Hack your way to a fun and low-hassle holiday while saving money at the same time. By following these tips you can pack more in your bag, avoid queues and use technology and everyday items to your advantage while you’re away.
Pack light, pack right
If you can get away with hand luggage, you’re on to a money saver so learn how to roll your clothes to get more in with this handy vid. You might be a bit of a holiday shopper, in which case take a big bag but invest in some travel scales so you don’t go over the weight limit on the way back.
Hide your valuables
When on the beach, you can’t take your things into the sea and leaving a bag on the sand isn’t the smartest idea. Trick thieves by emptying an old lip balm tube and rolling your money up in it. Or clean out a suntan lotion bottle and you can store bigger things like your keys and wallet inside.
If you’re on a top floor hotel room and want to bypass all the other floors, try holding the ‘door close’ and your floor button at the same time. It works a treat in some lifts.
Don’t bother taking a chunky phone charger plug and foreign adaptor with you. Just take the USB cable and plug it into the USB port on the side of the hotel room’s TV to charge.
Free sat nav on your phone
There are a number of basic sat nav apps ideal for navigating your way around abroad for free. Apps like Navmii and Navfree let you pre-load your journeys and run them through your phone GPS so there are no pricey data roaming costs.
You might already be all about getting an authentic experience on holiday and trying the local cuisine. If you’re not convinced then the fact it’s often cheaper may sway you. Head back from the busy promenade and find a small family-run restaurant where the locals are eating and you’ll nearly always find low prices and sizeable portions.
Take some plastic bags
They have so many uses. You can store small items in them in your suitcase or use them for carry-ons. They’re useful for putting wet swimwear in after you’ve been in the pool on your last day. You can also put your dirty laundry in them so they can go straight in the machine back home.
As smooth as a baby’s bottom
Take baby powder with you to the beach to get the sand out from between your toes. It dries the sand out and makes it come off easily.
Mark your bag as fragile
By putting some fragile tape on your bag, not only should it be handled with care but it will also get placed on the top of the other luggage in the hold and come out first onto the bag collection belt. You might even get a special collection point away from the carousel.
Coconut oil to beat frizz
To avoid a Monica from Friends moment, take coconut oil in a spray bottle to beat frizzy hair in humid climates. Simply mix it with water and spray on your hair. It also smells great!
Turn your flip-flops over
Beat the burn and flip you flip-flops face down when you take them off at the beach so you don’t get hot feet when you slip your toes back in.
Avoid data roaming charges
Avoid a shocking post-travel phone bill by using a SIM card from a local operator, or one especially for travelling.
Ask for an upgrade
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. See if there are any seats free in first class when you get on the plane and if it’s your honeymoon/anniversary/birthday just tell them at the hotel check-in as you never know what they might give you.
Yogurt as aftersun
Got a nasty case of sunburn but forgotten the aloe vera? Never fear as you can pick up some soothing natural yogurt from the shop. Just make sure it’s not strawberry flavour!
Translate the menu
…or translate signs, magazines and any other pictures by aiming your phone camera at them in Google Translate’s clever app.
Wobble away the turbulence
It’s a simple trick, but apparently if you jiggle about in your seat it counteracts turbulence. And nobody will notice as they’ll be too busy feeling queasy.
To stop your beach towel blowing away and hide goodies at the same time, sew pockets into the corners to keep your belongings in.
Access free Wi-Fi
While you’re having your lunch, log-in to FourSquare and check the comments on the café for the WiFi password. Then you can upload your facebook snaps while you eat.
Tidy home, tidy mind
Coming home to a messy house after a blissful holiday can burst the bubble. So, either try to find time to tidy your house before you leave or book an extra day off so you can unpack and tidy before returning to work.
Tell your bank
If you plan on using your card while you’re abroad, make sure you remember to let your bank know about this, otherwise, they may end up freezing your account for security reasons.
Before you travel, check whether you can take out cash for free with your current bank/credit card. If not, getting a travel credit card can earn you free flights and hotel rooms, upgrades and cash back. An alternative is a prepaid card. Choose wisely and you can get a cash incentive and avoid exchange rate fees.
Shop around for currency
If you’re taking cold, hard cash use the impartial TravelMoneyMax comparison tool to help you find the best exchange rate, which you can even get delivered or for collection at the airport.
Toilet roll tube speaker
Don’t bother packing your travel speaker when you can make one out of a toilet roll tube. No, really!