7 Amazing Travel Hacks

Trang train station Thailand

Today’s featured post was written by Ben Wosskow, who is sharing seven of his favourite travel hacks.

Travelling can be an enriching and rewarding experience. However, there are many common pitfalls - such as theft - which can easily ruin a holiday. Avoid unnecessary stress, and streamline your trip with these seven amazing travel hacks.

Call your bank

Having your bank card blocked while abroad is both frustrating and inconvenient. However, it’s also easily preventable. Before you leave, call your bank and tell them you’re going away - including the destination and dates. They can set up an alert for your card, preventing it from automatically being blocked in a foreign country.

Deceive the thieves

Pickpockets are often rife around major attractions. Keep your valuables safe by bringing along two wallets. Fill one with your money and important cards, and put it in an interior pocket. Fill the other with some small notes and seldom-used store loyalty cards, and keep this at the top of your bag.

Thieves are more likely to take the ‘decoy’ wallet, keeping your valuables safe. Another way to safeguard against pickpockets is to attach a small bell to your wallet or purse. Strings of money in Thai temple

Prevent leaks

As many travellers discover each year, leaking toiletries can destroy the contents of a suitcase. Before you pack your toiletries, put plastic wrap over the necks of your bottles, and then screw the lids back on. Even if the lid opens in transit, the contents won’t spill all over your bag. However, plastic wrap can’t combat in-flight pressure changes or unscrupulous baggage handlers - both of which can cause plastic bottles to burst open completely. Squeezing some of the air out of bottles before sealing them can prevent this from happening.

Clear your cookies

You should always research different options before booking a flight, to find the best deal. However, before you buy a ticket, clear your internet history and cookies. Often, flight prices will automatically rise if you’ve visited the same page a number of times. Also, if booking through a third-party site, check the airline’s own price first - it may well be cheaper.

Bring soap

The simple bar of soap is an incredibly versatile, leak-proof travelling companion. Not only can it be used for washing, it can also keep your luggage smelling fresh, soothe insect bites, unstick stubborn zips, and be used to hand wash clothes.

Check conversion rates

Always check the currency conversion rate before you set off, to avoid being scammed. If possible, take money out of an airport ATM rather than using an exchange desk, as these are notorious for short-changing new arrivals. If you must exchange money, work out how much currency you should be receiving, and be sure to count it at the desk. It’s also wise to research the rough price of a taxi from the airport to your hotel before you arrive, as airport taxi drivers often overcharge.

Pack a bike lock

Overnight train trips are inevitable for the backpacker. Make sure you get a restful night’s sleep with this tip - bring a bike lock with you. Use this to secure your bag to a solid part of the train, reducing the risk of theft. It doesn’t need to be an expensive model - even a cheap lock will deter potential thieves.

This article was written exclusively for Finding the Universe by Ben Wosskow of Love Home Swap, a leading home exchange holiday site.

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