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5 Travel Tips you may not know:

5 Travel Tips you may not know:

1. 5am Club

First of all I'm not a morning person. BUT some of my favourite moments travelling have been at 6am. Sometimes I really want to see something whether it's Sarakiniko beach in Milos, or the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Duomo Cathedral in Milan... the list is endless & there's always one problem - crowds. I promise you waking up at 5am one morning on vacation to visit a particular place with a coffee, with the sunrise, with no humans around; It's breathtaking. Before the rest of the city or town wakes up you can enjoy the place you most want to see without all the chaos. Maybe this is just me, but it's SO good. Afterall you're on vacation - a siesta is mandatory! 

 

2. Hand Luggage Swim

One of my managers once told me "I always travel with swimwear in my hand luggage." I looked at her perplexed. Why would I need to fly with swimwear in my hand luggage? I started this many years ago & it's saved me so many times. 

You're flying long haul - you've been in the same clothes without a shower surrounded by people for too long. Your feet are swollen & you're thinking HOW am I going to do another 15 hour flight. 

A swim, hammam, sauna, shower - wash your hair. Change your clothes (I also put spare underwear, socks & a t-shirt in my carry on.) And you step onto the next flight refreshed & super happy. This was life changing for me! 

Example: The Vitality Wellbeing & Fitness Centre: Qatar's Hamad International Airport - OPEN 24HRS. Book a treatment and get free access to the swimming pool, squash court, hydrotherapy tub, and shower room. They also have a day rate (around $35) that grants you access to the facilities. 

I personally love the spa in Istanbul airport - I had a quick 1.5 hour layover & managed to do a 30min hammam, sauna, shower & change. Spa music drowning out the noise of an airport..... I almost forgot I had a flight. 

If you're flying long haul via a popular international airport - Look up if they have spa / pool facilities. Thanks Valve!! 

 

3. APP-rehensive

Research & download apps for where you're going. This sounds logical but many countries don't use Uber or have the thing's you're used to seeing. For example in Bali the go to app is Gojek to use 24/7. In dubai they have 'Careem' and so on... And often you want to use these apps as soon as you land to call a taxi than take the local overpriced ones waiting outside. Download before you fly. 

Another app I always have on my phone is 'currency converter' I use it 20 times a day travelling & it's so useful. 

'Google translate' the App. You can take photographs of whole menus to translate. Also supports offline translations. 

TURO is my favourite car rental app. This app is only available in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Australia - but if you're going to one of these and need to rent a car, it's a lot of fun & much cheaper than normal companies. People on TURO rent out their personal cars like Airbnb but for cars. They will often do car drop offs to the airport or directly to the door of your hotel. It's my favourite find of 2023. 

An e-sim app I was recommended by a guy working at Apple is 'Airalo' - very easy to use & cheap for any country you're going to. Just download it on your phone & save the hassle and time of going to buy a local sim from a store. 

Public transport - a lot of big cities with the underground metro have an app with the map of the metro you can access quickly and easily with or without internet. 

It's worth sitting down for an evening before travelling to add some of these to your phone & feel more prepared before landing in a foreign country. 

 

 4. Luxe-Life IG

We definitely live in a generation of luxury travel all over our friends instagram & you sit there thinking HOW the hell are they affording this? I love luxury hotels, taking photos and experiencing unbelievable service. I think we have this idea that you have to do either a luxury vacation or a normal one but why can't you do both? If I have a dream hotel I want to stay at - eg Casa Malca in Tulum was always on my list. But at 700 euro a night I couldn't do the whole week there. 

Book 1 night. Get to the hotel early morning of check in day & leave your suitcase at reception. Enjoy the pool & beach & spa for the day whilst you wait for the room. With a lot of luxury hotels you'll get a free spa treatment with the booking - yes even for 1 night. Check in. Have the best afternoon & evening ever. Enjoy the breakfast. Check out at 11 or 12 the next day & again, have a beach bag with you. Leave the bags at reception & enjoy the rest of the day at the hotel. Make the most of it. 

For the rest of the week you can book one other place that's affordable so you're not moving around and packing / unpacking too much. 

I love doing this at the end of a trip because it's something to look forward to & I leave on a high. We all know instagram is only the best pieces of our lives but so many people aren't open about what they're actually doing behind the scenes. 

 

5. Kiss & Fly

When booking flights I always use the Google Flight tool on Google. It takes every website & company across the internet and puts it into one place for you to see instantly the cheapest & most direct flights within 30 seconds. Saves a lot of time & energy - making booking a flight easier than ever before. 

If you travel a lot look into companies like Priority Pass (Business Lounges) that you pay the membership yearly & get access to most business lounges worldwide. They're quieter, comfortable, often have showers & unlimited food, drinks & alcohol to enjoy whilst waiting for your flight. I love experiencing all the different cultures as they cater to the country you're in. In Tokyo they had all kinds of sushi & rice wraps. In Greece, lots of yoghurt honey & Greek pastries. It makes the airport experience more enjoyable and it's not as expensive as you think. Priority Pass is starting at $329 with currently 25% off for 10 free entrees. That's $24 each visit. (Probably cheaper than what you normally spend on airport food & drinks.) 

My dads input being an ex pilot is 'book flights on a Tuesday' apparently its cheaper. - who knew? 

 

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