12 handy Travel Tips | Saving you loads of time & money

Here is our very best list of very handy travel tips which we hope will save you some time and money on your travels.  If there is a super tip that you know of that we’ve missed then let us know as we’re always on the look out for ideas on how to save time and money when travelling.

Number 1 – Don’t plan your trip to the last detail 

This is something we try and do for every trip we make.  Try and leave some room for unexpected adventure and flexibility.  Our favorite type of travel is when you’re not tied to an itinerary.  Cruising just wouldn’t be for us!  We like to have a loose plan of where we’re going and then let the holiday evolve.  Just recently we were in Greece and had planned some Island hopping.  Three days on Milos with accommodation booked but after that we had envisaged going to Santorini and Naxos but ended up visiting Paros and then Amorgos which was amazing. 

Check out this blog post about the day we accidentally ended up on an Italian island for 4 days and loved it!  For more information on how to be more flexible in your travel then get in touch and we’ll be happy to give you more information on how we like to do it. 

Number 2 – Embrace the selfi stick

Take more photos of yourself enjoying your travels instead of having a photo reel of beautiful places on your camera or phone the same as everyone else will have.  You’ll enjoy the memories more, when back home, with yourself or your family in the pictures.  Be silly, be creative and have fun.   

12 handy travel tips
Eiffel Tower Selfie
12 Handy Travel Tips
Sri Lankan Selfie

Number 3 – Tongue Tied 

I’ve mentioned this before on some other posts but having a few words in the local language can help a great deal.  Whenever we visit a new country we try and at least find out the words for 

  • Hello, Good morning, Good evening 
  • Goodbye 
  • Thank you 
  • Yes, No 
  • Some basic numbers 
  • Also, Can I have the bill please is always handy instead of just writing an imaginary cheque with your hand in the air

Number 4 – Eat where the locals eat  

Not only will this save you money and is one of our favorite, very handy travel tips,  local restaurants and cafes tend to be cheaper and will give you a more authentic feel for the place you’re visiting.  We had one instance in Sri Lanka where our hotel host was so keen for us to try the nice and more upmarket restaurant in town he wouldn’t hear of taking us to the local street food place we’d seen earlier in the day.  I think his perception of travellers was that they expected a certain level of dining or that the fact that his friend/cousin owned the more upmarket restaurant.  Nevertheless less we got our fair share of local street food as we travelled through more of Sri Lanka 

12 Handy Travel Tips
Sri Lankan Street Food menu
Little India, Singapore
The best food in Singapore

Number 5 – Electronics, valuables and water don’t mix

Pack a couple of dry bags so that if you take a boat trip or there’s heavy rain you can pop your valuables into the bags and have no worries at all.  These little dry bags take up absolutely no space at all in your luggage and could be a lifesaver for your gadgets.  These are also really handy for taking things to the beach.  They’ll protect your gadgets and valuables from the sun and keep them all nice and dry.  Chris wishes he’d kept our Euro’s in a dry bag instead of his pocket when he went swimming!

Drying Euros in the sun oops!
Drying Euros in the sun oops!
Out on our Kayak
Out on our Kayak

Number 6 – Good things come in small packages

Don’t buy travel toiletries.  These little bottles (usually single use plastic) cost just as much and sometimes more than their larger counterparts.   Take your regular toiletries, face cream, toner, shampoo, conditioner etc and decant into small, reusable, travel bottles.   Less expensive and you get to take your own brands with you.  If at all possible try and use solid toiletries.  Many great brands now do their products in bars and this will save you packing loads of little -125ml bottles into your carry on luggage if you’re only away for a short break. 

Number 7 – Friends & Family 

Let family and friends know you’ll be away and where you’ll be travelling to.   It’s wise to have someone that knows your itinerary incase of emergency.  It’s also a good idea to leave them with a copy of your insurance documents, a copy of your passport and any other relevant documentation you have with you travelling i.e. visas etc.   If you lose or need any of these urgently then a family member can get a copy to you.   Alternatively you can scan any important documents and email them to yourself so you have a back up copy too.  

Number 8 – Keep a journal

Its amazing how many little things you forget from a trip.  You remember the big things, the places you stayed, the sites you visited but the little funny things that happen or how fantastically good a restaurant was sometimes get forgotten.   Keeping a daily journal keeps all the little things that made the trip so special right there for you to dip into whenever you want.  I would have forgotten the time I asked a waitress in Greece for some Tzatziki and she said, Oh I’ll phone one now!   My pronunciation of Tzatziki sounded like Taxi !  There have been so many funny moments on public transport that we’d have forgotten them all and its great to read back and be reminded. 

Greek Tzatziki & Salad
Greek Tzatziki & Salad
The local boat from Lombok to Gili Air
The local boat from Lombok to Gili Air

Number 9 – The flip of the flop

Always pack a pair of flip flops.  Apart from being a necessary accessory on the beach you’ll need them for all sorts of other things such as wearing them in the shower ,especially if you have a shared bathroom or any other shared space in a hotel or hostel.   They’re lightweight so will not add any additional weight to your luggage and you’ll be lost without them. 

Number 10 – Make the most of your time

Start your day early.   Early morning is sometimes one of the best ways to experience a city, beach, hiking trail.   So set your alarm clock early on the days you want to see a specific site and get there before the crowds.  When visiting venice we arrived at 5.30 am and found St Marks square practically empty.  By midday the streets were jammed packed full of tourists.  It really is a treat to see places without crowds.  Go on, give it a try.  We have more tips on making the most of your trip Here 

Quiet Venice
Quiet Venice
Amorgos Hiking Route 4a
Amorgos Hiking Route 4a

Number 11 – First Aid 

Pack a small first aid kit in your rucksack or suitcase.   It needn’t be one that would impress an paramedic but just a few bandaids, some paracetamol, immodium, antihistamines, ibuprofen and a supply of handy wipes or tissues for that moment when you’re caught short!.  Having some of these first aid items to hand may mean that you don’t have to take time out of your day to find a pharmacy.   Also in some countries you cant get the brand of pain killer that you may be used to taking for a headache etc so its best to pack some. 

Number 12 – Public Transport – All Aboard

One of our favorite tips and ways to travel is to use public transport wherever you go.  Most developed cities throughout the world have comprehensive public transport systems and in the more underdeveloped countries using public transport becomes more of an adventure.  Try trains, buses, metro’s and ferries to get you to the different places you want to visit.   You’ll see more of the country and get a fantastic feel for the people and the culture.    Travelling from Sicily to mainland Italy the train actually drives onto the ferry and that’s something we’ve never done before.  You can read more about that Here. 

Leaving Sicily on the ferry train
Leaving Sicily on the ferry train
Ferry to Vulcano
Ferry to Vulcano

Our view

We hope you find these very handy travel tips useful and if you’ve got any great ones of your own the let us know.  Doesn’t everyone like to save money and more importantly save time when travelling?  Well keep adding to this list  so check back!   

Booking resources for your trip

Flights

You can compare cheap flights on the Expedia platform or here on the Aviasales website.  Both will give you a good idea of how much its going to cost you to get to your chosen destination.

Accommodation

We have always tended to use Booking.com having said that if your on a tight budget another good site to try as a comparison is Hostelworld, If your looking to compare different sites you can do that on Hotellook, we tend to look on here first to make sure we are getting the best deal.

Tours & Tickets

You can book your visits as you go at the entrance to your chosen attraction or site.  Or you could use the following links to book in advance or just to find out what your choices are in the area. GetYourGuide and Tiqets are our go to choices you could try Viator to see how they compare.

For a full list check out our resources page. Don’t forget always shop around to find the best deal for you. What works for us should be good for you but it’s always reassuring to check.

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8 thoughts on “12 handy Travel Tips | Saving you loads of time & money”

  1. One thing I need to learn is to be flexible with planning. I agree that taking pictures of yourselves is so important. I love your idea of a journal! My husband and I were just trying to remember something from a trip. If I had a journal, it would have been much easier 😀

  2. whygirlsareweird

    Love this so much! My husband and I will be on a cruise next month, and I really want to make the most of our time in ports. Thanks!

  3. These are fantastic tips! You’re absolutely right about the journal – it’s great to read it later and remember those little things that really made your trip!

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