Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Travel Tips That've Served Us Well – Part 1


There's nothing like the first Monday back to work to make you yearn for a hollier. What's nicer than circling a date or two on a brand spanky calendar to give you something to look forward to after the Christmas come down. 

With that in mind I thought this week I’d impart a few travel tips that I’ve learned over the years gallivanting the globe!

·         Research – It sounds like a no brainer but honest to God the insider tips you come across can amaze you. It can make the difference between a good holiday & a great holiday. Google everything!
·         Skyscanner.ie/Bravofly.com – Use these little beauties to help you find the cheapest flights.
·         Viator.com – I’ve been using Viator for years and have never had a bad experience. I use them to book tour busses in most cities that we go to. The reason being is that they only sell tickets to the top rated tours, as voted by travellers. You can print your tickets before you go & simply hand them to the driver. You don’t have to go to a dedicated office to swop your voucher for tickets. I have never found a tour to be cheaper when we got there, we have always gotten it a few Euro cheaper by booking in advance.

·         Take a sightseeing bus ride on your first day – The best way to get your bearings on a City is to take a tour bus. We always do it as soon as we can at our destination, so then we know where we are & more importantly where we want to go to is! We've yet to go to a city that didn't have a version of these big red buses. Find one. Get on it. 
·         Keep a travel book – Every break we take I keep a little travel notebook, that I write everything in. Flight times, reference numbers even what terminal we are flying from & to, goes in my book. Hotel details, including phone number & address. How to get from the airport to our hotel. I’ll get information from the hotels website or just Google it myself. 

I hear your cogs turning there, wondering why I don't just use my phone WELL, the ancient art of writing shizz down is a lifesaver if you don’t have WiFi or in the unfortunate event that you lose your phone. Up there for thinking, down there for dancing, in the middle here for keeping my travel book updated. 

·         Copy your passport – Keep a photocopy of your passport at home so if you lose it, you can have it scanned & mailed to you. Do the same with any visas you might need.

·         Don’t do just one City! – I’m a firm believer, that if you are taking an airplane then you should make the most of it. Think further afield of your primary destination, where can be reached in a half or full day trip? Is it worth while going? What’s there? 

Again Google is your friend. I always look at Viator.com to get ideas, just put in your destination & they’ll tell you where you can take day trips to. I don’t usually book through them though. I then google the local planes, trains or buses to see if I can do it myself. Examples where I have done this are day trips from:
  • Las Vegas – L.A. $70 return flights each for the day
  • NYC – Boston $55 return flights (Free upgrade to 1st class!)
  • NYC – Washington D.C. $85 each for return flights
  • NYC – Ontario, Canada to see Niagara Falls $300 each return (guided tour including meals)
  • Brussels – Bruges €14 return by train
·         Flights – If there are just two of you flying & you're booking your seats, select the aisle seat & the window seat, that way if the flight isn’t full you’ll have a spare seat between you. If it is all, you have to do is swap seats with person in the middle. Hopefully it’s not this guy!
·         Travelling with babies – When packing the babies clothes disperse them throughout all the check in bags, including nappies, formula & wipes. As I have learned this the hard way when my bag was delayed for 2 days with all of the baby stuff in it.
There you have it part 1 of my travel tips. I will be doing more posts like this in future especially ones on travelling with babies & children. 

Do you have any travel tips you’d like to share?


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