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11 Travel Hacks That Will Save You Time, Money and Stress

11 Travel Hacks That Will Save You Time, Money and Stress

Booking a travel adventure is a little reminder of how fortunate we are to have the world on our doorstep, that the network of transport routes that span the four corners of the globe can make any dream a reality.

Providing you have the time and money, getting around from point A to point B is child’s play. But what if, for the majority of us, those commodities aren’t as easy to come by? This is when insider information proves to be of most value.

Here are 11 travel hacks that will allow you to see the world without compromising on the quality of your journey.

1. Use Land Vehicles More Often

Think outside the box when choosing a mode of transport. A flight may save you time but the trade-off is usually a far higher price than that of a land vehicle.

Trains and buses are often good value should you travel plans sync with the arrival and departure destinations.

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2. Hunt for Secret Cities

When settling on a destination, go beyond the most popular visited places around the world and instead hunt for secret cities and unspoiled adventures that aren’t yet charging full cost for the pleasure of being there.

Getting ahead of the trend can save you a small fortune.

3. Ask Local Experts

Ask people you know and trust for recommendations on how to see the best a country or regional spot has to offer.

If a guidebook suggests a familiar route, check with your contact to see if there is a smarter way to tick the adventure off the list.

4. Book in advance to sniff out those early deals

Big travel websites are known for increasing the cost of travel closer to the departure date.

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Don’t leave the booking until the last minute, especially when the reason you are traveling is a key event, like a wedding or pre-booked holiday.

5. Shop around

Test out a number of online platforms to find the rock bottom cost before making a booking.

Don’t always be persuaded to book by the first site that pops up in Google if you can find operators that offer the same journey for less. This rule applies to all modes of transport, from train journeys, to flights, to coach trips.

6. Book Off-Peak

Vary your travel times by one or two days either side of your original travel date to gauge whether the prices are lower.

For example, Mondays are typically more expensive to travel when compared to midweek.

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7. Accommodation Isn’t Everything

Scale down on accommodation costs wherever you can. If your reason for visiting a place of interest is to explore the local setting and scenery then your time spent inside is limited to sleeping.

This means you’ll be less fussy about the luxuries and can go for a basic deal at a lower cost. Think bungalow or cabin rather than hotel suite.

8. Travel While You Sleep

Take overnight journeys to save paying for a night’s sleep in a bed and breakfast establishment. A train or plane journey will be equipped with onboard rest rooms, space for stretching your legs.

In addition to serving food and drinks, which is a huge invisible cost when being out on travels.

9. Choose Long-Lasting Luggage

Invest in a robust travel bag or carry case to avoid potential damage that will slow you down on the road.

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One high price item is a wiser choice than three lower price replacements, not to mention the added stress that comes from locating a store for a new purchase.

10. Drink Water Every Day

Carry a water bottle at all times to refill instead of purchasing soft drinks from convenience stores or local markets. Drinking plenty of water is also one of the best health hacks.

Your body will feel fitter and your mind will be sharper for when you need to rely on them.

11. Arrange Bookings Online

A travel agent is an unnecessary part of the travel process in this day and age. The faster and cost efficient alternative is to piece together your itinerary online. You may incur a small admin fee when booking up yourself.

However, the time and effort saved from dealing with a person face to face in store or on the phone are well worth the initiative.

I hope you found the information is this article to be of use for the next time you book a local or international trip. Feel free to share these hacks and let them inspire you to find ways to travel more for less!

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Tom Willis

Web Marketing & Content Producer

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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