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31 Smart Travel Hacks that will Save you Time and Money.

Updated on July 25, 2017
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Belinda loves writing about nutrition, travel, health, fitness, beauty, and sports.

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Introduction

Have you been planning to indulge yourself in a new adventure away from your home country but don’t know where to start?

It could be an African safari, a trip to any of the Greek Islands, rock climbing in Thailand, a great surf in Bali, interacting with tamed elephants in Sri Lanka or even a dip in the natural spas at Tuscany.

It is about time you transformed this dream into a reality. Below are amazing travel hacks from planning for the trip, packing, finding cheap flights and affordable accommodation.

planning for the trip
planning for the trip | Source

Planning for the Trip:

Planning for a long trip can be unnerving especially if you are doing it for the first time. Here is what to do:

1) Decide where you want to go.

Do not have a rough guess. Make up your mind and settle for a specific location.

2) Determine the length of your trip.

How many days, weeks, and months do you plan on staying?

3) The amount of money required.

Establish if your style of travel will be luxury or backpacking.

Research on the cost of flights to where you want to go.

Compare your ground transport options.

Check out the cost of hotels, hostels, restaurants and attraction sites.

4) Start saving.

One way to do this would be to opt to prepare to cook food as opposed to eating out.

You could also catch your favorite TV shows through legal live streaming sites and not pay for your cable.

5) Switch to ATM cards without fees.

Head over to your local bank and get a no fee ATM Card to save you a lot of money on your trip.

6) Inform your credit card companies.

Notify your credit card companies about traveling overseas. This ensures that your card is not blocked.

7) Automate your bills.

This applies to when you are planning to stay overseas for some months. Establish an online bill payment system for all of your recurring bills.

8) Plan activities.

Find out the major activities you would like to try out along with their costs.

This ensures you have enough money for fun. It also helps you to find out if reservations are required.

9) Travel Insurance.

Check with your credit card provider for free travel insurance. You could garner points using travel credit cards as well. If not, buy travel insurance. Do not travel without it.

10) Look for last minute deals.

Be on the lookout for money saving deals. Be flexible while assessing travel package deals.


Flight
Flight | Source

Getting Cheap Flights:

Below are some vital tips that will save you time, stress and money when booking your next flight.

11) Be flexible when you fly.

Prices for airline tickets vary depending on the time of year, the day of the week and upcoming holidays.

It is cheaper to fly in the middle of the week. It is also cheaper to fly after a holiday. Late-night flights and early morning flights are cheaper.

11)Fly budget carriers.

Budget airlines now service many long routes making it possible to fly between continents inexpensively.

12)Use flight search engines.

To scan airlines and get comparative rates, use travel sites such as Skyscanner, Google Flights and Kayak.

You could also find the best deal by going directly to the airline’s website. Being a member of the frequent flyer program is an incentive. The points you receive helps you get free upgrades and reduced travel prices.

13)Enable private browsing when booking flights online.

Flights have different prices depending on the country you are booking from.

You can use Virtual Private Network (VPN) to select a country and book a flight through that VPN.

We all despise the tiresome exercise of skimming through numerous sites for the cheapest flights to any desired destination. Frugal flight booking can be quite overwhelming.

A friend recommended to me The Travel Hacking Pocket Guide by James Zeller and it has proved to be very useful. The guide offers valuable tips on how to rack up those miles without even flying. It also has insights on how to pick the best mileage offers. You can also check it out on Amazon.


Finding Cheap Accommodation:

When you travel, accommodation is a major daily expense. Most people go to expensive hotels and hostels. Below are other alternatives that can save you money.

14)Staying with someone who lives where you are going is the best way to get free accommodation. Sites such as Global Freeloaders and Couchsurfing can make this happen.

15)Hostels are another good option to find a decent place without spending a fortune.

16)Short-term rentals allow people to stay in furnished apartments. A great thing about them is that you enjoy all comforts of home. You also get a kitchen to cook your own food. You can get good deals at Wimdu or Airbnb.

You could also stay in a monastery if you do not mind the curfews

Guide to packing while travelling

Packing:

It is horrifying to realize that you have forgotten something back home when you need. It is worse when you have way too much than you need. How do you ensure you have just the right stuff for your trip? Here is how:

11)Keep a packing checklist.

You can have it on your phone. It helps you remember important stuff like a phone charger.

12)Don’t fold, roll.

Roll your clothes into your suitcase to save space.

13)Carry Inflight essentials in a different pouch.

Stash all items like earplugs, phone, wallet, headphones in a separate pouch. You just pull it out from your carry-on bag.

14)Use tissue paper to reduce wrinkles in clothes.

15)Use an eyeglass case for storing cables.

16)Put socks in shoes to save space.

17)Cover the head of shaving razors with a binder clip.

18)Roll belts and use them to line collars.

19)Keep bobby pins in Tic Tac containers.

20)Pack your own toiletries in travel-sized bottles.

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Quick poll

Which of the above travel hacks has been more helpful to you?

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Before You Leave:

Be sure to do the following before you exit the door:

11)Scan your ID, passport and any other important documents. Email them to yourself. Helps you to have a copy in case they get lost or stolen.

12)Always have a pen handy.

You will be required to complete customs forms. Flight attendants rarely have a pen.

13)Keep an empty plastic water bottle.

You will refill it after clearing security. It also saves you from the cost of buying water expensively at the airport.

14)Mark your bag as fragile.

This will not only ensure that your bag is handled with care but also let it be among the first to be released.

These travel hacks have made my vacations more productive and stress-free. I hope they will be of assistance to you when traveling too.

Let me know which travel hacks are your favorite and share any helpful tips you have.

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”

— Saint Augustine

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    • Ivan Horvat profile image

      Ivan 3 months ago from Zagreb

      Very useful list of 'to-do's... Thanks

    • yogaburnclub profile image
      Author

      Belinda 3 months ago from Kenya

      I'm so glad you enjoyed the article srsddn.

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 3 months ago from Dehra Dun, India

      Very useful information, Belinda. You have touched every aspect in planning for travelling.