10 Holiday Hero Tips
We look forward to them for months, we plan them down to the finest detail and we remember them for decades to come – summer holidays are amongst the happiest days of our lives. So how can you really make the most of that well-earned time in the sun?
We’ve compiled some top tips to help you get the most out of your annual break:
1. Make a list and check it twice
Make a master list of everything you’ll need and check it twice. It's a good idea to make two lists - one for your hand luggage and one for your main suitcase. Think about what you'll need to carry with you on the plane and what can be packed away until you arrive. If you're going to a sunny destination you might want to pop a bikini or some swimming trunks into your hand luggage just in case the worst happens and your luggage goes missing. At least you'll have appropriate poolside attire when you arrive. Going back to the list, try to include as much detail as possible and cover everything from insurance through to ear plugs.
2. Don't worry, be happy
When you're on your travels you don't want the constant worry of whether or not your home is safe. A number of small measures can give you added peace of mind and leave you stress free to enjoy your holiday. Timers for your lights are a great way to trick any would-be burglars into believing your property is occupied. You could also ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your property and as tempting as it is to tell the world you're going to a sunny location, criminals can use the likes of Facebook and Twitter to track your movements and know when you're away, so keep it to yourself until you return.
3. In case of emergency
Remember to take a full first aid kit, particularly if you’re travelling with kids. You never know when you might need it. Carry travel sickness remedies while en route and be prepared for the country you're visiting by doing plenty of research in advance.
4. In-flight entertainment
Think ahead of ways to keep the kids entertained during the flight. Games, books and electronics can all be lifesavers when you’re cruising at an altitude of 35,000ft. Tablets are ideal travel companions and can be loaded with your children's favourite TV shows and games, prior to your travels.
5. In sync
When jetlag’s a risk, sync your body clock to local time as quickly as you can, even if this means staying up so late it’s early. The sooner you can adapt to your new time zone, the sooner you can enjoy your holiday and make the most of your limited time away. As tempting as it might be, avoid napping when you arrive and aim to stay awake until it's night-time (if you arrive in the day). Natural daylight will help your body clock adjust.
6. Don't be weighed down
You no longer have to be weighed down with lots of holiday reading material thanks to tablets and downloadable books. Now you can have as many books as you like at your disposal and all in the palm of your hands. Have a guidebook that you'd like to take away? Photocopy the pages that are relevant to your trip rather than taking the entire book abroad with you – a real space-saver.
7. Invest in your luggage
Invest in decent luggage and it will last for years. Ancient backpacks and wonky suitcase wheels will only make travelling painful. There are so many brilliant options to choose from and you no longer need to drag a heavy suitcase along behind you on two wheels as many new designs now have four which make manoeuvring your case a breeze. Aim to choose a case that'll stand out on the carousel as there's nothing worse than thinking every black suitcase going around is your own.
8. Learn the lingo
Download a phrase finder app or go one step further and attend a short holiday language course so you can make yourself understood when you go away this summer. Learning some of the lingo will not only go down well with locals, it can also make your life a whole lot easier and it'll come in handy when you need to book a taxi, ask for directions, order a local beverage, etc.
9. Stand out from the crowd
If your suitcase looks like everyone else's (i.e. black!) attach a brightly coloured ribbon, scarf or tag to it to help you recognise it on the luggage carousel.
10. Give your bank the heads up
Let your bank know your travel plans so that it doesn’t become suspicious when your cash card is used abroad. Also, be aware that if you use your debit and credit cards abroad you will be subject to a non-sterling transaction fee. Basically it's a charge from the bank for exchanging the money for you. Try and plan your holiday spend and aim to take enough currency with you where possible.
Wherever you're travelling to this summer, we hope these holiday hero tips have given you some inspiration on ways to save time and money during your trip.
You might also like these Holiday Heroes tools to help you get organised.