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Become A Smart Traveler: Use These 15 Awesome Travel Hacks

Become A Smart Traveler: Use These 15 Awesome Travel Hacks

Everyone loves the idea of travelling. But, not everyone is in love with the concept of booking expensive flights, losing your week’s worth of luggage and being denied accommodation at a foreign country you’re not familiar with. How do you save money and still get to enjoy your travel experience? These travel hacks from professional travelers got your back:

1. Clear your browser’s cookies

Booking websites usually store your browser’s cookies so they know how many times you’ve looked for a hotel or flight deal. Since they want you to book quickly, they show you higher prices for you to take the bait. Prevent this from happening: clear your cookies and use an incognito browser window.

2. Track your airfare

Websites such as Yapta and Skyscanner allow you to monitor your airfares and give you alerts every time it changes. Just give them your email address and strike while the iron is hot! If the airfare seems cheap enough for you, book it already. You may not have the second chance in the future.

3. Fly Red-Eye

Don’t want airport hassles? Choose red-eye (overnight) flights so you avoid rush hour, long lines and grumpy personnel. You can always sleep on the plane and wake up energized when you arrive at your dream destination.

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4. Pack your luggage “Russian Nesting Doll” style

One of the famous travel hacks is to fold your clothes. Why don’t you take it one step further? Rolled up socks and underwear go inside your shoes. Rolled up shirts can safely store your digital camera or sunglasses. Put the items you’ll frequently need (liquids and items you’ll use mid-flight) at the very top.

5. Wear your extra luggage

Wear the bulky items that you will need but you don’t want to pack – a jacket, a pair of boots, a hoodie or your gym clothes! If you’re really extreme about it, you can also try Jaktogo so you can wear your luggage literally.

6. Make your luggage stand out – in a good way

Consistently checking every luggage that moves is not easy so you want your own luggage to be noticeable at first sight. Don’t use ribbons or bows because these can get stuck. Instead, put colorful and bright stickers on your luggage.

7. Choose your security line

Don’t line up behind senior citizens and children as they tend to take the most time in getting through security. Instead, look for people in business suits; they tend to move more efficiently as compared to others.

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8. Go through priority lines anyway

If you see that the line is excruciatingly slow, go to the empty line for priority/first-class passengers. You can actually ask them if you can just go through, or if you want, you can always pass by and they’ll wave you in. More often than not, you won’t even need to flash your frequent flyer card anyway.

9. Request shopping bags from airport gift shops

Ask for a big shopping bag and put all your remaining stuff there. Because everyone will assume that you just bought this from the airport’s gift shop, you won’t get charged for an extra carry-on baggage. If it’s not free, consider buying it. A shopping bag price is still cheaper than an overweight fee.

10. Bring an empty water bottle with you

Pass through security by making sure your bottle’s empty. Once you’re in the holding area, fill it up at the tap or water fountain and smile. Now you don’t need to shell out to pricey airport stores just so you can quench your thirst! If you’re extra cautious, you can bring an empty water bottle with a built-in filter.

11. Roll back your computer’s clock

Only given one hour to enjoy the free WiFi? Before the one hour is up, roll back your computer’s or smartphone’s clock. This way, you get more Internet time.

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12. Consider house-sitting

You can technically live rent-free if you do house-sitting. Join a house-sitting membership sites like TrustedHousesitters.com, sign up for notifications and reply quickly to any messages. Also, make sure to have a written agreement with the homeowner so that you know what and what not to do while living in their house.

13. Join free local guides

You can check out the Global Greeter Network for free local guides. You get free tours, new friends and perhaps even free meals, if your “greeter” is generous enough!

14. Make one meal the highlight of your day

Don’t splurge for every meal – you’ll spend more money faster if you do this. Instead, use one meal and make it the highlight every day. For example, for breakfast, stick with cheese and bread, yogurt or affordable fruits that you can buy in your nearest supermarket. Then for lunch, look for scrumptious yet cheap lunch set deals. For dinner, you can either eat street food or even make do with the food that you took home with you. You don’t need to eat like a king every time to enjoy your travel.

15. Have your USB stick with you

One of the most-ignored travel hacks is about safety: in an encrypted USB stick, include your ID pictures, bank/insurance company phone numbers, insurance policy, credit card statements and passport photos. This way, if you ever get robbed, you can immediately get back on your feet and take action.

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Which of these travel hacks are you familiar with? Share in the comments below and let’s talk!

Featured photo credit: 0qtowsuC.jpg/5demayo via cdn.morguefile.com

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Lianne Martha Maiquez Laroya

Lianne is a licensed financial advisor, Registered Financial Planner, entrepreneur and book author.

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Last Updated on June 26, 2020

25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

“How to save money fast?” This is the question asked by all of us not in the top 1% of rich people.

If you are looking for ways to drastically reduce your expenses immediately, first look at what you need to spend money on every week. And I mean really need.

You don’t really need to order in food. You don’t really need to buy expensive perfume.

Building from that, you can work out how your regular expenses can be reduced.

As for irregular expenses, they can also be deceptively costly in the long run. Once-off buys can also be tackled with some prudent planning and a little extra research.

And remember: a budgeted lifestyle does not mean a bad or boring one!

But first, understand what budget you can cut down on daily:

  • Regular expenses for the average adult (can be trimmed but not eliminated):
    • food
    • rent/mortgage
    • cell phone
    • insurance
    • socializing/entertainment
    • transportation
    • hygiene products
    • household bills
  • Irregular expenses for the average adult (can be eliminated or cut down a lot):
    • travel
    • clothing
    • medication (*depends)
    • grooming (hair, nails etc.)
    • gifts

Now, let’s dive right into the 25 ways to save money fast:

Save Money on Food

1. Bring a stock of food to the office/work

Instead of popping out for an overpriced salad and a smoothie, leave a set of basic utensils at the office as well as a stock of non-perishable goods such as tinned fruit, tuna, rice crackers and so on (try to avoid the junk food and this can turn into a pretty great diet!).

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Stocking up means you won’t forget or say “I didn’t have the time” when you rushed out to work in the morning.

2. Buy the store-brand version

Many basic foods, such as bread and milk, will taste exactly the same as their branded alternatives. Go for stuff with minimal additives and preservatives. Meat in a tube is probably insanely unhealthy!

3. Eat cheaper cuts of meat

Learn how to tenderize and flavour cheaper meat and fish, and save on the (typically) most expensive item on your grocery bill.

4. Have group dinners

If 10 friends put $5 each in the kitty, it’s pretty easy to make a giant lasagne and get refreshments, as well as hang out with your favourite people.

Save Money in Transport

5. Get a bicycle

Save on gas money and bus/metro fares with this underrated mode of transport.

6. Use public transport and/or don’t get taxis

Some places can only be reached by car. But as a good practise, check your public transport website and see if any routes pass nearby where you need to get to. Walk as much as you can.

7. Find the cheapest gas

Regularly check out where the cheapest gas can be bought.

Save Money in General Shopping

8. Shop online

Not only will you save on the gas or transport fares from going to the shopping mall but you will also find better deals

9. Sell your old stuff

Get your unwanted belongings up on eBay ASAP and earn a few dollars.

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Here’re more ideas for you: 25 Things to Sell to Make a Lot of Money

10. Bulk buying stores

For regular non-perishable/slow perishable purchases such as toilet paper, cat food, pasta, washing powder and so on, do an epic stocking-up trip to a co-op or equivalent (my mum used to go to a place that restaurants buy from).

Be wary of supermarket “deals”, as some have been found to be fraudulent after working out a simple calculation.

11. Become a flea market/car boot sale/street market guru

You can find original gifts and develop good negotiation skills at these places.

12. Generic brand medication

More often than not, the generic version of paracetamol and other basics work the same as the branded version.

13. Choose deodorant, not perfume

It blows my mind when someone drops $70 on a bottle of spray. Stick with a nice deodorant, and not only will you smell just fine but you’ll be sweat-free as well!

Cut Down on Household Expenses

14. Printing

Ink is one of the most expensive substances in the office and coloured ink is doubly so. B

e more efficient and choose black and white, and if your printer doesn’t have a print-both-sides options, just print odd pages first, re-insert the paper and print even pages.

Expand the margins of what you are printing as often as you can to save on paper.

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15. Minimize SMS and phone calls

A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).

16. Shop around for insurance

Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal.

Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.

17. Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage

If you have built up a good credit history or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.

18. Don’t get a TV

Invest in a computer/laptop and an internet-only package. You can watch more (and often better) entertainment on the web, and skip the advertisements as well.

19. Pool your internet bill with a neighbour

My apartment building is basically a big old house split into three apartments. There are five of us in total. We pool the internet bill, making it crazy cheap.

Save Money in Socializing, Entertainment And Travel

20. Have house parties

Instead of paying for overpriced drinks, set up a series of in-house get-togethers with your friends. Everyone takes a turn, so it’s not always your house that needs cleaning.

For sound insulation, hang heavy drapes on the walls and windows. For music, invest in a good second-hand set of speakers which you can connect to your computer. Let Spotify or Grooveshark playlists do the rest.

21. Open festivals, meetups and events

It never fails to surprise me how much underground stuff goes on around me for free or for very cheap. Find out who runs the blogs and websites that list all the less well-known cultural activities.

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22. Volunteer

If you can’t pay for a ticket, volunteer and get to be there anyway.

23. Housesit

There are multiple housesitting websites offering you the possibility to avoid paying hotels and skip the discomfort of crummy hostels.

Save Money on Hygiene and Beauty

24. DIY beauty

French manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrows… pretty much all of these can be achieved at home (and done well) with some practise. There are plenty excellent blogs and YouTube tutorials to help.

25. Fewer haircuts/volunteer at a trainee hairdresser

If you can’t bear the risk of a trainee touching your locks, learn more ways to manipulate your hair as it grows and get haircuts sparingly. Women’s haircuts are outrageously priced in many cities.

Bonus: Effective Money-Saving Tips for Everything

Here’s a summary of what you can generally do to save more money:

  • Share/pool resources. Organize a neighbourhood sharing scheme, common resources for your apartment block or with your friends. Not everybody needs an individual lawnmower.
  • Buy energy-saving everything. The easiest way to lower your bills – replace those lightbulbs!
  • Buy in bulk. Be sensible about it (i.e. make sure you have space!), and drastically reduce weekly expenditure.
  • DIY. Skill up using YouTube tutorials on plumbing and many other essential services so you never have to pay for simple problems again.
  • Research a lot before making a decision. Most money-wasting is the result of poor preparation and planning. Don’t shirk this part just because you don’t like it!
  • Use your network. Your network is full of resources that can ease the pain of budgeting. Ask for help.
  • Stop and think. Do I really need it?

Unfortunately, there are some things that require plain ol’ giving up for the time being. This can include high-cost sports such as skiing, the latest versions of some technologies, the finest brands of food/drinks, premier seats at the opera and most other indulgences.

What is important to remember during lean times is that when you look back on your life, it will be the experiences that stand out, not the extra comforts.

Living on a budget can teach you a lot about how much you can really get out of your paycheck. We only live one life, so make the most of every penny you earn!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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