One of Australia’s biggest comparison websites finder.com.au has come up with a list of travel tips and tricks every traveller should consider for their next holiday.
Travel hacks are often well guarded secrets mastered by those who are able to use them to their advantage. Thousands of Australians comparing deals online everyday but there are still millions of others who could be missing out on big savings by not spending a little time doing their research.
Here are top travel hacks to keep you off the red:
1. Buy online
The biggest saving you can make is by doing your research and buying your holiday transport, accommodation and travel insurance online. Providers save on overheads if you buy online and often pass on the cost savings to customers.
2. Convert foreign currency on arrival
Avoid withdrawing too much foreign currency before taking off, instead compare local currency conversion branches when you land at your destination. They can be much cheaper than what you’ll find in Australia.
3. Stay for free
Stay in someone’s home and pay nothing for accommodation. Couchsurfing can be used to find a place to crash or share your hometown with travellers. Alternatively, sign up for a home swap and save thousands on accommodation costs when you travel.
4. Changing plans
If you need to cancel your hotel reservation against the hotel’s cancellation policy, don’t call and cancel, instead, move your reservation to next week then call few hours later and cancel your “new” reservation. This could prevent you from getting slapped with a cancellation fee.
5. Sign up on loyalty programs
If you travel often, always join the hotel and airline loyalty programs which will give you a much better chance for a free upgrade. Even if it’s the lowest level, you still get rewarded first. It’s also worth signing up to online travel websites which will notify you of their special sale offers.
6. Travel off-season
Travel in the off-season if possible as there is more leeway to upgrade and travel costs are much cheaper.
7. Smooth sailing
If you book a cruise, pay attention to the final payment date. For most major cruise lines, the deposit is normally 100% refundable until the final payment date, so if you notice the price has dropped since youve booked and it’s before final payment, cancel your booking and re-book at the new price.
8. Get bumped
If you are flying and aren’t in a rush, volunteer to be “bumped” to a later service if the flight is overbooked. Airlines usually sell more tickets than they have physical seats, based on each flight’s historical record of last-minute re-bookings and cancellations. But sometimes, the numbers run the other way.
Once you give up your seat, you have to wait for the next available flight. Normally, the airline will offer an incentive such as a free domestic trip as “compensation”. Other perks include accommodation and food vouchers or use of the business lounge.
9. Spread out
If you’re booking a flight with a companion, don’t pick seats right next to each other. Instead, have one person reserve the aisle seat and the other reserve the window seat, leaving the middle sat empty as this is the least likely seat to be chosen. You’re much more likely to have an entire row together once the plane takes off.