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