues like misplaced luggage or delayed flights isn’t new or entirely surprising for Jax. This is where he stresses the importance of getting travel insurance. “This is one of the most important things for me when travelling overseas,” he asserts. “Many travellers overlook it without thinking that accidents or illness can happen anytime and anywhere.”

“In cases of delayed flights, especially budget airlines, they won’t usually provide hotel accommodation or food. However, with travel insurance, you can be reimbursed for a comfortable hotel stay. This means that the cost of a hotel during major delays won’t remain a heavy burden on your wallet. For lost luggage, depending on the duration of the delay, you get reimbursed to buy a new outfit for a day or two.”

Recalling a past trip with his parents, Jax also experienced a sudden medical emergency when his father fell ill on the second day. Rushed to the hospital, they received comprehensive medical care, including tests and medicines, all of which were fully reimbursed within two weeks of their return, thanks to . This incident highlighted the importance of travel insurance with medical coverage.

“I always say, if you have the budget to travel, make sure to allot some amount for travel insurance and choose one that is established and reliable,” Jax advises. “The last thing you want is trouble when claiming your insurance. I avoid insurance that isn’t well-known or trusted because I fear it won’t cover emergencies well, fully reimburse me, or make reimbursement processes too difficult.”

For Jax, has proven to be the standard in providing comprehensive travel protection. A recent recipient of the Platinum Seal by the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands Awards 2024, offers 24/7 travel and emergency assistance. “AXA has the highest coverage too for trips to Schengen countries or any other destination,” Jax notes, citing AXA’s accidental death and permanent disablement coverage of up to five million pesos and emergency medical coverage of up to 3.5 million pesos.

Jax believes that travel is an enriching experience every Filipino deserves, regardless of age. With open-mindedness, a willingness to explore, and kindness, travel offers eye-opening experiences. “Travel broadens your horizons and opens your heart. Just don’t forget to secure your travel insurance with before you fly out — peace of mind makes every journey more enjoyable.” 

Learn more about #AXASmartTraveller by heading here. Be a #SmartTraveller with AXA today!


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