Top 10 Travel Tips – Our Expert Tried & Tested Travel Tips
Download travel apps
We now live in a generation where we can book taxis, hotels and flights at our fingertips. Having travel apps ready on your phone or tablet will make trip planning that bit easier. Download your favourites so you can view and book Hotels, Flights, Cars, and Activities whilst on the go. There’s even surprisingly helpful apps for those who want up-to-date info about the airport they will be flying out of. With just a tap of your finger, you can see if there are any delays. You can also easily see how long the security wait times are to make sure you give yourself enough time to grab a coffee.
Enjoy your music free of distractions
For the perfect long-haul trip, invest in some good quality noise cancelling headphones. The price tags can be hefty, but they are worth every penny to tune out the baby cries, fellow passenger snores, or teenage chatterers.
Look around before you leave
Whenever you get up to leave somewhere, be it a chair at the airport, a café, a bar or the beach – always turn round and make sure you haven’t left anything behind.
Beware of currency exchange in your hotel
Instead, shop around for the best rate. Hotels are notorious for the worst exchange rates anywhere. Also beware of hotel checkout or paying at restaurants when asked “Would you like to pay in (local currency) or (your currency)?”. When you’re using your credit card abroad, you should ALWAYS pay in the local currency. There is absolutely no benefit in paying in your own currency for you – however for them it’s beneficial as they add a commission charge.
Travel Credit & Debit Cards
Get a specialist travel credit card that doesn’t charge extra for purchases abroad and you can spend overseas knowing you’ve got a near-perfect exchange rate worldwide. Don’t bother with traveller’s cheques anymore. Specialist travel cards are so good for spending abroad because they don’t charge fees. If you use your everyday cards whilst travelling, you could be hit by a whole host of hidden charges. Specialist overseas credit cards can be the best way to spend when you’re on holiday. However, they can quickly turn into one of the worst ways if you’re not disciplined enough to pay them off – make sure you pay them off in full after every trip. If you aren’t disciplined enough then plan in advance – choose a prepaid debit card and load it well in advance of your trip. Do your research though as many don’t allow things like car hire to be booked using prepaid cards.
Pack a deck of cards
A game of cards is not only useful to while away the hours during any inevitable delays, but also a great cross-cultural barrier breaker, a chance to make friends and create memories. Make sure you know a few cards games to play.
Embrace Local Life
Be confident and speak to locals, try the street food and eat in local restaurants. They might seem intimidating at first but you will often be surprised at how much people will go out of their way to make you feel welcome. Walk and wander – the ease of modern transport doesn’t always allow for the curious nip down an odd alleyway, or a quick browse through a quirky store with a intriguing window display; these random jaunts are often where there is a whole different life to discover.
Learn The Lingo
Don’t underestimate the importance of knowing a few local phrases. Learning the local language will go a long way – learn how to order your favourite food and drinks like a local, or ask where the pharmacy is, or even words for sunburn… It’s well worth it to keep you from turning prune-like after too much fun in the sun. Our friends at Holiday Autos carried out a recent survey about Brits abroad, the findings will have you reaching for the phrase books rather than using ridiculous hand gesticulations and talking slow whilst over emphasising your words
It is always essential that you invest in some travel insurance for everyone travelling. Whilst your mind may only be fixed on which cocktail to have poolside or where to explore on a day trip…consider luggage mishaps, travel delays, lost possessions or travel documents or even worse illness or accidents – all these things could cause chaos to your special trip
Get your passport stamped (if you can)
Check you’ve plenty of pages spare in you passport and aim to fill them with visas and stamps. If they don’t stamp your passport at customs, you can always ask (sometimes only works for children, but worth a try!). A passport full of stamps and visas is a great keepsake to remember your time on the road. It goes without saying – make sure you’ve got correct visas for the country you’re visiting and that your passport is valid before travelling.