The Top 10 Travel Hacks From A Full Time Traveller
If there’s one thing I love more than travelling it’s finding a way to save money while doing it. There are a lot of things to consider when booking a trip away: Where can I get the best rate on travel money? Where can I find the cheapest flights? How can I use my phone abroad? I hope to spare you hours of trawling through google searches and paying out more money than you need to by telling you about some handy tips I’ve picked up on. Other than getting a job where you are paid to travel (which I can highly recommend!) these are my top travel hacks for saving yourself a bundle of time and cash when booking your next adventure!
1. Fly For Less
Just like hotel rooms flight prices can vary hugely depending on where you book. To find the best deals online use Google flights or Skyscanner. There’s a handy tool to compare prices on different dates! If you’re undecided on where to go use Skyscanner search box below. Just type in your dates and type ‘everywhere’ in the search bar to reveal the cheapest places to fly.
Don’t forget to take advantage of those frequent flyer points and earn points for upgrades whenever you fly!
2. Talk to an expert
A bit of a revelation to me recently was that tour companies can actually get you better deals on things like flights and hotels than you can get online. I’ve always been a believer of booking everything myself online for the best price. But it’s always worth checking with an agent especially if you doing a trip with them anyway. They are likely to be able to get flights at discounted rates. I highly recommend G Adventures click here for a special discount!Up to 25% Off Adventure Travel Deals
3. Travel in a group
While we’re on the subject of tour companies it’s true they’re not always the cheapest way to travel. They are however a great way to meet people and make full use of your time. They take away the stress of travel. While solo travel can have it’s perks, I would always advocate group travel as well (variety is the spice of life!). I can personally recommend Contiki for 18-35’s (the company I work for) and Gadventures (I’ve travelled with many times and are leaders in sustainable tourism). Check out their last minute deals;
Top tip- Book trips in the online sales around Black Friday or throughout January.
4. Get the right travel card
The best and safest way I’ve found to spend money abroad is on a travel credit card. While pre-loaded cash cards can be a good idea for those with a bad credit history, credit cards can offer a lot better protection should you’re card be stolen or cloned. The rates are also far better as there is no commission charge, just interest on ATM withdrawals. For years I have used the Halifax clarity credit card and can highly recommend the service. But make sure you get the right one for your individual needs. Money saving expert has some great advice. Transferwise is a new kind of border-less banking. Set up accounts in GBP, USD, AUD, EURO and many more to get local sort codes and account numbers. Great if you are working abroad but don’t have a fixed address.
5. Grab a sim
The eternal search for data. Mobile phone companies seem to have caught up with us globetrotters in recent years. The horror stories of racked up data roaming charges seem to be a thing of the past. Two of my favourite Euro Sims to grab are Three and Vodaphone. For pay as you go you can’t beat Three Mobile; clear, low rates with ‘feel at home’ countries throughout Europe and the western world. No brainer. For more avid travellers and people who live on the road Vodafone are the leader in the travel SIM product covering many countries with 4G! As with Three you can use your allowance at no extra cost in their ‘Roam free’ destinations. The difference is if you’re travelling somewhere a bit more far flung there is a small one off daily charge to use your entire allowance.
Of course there’s always free WiFi to be found in public spaces and cafés for those urgent Insta posts! Just be sure to use a VPN to secure your connection.
6. Get clued up about health
Not sure what vaccinations you need? Do you meed malaria tablets? Is it safe? Do you need a visa? I was recently wandering around a Jungle in Brazil and stumbled in to a yellow fever zone. Having already been bitten by a few pesky mosquito’s I was relieved to remember I’d had my jabs a few years before on a previous trip to S.E. Asia.
If you are from the UK visit the sites below for comprehensive advice but always see a GP for health advice. Otherwise check your own countries advice.
Superdrug are great for last minute prescriptions which can be delivered next day, as well as providing a travel clinic service.
7. Plan your journey
Rome2Rio is a great site for finding the best ways to get from point A to point B. Bus, train, taxi or plane this site will give clear comparisons and links on where to get tickets. Google maps is another invaluable tool when finding your way around, make sure to download offline maps before you go to save on precious data.
8. Get App happy!
It’s not just Google that can help you out on the road. There are a myriad of Apps that can make travel a cinch. From XE’s currency converter and Uber (or similar Apps for Taxis) to travel wallets and detailed country specific apps you can find anything to suit your specific trip. There are even apps to find ATMs and the nearest public toilets!
9. Drop the weight
So check out is 10am but your flights not until 10pm! Not ideal for the massive bag you are lugging around. Bad times. But many Tourist info offices have the handy feature of storing your luggage for a small fee (often cheaper than in train stations and no size limits). City Stasher offer a similar service providing trusted locations to stash your stuff at a set daily rate.
10. It pays to be unorganised
Seems contradictory to the rest of this post but the whole fun of travel is living in the here and now and this works in your favour when booking a place to stay. Using sites like Booking.com you can find some great deals on last-minute hotels. On rare occasions you might need to book in advance, such as peak season or for festivals and big events. But generally there’s a whole host of great places to stay that don’t want their rooms left empty. Research the area and always read independent reviews and you can’t go wrong! Air BnB can have some great bargains but be careful with any extra fees.
I hope you’ve found these tips useful. Have some of your own? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you anything but I may earn a fee if you make a purchase to help keep my site running. I only recommend products I use and love, much like the places I write about!