Let’s face it, travelling can be stressful, even at the best of times. There’s the packing, the trawling the internet for the best deals, not to mention the actual travel experience itself – even the most experienced travellers aren’t totally immune to bouts of travel stress.
We work hard all year and save up to go on holiday so the last thing you want is to feel stressed before you even get to your hotel.
Luckily for you we’ve put together a list of some of the best travel hacks that can not only help to save you time and money, but ultimately, can help make your next travel experience far less turbulent.
- Pack like a pro.
Packing is, arguably, one of the most stressful aspects of travelling. With strict weight allowances to consider, it’s often nothing short of a nightmare. That said, if you hope to become a better traveller, learning to pack efficiently is absolutely vital.
Believe it or not, standard holiday suitcases tend to have heavy frames that can account for a surprisingly large chunk of your weight allowance – not good news if you’re travelling on a flight. As such, invest in a lightweight suitcase, thus allowing you to save more of those precious kgs for your belongings.
Next, work on utilising all of your luggage space. Roll your clothes instead of folding them and use packing cubes to keep any loose items organised. You will be surprised at just how much you can fit into your case when you just pack a little smarter. A good tip for weighing your suitcase is to first weigh yourself on your scales at home, then weigh yourself holding your suitcase and take away your original weight.
- Ship your luggage ahead.
You’ve managed to pack your luggage, but the next tedious task is actually getting it to your destination in one piece. What if we told you there was a way to avoid having to haul your heavy suitcases through airports and train stations?
Luggage shipping companies like Uni Baggage provide a service that can not only help you save time, but also money when it comes to your luggage. You can simply ship your suitcases and bags ahead to your destination, allowing you to travel hands-free, all whilst avoiding any pesky excess baggage fees along the way.
- Apps, apps, apps.
Oftentimes, your phone can be your saving grace, and this is especially the case when travelling. Thanks to the abundance of apps downloadable at the tap of a button, travelling has truly never been easier.
From language translators, to language-learning, to maps, and even apps that can store all of your travel details – there are so many useful apps and tools out there that can help you to feel a bit more organised when jetting off across the world. It’s also a good idea to check out what tariffs you have on your phone contract as you might end up with a hefty bill or running out of data a couple of days into your trip.
If you are unsure then you should give your contract provider a call and they will explain what options are available to you. You might even get a better deal out of it!
- Always think ahead.
When it comes to travelling, no one likes to consider the worst that could happen – but, when you’re in new and unfamiliar surroundings, things can and do happen, and so it’s always a wise idea to think ahead and prepare yourself for tricky situations. Be proactive by making a digital and second paper copy of your passport, by screenshotting your travel details, and if you’re using your bank card abroad, don’t forget to call your bank to make them aware of your travel plans.
The last thing you want is to be left without access to your money. A lot of people still opt to get all of their holiday money exchanged in cash and bring it with them in their suitcase. There are obvious risks to this practise and really, it’s just not necessary.
There are cash machines and currency exchange desks available at your destination airport and often they can offer just as good a rate. If you can use a debit card to pay for the more expensive things on your trip then even better as you will reduce the risk of losing your money or having it stolen which can be a possibility.
- Consider the season.
If you’re on a strict travel budget, it goes without saying that you’ll want to shop around for the best deals on flights and accommodation. But have you ever considered how much the season can affect the cost of your trip?
You’d be pleasantly surprised at how much you could save by travelling during early spring or late fall, which are typically known as off-peak periods. When you are flexible on your dates then a whole world of opportunities will open up for you as suddenly hotels and resorts that were way out of your budget will be affordable.
Many people assume that the weather won’t be great in the off peak season but if you do your research you will find there are lots of places that have great weather pretty much all year round so there are always options.
- Triple-check everything.
Travelling is supposed to be a thrilling, freeing and fulfilling experience. Stress is, undeniably, the last thing you want to feel. To avoid any and all possible moments of panic, and to make yourself a better traveller for your next trip, be sure to triple-check everything before you leave home.
Check your assigned seating, glance at your itinerary and proofread all of your booking confirmations. That way, you can leave for the airport with peace of mind.
If you are a first time traveller or are travelling to a country in which you aren’t sure of the laws and procedures and just want some reassurance then there is lots of information available that will ensure you don’t forget anything and that you are prepared if something were to go wrong.
Written by Stuart Cooke, blog editor at UniBaggage.com.