Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Tips and advice for your next holiday

South Africa about a mile from The Cape of Good Hope, January 2016
Happy Wednesday! Some travel talk for the day.

Make the most of travel apps
There are lots of great apps out there that are designed to help you make the most of the world around you. Of course, using your map app is a good place to start when visiting somewhere new. It is also a good idea to read this, Google Translate tricks you need to know about - Setapp, as it will inform you about different ways to make the most of Google Translate. This will ensure you never find yourself in the middle of a foreign country with no idea how to communicate or read the signs, which is my worst nightmare. Of course there's an app for everything nowadays, from booking restaurants to tourism forums, and so you should get your phone prepped before your trip and pray for wifi. 

Consider traveler's checks 
What a blast from the past, right people my age? Talking about them makes me think of National Lampoon's Vacation, but I digress. 

When going away on vacation most people worry about their travel money. How much money should you take with you? What is the currency of the country you're going to? Should you change the money before you leave or when you get there? Is it safe to carry a large sum of cash with you when travelling? All of these questions run through peoples’ minds. I typically use a credit card when traveling now, but the first time I traveled abroad I used traveler's checks. 

If you are unfamiliar, a traveler's check is a pre-printed check with a fixed amount on it.You pay the financial company in question the amount of money you wish to place on your traveler's check and take that with you over your own currency or foreign. While traveling you'll be able to pay for things with your traveler's checks at certain shops, hotels, restaurants, and you can exchange these checks for cash at a bank or bureau de exchange. If you lose your traveler's checks, unlike cash they can easily be replaced. You’ll simply need your serial number handy – you will get this upon purchase of your traveler's checks. 

The main reason why traveler's checks have been a popular form of carrying travel money for years is that they are exceedingly safe - you won’t be carrying around wads of cash with you, there is very little chance that anybody would be able to use them even if they were stolen. This is because when you purchase your them you need to sign for them. When you go to pay for something with them or you go to get out money, you have to sign again. Unless the person who stole them knows your signature there is no chance he or she will be able to take your money. If they are stolen, you'll be able to receive a replacement within a 24 hours. 

Obviously, safety is very important but you will be able to cash in on other benefits as well by opting for travelers’ checks. You can capitalize on a good exchange rate by getting your check in any currency you desire: yours or the currency of the country you're visiting. Opting for the latter can be gainful because you can take advantage of an attractive rate and you won't have to worry about finding a good exchange rate while abroad. 

Don’t forget to take baggage allowance into consideration when booking your trip!

Most of the time, when looking for a flight people will understandably search for the cheapest ticket they can find. However, the price you see first is often very different from the price you see when you get to the final stages of the checkout procedure. This is because there is everything from in-flight meals, to insurance, to tax, to hold bags to take into consideration. Instead, you need to consider these factors before you come to your decision. This can be extremely time consuming, but that’s where travel management software really shows its worth, as well as comparison websites.
You may think baggage allowance is only a tiny expenditure, but it can soon end up being a really costly one. Firstly, there are a lot of companies that charge per flight. This means that you have to pay ‘x’ amount for hold bags on your outgoing flight and then the same amount again for the inbound flight. This can end up being a considerable sum of money, especially if the hold bags are expensive to begin with. Aside from this, airlines have really cracked down when it comes to overweight cases. If you are even one kg overweight you can expect to be charged nowadays. It can prove to be much cheaper to buy extra kilos online as opposed to waiting until you get to the airport. The fees tend to be astronomical at the airport, as they know there is nothing you can do except to pay them. 

The cost of baggage and airport food annoy me, but they're part of travel. 

How do you deal with cash when traveling? Traveler's check or pre-exchange for foreign currency or no cash/tap MAC while there? And what are your annoying yet unavoidable expenditures on a trip?

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