We were let loose on the world for two years now and we hoovered experiences left, right, and center. Into the adventure lab we went to test, analyze, and report back to ourselves. Unlike most travelers with scarce vacation time, we had 12 months per year to make mistakes and not worry about making the most of every spare minute. On the road, we’ve learned quite a few tricks and decided to gather them all into a blog post. Well, not all really – we could go on forever – but here’s our quick cheat sheet for safe, comfortable, cheaper and worry-free travel. Read now, thank us later.
BEFORE YOU LEAVE
- Choose your itinerary carefully: First things first, your travels should always be about you – it should be based on the things you had always wanted to try; whether that is eating your way through Italy, learning a language, or trying on meditation – the important thing is that this is your time to explore. So choose your itinerary carefully. You can help yourself out with priceless.com.
- Know your money: I value the security, speed and convenience of electronic payments with my Mastercard without facing the hassle of cash and exchange offices.
- Make sure you know the benefits linked to your card: ask your bank about benefits, like travel insurance and leisure services.
Packing blows, I personally never liked packing, but here are some of the tricks that will make it less nerve-wracking:
- Never pack your cords, chargers and medicine in checked bags when flying in case the flight gets delayed or luggage gets lost.
- Keep phone numbers handy: make a list of important numbers before you travel.
- Make a copy of your passport: then carry it somewhere else than where you have your actual passport.
- Last, but not least, before you leave home – make sure you didn’t forget a great travel companion(s)!
(I USED TO BE A FLIGHT ATTENDANT, SO THESE ARE GOLD)
- Always put “fragile” on your luggage to receive the VIP service with your luggage.
- When boarding the plane always go in last, so you can get a good view of the empty seats – then choose the ones away from toilets, galleys and screaming babies if you want to get some rest.
- Always clean a mini TV-screen with a sanitizer tissue before using it – that’s where most bacterias gather, and never ever touch anything in toilets; use a paper when touching the knob after you wash your hands!
- Try to stay awake on day time flights in order to prevent jet lag.
- Avoid caffeine, booze and heavily processed food (rather take your own with you) – all these make jet lag worse.
- NEVER EVER be shoe-less on the airplane, please!!
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Water, and lots of it, is essential to feeling good at the end of a long haul flight.
AT THE DESTINATION
- If you’re backpacking, you can easily save money by enjoying a combination of bread and cheese, cheese and bread, or, to mix things up, bread and bread.
- Of course, following on from food, the next step is the toilet. A handy hint is to learn the local phrase for “where is the toilet?” Also, quite helpful is “Where is the toilet… NOW?”, “Dear god, I need a toilet!” and “Do you know where I can buy underpants?”
- Learning to sleep anywhere is also helpful.
- Jokes aside, somewhere along the line, you will get scammed. It may not be big, like getting driven to a jewelry store as a part of a taxi journey; but always stay on the safe side, for example: never leave your card alone: when paying by card at a cafe or a restaurant, ask the waiter to bring the card reader or go with him to pay.
- It’s also always good to pay in local currency to get the best conversion rate when using your Mastercard abroad.
- One of my top hacks is waking up early to get ahead of everyone else on touristic spots and then enjoy having them to yourself. It’s also a problem-solver especially if you’re taking professional (or Instagram) photos, where you want to appear alone.
- Most of all, enjoy the holiday scenery and put your phone away #StartSomethingPriceless . Not really a hack, but always a good reminder.
- Check your statements: Don’t forget to check your statements and report suspicious charges to your bank within 30 days.
- Share ratings and reviews: Help other travelers out by rating and reviewing your favorite places and experiences.
Want to save our personal travel hacks for later? Click to Pin!
Now that we’ve shared our secrets, it’s time for you to share your own. I would love to get creative and learn about the new hacks for easier travel. We also might ask you not to share those with all your friends – or let’s just say, if you see us on an airplane, we’ll be taking over those seats we told you about, deal? 🙂
Disclaimer: Thanks to Mastercard for sponsoring this blog post. As always, we’ll never recommend a product/service that we don’t use and love ourselves.