Tips for Travellers
Don't presume low cost airlines will always be cheaper, especially once you have added on all their extra charges. Remember low cost refers to the business model and operating costs, not the ticket price.
Do everything possible to avoid becoming a victim of rouge taxi drivers at the airport. Book your transfer in advance, use companies with representation at the airport and ask to see ID.
Join airline frequent flyer programmes that have their own credit card so you can collect air miles on everyday purchases.
Book yourself in at an airport VIP lounge before you fly. You can relax in peaceful surroundings and drinks and snacks are usually complimentary.
Use www.seatmaps.com to find the best seats on your flight.
Set up a Skype account and download the app onto your mobile phone to make cheap calls from overseas.
Make and print yourself a currency converter to keep in your purse or wallet for easy reference.
Research and join hotel loyalty programmes that give free room upgrades and other benefits.
Don't be seduced by cheaper indirect flights. A missed connection can ruin a weekend break.
Next time you pack your bag make a checklist and save it on your computer for future trips.
Take hotel sewing kits and keep them in your travel bag for future trips, chances are that when you need one, there won't be one!
Keep duty free carrier bags for an increased hand baggage allowance on future trips as hand luggage restrictions don't seem to apply to duty free purchases!
Take clear plastic bags to the airport for use during the security procedures and even take some spares to help out fellow travellers who aren't as prepared.
If you are staying in an airport hotel the night before you fly, check to see if they offer free or discounted parking in the price of your room.
Check if your destination airport has a city centre check-in facility to ease your return journey.
Use online check in facilities to avoid queues at the airport and even choose your own seat up to 24 hours before departure.
Research foreign currency debit cards that are available in the UK as an alternative to taking cash our paying high back charges on your debit or credit card.
Join your airlines frequent flyer programme. As well as earning points on you flight it may be the difference between being bumped off an over booked flight or getting an upgrade.
Count the number of seats between you and the nearest emergency exit to help find your way in the unlikely event of an emergency evacuation.
Check that there is a life jacket under your seat and ask to be moved if there isn't.
If planning a round the world trip consider heading to the USA first. You’ll get a better baggage allowance on the whole journey.
Take with you the telephone number of a company that specialises in booking airport hotels. If your flight is cancelled they can find you a hotel at the airport while your fellow travellers are still queuing at the airlines information desk.
Familiarise yourself with other flights going to your destination so that you are aware of the alternative options if your flight is cancelled.
Scan and email the photo page if your passport to yourself so you can always access a copy if yours is stolen abroad.
Pack socks in your shoes to save space and prevent the shoes getting crushed whilst in your luggage.
Take advantage of your hotel pool after a long flight. It will help revive you and keep you going until bedtime.
Have a massage at your hotel after arriving on a long haul flight and ask for an essential oil that will help you get a good nights sleep.
Download apps that may be helpful on your trip so that you always have information at your fingertips. (be aware of your phone providers mobile roaming charges).
Two weeks before going on holiday start cooking more food at meal times and freeze the extra portions so you have pre prepared meals on your return.
Use social media sites to keep in touch with people you meet on holiday. It requires little effort and you never know when you may need their help.
If you have a spare day in a foreign city, a good guidebook will often have a walking tour that takes in the main tourist sights.
If you are staying at a downtown hotel before hiring a car, check if the hire company has a city centre office close to your hotel rather than collecting from the airport.
Decide what time you want your wake-up call before checking in at your hotel so you don't have to make a rushed decision on the spot.
Join your hotels loyalty programme - you may be able to check-in at a dedicated desk and avoid the queues.
Buy a large bottle of water at your arrival airport so you don't have to use the water in the hotel mini bar.
Familiarise yourself with the emergency fire procedures and escape route on the back of your hotel door as soon as you arrive.
Work out the best times to make calls home before leaving home.
Always fly with a good selection of books, magazines and music as In flight entertainment systems are not guaranteed to work every time.
A small packet of wet wipes will always come in useful even when not travelling with children.
Pre book your airport transfers in your local currency before leaving home.
Plan how you will get from the airport to your hotel including familiarising yourself with public transport maps before leaving home.
Don't presume that the tourist attractions advertised in your hotel lobby are all there is to do. Tourist information will have details on other attractions including festivals and special events.
Check on line for local people at your destination who offer to show visitors round free of charge. You will always learn more about a city with a local than on an organised tour.
Start a "travel folder" and keep magazine and newspaper articles about place you would like to visit one day.
Start a travel fund to save money for future holidays. Look for savings you can make on your existing outgoings such as utilities and only pay in the savings you make so you don't have to find "new" money for your travel fund.
If you get a particularly good seat on your outbound flight, keep your boarding card safe so you can ask for the same seat on your return flight.
Carry your own moisturiser in your hand luggage.
Ensure your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is valid.
Remember to take both parts of your driving licence when hiring a car.
Always have a credit card with you when picking up a hire car - no exceptions!
When hiring a car, remember that a satellite navigation will be on a request basis and not guaranteed so take a map and ensure you are familiar with the area.
When hiring a car, familiarise yourself with local speed limits and road rules before leaving home.
If your travel plans don’t to go exactly to plan, remember that things always seem better in the morning.
Ask your travel agent about free stopover options when taking a long haul flight. Some airlines may include free accommodation or reduced rates especially when flying business or first class.
You won't getter a better value business class ticket than on a flight to Australia or New Zealand. Ask your travel agent about special offers especially when two people are travelling together.
Check if your hotel room has a safe and use it!
Remember, you are not the first person to think that hiding valuables in shoes on the beach is a good idea.
Keep a hand on your money and mobile phone in crowded places, especially on the underground.
Carry daypacks on your front rather than on your back in crowded places.
If you are attending a conference abroad, have business cards printed with international dialling codes - not everyone will be able to work it out for themselves.
Find your boarding gate before going shopping in the airport terminal and allow adequate time to get there.
Remember that boarding gates do get changed so check departure boards on a regular basis.
Consider paying for a fast track airport service to ease your transit through the airport at bust times.
Ask your travel agent about annual travel insurance, especially when travelling long haul. It may cover future trips at no extra cost.
Always keep your airline luggage receipt sale after checking in your bags. It seriously increases the chances of being reunited with your lost luggage.
If your first flight is delayed ask cabin crew to find out which gate your connecting flight is departing from so you know where you are going as soon as you get off the aircraft and make use of the airlines ground staff who can escort you to the gate.
If you will need special assistance, make arrangements with your travel agent, airline and hotel at the time of booking.
Remove jackets, belts and shoes before it is your turn to go through airport security. It speeds things up for everyone.
Don't under estimate how long airport security and check in procedures can take. It's not worth missing your flight for an extra hour in bed.
Share suitcases with your travel companions to avoid any one piece of luggage being over weight and incurring excess charges. Remember to always pack your own bag.
Never joke with airport check in or security staff about what is in your luggage. You may be banned from flying for life.
Don't turn up drunk for a flight. The captain’s decision is final and he/she won't risk the safety of other passengers or crew.
Clothes always get creased in suitcases and bags. If your hotel room has an iron why bother ironing them at home? You will only be doing the same job twice.
Visit an image and style consultant who can help you create a capsule wardrobe and reduce the number of clothes you need to travel with.
Register with a baggage tracking service that will help reunite you with lost luggage.
Order a small amount of local currency in advance of travel and request small denominations to pay taxi drivers and tip the bellboy on arrival at your destination.
Ensure that the amount of currency you travel with is within the limits of your travel insurance policy.
Tell your credit card company that you are going on holiday. This will avoid your card issuer suspecting that your card has been stolen and declining suspicious transactions.
Keep telephone numbers for your bank and credit card company in a safe place so that you know who to call if your wallet or purse is stolen.
Pack liquids like shower gel and tooth paste in plastic bags so that they can't leek onto cloths if they get damaged in your luggage.
Don't save in flight treats for later. Some countries don't allow food to cross their boarders and detection dogs will catch you out every time.
Use the toilets before in flight meals are served. It is much easier to get out of your seat and it makes life a lot easier for everyone around you.
Hang up clothes as soon as you get in your hotel room so that creases can drop out naturally.
Look online for exercises that you can do during your flight to help prevent DVT.
Keep well hydrated during flights and walk around the cabin at regular intervals.
SFU - If you see this written on your boarding card it could be your lucky day. Suitable For Upgrade.
Check to see if your overseas airport has any local departure or airport improvement taxes not included in your ticket price and keep enough local currency to pay them.
Some countries issue tourist visas on arrival, however, if you can get one issued in advance you will avoid queuing with everyone else at the airport.
Scheduled airline seats go on sale approximately 11 months in advance of your travel date. This is when you should book if planning to travel at peak times like Christmas.
When picking up a hire car, make a note of the nearest filling station so you can return the vehicle with a full tank of fuel and avoid paying the hire companies inflated fuel prices.