5 Travel tips and tricks!
By Lee Elias
As a commercial projects editor at Re-bel magazine, Lee’s primary job is to balance the creative and commercial by securing advertising and special projects. This means that Lee spends his days jetting across the globe hitting up fashion capitals such as Milan, Paris and New York, as well as cooler yet quieter cities such as Toronto, Copenhagen and Oslo. As a seasoned traveler, both for business and leisure, Lee decided to let us in on his travel rule book!
I have to confess I’m an avid traveller! I was bitten by the travel bug in 2014 after my friend quit his job to spend a year in Australia. After carefully thinking it through, I decided to join him on his travels. During my year there, I spent the majority of my time in Sydney, then moved to Melbourne for my last three months. When the time came to leave Oz, I decided I wasn’t ready to head home, so I bought a car and hit the road alone, travelling across Australia, before moving on to Asia.
When I eventually moved back to London, I made a pact to escape the capital every month, and have since visited various destinations across the globe; Toronto, Oslo, New York, Egypt, Paris, Berlin and Barcelona. I’ve learnt a number of money saving tips on my travels, so as you all prepare to hit the road this summer I thought I’d share them with you!
1. Flexible flights
Try booking flights through sites such as TravelSupermarket and Skyscanner, which compare prices and flight times across several airlines. This eliminates the hard work of searching multiple sites manually! Make sure you’re flexible with your search; select ‘anytime’ and ‘anywhere’ for the cheapest destination, if you don’t have a specific location in mind. Selecting ‘any airport’ can also save on cost, for example flying London Heathrow to JFK may cost more than if you flew from London Gatwick.
2. Pick the right type of accommodation!
Flights all booked? Now for somewhere to stay… Depending on your budget and flexibility, there’s a variety of options to suit all travellers. For those who like to live like a local and experience a ‘home away from home’, try Airbnb.
If a hostel is more your style, Booking.com is sure to help. Before moving to Australia I dreaded the thought of staying in a room with strangers, but it turned out to be the best part of my trip! I made friends for life, formed great memories and saved a ton of money by not staying in expensive (and often lonely) hotels! The option to pay on arrival, means you can book a room without a heavy upfront deposit, so you can spread out your costs and save some cash!
Make sure you do a little research when hostel hunting, e.g. does it offer any activities? Walking tours, movie nights and culinary courses are sometimes available, they’re a fantastic way to meet new people and see more of the city you’re visiting.
3. Have a goal!
Set a goal to give your trip direction, whether it’s climbing Kilimanjaro, crossing Costa Rice or wildlife spotting, make a list so you won’t forget! It’s sure to help save you from those ‘what should we do now’ moments. Another note on planning visits to attractions would be to shop around online ahead of your trip as you might be able to find cheaper deals and also find queue jumping tickets, as no one wants to line up for hours on holiday!
4. Plan your outfits!
I try to travel light as much as I can, without sacrificing on choice. By planning your outfits beforehand, you’ll take clothes you actually need and are sure to wear! Whenever I do short city trips I only carry my hand luggage, It may seem hard to pack everything you need into one small case but with careful planning you can condense what you bring. This could also save you money if you're flying with an airline that charges extra for checked in luggage, and save time at the airport as you won't need to check in at the advisory 2 hours before you fly.
5. Download useful Apps!
Aside from Instagram to show your friends and family what you’re up to, I have a few favourite apps when travelling. Citymapper allows you to navigate the city you’re visiting by providing best routes to reach your destination in the quickest time on public transport, walking or driving. Also Google Translate is great, especially when communicating with locals.
Wikicamp Australia is a great app for those backpacking across Australia, it's an app that takes the feedback it receives from experienced travellers to help those traveling the same route. It was very handy to have an app that told you where there was free parking and places where you are allowed to camp.
These are just a few of the many tips I swear by when travelling, regardless of budget. Arm yourself with these hacks to help save money and time when planning a trip, and go have yourself an unforgettable adventure!