13 brilliant travel hacks to try on your next holiday

Feb 08, 2023
These lesser-known travel hacks will help save you time, effort and money on your next holiday. Source: Getty

Travel can be such an exciting and enriching experience, except when unexpected issues arise, like expensive fares, large crowds, or luggage problems, taking your focus away from the joy of your journey and causing stress.

By incorporating some smart and practical tips, you can turn your travels into an effortless and memorable experience.

We’ve all heard the common and useful travel hacks such as rolling your clothes instead of folding them or travelling during the off-peak seasons, but there are so many other lesser-known hacks that will really take your travel experience to a whole other level.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or just starting out, using these travel tips can help you boost your time and resources while you’re out exploring the world.

Flight hacks

1. Book two one-way flights

It can often be cheaper to buy one-way tickets instead of return flights. Plus you get more variety and options when it comes to choosing what time you arrive and depart. Try sites like Sky Scanner to get a full and comprehensive list of flights and prices.

2. Pretend you’re somewhere else when booking to score discounted fares

According to the experts, countries with a lower living standard have cheaper flights going in and out of them. Change your ‘residence’ location on the airline’s website to the country you are travelling to when booking your ticket and see what prices come up instead – you’ll often get a cheaper fare.

3. Pack a squishy carry-on

Skip the hard-cover suitcase and go for a material zip-up bag instead. They’re easier to fit into the overhead baggage space and draw less attention from airport staff looking out for people with too much carry-on luggage.

4. Look at flying into a neighbouring airport

Different cities often have several airports, and the cost of flights can differ significantly between them. You might be able to save yourself some cash if you look at flying into a nearby airport instead of the main one in a city.

5. See extra cities for free

Lengthy stopovers can be annoying when all you want to do is get to your holiday destination. However, they can also be a great opportunity to see an extra city along the way. If a stopover flight is absolutely necessary, try to stretch it out for a few more hours so you can get out of the airport and do a little sightseeing. Not only do you get a bonus holiday spot for free, but it’s also a great way to get your body moving after being cooped up for so long in the air.

Cruise hacks

6. Pack a powerboard 

With limited electrical outlets in cabins, it’s wise to bring a power strip for your devices. Additionally, take advantage of the USB ports on many of the ship’s TVs to charge your smaller electronics.

7. Visit the fancy restaurants on your first night

Start your cruise on a high note by dining at the upscale restaurants on the first night, instead of waiting for a formal occasion. Not only will you have a memorable experience, but you can also take advantage of great deals as most travelers choose to dine at the buffet or general dining area on the first night.

8. Download the cruise line’s app 

Make the most of your cruise by downloading the cruise line’s app prior to departure and utilising it throughout your journey. The app offers convenient updates, navigation, and an economical way to communicate with other passengers via messaging or calls.

9. Avoid expensive onboard ATM fees

You can save money on high ATM fees while on the ship by purchasing gambling chips at the casino, using your credit or debit card. Then, convert them back to cash shortly after. Although there may be a minimum withdrawal amount and a small fee for card usage, it will still be less costly than using an onboard ATM.

Extra hacks

10. Send your thanks

When you book your next hotel, show your appreciation and potentially receive an upgrade by sending a handwritten thank you note to the representative who helped with your booking. You just never know how far a little kindness might get you on your next holiday.

11. Store jewellery in a pill box

Jewellery is an uncommon and often overlooked aspect of packing strategies, however, it’s one that’s desperately needed if you pack more than one item. There’s nothing worse than getting ready for your day or night out and finding your necklaces all caught up together. To avoid this time-wasting and potentially damaging debacle, pack your fine jewellery into a pill storage box.

12. Mark your luggage as fragile

We’ve all seen the videos of baggage handlers lobbing suitcases or heard the stories of damaged cases and items ruining a trip abroad, but adding a “fragile” label to your luggage can help avoid this. Your “fragile” sticker will make it more likely for your baggage to be handled with secure and special care.

13. Visit destinations that lack tourism promotions

Explore destinations that lack official tourist organisations. These destinations are often less expensive and have fewer people visiting, which can result in a more authentic travel experience.

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