You’ve picked the holiday destination. You’ve memorised the guidebook. Now there’s only one thing standing between you and that sun-drenched beach: organising it all.
But don’t worry. Whether you’re planning to jet off for a long weekend or a fortnight with the family, we’ve come up with an innovative series of travel hacks to make your hard-earned break a breeze.
Use private browsing
Planning to book flights and hotels online? Some travel sites track the time you spend on their site by installing cookies on your browser, then raise prices if it’s clear you’re a repeat visitor. Be sure to enable private browsing on your web browser and clear cookies before you book.
Access your map offline
Instead of carrying around physical paper maps that are vulnerable to rain and tearing – learn how to access your map apps offline. You can either take a screenshot of the map showing the city/area you’re visiting, you’ll find the screenshot in your photos folder. Or if you’re using Google Maps, you can save maps offline via a number of methods like typing "Ok maps" into the search bar1.
Copy your passport
Before you travel, scan your passport and email it to yourself so that you can print it out if your passport is lost or stolen. This will help speed up the replacement process.
Roll to make more room
Rolling your clothes military style saves heaps of space, or you could even use space-compressible plastic bags to push out excess air. Also, check ahead for laundry facilities. If they’re affordable, perhaps you don’t need to pack as much.
Avoid buying tickets on a weekend
While you may have more time over the weekend to iron out your travel plans, it’s probably not the best time to book flights. Airlines and travel sites anticipate this and as a result, prices start to climb from Fridays and are generally at their highest over the weekend2. Also, special deals are often launched on a Monday but again, don’t often last through to Friday.
Use the TV as a charger
Forgot your charger in the packing rush? Don’t panic. You can always charge your device using the USB connector port on your hotel room’s TV.
Bring an external battery for your mobile phone
Exploring and photographing holiday attractions can drain your phone pretty quickly, especially if you’re also relying on it to be your GPS. Take an external power pod and if you are doing a road trip, invest in a car charger.
Check your credit card for perks
You never know, your credit card may entitle you to a few perks (hotel room upgrades, for instance, or access to airline lounges) you’re not aware of.
Get better rates with an ATM
Use an ATM to withdraw cash when you’re travelling abroad as some bank ATMs can offer the best conversion rates and charge the lowest fees. And while you’re at it, our power of budgeting and travelling on a budget articles have great tips for making your holiday cash work harder for you.
We’re here to help
Most of us work to tight holiday budgets, so it can be reassuring if you know you won’t be spending more than you’ve saved while you’re away. Money shouldn’t be a cloud over these precious times – holidays are well-deserved treats.
Plan ahead to make sure your trip goes without a hitch. Use our budget planner spreadsheet to work out what percentage of your total yearly budget can realistically go towards ‘fun’ spending such as travel.
Meanwhile, our savings calculator can help you increase the ‘travel’ portion of your budget by cutting back in other areas.