To help you travel better, here are some travel hacks I’ve learned so far.
Speaking of travelling abroad, it can be one of the best times of our lives or the other way round depending on what we do while travelling. When we are away from home, it is always better to take extra care that our journey is safe and pleasant.
Now, let’s look at some of my travel hacks that can make your travel experiences easier and possibly more enjoyable.
Travel hacks before you even think about travelling
- I strongly recommend you to use Numbeo! Not only it’s a very good site for comparing everyday prices (cost of living), crime and pollution, it also gives you a better idea of what budget you’re looking for your trip. (get inspired?)
- Check the weather as it’s a big factor to consider when planning a trip. Try AccuWeather.
- You may need to be vaccinated against some of the serious diseases found in other parts of the world. Find out which vaccinations are recommended for the areas you’ll be visiting via NHS Fit for Travel.
Travel hacks after you have decided where to go
- Find flights through Skyscanner, as it gives you many options all on one screen. You are able to search for flights and find the cheapest days for your trip.
- Turn on ‘Private Browsing’ (new incognito window on Google Chrome) to find cheaper flights online. Do you know airlines or travel sites record your visits by installing cookies on your browser by raising the prices because you have searched for those flights before? It’s a trick to get you into buying your flights sooner!
- I use Booking.com to book my accommodations and I never forget to select ‘free cancellation, breakfast included, fitness centre and good location’ on the tick boxes.
- If you’re looking into reserving a home, you can use AirBnB as it provides homes and private rooms from homeowners who are renting them out. Please pay attention to their standardised cancellation policies (Flexible, Moderate and Strict) before you reserve.
Travel hacks before you leave
- Don’t forget to contact your debit or credit card company before you leave to ensure that you have your card authorised for your foreign destination.
- Make a rough itinerary of the main things you want to make sure you see all the highlights. You can either purchase a guidebook or use the sites like TripAdvisor or Lonely Planet.
- Take a photo or make a copy of your passport, flight tickets and itinerary. This provides an extra copy of each in the event of a loss. I usually import all the documents to my iBooks.
- Take a multi-plug socket adapter and a plug socket converter/adapter. This means you can plug all your power appliances from home into one adapter instead of multiple or swapping plugs in and out plus you only need to carry one converter. 
- Bring at least one spare cable for your phone and a portable charger. 
- Now, it’s packing time. Roll your clothes, underwear and socks because rolling allows you to fit more things in. The best way to travel is to pack exactly what you need and nothing more. Make a packing list to make sure you don’t overpack but also don’t forget anything.
- Decorating your luggage. I have mine tied with ribbons around the handle. This is to make my luggage easy to spot in baggage claim. You can also your luggage as fragile to ensure it is handled correctly.
- Download Google Translate and the language of destination for offline use. You can also save common phrases that you are likely to use. 
Travel hacks for departure
- Bring an empty water bottle and refill it after you’ve passed through security. I usually have my own water bottle to ensure that I have water when I want it.
- Bring your snacks in case you get hungry. I usually bring some protein bars with me. Solid snacks like sandwiches, granola bars and fruits are allowed in carry-on bags.
- At check-in, see if any other ‘better’ seats are available. Ask nicely at the bag drops counter (and arrive early if you plan to ask about a seat change).
- Sit on emergency exit row as it has more leg room than a regular seat. 
- Avoid being seated near a baby. You already know why.
- Wear something that can come easily off and on (loose-fitting, breathable clothing) during your flight. Bring a pair of thick, cosy socks with you just in case.
- You can charge your electronics through a TV on the plane.
- Make sure you have a pen with you so you can complete customs forms. Fill the forms out before landing.
- Before you land, use the toilet to relieve yourself. This is also to prevent fighting for toilets when you land.
Travel hacks when you arrive
- Go directly for the baggage claim. Save yourself time.
- Use cash machines with your debit card to get local currency. Money converters usually have their own fees and rip-off exchange rates.
- Shop for groceries when you arrive. Getting basics like water and a few snacks in local stores can save you some money.
- Once you have checked in at the hotel, only unpack what you really need, take out what you’ll definitely need.
- Take a photo of your hotel room number. This gives you a reminder of your room number without carrying anything extra. 
Travel hacks during your travel
- Use Google Maps offline as it allows you to save map areas directly to your phone and use them later to explore. Find out more.
- Take photos. Photos can help you remember each moment – just don’t forget to enjoy the moment too.
- Keep a record of your travels just so you remember it in 10 years time.
- Eat locally. Not only trying the local cuisine will save you more money, but also allow you to experience new and delicious meals.
- Oh! Don’t miss out on free breakfast if there is one.
Travel hacks after the trip
- Unpack immediately to save your luggage from the smell of your dirty clothes.
- Share your travelling photos if you have not already done yet. You can also upload a copy of your photos to Dropbox or Google Drive as a backup.
I hope these travel hacks provide some assistance to you. If you have any travel hacks, feel free to let me know in the comments below.