While holidays are about exploration and recuperation, we all want to avoid being ripped off or uncomfortable inconveniences. For the best guidance for how to make the most of any journey, we sought the advice of the world’s top experts: travel hackers; those who make it their mission in life to find the greatest ways to travel.
Benny is a full-time globetrotter who is fluent in seven languages and delights in teaching others how to be confident learning foreign tongues. The key is self-confidence and not beating yourself up when you get words wrong or don’t understand. By learning a few phrases and making an effort, you will engage with locals. Then, they will help you discover more of your holiday destination: the best places to eat; where to get cheap deals on local activities; and hidden gems most tourists don’t know about.
More and more, we travel with electronic devices. From laptops to mobile phones to cameras, we need to be able to charge these items when the red battery starts flashing. USB adaptors often have in-built protection to allow for different countries’ voltages, protecting your device from being damaged. Also, a portable charger means you never have to worry about trying to find somewhere to plug in your device.
Extra Pack of Peanuts is a husband-and-wife combo of travel hackers who noticed that restaurants with multi-language menus tend to be more expensive than most.
Instead, Travis and Heather recommend speaking to the locals and finding out where they like to eat. If all the locals eat at a certain time, it is probably because the food is fresher or heavily discounted. If they all flock to specific locales, it’s because the food is cheaper and delicious.
They are also strong advocates of “street food”. In the West, we have become accustomed to eating in restaurants; but street food is often just as, if not more, delicious, cheaper, and with much greater variety.
Once upon a time, visiting your bank or a money exchange office was the cheapest way to get the currency of your holiday destination. Sadly, with the rise in global tourism, both now impose fees which negates this benefit. At worst, exchanging money before you leave is more expensive. At best, it’s an unnecessary extra step.
Frugal Travel Guy has discovered that the fees from taking money out of an ATM at your holiday destination are just as expensive as, if not less than, those imposed by traditional exchangers. So, instead of worrying about carrying lots of loose cash, just take it out when you need it. You don’t lose out financially, and it will make travelling safer and less worrisome.
From her many trips around the world, Christina has noticed that marking your bag with fragile before checking it in at the airport has two huge benefits. First, baggage handlers will treat it with greater care. Secondly, they will place it at the top of the pile when loading it into the plane. What does this mean? That they will unload it first, so you don’t have to wait as long for your baggage to arrive.
Nadine has travelled to over 51 countries, so when it comes to travel safety, she knows what she’s talking about. While blending in, dressing like locals, and acting confident are all great ways to reduce interest from pickpockets and muggers, you never know what’s going to happen. She advocates always sharing a basic itinerary with someone back home. Also, share your accommodation’s contact information in case your phone is stolen. That way, if you don’t get in touch, your friends and family back home will call you.
At My Late Deals, we save you money finding incredible hotel and flight package holidays. However, you will also want some extra cash for when you arrive at your destination to afford some fun activities, nice meals, and exciting souvenirs. If you need help saving money, Location Rebel, aka Sean, advocates banking apps, like Digit, which monitor your spending habits and automatically put savings aside.
Nomadic Matt is one of the longest serving travel hackers around, exploring the world since 2006. He advocates something many of us overlook: city tourism cards. They can seem expensive at first, but tourist activities in popular cities quickly add up to extortionate amounts. City tourism cards can seem like you’re laying down a lot of money; but, ultimately, you will spend less.
Another couple team and seasoned travel hackers of 10 years, Ordinary Traveler champions the free things to do around the world. While it is sometimes good to spend money on wonderful holiday experiences, we shouldn’t overlook the exciting, yet totally free, activities available but often less advertised, like free walking tours, one-off local events, natural sites, and markets.
If you like to drive while abroad, Triphackr recommends enrolling in schemes to earn miles when renting a car. Not only will you have a means of transport to explore your holiday destination at your leisure, but you will earn points towards you next trip, too.
Are you ready to make the most of these expert travel tips? Browse our late holiday deals and book your next trip.