1. Book smart.
It’s been said that booking flights on a Tuesday afternoon gives you the cheapest deal, while booking on a Friday or the weekend is the most expensive. The reason behind this? Tuesday is usually when airlines will know whether their flights for the weekend are fully booked, and if there are spare seats, will decrease the prices.
Be careful when browsing super cheeky travel websites — they usually track when you’ve been on the websites and what flights you’re considering, so raise the prices on your next visit.
If you still want to look around before booking your flight, try activating private browsing mode so you can’t be tracked.
Finally, compare compare compare!
Use websites like Skyscanner to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Don’t just jump into booking when you see a cheap flight, though. Do your research on the airline and see if it’s a good fit.
2. Pack like a pro.
Packing compactly is an art, but once you learn the tricks of the trade, you’ll never go back!
A few suitcase hacks include: packing the heaviest items at the bottom, putting loose power cords in sunglasses cases, rolling your clothes instead of piling them up to free space and, for the ladies, stacking your bras on top of each other and folding them in half.
If you’re a forgetful packer, brainstorm and write a list of things you’re going to need for this particular trip, ticking them off as you go along. Start with essentials like electronic devices or skincare products, and then think of items to bring keeping in mind the climate of your destination.
3. Do your research.
These days, we have so much more than Lonely Planet travel guides to base our itineraries on.
The wonderful world of the internet and apps has broadened our horizons, and there are endless sources to gather inspiration from.
Pinterest is always a good option, with plenty of visuals to keep you inspired. There are hundreds of travel blogs out there that are bound to have featured your destination. Instagram is also a good one — search the hashtag or location of your destination to see which hotspots fellow travellers have checked in to.
4. Stay money-wise.
There’s nothing worse than running in to money problems mid-travel.
Often, it’s a catch-22 situation. You don’t want to be travelling with bucket loads of cash in your pocket, but then there’s the ATM fees and conversion charges that you’ll have to face.
A lot of shops, cafes etc in some parts of the world still run on a cash-only basis, so having a decent amount is always a good idea.
A possible solution? The MasterCard Cash Passport, allowing to keep your money in a secure place while overseas. The card can hold up to 10 currencies, can be accessed at 35.7 million locations worldwide and has no link to your bank account whatsoever. Think of it as a portable pocket-sized safe.
Make sure you take an extra bank card and/or credit card with you. It’s always good to have a backup in case you get robbed or lose a card. You don’t want to be stuck somewhere new without access to your funds.
Use no-fee bank cards — keep your heard-earned money for yourself and spend it on your travels instead of racking up the international transaction fees.
5. Technology is your friend.
Thanks to technology, travelling is easier than ever before.
Depending on the type of trip you’re embarking on, you may not want to bring any valuables. However, if you do decide to bring your smart-phone along, it will help you in so many ways.
Apps like Triposo acts as a virtual travel guide, and even features an offline map. iTranslate is a great option if you find yourself lost in translation and WiFi Finder locates free (and paid) public wifi hotspots in your area.
If you’re not one to follow the usual tourist paths, there are plenty of unique ways to discover a place.
Like A Local is a website that connects you to real people that know their city inside and out and can give you a more personal perspective. Meanwhile, if you like to wander alone, podcasts could be for you.
Soundwalk creates audio travel guides in cities like Tokyo and New York that follow a story-telling narrative while acting as a tour guide.
Do you have any travel hacks that have personally worked for you? If so, please leave a comment and share your tips with our community below!