There’s no rulebook when it comes to travel, but in some cases it would be pretty epic if there was. During my years of backpacking around Europe, solo-travelling the Mediterranean and studying in the US, I’ve made note of my experiences. I guess you could view this post as a mini travel guide for topics which spark curiosity. You know, things like how to score those cheap flights you see all over Tik Tok, or how to bump up your annual leave without making it awkward. As a frequent flyer, it’s what I do best.
Want some pre-reading? I’ll link my article on life-lessons from a solo-traveller if you’re interested.
How To Actually Find £5 Flights Abroad…
You’ve heard about comparison sites, apps specifically designed to notify you when flights hits rock bottom, and newsletters which send deals into your inbox. However, these rarely bring up those £5 flights you always hear about, but never quite see. I think I’ve found the solution though, and it all happened by accident when I was bored. All you need to do is regularly check the homepage of an airline app. Yup. Nothing fancy here. In the top banner part, you’ll see endless plane deals. THIS IS WHERE THOSE £1.99, £5 OR £9 FLIGHTS ARE STORED. Airline flash-sale type of vibes. Yes, you’ll probably be given a handful of random destinations to select, but you need to be open-minded with travel. You’ll also find a few popular locations off-peak. Flights to Ibiza for 7.99 in March sounds very appealing if you want to see the island.
How To Get More Annual Leave Days Without Directly Asking Your Boss…
One part of maximising allocated time off, which usually goes under the radar, is not requesting a full day’s leave for an afternoon/evening flight. I mean, why are you booking a whole day off for a 7pm flight? This very move becomes counterproductive in the long-term. Sure, I know you probably want to be in the holiday mindset the minute you wake up, but you’ll run out of leave real quick. Save those precious calendar days by working half schedule, where plausible, rather than automatically booking the entire departure day.
The Most Affordable Housing?
Gone are the days when Air BnB was more affordable than a hotel by default. Sure, the base rate of an Air BnB might be cheaper, but the service fee, cleaning fee and check-out fee added onto that? Phew that’s enough to make anyone browse their options. Whilst you’re at it, flick between the accommodation’s own website and comparison sites. It’s hit-or-miss but booking directly from the accommodation’s personal site can result in additional discounts, if you create a profile or sign up to a free newsletter.
Want free accommodation? Check out CouchSurfing to crash with locals or Worldpackers, a volunteering organization offering housing in exchange for your time.
What About Hotel Upgrades?
I always thought random hotel upgrades were a myth. Do they happen on a regular basis? I don’t know the answer to that, but I DO know what contributed to my hotel upgrades in the past. How? I asked about the process for an old blog post. The awkward things I question so my readers don’t have to, eh? The inside scoop was nothing extraordinary but it made sense. Make a lasting impression, remain genuine and boost your chances during off-peak months. Right. When I reflect back on my recent trip, I remember emailing the hotel after booking to confirm everything went through, wondered if they could help with a question I had, and mentioned how excited I was to visit. At the time, I didn’t know this could be a contributing factor but in hindsight? It aligns with the above. I was also told by reception staff that visitors sometimes email a hotel with the reason for their stay, regardless of the occasion. Hmmm interesting. Worth a try? I think so.
How To Get Epic Travel Photos?
When it comes to devices or tech, I don’t think a professional camera is needed for social media images. A tripod on the other hand? Fundamental. I’m not the only one with this opinion. A handful of travel bloggers, entrepreneurs and content-creators plastered all over my feed say the same. We’ve come a long way when it comes to camera quality on phones, after all. 99% of my photos on social media were taken on my iPhone 8 Plus. Nothing excessive. In fact, I could probably do with an upgrade, but the camera gets the job done. One game-changer of a tip for natural-looking photos though, is movement. Literally, move around every second. It works.
Oh and for reference, the tripod I purchased cost me £30 from Amazon. The brand is ‘Tairoad’. It’s not the most sturdy, but small enough to carry around. Would recommend.
How To Pack Jewellery When Travelling?
There’s no alternative word to describe storing jewellery other than stressful. However, I’m keen to put you all onto the little necklace-or-bracelet-through-the-straw trick if you’re not wearing the goods. Now would be a great time to raid your kitchen drawer or make your way towards the fast-food joint near departure gates. Once you’ve got a handful of straws, start slipping one end of the chain through the inside, clasping your chain up once you reach the other end. When I was backpacking around Europe, this was THE method for tangle-free jewellery in my cabin bag. 10/10 would suggest trying it. Elite creation.
How To Check If A Hotel Room Is Clean.
Ok that title is cheeky because I’m basically going to tell you not to use the hotel kettle. Go check it. Well, maybe not instantly but definitely a priority task. You’d be surprised how many people utilise the kettle without peeking inside. Oh, and a quick Google of ‘Hotel Kettle’ will scar your mind for life. People are out there using them to boil their clothes? Yuck.
Whilst we’re on the topic though, I’ve mentioned before how powder laundry sachets are pretty damn useful when travelling. I’ve recently started sprinkling the contents on hostel/hotel curtains too. A must-pack item.
How To Meet People When Travelling, Without Staying In A Hostel?
I get it. Hostel life isn’t for everyone. Although, that doesn’t mean you aren’t a social butterfly or lack communication skills. From my travel experience, I’ve formed connections abroad predominantly through social media. It’s really just about putting yourself out there. A meet-up doesn’t feel as daunting when you’ve pleasantly interacted with an individual before. Even if you don’t reach that stage, asking your audience for tips is genuinely valuable. I’ve also participated in local tours and group classes, found on ‘Eventbrite’. If you’d describe yourself as a foodie, I’d recommend ‘EatWith’. It’s similar to Air BnB but aimed at food experiences, rather than accommodation as such…
To see the visuals from my trips, I’ll add my social links below. Let’s connect!
Until then, see you in the next post.