Travel time is only ever glamorous in retrospect. It’s hot, cold, stuffy, sweaty, stressful, tiring and filled with other people. Although we can’t magically teleport you to your destination, there are some ways to make travel better and easier.
Save on airfares
As a general rule, Tuesdays are the cheapest day to book flights. About 50 days ahead of departure is cheapest and the three days before the date of travel are the most expensive. You can often add a short stopover on your trip that decreases cost yet only adds a small amount of time to your journey, or you could make your stopover part of your trip. Check out Google Flights or if you are flying down-under Air New Zealand. You can also get travel insurance online from https://insurance.airnewzealand.co.nz/
Ditch the hard-shell wheeled suitcases
Soft duffel bags are easy to carry (some even have wheels!), you can pack more into them, and they are much more flexible. More and more people are trying to only have carry-on luggage to avoid check-in luggage fees, all of who have hard shell wheeled bags. A soft duffel bag will make you much popular with flight attendants and will be less likely to be bumped into the hold if there is too much luggage on the plane.
Don’t book the middle seat
If you’re travelling as a couple, book the aisle and the window seat, leaving a seat in between empty. It’s likely no-one will book it and you can have the luxury of a row all to yourself. If someone DOES book it, swap with them- give them their choice of window or aisle to sweeten the deal!
Before you join a line at the security gates, check out the people in front of you. Avoid families and anyone that doesn’t look organised. Business people and frequent fliers have the process down to a fine art- join that queue.
Charging crisis no more!
International adaptors are great… if you remember them. If you forget, don’t panic. That USB charger will plug into any number of devices, including most TV’s.
Get rolling, rolling, rolling
Don’t fold (or stuff) your clothes into your suitcase. Take the time to roll everything up. Not only does it decrease the wrinkles, but it lets you place valuables or breakables inside the roll, keeping them safe. While you’re packing, grab the shower cap from the hotel bathroom- these are excellent around shoes to keep the dirt and dust from your clothing.
Insurance for rental cars
If you have comprehensive travel insurance (check your contract carefully), then you may not need to get car insurance from the hire company. You’ll just be doubling up.
Get free WiFi
As a traveller, you don’t want to have to pay for data in all the countries you visit. Lots of places have free WiFi, but most will need a password. Log into FourSquare and you’ll find that people who have been there before have posted relevant passwords.
Book your next holiday early
Studies have shown that people are happiest not when they are ON holiday, but often when they are planning and anticipating the next trip! So make sure you book a holiday when you arrive home from a trip… drag out the joy!
Jetlag is horrible and if your trip is short, it can eat into a good chunk of your holiday time. Make sure you minimise the effects of it by being well-rested before your trip and sleep on the plane if needed. Then, when you arrive at your destination, don’t sleep until it’s actually bedtime. Force yourself to stay awake until 10pm and get into a routine as soon as possible. Don’t drink coffee, alcohol, and try to avoid having naps.
Download local Google maps
When you arrive, you won’t have data and you may not be able to connect to the internet. Download the map of the town or city you’re travelling to before you leave home and save it on your phone. This is great for finding your way around but also thwarting taxi driver scams such as taking the long way to your hotel.
If you live in a cooler climate or are wanting to escape winter, then you’ll be heading to a warmer climate for your holiday. To avoid spending the entire holiday miserably sitting in the shade sweating, there is a simple trick. A few days before you go on holiday, go somewhere warm for a bit- the local sauna or a hot yoga class. It’ll help you adjust to the heat quicker when you reach your destination.
Stay hydrated without springing a leak in your wallet
Take a water bottle with you and you’ll not only be saving the environment from a few extra plastic bottles, but you’ll be doing your health a favour. Especially on planes, dehydration is likely and it does make jetlag worse. Fill up your water bottle once you get through security. Invest in a bottle with filtration and you can drink filtered tap water, even in countries with less-than-perfect water (just check the levels of filtration the bottle provides).