Top 10 genius travel tips
We've put together a list of the top 10 GENIUS travel tips that you might not have considered before. All these handy tips are designed to save you time and money.
1. Request a 'Fragile' sticker for your bag
When checking in for your flight, ask for a 'fragile' sticker for your bag. Bags with these stickers are handled more carefully and are placed at the top of the luggage pile, so your bag will end up being the first to hit the conveyor belt, and you'll get out the airport much faster.
2. Roll instead of fold
Did you know that rolling your clothes inside your suitcase instead of folding is a great way to save space and fit more stuff inside your bag? Try this the next time you go on holiday.
3. Use Google Maps' hidden offline feature
To save yourself from a hefty data bill while roaming abroad, use the Google Maps app's little-known offline feature to store map data onto your phone. While using the app online, simply go to the map area you want to save, and type "OK maps" in the search box. This map data will then be available when your phone is offline. Works with both the iOS and Android apps.
4. Secure the best seat in economy class
Before reserving a seat, go to Seat Guru. This resourceful website has up-to-date seating charts for almost every international flight, including info on whether a seat is too close to the bathroom, or whether there's any extra legroom to be had. There are also thousands of aeroplane models and airline reviews posted by customers.
5. Find Free Wi-Fi wherever you are
Download a free Wi-Fi finder app that will help you locate free Wi-Fi hotspots wherever you are. Some of the best include WiFiMapper for iOS, which has mapped over 500 million Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide, and ranked them according to signal quality; and WeFi for iOS and Android, which has mapped over 100 million hotspots.
6. Use ATMs to get local currency
Exchanging your money for local currency at the airport is generally a rip-off with high fees and uncompetitive rates. Rather, use your debit card at the local ATM. Remember to tell your bank you'll be using the card overseas so it doesn't get blocked, and check what the transaction fees will be before leaving.
7. Re-book cancelled/delayed flights via phone
If you are already at the airport and your flight gets delayed or cancelled, you'll be able to get another flight much faster by phoning the airline directly to re-book rather than standing in the long queue at the counter. This is particularly applicable to long-haul international flights carrying hundreds of passengers, all desperate to get on the next available flight.
8. Stop liquids from leaking in your bag
There's nothing worse than your liquid soap, sun-cream or expensive beauty and hair products leaking all over your clothes. Prevent this by opening the lids of all your liquids and placing a small piece of cling film plastic over the top before putting the lid back on, and then place them in a ziplock bag. No more leaks or spills.
9. Keep copies of important documents online
Scan or take photos of your passport (including VISA page, if relevant), ID, travel insurance documents and email them to yourself, or upload to a platform like Dropbox. Having copies on hand will make getting replacements so much easier in the event of theft or loss.
10. Download a currency exchange app
Keep within budget by using a currency exchange app that will show you the price of something in your local currency. Apps like these are also great for keeping up-to-date with live currency fluctuations, helping you to distinguish between fair currency exchange rates and rip-offs.
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