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15 Top Tips and Tricks for Visiting Theme Parks

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I have visited many theme parks, thankfully without enduring massive queues or spending a fortune. Check out my top tips for visiting theme parks and maybe you can too.

 

1. Book your tickets in advance

This may sound obvious but booking tickets in advance is one of the top tips for visiting theme parks! Tickets are ALWAYS dearer at the entrance to a theme park, and you won’t have to queue. Attraction Tickets.com have the LOWEST theme park ticket rates on the web, with free delivery and no credit card fees 😎
 
Attraction Tickets.com also offer many combination tickets that are not available to buy at the gate. You may get 2 days for the price of 1, or get discounted tickets to multiple theme parks, that are only available on their website. 
 

2. Research, research research.

I can’t stress this enough. You WON’T be able to go on every ride, no matter how fit you are, or how small the theme park is. Check the height and or age restrictions before you go, so you can rule out rides that are not applicable for your children. Not only will this save you time, but by preparing your kids in advance you may avoid any upset, if they are too small to go on a top attraction.

top tips for visiting theme parks
Mark the attractions that are ‘must see’ and go for them first. Check the times of shows or parades and decide what you want to see. Rides are usually quieter during parades, so bear that in mind if the parade is repeated and take advantage.
 

 

 

3. Parking tips:

Before you decide to drive, check the price of the parking. In some cases it can be exorbitant. It may be quicker and cheaper to take a shuttle bus or UBER to the park. If you do decide to drive, take note of where you parked. You will probably arrive at the park early, when the car park may be somewhat empty. Leaving however is a different story, so if you don’t know you where you parked your car, you could be in for a long night…
 

 

 

4. Bring supplies.

tips for visiting theme parks

If there are water rides, bring swim suits, and if you don’t want to get wet bring a poncho. A waterproof casing for your phone is also a good idea, as is a powerbank for your phone. You will probably take hundreds of pictures so you will want to re-charge it.
 

 

 
Bring snacks, they will come in handy when you are waiting in line for a long time, and will be a lot cheaper than buying snacks in the park. Most parks also have free water dispensers so I suggest bringing your own water bottle.
 

 

 
A lightweight back pack is ideal as sunglasses and phones are not allowed on some of the fast rollercoasters. Most parks have lockers available, take advantage of this rather than carrying a bag around all day. If travelling during the summer time – don’t forget your sunscreen!
 

 

 

5. Arrange a meeting place if you get lost.

Hopefully this won’t happen, but having a meeting place pre-arranged will alleviate some of the stress if you manage to get separated from your friends of family. Remember there will be rides that only some of the family will go on, and on some occasions the rides finish in a completely different place to where they started from. Having a meeting place is essential.
 

 

 

6. Plan your route

tips for visiting theme parks

Don’t follow the herd. Most people tend to turn right when they go into a theme park. Why not go anti-clockwise, or go to the rear of the park and work your way towards the entrance. Another good option is to go straight for the rides that you really want to go on.
 

 

 
The most popular rides will have the longest queues, so go on them first when you have more energy and don’t mind queueing. Trust me, this is a much better than standing in line for an hour at 5pm with exhausted children.
 

 

 

7. Check out express passes / fast track

Express passes vary from park to park. Disneyland Paris for instance has a great ‘free’ fast pass system. You simply go to a ride and get a time slot for later that day, then come back to a shorter queue. Other theme parks are not so good, or indeed free.
 

 

 
Fast pass tickets in some parks can be a Godsend if you are travelling during peak season, and if you want to go on the most popular rollercoasters. If however, you happen to be travelling off peak and/or you have small children who are unable to go on the big rides, they may be a waste of money. Fast passes in many parks are not valid on the top attractions, make sure you check each park for their individual offering.
 

 

 

8. Use the single rider lanes

tips for visiting portaventura

There may be one or two people in your group who want to try the fast coasters. Make use of the single lanes where there is usually little or no queue. It may mean that you wont be able to sit next to your partner, but you may be seated in the row behind them, and if that means saving a half hour in the queue, it might be worth it!
 

 

 

9. Use the baby swap.

The baby swap facility is not available in all theme parks, but if you see it – take advantage. They are used primarily for people who are travelling with a small child. You all queue together, one person stays with the baby in a room at the top of the queue, while the other goes on the ride. When your partner is finished the ride, you simply swap places.
 

 

 

10. Go at night time

tips for visiting theme parks
Not only are queues way shorter at night-time, but many parks offer discounted tickets for evening visits. You may also catch a parade or fireworks display.
 

 

 

11. Bring ID

This is one of the top tips for visiting theme parks in America. You have to have picture identification if you want to buy alcohol, regardless of what age you are in America. A nice cold beer after an exhilarating (or terrifying) ride might be needed, so make sure you bring ID with you.
 

 

 

12. Consider staying in one of the theme park hotels for a few nights.

tips for visiting universal studios

Many theme parks including Universal Studios, Disney World and Disneyland Paris have hotels on site. These can be handy if you are planning on spending a lot of time in these particular parks. You will usually have early access to the park before the general public, so you can go on top attractions without large queues.
 

 

 
It can also be handy at night time for dining options, and for easy access to the park for firework displays, parades or shows. Some of Universal’s top hotels include express passes in your stay.

Read: My top things to do in Universal Studios Orlando
 

 

 

13. Check the shows are in English

We got caught out in Disneyland Paris when we queued for 45 minutes for the French version of Frozen! Many shows in theme parks are shown in different languages. Make sure the show you are planning your day around, is the English version. Sometimes there is a small icon on the park guide showing which language the show is in, failing that, check in with the information centre beforehand.
 

 

 

14. Pre-purchase Disney’s Fast Pass+ and Memory Maker.

tips for visiting theme parks - disneyworld

Disney’s Fast Pass+ allows you to pre-book your favourite rides and attractions online before you go. This is automatically included with Disney tickets purchased through Attraction Tickets.com. Similarly Disney’s ‘memory maker’ which normally costs $199 is free if you buy your Disney tickets through Attraction Tickets.com. This allows you to keep ALL photographs that are taken of you in the park.
 

 

 

15. Download the App

Many theme parks have their own free apps with tips for visiting theme parks, as well as wait times for rides, showtimes and availability in restaurants. Download the app before you go.
 

 

 
Remember to pre book your theme park tickets through Attraction Tickets.com , who have the LOWEST theme park ticket rates on the web, with free delivery and no credit card fees. If you prefer to book by phone or are confused about what tickets to buy, why not call the expert staff in Attraction Tickets Dublin office. They are open from 9am-9pm, 7 days a week, call free on 1800 936 640. All they sell is theme park tickets and hotels, so they know all the theme parks inside out.

 

I hope you enjoyed my top tips for visiting theme parks. If you have any to add, just comment in the box below I would love to hear them.  This post was sponsored by Attraction Tickets.com but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Like this post? You may like:

 

The best tickets to buy for PortAventura

The best tickets to buy in Orlando

10 things to know about Universal Orlando before you book

 

Sarah

 

 

 

FavouritesTravel Tips

How To Save Money On Aer Lingus Checked Baggage

Aer-Lingus-A330-Render-View44B-HR-Sml-compressor

I love a good travel-hack but this one has to be one of my favourites! Read on to see how to save money on Aer Lingus checked baggage.

 

When I travel to Europe I like to fly with Aer Lingus, but one thing that I don’t like, is the price of Aer Lingus checked baggage. When travelling alone I usually travel light and bring cabin baggage, but when travelling with kids, I like to check in cases and let them bring their own luggage too.

aer lingus checked baggage
 

 

 
We, like many families usually opt for two 20kg checked bags between us. If travelling mid-haul to places like Spain, Portugal etc the cost is €80 return for a 20kg checked bag, so the total is €160 for two bags. If travelling to the Canary Islands the cost is even higher, at €110 return per checked bag, therefore €220 for two bags.
 

aer lingus checked baggage to lanzarote
 

 

 
Now prepare to be amazed….
 

This is how you how to save money on Aer Lingus checked baggage!

 
Instead of selecting one 20kg bag per person, select 40kg checked baggage under one name. The cost changes from €160 to €140 on mid-haul routes and €220 to €170 on longer flights. That’s a saving of €50 if you are travelling to the Canary Islands, simply by using this travel-hack!

aer lingus checked baggage

You will see that it clearly shows that the 40kg you have selected is to be made up of two 20kg bags. This is exactly the same as if you selected them separately, only they are both allocated to one passenger instead of two! It is such a great travel hack but I’m bet you are wondering how you never spotted it before?
 
Book Aer Lingus flight here
 

 

5 More tips to save money on checked baggage fees:

 

Invest in a lightweight cabin-sized bag.

Try to bring hand-luggage only. Invest in the lightest case on the market! As soon as the kids are old enough, ditch the trunkies and buy them one too. I have a samsonite light-shock cabin case and I love it. It is super light but the frame is expandable so I can fit much more into this case, than cases of similar size.
 

 

 
I find if I am travelling to hot climates where jackets and boots are not needed, I manage easily to travel with only this case. I have a portable luggage scales and I bring it with me to avoid any worries that my case might be over-weight on the return. You can buy them for less than €10.

travel gadgets
 

 

 

Purchase sun-creams and toiletries in the airport once you pass through security.

One of the main reasons people purchase checked baggage is because you cannot bring liquids more than 100ml in size in your hand luggage. However with Aer Lingus new cabin bag policy, you can check in your cabin bag for free, which means you can bring liquids with you, once you check in your bag.
 

 

 
If you need to bring you bag on board with you, you will pay up to €8.99 for the privilege. If you are going on a sun holiday you can pick up sun creams in Boots once you pass through security. Simply slot them into your hand luggage before boarding and avoid the hassle at security.
 

 

 

Select different cabin-baggage on your outbound and inbound flights.

If travelling to places where you are likely to be doing a lot of shopping, select a 15kg checked bag on your outward journey and a 25kg checked bag on your return journey. Similarly if you are planning a Christmas shopping break to the USA you can select add an extra suitcase to your booking for the return journey only.

aer lingus checked baggage
 

 

 

Always book checked baggage online.

Most airlines charge much higher rates if you book baggage at the airport, so always make sure you have your baggage booked before you go. Some airlines charge more if you add on bags at a later stage, so if possible try to book baggage at the time of booking.
 

 

 

Check airlines baggage policies when booking flights.

More and more airlines are not including checked baggage in their cheapest airfares, but some still do. Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and many others have generous baggage allowances, while some low-cost carriers even charge for hand luggage.

It is important to check with the airline before you book, in some cases it might be better value to flying with a premium airline.

my review of turkish airlines
 

 

 
I hope this guide, how to save money on Aer Lingus checked baggage, and I hope it will see you saving lots of money on upcoming trips! Let me know in the comments below if you do.

 

Like this post? You might like my top 10 travel hacks here.

 

See more travel tips here.

 

 

 
Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

 

Travel Tips

My Top Twenty Travel Gadgets

travel gadgets airport

Whether you are buying for the travel addict in your life, or just want to treat yourself, check out my top ten travel gadgets to help you travel in style!

Waterproof  Phone case – £7.99

If you are planning on going on a boat trip, jet-ski or even snorkelling, don’t travel without this. This particular model is big enough for larger phones, and if you like taking photos, it is one of the best travel gadgets you can buy! 

travel gadgets

See more here
 

 

 

Media Share – £19.97

I wish I could say that my kids don’t need electronic devices on holidays, but unfortunately they do! I invested in a Media share, years ago and it is one of my favourite travel gadgets. It’s a small portable device that creates it’s own wifi network so kids can watch movies on their tablets or phones anywhere, even on a plane. BTW it is good for adults too!

travel gadgets

 
See more here
 

 

 

Havaianas Luna sandals – £14.99

I never travel without these – they are so versatile! The support around your heel allows you to wear them at any time, even for long walks. They don’t flop, they never fall off and they are even dressy enough to wear at night time – well depending on where you are going 😉. I have them in two colours and I bring them everywhere!

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert) on

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Ultra Powerful Power bank – £19.99

Most of you may already have power banks, but are they much good? Do you just about manage to charge one device before the battery dies? This extremely powerful powerbank could charge an iPhone 8 nine times or a Samsung Galaxy 6 times! Check out the reviews if you still need convincing.

travel gadgets

See more here
 

 

 

Portable steamer – £21.99

Not only is this portable steamer great to bring on holidays, it can be really useful at home too. It looks bigger than some of the others on the market but don’t let that put you off – it is actually lighter ( 721g )  than most of its more expensive competitors. Say goodbye to irons and to creased clothes on holidays!

travel gadgets

See more here
 

 

 

Noise cancelling head phones – £119

These are a Godsend for travelling. You can literally hear no outside noise! There are various types so makes sure you select the correct pair for Apple or Android products and choose ear pods or ear phones – depending on personal taste.

travel gadgets

See more here
 

 

Power Strip with 3 USB charging ports and 3 power sockets – £13.95

If, like me, you never have enough travel adaptors with you – this is going to change your life! Not only does this have 3 USB ports but it also means you only have to bring one travel adaptor on holidays. No more arguing over who’s phone is charging or when you need it to dry your hair! Incidentally you know the way there are never plugs near a mirror in a hotel room? Not a problem anymore, – simply plug the extension cable in and bring it into the bathroom with you.

travel gadgets

See more here
 

 

 

Samsonsite light-shock cabin case – £233

I know these are expensive, but they are SO worth it! I have a this cabin case and it has saved me a fortune on checked luggage. It is so light and expandable that you can fit much more inside than a case of similar size. I have vowed to buy one for everyone in the family and never pay checked baggage fees again!

 

travel gadgets

 

See more here
 

 

Microfibre quick dry towel from £12.99

With checked baggage fees getting higher and higher, the last thing you want to waste precious luggage space on, is a beach towel! A lightweight microfibre towel is just what you need. It is quick drying, sand free and fits nicely into a small beach bag! There are various ones to choose from, like this one from Amazon, but I love Tesalate towels. They are more expensive but are the best beach towel on the market. This is a lovely treat for yourself or a friend who loves to travel.

unique travel gifts
 

See more here
 
Read: 10 Unique Travel Gifts for People Who  Love to Travel
 

 

 

6 Packing cubes – £16.95

Organise your outfits, separate clean clothes from dirty and save on space, packing cubes are essential for frequent travellers. This set contains six separate cubes with a mesh top for easy identification of items.

travel gadgets

See more here
 

 

 

Travel pillow, mask & ear plugs – £6.21

This travel pillow, mask and ear plugs set comes in a tidy bag that can hook on to your suitcase. I can’t tell you the amount of travel pillows that I have bought that don’t hook onto my case and they end up being a nuisance! The specialist hump designed neck pillow provides 360 degree next and head support to help prevent side-to-side swaying and also deflates so can fit every easily into your hand bag.

travel gadgets

See more here
 

 

 

Small Cross body leather hand bag – £19.99

I have a small cross body black bag similar to this one and I never travel without it. I feel much safer walking around with a cross body bag than with a shoulder bag. To save on luggage space make sure you buy one that can double up as a bag for going out at night time – hence the black leather choice.

travel gadgets

See more here
 

 

 

Portable Luggage Scales – £7.99

This can be a lifesaver on holidays. No longer need to worry if your suitcase is over weight. This one is also so light (90g) that it is easy to bring with you. This is one of the best travel gadgets you can have.

travel gadgets

See more here
 

 

 

New Kindle PaperWhite – £119.99

Did you know that the new Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is thinner, lighter, waterproof and comes with twice the storage? It’s the perfect companion for a long haul flight or for lazy days by the pool.

travel gadgets

See more here
 

 

 

Personalised luggage tags – £5.99

For the man or woman who has everything? These leather personalised luggage tags are the perfect stocking filler.

travel gadgets

See more here
 

 

 

Travel Gadget / Cable Bag – £16.99

For anyone who travels with lots of gadgets or with kids who have phones, tablets etc – this will save your life. With separate pouches for phone cables, powerbanks, memory cards and charges, you will never leave home without it.

travel gadgets

See more here
 

 

 

Drawstring Make Up Bag – £7.98

Say goodbye to bringing two or more cosmetic bags with you on holidays, this lazy drawstring bag holds everything! And not only that it is easy to use, no more rooting to try to find your night cream, everything is easily spotted once you open the bag. It also has two zipped pouches which are ideal for jewellery or hair clips etc.

travel gadgets

See more here
 

 

 

Mavic Air Drone from DJI – £599

Drones have become massively popular in recent years and would make a terrific gift for someone who is into photography and wants to get pictures from a different angle. This drone is fantastic and lightweight too, folding down to pack away neatly in its own carry case. It will produce crisp video footage and beautiful photographs and is the ideal gift for the amateur pilot/photographer in your life. Oh and its available in a range of pretty colours too!

travel gadgets

See more here
 

 

 

4 Pack Reusable Wine Bottle Protector Sleeves – £32.95

travel gadgets - wine bottle protectors

If you like to bring wine home with you from holidays – then you have to buy this product! Designed by an airline pilot, they receive outstanding reviews from anyone who has bought them. The triple seal and sturdy outer plastic skin wrap prevents breakage and the best part – they are reusable. This is the best travel gadgets for wine lovers.

 
 
See more here
 

 

 

Portable Travel WiFi Hotspot – £99.99

When you need to stay connected whilst abroad and need to keep the phone bill down, this device is invaluable. It is simple to use, is lightweight and easily transportable and because it is unlocked you can just purchase a data card from whatever country you are in and just pop it in to the SIM card holder – it couldn’t be easier. Never be disconnected again!

travel gadgets

See more here
 

 

 
I hope you like my top twenty travel gadgets and that they help you on your next trip. Note this post contains affiliate links where I receive a small commission if you purchase something, but at no additional cost to you.

Like Travel Tips? See more here.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

Travel Tips

My Favourite Travel Hacks As Discussed on Newstalk

travel hacks

I discussed my favourite Travel Hacks on Newstalk FM. Check out my top tips and tricks to save you time, money and make your next trip away a little easier. 

 

Compare Like with Like

Tour Operators / Travel Agents v Booking direct.

Many travel agents and tour operators packages include checked baggage and transfers. If you need to pay for a checked bag with Aer Lingus, it will cost you €110 to Lanzarote for 20kg in July. Likewise if you are staying in the North of Majorca or the west coast of the Algarve, it could cost €200 for return airport transfers. The cheap deal you thought you had managed to get direct, may not be so cheap afterall.

USA & Long haul flights:

It is important to compare like with like on long haul flights as checked baggage and meals is no longer standard. With low cost carriers like WOWair and Norwegian now offering regular flights from Ireland to the USA, you need to compare what you are getting versus flying direct with other carriers who include meals, seats and checked baggage. Norwegian are charging an additional €130 on a return flight to New York for a 20kg checked bag, seat reservation and a meal on board. They also fly into Stewart Airport which is 90 minutes from New York city, and have no inflight entertainment on board… WOW air fly into JFK but they only allow you bring a hand bag with their cheaper air fares. You need to add on a carry on bag and a checked bag if required. The cost for a carry on, checked bag and a standard seat is €150 return. Inflight meals are extra! Airlines like Ethiopian airlines who fly direct to Los Angeles include 2 checked bags as standard as well as free inflight meals and drinks.

review of ethiopian airlines

European flights

There are so many new carriers flying from Ireland but we tend to only look at Aer Lingus and Ryanair, when booking flights to Europe. Icelandair are now flying direct to Iceland as well as WOW air, Scandinavian Airlines and Norwegian are flying direct to Copenhagen, Cobalt air to Cyprus, Aegean airlines to Athens and Vueling and Iberia Express fly to Barcelona and Madrid respectively. Don’t limit yourself to one airline. It may be cheaper to fly out with one and back with another. Also the flight times might suit better if you use two carriers. Websites like Skyscanner will show you all available flights to a destination in price order. You can also sign up for price alerts so if you are looking at a particular route, you will receive an email to tell you if the price has gone down. Alternatively talk to your local travel agent, they will know instantly who flies where and the best prices.

** Sign up to newsletters so you are notified of sales and special offers **

 

Weather 

Before you book any holiday it is important to gauge what the weather will be like. Wunderground.com is an excellent resource for checking historical weather. It will show you the temperature and rainfall for the same period you are looking to travel, over the past number of years.

travel hacks 

Passports

Use the passport reminder service, enter your details on line now and you will get a reminder 3 months before your passport is due to expire. Once you get this reminder, renew your passport online. It is so easy, check out my definitive guide to renewing your passport online. You can even upload your own photo from your smart phone now. Note this is only for existing passport holders. New passports have to go through the normal channels. Check the turnaround times on the Passport website and never assume that Passport Express is 2 weeks – it rarely is.

travel hacks

Take Out Car Hire Excess Insurance 

This is a personal bug bear of mine. When you arrive at an airport, particularly with kids in tow, the car hire companies always insist you have insurance excess policies, and they are usually charging exorbitant rates. You can avoid paying these by taking out a car hire excess insurance policy with CarHireExcess.com before you travel. With prices from €2.99 per day instead of €15 per day (approx cost), this is something that everyone should have, if hiring a car abroad.

travel hacks   

Online Tools

 

Check in on-line

Checking in online will not only save long airport queues but it may ensure you get the best seats available. For airlines like Ryanair, you HAVE to print your boarding passes before hand, most other airlines this isn’t necessary. Although I would recommend doing it anyway, to save time checking in.

Pre-book seats.

Pre book seats where possible, www.seatguru.com is the ‘tripadvisor’ for seats! Use this website to find out where the best seats are on an aircraft, read honest reviews from travellers who have flown on the same aircraft. If travelling long haul, pre book specific meals so you will be served first, particularly if it’s a night flight and you want to sleep. I find the vegetarian options are usually the best!

travel hacks

Pre book attraction tickets:

It is almost always cheaper to pre book attractions on line. Not only will it save you money but it will also save you time queuing. Check the local tourist boards for free activities and for discovery passes. Usually you will find a bulk attraction / city pass is cheaper than paying for each attraction separately. Websites such as Attraction Tickets Direct also offer discounts for booking in advance and offer real tickets so you can avoid queuing for tickets at your destination.

 

Join Frequent Flyer Clubs 

You will be amazed at how quickly you can accumulate points, even if you are not a frequent traveller. Most clubs are now affiliated with Hotel chains or retailers so you can collect points in various different ways. This may enable you to get a free flight, an upgrade or a hotel stay.

travel hacks

 

Useful Travel Apps

If travelling outside Euro, know the exchange rates. This is a common mistake. You arrive tired and although you may have known the currency conversion before you left home, the likelihood is you have forgotten once you arrive. Don’t end up paying huge money for taxis or tipping hotel staff the wrong amount because you don’t know the proper exchange rate. Download the XE currency app – it also works offline ( you dont need to be connected to wifi or use roaming).

The Tripadvisor app is invaluable when checking restaurant or attraction reviews. It will also send you push notifications about highly rated restaurants or attractions close by.



If you haven’t already downloaded the UBER cab app, do it before you go on holidays. Arriving into a strange country and being unsure of taxi fares can be daunting. Just use the app to book an uber, it is much safer and will probably save you money too!

Many people don’t realise but Google Maps can also be used off line. Download your route plans before you leave home and use them when on holidays. Google translate is another excellent tool, you can use your phone’s camera to photograph menus, sign posts etc, and it will translate them to English for you.

travel hacks

Travelling with kids

 

Ditch the trunkis

I have many travel tips for travelling with kids but one of my favourites is to invest in light weight hand luggage. Get rid of the trunkis as soon as they are able to wheel heavier cases. Kids like wheeling their own cases anyway and if you invest in the best lightweight case available you can save a fortune on checked baggage charges. I tell my kids they can bring whatever fits in their case, this usually works out well when packing! Buy a portable luggage scales and bring with you to avoid stress of thinking you may be over weight. You can buy them for less than €10.

travel hacks

City Breaks

If travelling on a city break, choose an early flight home. Once you have checked out of the hotel, the kids will just want to go home and you will spend a fortune trying to amuse them on the last day. The €30 saving you thought you had by coming back on the later flight, believe me you will spend it twice over. For city breaks where there is a lot of walking involved, buy a cheap fold up scooter from Smyths for €15 and depending on your weight allowance, leave it behind you if necessary.

travel hacks

Buy a media share

Although I would like to say that my kids don’t need electronic devices to on holidays, they can be a Godsend. Invest in a Media share, it’s a small portable device that creates it’s own wifi network so kids can watch movies on their tablets or phones anywhere, even on a plane. It is also really compact so much easier to carry than a portable DVD player and lots of DVDs.

travel hacks

Email the hotel

Avoid bringing the kitchen sink. Most hotels have baby equipment so you wont have to bring your own. These are not always advertised in brochures incase 20 families ask for buggies, sterilisers or bottle warmers at the same time. Call or email the hotel before hand and ask them what equipment they have and pre book if possible.

 

Like Travel Tips ? See more here.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

 

Travel

42% Of Travellers Experienced Flight Delays or Cancellations Recently – Have You Travel Disruption Cover?

cancelled

Are you one of the 42% of holiday makers that experienced flight delays or cancellations recently?

 

Ireland’s leading travel insurance brand Multitrip.com have revealed some startling statistics in their latest travel survey. A staggering 42% of people have recently experienced flight delays or cancellations, while 34% confirmed that they are worried about air strikes. With 88% of people planning to go on two or more holidays this year, it is not only vital that we all have travel insurance, but travel disruption cover is becoming a necessity.

Insurance is one of those purchases that unfortunately we only really value when something goes wrong.  I always take my insurance with Multitrip.com and just renew it each year without asking any questions. However I like many of you, found myself asking what exactly am I covered for?

Most insurance policies will not cover you for ‘acts of God’ like hurricanes or volcano eruptions or for airline strikes or closures. Remember the Icelandic ash cloud? 100,000 flights were cancelled and many people were left stranded for weeks. More recently Ryanair cancelled hundreds of flights and left people who had booked accommodation separately, out of pocket. Hurricane Irma and the Beast from the East also grounded air travel for days.

ryanair

 

It is important to know that Multitrip.com  have a Travel Disruption Cover which can be added to your insurance policy from as little as €10 (single trip policy) and €17 (annual policy) and will provide you with additional cover in the event of adverse weather conditions, airline cancellations and even strikes.

travel disruption cover

Like all insurance policies however, you can’t purchase Travel Disruption Cover after something goes wrong… Once you have added it to your policy it will be effective seven days later, so don’t wait until you hear about the next hurricane, or rumours of air traffic control strikes – add it to your policy now!  Travel Disruption Cover offers extended cover under delayed departure, missed departure and accommodation sections, should your flight be cancelled or delayed as a result of strike or adverse weather conditions.

  • If your flight is cancelled or delayed for more than 12 hours it covers additional accommodation and travel costs up to €1,000.
  • If your flight is cancelled or delayed for more than 12 hours then you can claim back up to €1,000 for irrecoverable unused travel and accommodation costs should you cancel.
  • Claim back up to €1,000 for accommodation if you have to be moved from your current location or cut your trip short because of flood, earthquake, volcanic eruption etc
  • Covers cancellation or curtailment charges should the Foreign & Commonwealth Office or World Health Organisation advise against travel to the country or specific area you are travelling to.
  • Gives you control of the situation and the added security that you have sufficient cover should an airline cancel, delay or redirect your flight after take-off.

Multitrip.com is offering two year travel insurance from €31.99. For prices, bookings and more details on Travel Disruption Cover, visit Multitrip.com or speak to your travel agent.

 

Related articles on the blog:

Cancelled Flight? – What to do when things go wrong.

Top tips for booking travel insurance.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

In The Media

My Favourite Travel Hacks As Seen on Saturday AM

Being a savvy traveller is easier than you think, just remember to use some of my favourite travel hacks!

 

Research the weather

Before you book any holiday it is important to gauge what the weather will be like. In the age of constant climate change, the wunderground website is an excellent resource for checking historical weather. It will show you the temperature and rainfall for the same period you are looking to travel in, over the past number of years.  No more guesses, these are real temperatures which should give you the best indication of what the weather will be like, at your chosen destination.

Check in online, prebook seats & meals.

Checking in online will not only save long airport queues but it may ensure you get the best seats available. For airlines like Ryanair, you HAVE to print your boarding passes beforehand, for most other airlines this isn’t necessary. Although I would recommend doing it anyway, to save time when you get to the airport.

Pre book seats where possible, www.seatguru.com is the ‘Tripadvisor’ for seats! Use this website to find out where the best seats are on an aircraft, read honest reviews from travellers who have flown on the same aircraft. If you normally pay for priority boarding with Ryanair, book an exit seat and they will give you priority boarding free! If travelling long haul, pre book specific meals so you will be served first, particularly if it’s a night flight and you want to sleep. I find the vegetarian options are usually the best!

favourite travel hacks

Prebook attraction tickets.

Read travel blogs on the area you are going to, or use TripAdvisor to find out the top things to do in a particular destination. Check the local tourist boards for free activities and for discovery passes. Usually you will find a bulk attraction / city pass is cheaper than paying for each attraction separately. Websites such as Attraction Tickets Direct offer huge discounts for booking in advance and offer real tickets, so you can avoid queuing for tickets at your destination.

Take out car hire excess insurance

Car hire excess is a personal bug bear of mine. When you arrive at an airport, particularly with kids in tow, the car hire companies always insist you take their car hire excess policy, and they usually charge exorbitant rates. You can avoid paying these by taking out a car hire excess insurance policy before you travel. With prices from €2.99 per day instead of €15 per day (approx cost), this is a must have if you are hiring a car abroad. Visit carhireexcess.com for more details.

favourite travel hacks

Travelling with kids

I have many travel tips for travelling with kids but one of my favourites is to invest in light weight hand luggage. Loose the trunkis as soon as your children are able to wheel heavier cases. Kids like wheeling their own cases anyway and if you invest in the best lightweight case available you can save a fortune on checked baggage charges. I tell my kids they can bring whatever fits in their case, this usually works out well when packing! Buy a portable luggage scales and bring it with you to avoid stress of thinking you may be over weight. You can buy them here for less than €10.

If travelling on a city break, choose an early flight home. Once you have checked out of the hotel, the kids will just want to go home and you will spend a fortune trying to amuse them on the last day. The €30 saving you thought you had by coming back on the later flight, believe me you will spend it twice over. For city breaks where there is a lot of walking involved, buy a €20 fold up scooter from Smyths and depending on your weight allowance, leave it behind you if necessary.

Avoid bringing the kitchen sink! Most hotels have baby equipment so you wont have to bring your own. These are not always advertised in brochures, incase 20 families ask for buggies, sterilisers or bottle warmers at the same time. Call or email the hotel before hand and ask them what equipment they have and pre-book if possible.

I wish my kids didn’t need electronic devices to on holidays, but they can be a Godsend! Invest in a Mediashare, it’s a small portable device that creates it’s own wifi network so kids can watch movies and listen to music on their tablets or phones anywhere, even on a plane. It is also really compact so much easier to carry than a portable DVD player and lots of DVDs.

Verbatim 49160 MediaShare Mini Wireless MicroSD Card Reader Black Amazon.co.uk Computers Accessories

 

Use travel apps

If travelling outside the Eurozone, know the exchange rates. This is a common mistake. You arrive tired and although you may have known the currency conversion before you left home, the likelihood is you have forgotten once you arrive. Don’t end up paying huge money for taxis or tipping hotel staff the wrong amount because you don’t know the proper exchange rate. Download the XE currency app – it also works offline (you dont need to be connected to wifi or use roaming).

Tripadvisor app is invaluable when checking restaurant or attraction reviews. It will also send you push notifications about highly rated restaurants or attractions close by. Many people don’t realise it but Google Maps can also be used offline. Download your route plans before you leave home and use them offline on holidays. Google translate is another excellent tool, you can use your phone’s camera to photograph menus, sign posts etc, and it will translate them to English for you.

favourite travel hacks  

Photocopy or scan important documents.

It is not something we like to think about but is it possible that you could be a victim of a crime on holidays, or simply loose your passport or other documents. Passport, insurance details, credit cards, flight tickets – all of which are much easier to replace if you have copies of the originals safely stored. Alternatively, store the scanned documents in the ‘Cloud’, using Google Drive (15GB of free space and part of your Gmail account), Dropbox which gives you 2GB of free storage space or an app like Evernote. These digital copies are stored safely online and available by logging into from any computer in the world.

 

Have you any favourite travel hacks? Comment below, I would love to hear them!

 

Like Travel Tips? See more here!

 

Sarah

Travel Tips

My Top Ten Travel Hacks

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Planning your next holiday? Check out my top ten travel hacks! They might save you time, money and make travelling a little easier!

 

 

1. Use the free passport reminder service.

If you are reading this post and have not already done this I urge you to click here straight away! This free services lets you add your passport details and expiry date and will email you to tell you when your passport is due to expire.

The Travel Expert's Top Ten Travel Hacks

 

 

2. When booking flight tickets or other travel services online, compare like with like.

Many package holidays will include airport transfers and baggage but if you book flights and a hotel separately, you will have to add these to the cost. Hotel comparison websites such as Trivago or Tripadvisor will search numerous websites for accommodation and you may find significant savings. Don’t forget to check out the Irish Travel Agents Association website, they feature top offers from Ireland’s leading travel agents.

The Travel Expert's Top Ten Travel Hacks

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Check one way and return airfares.

You may find it is cheaper to fly out with one airline and home with another.  One airline may also have better flying times on the outward journey and another on the return. Websites such as Skyscanner combine most airlines and quite often you will find the best value flights will be with two different carriers.

The Travel Expert's Top Ten Travel Hacks

 

 

4. Know your weather

When you see a deal to the Mediterranean for €199 in January, it is probably because you won’t get hot weather! If you are looking for a sunshine break, check the weather forecast for previous years by using the historical tab on wunderground.com

The Travel Expert's Top Ten Travel Hacks

 

 

5. Delete your cookies.

The jury is still out on this one! Some airlines have been known to increase the cost of flights when you return to their website. They store your ‘cookies’ and can tell when you search for the same flights a second or third time. There are various opinions on this but to be safe, delete your cookies and use an incognito window when making your booking.

The Travel Expert's Top Ten Travel Hacks

 

 

6. Photocopy or scan all documents before you go.

It is not something we like to think about but is it possible that you could be a victim of a crime on holidays, or simply loose your passport or other documents. Passport, insurance details, credit cards, flight tickets – all of which are much easier to replace if you have copies of the originals safely stored. Alternatively, store the scanned documents in the ‘Cloud’, using Google Drive (15GB of free space and part of your Gmail account), ‘Dropbox’ which gives you 2GB of free storage space or an app like ‘Evernote’. These digital copies are stored safely online and available by logging into from any computer in the world!

The Travel Expert's Top Ten Travel Hacks

 

7. Luggage tips

Check luggage allowances before you start to pack. You will be surprised how many airlines hand luggage allowance is only 7kg, particularly with charter or long haul flights. Invest in a luggage scales, they are not expensive and will save you a lot of stress, particularly if like me, your case always hovers around the baggage allowance! If travelling with kids, let them use their own baggage allowance, not only will they love the independence but it will save you money and save your back!

The Travel Expert's Top Ten Travel Hacks

 

 

8. Pre order your meal on the flight

Pre order a vegetarian or special dietary meal if possible. You will more than likely be served first! This is particularly handy for long journeys or night flights, when you want to try to get as much sleep as possible. I usually find the vegetarian options are actually better too!

The Travel Expert's Top Ten Travel Hacks

 

9. Pre book seats before you go.

Check out seatguru.com. This offers great advice and photographs on most aircraft seats. You can see what seats are close to the toilets or babies bassinet’s.  They will advise if a seat does not recline or which seats have the most legroom. If travelling as a couple, book an aisle and a window seat. If the flight is not full they will usually leave the middle seat empty. If it is assigned to a fellow passenger, simply ask can you swap seats!

The Travel Expert's Top Ten Travel Hacks

 

 

 

10. Make use of the latest travel apps.

Tripit will store all your confirmations and itineraries in one place, just email the confirmations as you get them and the app will provide you with a full itinerary before you travel. Google Maps will allow you to download maps before you travel, for use offline.  Lounge Buddy will allow you to purchase lounge access at more than 800 airports around the world. regardless of whether you are a frequent flyer. TheXE Currency app quickly converts exchange rates so you know the exact price of what you are buying. Tripadvisor will send you push notifications about highly rated restaurants or attractions close by.

The Travel Expert's top ten travel hacks

Did I forget any? Comment below with your favourite travel hack.

 

Want to see more travel tips? Click here!

 

Sarah 

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

 

 

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