From saving space in your suitcase to scoring cheap flights, there are a wealth of travel hacks that can help travellers have a stress-free and happy holiday getaway without breaking the bank. Both the planning and booking stages of travel are equally instrumental in how successful your trip will be, which can be a lot of pressure. Luckily, there are simple things you can do to cut costs and travel smarter before and during a trip that will put you one giant step ahead of the game.
We’ve put together a comprehensive list of some of the very best travel hacks around that all travellers can take advantage of to maximise their time and money on holiday and as a result, further enhance their travel experiences.
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Forgot your phone charger?
If you forget to pack your charger for your holiday, ask the hotel reception desk, as they often have spares left behind from previous guests that you can borrow.
Take advantage of other hotel’s amenities
Take advantage of other hotel’s amenities, for example, if you fancy a swim but you’re nowhere near the ocean, try the nearest hotel with a pool. As long as you buy a drink, the hotel staff will likely grant you access.
Have you thought about alternative accommodation?
Have you thought about alternative accommodation? For a really good deal, consider booking a private room in a hostel, rather than a hotel. This can give you a better value with an experience that’s a lot more fun!
Keep your room as cool or warm as you like it.
Keep your room as cool or warm as you like it by leaving a business card in the power activation outlet all day to keep the heating or air conditioning on. If your room thinks that someone is in it all day, it will keep the temperature regulated for when you return.
Fill up your mini bar for free.
Fill up your mini bar for free by storing things from the breakfast bar in your mini bar to give you a greater selection of drinks and food. Things such as orange slices and ice cubes can help create more exciting cocktails when you want to get the party started.
Save yourself some ironing.
Save yourself some ironing by using the steam from the shower to get rid of wrinkles in clothing. If something is creased, leave it trapped with the steam in the bathroom overnight for even better results.
Recover from a big night out.
Recover from a big night out by using a pants hanger to secure the curtains, keeping your room nice and dark, especially if you want a lie-in after a fun-filled night!
Get your flights cheaper.
Get your flights cheaper by booking two one-way flights rather than a return trip. This gives you more of an option with price, airline and times, allowing you to shop around to get the best deal.
Change your ‘point of sale’ for a better price.
Change your ‘point of sale’ for a better price, as the location from which a ticket is booked can affect the price. Try using a different address when booking to take advantage of this, and always do your homework before booking anything!
Hide your desire for a certain flight.
Hide your desire for a certain flight and always clear your search engine before checking ticket prices. If an airline knows that a flight is in demand, it will hike the prices up.
Don’t be afraid to hit that ‘book’ button.
Don’t be afraid to hit that ‘book’ button, Remember that you can always cancel a flight within the first 24 hours of booking, so keep your eye out in case a better deal pops up.
See somewhere else for free!
See somewhere else for free! Check to see if your flight offers free stopovers, allowing you to experience another city without spending any extra money. You can either go for a few hours or even a whole day!
Choose the right time to buy your ticket.
Choose the right time to buy your ticket, as purchasing tickets on a Sunday has been proven to be cheaper. If you can only book during the week, try to do it on a Tuesday.
Fly late for cheaper prices.
Fly late for cheaper prices. Red-eye flights, the ones that leave last in the day, are typically cheaper and less crowded, so aim to book that flight if possible. You will also get through the airport much quicker at the end of the day.
Keep your blood flowing on the plane.
Keep your blood flowing on the plane by wearing compression socks on longer flights. They help avoid blood clots and keep your blood flowing better. People often forget this important health tip.
Keep your holiday treats fresh.
Keep your holiday treats fresh – freeze sponges to keep your food treats fresh on the flight. As long as they are completely frozen, you won’t have any problems getting them through airport security.
Go to the bathroom before you land.
Go to the bathroom before you land – use the bathroom 20 minutes before you land to avoid the rush to the toilets in the airport. Even when the seatbelt light comes on, you have about 15 minutes of leeway if you’re desperate.
Save yourself money on changing up your currency.
Save yourself money on changing your currency by using ATM’s when you have landed at your destination to get the right currency, rather than using the expensive currency converters. Don’t ever use the currency converters at the airport, as they have the highest fees.
Research your flights in disguise.
Research your flights in disguise and use the incognito feature on your Internet browser when searching for flights. If the airline tracks that you have looked at a flight multiple times, it will raise the prices.
Plan where you’re going to sit in advance
Plan where you’re going to sit in advance. Visit seatguru.com and have a look at the seating plan of your flight. The site has all the extra information that you’ll need to know, allowing you to find the most comfortable seat for you.
Get yourself a full row of seats.
Get yourself a full row of seats when travelling in pairs by booking the aisle and window seat. Unless the flight is full, you’ll have all the seats in the row, and if not, the person assigned to the middle seat will likely switch with you.
Save space in your suitcase by wearing your clothes.
Save space in your suitcase by wearing your clothes. Wear your heaviest clothes on the plane to save weight in your suitcase, allowing you to bring more with you. Big coats can then be used as pillows to make your flight more comfortable.
Don’t get stuck in lines if you have issues with your flight.
Don’t get stuck in lines if you have issues with your flight. If your plane gets cancelled or delayed, phone the airline from the airport to resolve the issue rather than waiting in the long queue. You’ll get to speak to someone so much quicker!
Get out of the airport a lot faster.
Get out of the airport a lot faster. If you seem tired, bored or a bit groggy, you will get through security and immigration much quicker, as they are much less likely to bother with you.
Find your passport quicker.
Find your passport quicker by using different coloured stickers or paper clips on each person’s passport, so you can tell them apart easily and save yourself time at the airport. There’s nothing worse than fumbling through passports with all your bags in your hands!
Consider foreign flights for better awards.
Consider foreign flights for better awards, as British Airways has one of the best programs for frequent flyer miles, even for Americans. It needs fewer points to redeem free flights and rewards, particularly for US travellers.
Need to change your flight? Booking a new ticket can sometimes be cheaper.
Rebook for a cheaper change of flight. It may be worth considering rebooking your flight rather than changing the one you already have. Some airlines charge high changing fees, whereas last minute flights can be extremely cheap.
Exercise before you go away.
Exercise before you go away. No, really! Hate the effect that jet lag has on you? Do some intensive exercise the day before you fly, ensuring that you get plenty of sleep on the plane, arriving at your destination well-rested.
Easily find out where your plane is.
Easily find out where your plane is from anywhere. Confirm the status of your flight before you even arrive at the airport by searching for the flight number online. All travellers need is the airline and flight number, which can be found on an airline ticket.
Get an upgrade.
Get an upgrade by booking an economy ticket with a Y or B in the code. This means you’re looking for a complimentary upgrade should one become available. This will work better if you’re a loyal customer.
Take advantage of all the space in your suitcase.
Take advantage of all the space in your suitcase by rolling your clothes when packing, giving you much more space than folding. Remember the extra spaces in unlikely places such as the inside of your shoes.
Don’t lose any of your important information.
Don’t lose any of your important information by keeping scanned copies of all of your flight documents. This can help you in the event of theft or loss. You can even store these on your phone so that they’re always with you.
Protect your belongings during the flight.
Protect your belongings during the flight by marking your baggage as ‘Fragile’ to ensure that it’s handled better as it goes through security. It’ll also be one of the first bags released after the flight, getting you out of the airport quicker.
Keep an eye out for online deals.
Keep an eye out for online deals and always do an extra search before booking flights. You never know what discounts you might find. Social media pages and voucher sites are a great place to find deals.
What can your credit card offer you?
What can your credit card offer you? Your credit card might have perks that you didn’t even know about! Phone the company to check before booking anything, as you may be entitled to flight discounts, freebies, or car rentals. If you don’t ask, you won’t know.
Keep money aside for any unforeseen emergencies.
Keep money aside for any unforeseen emergencies. Always split your cash and keep it stored in separate places so you cannot lose it all. It’s also a good idea to take a spare credit card for emergencies because you never know what’s going to happen!
Keep your clothes smelling fresh as you travel.
Keep your clothes smelling fresh as you travel with a dryer sheet or a bar of soap in your luggage, as it will keep your belongings smelling fresh and free from static. You’ll never have to smell damp while travelling abroad again!
Don’t arrive on holiday with creased clothing ever again.
Don’t arrive on holiday with creased clothing ever again, as you can fold tissue paper in your clothing to prevent it from getting wrinkled during the flight. Particularly for special outfits that you want to keep nice.
Prevent any annoying suitcase spillages.
Prevent any annoying suitcase spillages by wrapping liquids up in cling film or zip locked bags to stop them spilling on your clothes. There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination with all your belongings ruined!
Save yourself money at the airport.
Save yourself money at the airport and take an empty plastic bottle with you through security to fill with water on the other side, saving you from having to buy expensive airport drinks.
Save yourself money by not buying those expensive travel sized toiletries.
Save yourself money by not buying those expensive travel sized toiletries, just order travel sized freebies online instead. This can give you the opportunity to try brands you’ve never used before too, and who knows, you might even find your new favourite shampoo!
Checking in bags costs a lot of time at the airport.
Checking in bags costs a lot of time at the airport, so pack a bag that can easily be squashed into the overhead lockers to prevent it being taken from you at the gate. This will allow you to exit the airport that much faster.
Squeeze all of the air out of your belongings to make more room for your stuff.
Squeeze all of the air out of your belongings to make more room for your stuff by using air compression bags to squash everything down.
Hate choosing outfits while you’re away?
Hate choosing outfits while you’re away? Pick a scheme and stick to it. For example, pack only dark colours to save stains and the constant worry about what goes well together.
Pack a bag inside your bag.
Pack a bag inside your bag. Take a smaller bag inside your suitcase so you have another option when out and about on your holiday. There’s nothing worse than having to lug around your massive travel bag for day trips.
Only bring what you need.
Only bring what you need. For example, store your makeup in smaller containers like those used for your contact lenses, allowing you to bring less in your suitcase, especially if you’re only going away for a couple of days.
Organise your laundry while you’re away.
Organise your laundry while you’re away, saving you a job when you get home by packing an extra bag to store your laundry so you can avoid clothes getting mixed up while you’re on holiday. Store the separated clothes in something like a tote bag that packs flat.
Look after your expensive jewellery while you travel.
Look after your expensive jewellery while you travel. Pill boxes are great for storing earrings, lockets, brooches and keeping your precious items safe. Don’t ruin your holiday by losing something that’s important to you.
Don’t lose your suitcases at the airport ever again.
Don’t lose your suitcases at the airport ever again with apps such as Trakdot that use GPS to track luggage on your phone, preventing it from getting lost at the airport.
Don’t get lost while you’re away.
Don’t get lost while you’re away. Find where you want to go using Google Maps, then type ‘OK Maps’ into the search bar to store this information for offline viewing. This prevents you from relying on your Internet data while out and about.
Finding WiFi codes while out and about couldn’t be easier.
Finding WiFi codes while out and about couldn’t be easier with apps such as Foursquare to find where to access the location of free WiFi codes. Even if you find these codes linked to a specific establishment, you can normally access it outside too.
Keep your phone running all the time when you’re on holiday.
Keep your phone running all the time when you’re on holiday by charging your phone or camera in any available USB port when you are out and about. Be sure to keep it on airplane mode for quicker charging and keep an eye out for outlets that can be found in electricity or department stores.
Use screenshots to help you get around.
Use screenshots to help you get around, such as a screenshot of a map from Google Maps taken before you travel to help you find your way when you have no data or WiFi connectivity.
Don’t get sucked in by tourist traps.
Don’t get sucked in by tourist traps, as holidaymakers often get ripped off by eating and drinking at the most expensive places in town. See what the locals are doing and follow them for a cheaper night out.
Make your holiday phone calls cheaper.
Make your holiday phone calls cheaper by travelling with an unlocked GSM phone, and picking up cheap SIM cards from your location. This will save on expensive data roaming fees.
Track the airline crew for the best places to eat and drink.
Track the airline crew for the best places to eat and drink by watching what the crew does because they use the airport all the time. They will know where the best quality and cheapest prices are available.
Know how to charge your phone more effectively.
Know how to charge your phone more effectively, as phones charge much faster when they’re in ‘Airplane Mode’, which is handy when you’re in a rush, or when you’re using a USB port to charge.
Want to become popular at the airport?
Want to become popular at the airport? Pack a power bar with multiple outlets and just see how many friends you make. It’s amazing how many people forget their chargers, or who packed them in the luggage that they checked in!
Know where you can multitask.
Know where you can multitask. For example, hair conditioner can be used to replace moisturiser and shaving cream, saving you from having to pack all of your toiletries. The less you need to take, the more room you have to bring souvenirs back.
Look at boutique hotels in popular areas for cheaper offer.
Look at boutique hotels in popular areas for cheaper offers. These small businesses will often do their best to compete with the big hotels by offering special promotions or rates that are affordable. Many times these boutique hotels will also provide a more personalised service for their guests.
Check for local holidays that might make travel more expensive before you book.
Check for local holidays that might make travel more expensive, as popular events can make hotel prices skyrocket due to limited availability and high demand. Plus, unless you’re attending a specific holiday event, you’re probably going to want to avoid the city at that time anyway.
What’s your best travel tip?
After learning these tips and tricks to use for travel, make sure you put your new travel hack knowledge to the test. Book your ideal hotel early so you can grab the best deals and find an accommodation that best suits your travel needs.