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How to be a smarter traveller: 5 things you need to know

There are so many smart ways for travellers to make their trips more affordable, more convenient and less stressful. Here are some important insider tips & tricks directly from Skyscanner – that everyone should know to be a smart traveller!

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1. How to book cheap flights

There are several ways of finding low cost flights but if you really want to find the best deals on flights, you have to know the tricks of the trade. Firstly, whenever possible, avoid peak season travelling. This includes leaving on a Friday for the weekend, or during other popular holiday seasons like Christmas or the New Year.

Airlines change fares constantly, so it’s best to check prices early and often. This way, you’ll be able to get a sense of what the best deal is. If this sounds daunting, you can let Skyscanner do the hard work for you by signing up for price alerts, so you’ll have a jump-start on all the other price-conscious travellers out there.

If you’re flexible on when you fly, try using Skyscanner’s ‘Whole month‘ or ‘Cheapest month‘ search tools to find the cheapest days to fly to your destination. Also, by using the ‘Everywhere’ search function, you can find out where is the cheapest to travel to, along with the cheapest dates to go. For example, rather than searching specifically for prices to Narita airport, this tool will let you know when Haneda is the cheaper destination option. If you’re in the mood for exploring destinations you may not have thought about before, this is the best way to pick up bargain basement flights!

Being flexible with your destination will help you find cheaper prices every time

Being flexible with your destination will help you find cheaper prices every time

2. How to book a good hotel

You can find your ideal hotel with the Skyscanner Hotels App. How can you get the best accommodation and also ensure the location is convenient without paying an arm and a leg for it? Skyscanner’s Hotels App allows you to compare across thousands of hotels for you to get the best price. You can either see the price per night or the total price for your stay. If you search for a city, the results will show you how far away the hotel is from the city centre; if you search for a certain point of interest, we’ll show you the distance to that specific place.

When choosing hotels, it is important to remember to stick to your budget. Although it’s tempting to splurge on luxury hotels, only do so if you’re able to afford it. Spending beyond your means is a sure-fire way to ruin your vacation. Remember to also choose your location wisely, with easy access to transport and amenities that will save you money.

Splashing out on the fanciest hotel when you can’t afford it may cast a pall on your holiday

Splashing out on the fanciest hotel when you can’t afford it may cast a pall on your holiday

3. How to save on car rentals

You might want to consider renting from the big boys as they usually have a larger fleet for you to choose from, along with other perks. But bear in mind other things to consider, such as age restrictions. Some places will levy a surcharge if you’re under a certain age. You’ll also need an International Driving Permit, and make sure you get a collision damage waiver.

Think about your itinerary beforehand, because if your pick-up and drop-off points for the car are different, you might have to pay an extra one-way surcharge. Check on their fuel policies as well, because different car rental companies have different terms and conditions. Generally, it’s better for you to top up the tank before you return the car, as some companies will charge you dearly for that simple service. Finally don’t forget to double check their cancellation terms!

Watch out for the surcharges when renting a car

Watch out for the surcharges when renting a car

4. How to protect your finances

Travelling anywhere, even very safe destinations, always involves at least a little risk, so proper precautions should be taken to protect your finances. Before you go, make photocopies of any important documents, and be sure to get travellers insurance. Keep a list of important phone numbers so you know exactly who to call if you realise your card has been lost or stolen. Experts recommend travelling financially light, and carrying a spare card whenever you go.

Don’t forget to let your banks know that you’ll be travelling overseas and using your cards while abroad. If they suspect the cards have been stolen, they may put a hold on them. Use cash whenever possible, and credit card only for major purchases as most credit cards have zero-liability policies. Consider a money belt, especially when traveling to areas with a lot of pickpockets, and in places where you’ll be using public transportation to get around.

Proper precautions should be taken to protect your finances

Proper precautions should be taken to protect your finances

5. How to pack wisely

Seasoned travellers often wear the same outfit on both the flight out and the flight in. This will save you two days’ worth of clothing. Be sure to check the weather forecast in advance and choose items appropriately. Canvas shoes are fine for spring days in the Mediterranean, but will not keep your feet warm in the late April snowstorms in Berlin!

Fold and roll your clothes when putting them in the luggage. Rolling will save you space, while folding will keep them less wrinkled. This combination should let you cram everything in your bag, and wear it straight from the luggage without looking like a rumpled mess. Pack as many socks and undergarments into your shoes as possible. Pack your shoes in. On the shoes, put a layer of heavier rolled clothes like jeans. Next is fragile items and cushioned with lighter rolled items, and finally, top off with folded clothes. Other accessories can be crammed into holes and crooks.

You’ll be astounded at how much you can manage to fit in your suitcase when you fold and roll

You’ll be astounded at how much you can manage to fit in your suitcase when you fold and roll

Let's go everywhere

Inspired to book your next trip with these travel tips? Save more for your shopping by booking the cheapest flights, hotels and car hire by using Skyscanner and our Skyscanner mobile apps.

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