Preparing for a long trip or holiday can be an expensive and stressful experience, but there are a few simple steps you can take to help you save money and avoid a travel headache. Whether it’s altering your internet settings to get a cheaper deal or improving your packing technique to ensure you fit everything into your luggage, the following are 10 genius hacks that every traveller should follow. Happy holidays!
Put clothing inside your shoes
If you’ve ever packed for a long trip you’ll know the feeling of never having enough space for all your clothes, often resulting in a 20 minute wrestle with your luggage in order to get the zip to close. One clever trick to create more space is to put clothes inside your spare shoes. You’d be surprised at how many pairs of socks, underwear and scarves you can fit inside your footwear, creating that essential bit of extra space to allow you to zip your luggage up without bursting a blood vessel!
Mark your baggage as ‘Fragile’
If you want a great trick to give yourself the best chance of your baggage arriving in one piece and at the front of the queue at the airport, then try sticking ‘Fragile’ labels on your case. Not only will this (hopefully) stop the luggage handlers from throwing your baggage around like it’s a rag doll, but it might also mean it gets placed at the top of the pile on the plane, thus making it one of the first bags to arrive in baggage collection.
Enable private browsing when searching for flights and hotels
If you’ve ever been searching for flights or hotels online and found that the prices have suddenly shot up, there might be a very good reason. Holiday websites often track your browsing history and if they know you’ve been on their website before, they’ll sneakily put the prices up to try and get you to book asap. One easy way to avoid this problem is to enable ‘private browsing’ on your internet settings, which keeps your web browsing history private and should put an end to those sudden price fluctuations.
Roll your clothes instead of folding
Nobody enjoys the unenviable task of trying to pack everything for a big trip, but a great trick to create more space is to roll your clothes up rather than fold them. Bulky items such as jeans and jumpers take up far less space if they are rolled rather than folded, meaning you should be able to shut your suitcase with ease rather than fighting with the zipper and clips for half-an-hour.
Glasses cases make perfect storage compartments
If you find you’re constantly searching your bag for headphones and charging cables when you arrive at your holiday destination, then why not use old glasses cases as handy storage units. The cases not only avoid your wires and cables getting lost but they also protect them from damage if your case is thrown around at the airport.
Use a bin bag to make your rucksack waterproof
If you’ve ever been backpacking you’ll know the horrible feeling of getting your backpack wet and discovering your clothes are all damp in the morning. One clever hack to avoid this soppy scenario is to line your backpack or rucksack with a bin bag, ensuring all your belongings stay nice and dry no matter how bad the weather gets.
Use Air-compression bags to save extra space
If you’re really struggling for space in your suitcase and you think it’s almost an impossible task to fit all your clothes in one bag, then try using air-compression/vacuum bags. These clever pouches have a valve for attaching a pump to and sucking all the air out, meaning that big pile of clothes shrinks down to around a third of its original size, leaving you with plenty of space to fit your whole wardrobe in your baggage!
Refill old travel containers
Airport safety regulations now ban people from travelling with any containers over 100ml, meaning taking your regular toiletries on holiday is now a thing of the past. To save some money and avoid paying extortionate prices for toiletries in the airport, why not re-use the mini toiletries from your last holiday and refill them with your favourite shampoo, fragrances and toothpaste.
Download Google Maps to use without internet
If you’re travelling to a new city, the chances are you’re going to get lost at some point, but connecting your phone to the internet and using a map app abroad can be a rather expensive solution. Thankfully Google Maps allows you to download maps of certain areas to your phone prior to going on holiday, meaning you can look at the map to your heart’s content while abroad without using any expensive data.
Check your credit card for travel perks
Before booking that expensive holiday or flight, it is always worth checking with your credit card company to see if they offer any travel rewards or perks. Some credit cards offer a points system or cash back for every pound spent on flights and travel, meaning that you’re actually earning a little money back when you spend. If you’re a frequent traveller then it could actually result in hundreds of pounds of rewards each year. Not bad for free!