Top tips for travelling

With summer promisingly poking its head out in the not-too-distant future, and the speckles of sunshine reminding us of the long summer nights to come, you’re probably itching for all the magical places you could escape to for a well earned break when the academic year comes to an end. Whether it’s a long romantic city break weekend or a six month round-the-world backpack trip, these tips will make sure you save money, meet amazing people and miss nothing!

By  Rahel Girma



Your time away will be so much better if you find yourself a good hostel. You’ll get to meet people from everywhere, will be surrounded by tips and advice, and often free breakfast and a little home away from home. The HostelWorld app lets you browse through them all, according to what you’re looking for in terms of rooms, area, vibe etc.The rating and review system is super helpful as it lets you see recent recounts to back-up their pictures and descriptions. Hostels provide you with all the information you need on the area, places not to miss, tour guides, walking tours, night-life, airport transportation, and so much more, making sure you get the most out of your trip. Whether you’re a group of ten lads on the lash or a couple looking for a snuggle, there’ll be a cheap comfy bed waiting out there for you.

Mobile-only banks

Regular banks have transaction and conversion fees when you go abroad, which doesn’t seem like much at the time but the pounds add up after a while if you’re on a budget. Mobile-only banks, such as Revolut and Monzo, let you pay and withdraw fee-free. Simply sign-up and they’ll send you a card that is connected to your phone. You can transfer money from your original bank account and receive instant notifications with every transaction, with no international fees.

Cheap flights

The best way to find the cheapest flights is with Skyscanner, which compares all the airlines and finds the cheapest combination. It might be a good idea to find the flight you want on the comparison site, and then book it directly through the airline to ensure you’re not paying extra advertising fees. And watch out for extra baggage and seat allocation addons!

Top tip: browse in incognito mode as they can raise prices when they know people are searching.

Pro top tip: the cheapest days to fly are apparently Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, so try and make at least one leg of your journey fall on one of these days. The cheapest time to book flights has been observed to be Tuesday afternoons…

Staying secure

You obviously need to keep travel documents safe. If you’re staying in hostels and travelling for a while, it’s a good idea to travel with a padlock. Hostels tend to have lockers you can use as safe storage to keep your valuables in, as its best to move around with as little on you as possible. If travelling on night-transport or long coach journeys, it’s best to put at least your cards and passport in a money belt, so that if tragedy strikes and you become separated from your bags, you won’t be completely screwed. The app will sort you out if your phone is data-less, as you can download a map of the area to use offline, so you’ll never get lost.

Learning the language

This will help you understand more about the culture so you can interact more in depth with the people and what’s going on around you. It will aid you in having a more authentic experience, as the only people you will be able to interact with otherwise will be the English speakers, leaving you with a skewed perception of the locals. At least master a few useful phrases as this will help you to get around, will show respect to the people who live there and add to your skills. The thought will be appreciated – there’s nothing worse than an ignorant Brit abroad!

If you don’t manage to learn much before you leave home, the Google Translate app will be your best friend, as it can translate writing and speech in real time, when you take a picture or recording.

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