When you spend as much time working in the travel world as we do, you tend to pick up a few sneaky tricks to make holidays easier. We started posting these travel tips as regular updates on our Facebook page, and they went down a storm, so here they all are in one handy spot.
Got any travel hacks or go-to apps you never leave the country without? Spread the word by letting us know in the comments!
Here are Oliver’s Favourite Travel Hacks and Apps
Let’s face it; apps pretty much run the world. Here are the handiest apps to breeze through the airport, find your way and chat with the locals. Is there anything they can’t do?
Who enjoys packing? This easy to use app asks you who you are, where you’re going and for how long and provides you with a foolproof packing list. Everything down to games, books, chargers and portable speakers for adults, kids and babies.
If you’re heading from the UK to warmer climes, chances are you’re bound to make a sun-related blunder. Protect yourself adequately with this app; it tracks the temperature, what SPF you’re using and your skin type. It then gives you handy alerts when it’s time to reapply.
There are plenty of bill splitting and tip calculators out there, but this app was created for groups of people travelling together. Easily keep track of who paid what, and split bills with ease throughout your whole trip.
Tripit gathers together all your travel info, flights, transfers and car hire documents. This app will also alert you of where and when your next step is. You can add everyone from your holiday party, so everyone is well updated.
When you book a holiday with Oliver’s Travels, we will upload all your trip information with maps, villa confirmation, directions and check-in info to this handy Oliver’s Travels app. You can then invite all the people in your group to join the app, and keep an eye on the weather forecast, browse our suggested itineraries and check out the local travel guides.
A massive database of emergency service numbers for wherever you are in the world. So, just in case the unthinkable happens, and you need the phone number of an ambulance or an embassy, you’ll have it in seconds. It also has a Panic Button widget and doesn’t need an internet connection to function. All good for peace of mind.
This app is great if you’re hungry and wandering around a town or city; Foursquare recommends user-reviewed restaurants and bars based on your vicinity. It also can suggest the best shopping, bars, coffee and places to visit nearby. A travel guide in your pocket, with suggestions from locals and visitors.
If your little ones tend to wander off, or your not-so-little ones like to go off and explore on their own, keep your anxiety in check with a tracker app like Life360. It enables you to see the location of everyone in your circle with a smartphone and send messages as part of your group. Wearable GPS trackers like Lineable or My Buddy Tag will beam a signal to your smartphone if your kids are not yet phone users. Read some more info on no-stress holidays with kids here.
With the instant translation of signs and menus from your camera, this app is the great on-the-go buddy for quick language challenges. You can also type in what you want to say, and it will translate and pronounce it for you. DuoLingo is a good one to download before you go to brush up on the basics. It’s easy, fun and weirdly addictive.
This minimalist journal app is a clean and stylish way to keep a travel diary, using the photos straight from your smartphone. You can also share your logs with your friends and family or online when you get home.
See exactly where you’ve been with this handy tracking app. Great if you do a lot of walking on holiday, or want to retrace your steps to that fab first café you found on the first day. Livetrekker uses GPS to track your route and enable you to take pictures along the way, so you’re sure to remember exactly where that beautiful view was.
Some are common-sense, some not so much – but these travel tips will make life more straightforward.
Conquer Jet Lag
Adjust your watch as soon as you get on to the airport or on the plane, and try to eat proper meals, and take naps at your new time. It’ll feel weird, but you’re tricking yourself into feeling a lot more normal when you land! To lessen the adverse effects of jet lag further, do a little exercise as soon as it’s convenient after getting off the plane, no matter what time it is – even if it’s just a ten-minute jog or a dozen sit-ups. If it’s daytime, you’ll get your metabolism going, and if it’s the night, you’ll tire yourself out and make sleep a little easier. If you can do it outside, even better – it’ll help your body adjust to the new timezone quicker.
Find the Cheapest Flights
If you’re searching for and booking flights online, make sure you either delete your browser cache or enable private browsing – you could save yourself some money. Companies will often track your browsing habits, and you may well be paying over the odds if you’ve visited a site before! You can find out how to clear your browser’s cache by clicking here.
BONUS TIP! For some reason, the day of the week where flights are often the cheapest is a Tuesday. Fridays are reportedly the most expensive, so avoid that – even if it does coincide with payday.
Never Get Stuck Without a Charger
Avoid fussing about with converters by plugging your USB cable into the back of a TV. Most modern flatscreens (and a lot of video games consoles too) have a USB port at the end that your phone or speakers also.
Take The Tremors Out of Turbulence
If you’re having a bit of a bumpy ride on your flight thanks to turbulence, all you need to do is jiggle around in your seat a bit. It sounds ridiculous, but no-one will notice as they’ll be shaking too and you’ll feel the bumps far less. Plus, it’ll direct your focus.
You probably already know your pet must be microchipped and have a pet passport and accompanying valid rabies vaccination. If you’re travelling to France, remember that you’ll be charged for taking your dog on the train with you. Smaller breeds cost about €6, but bigger dogs can increase the cost – even up to half the price of an adult ticket. Also France, especially in the south and more rural areas, has an abundance of biting insects you won’t find in the UK – so make sure you bring appropriate repellent for your four-legged friend!
Get out of the airport ASAP.
Marking your bags as fragile as possible not only ensures that they treated more gently but also stacked at the top. So, they’ll be first on the conveyor belt, and you can skip off on your holiday as soon as possible.
It seems simple, but always take an empty, reusable water bottle with you, then fill it once you get through security. Aeroplanes only provide you with teeny cups of water at weird times and will charge you an extortionate amount for a bottle. It’ll also come in handy on your holiday too.
Cash machines will always give you a better rate than a currency converter while you’re away.
Take photos of your passports, driving licenses and health cards and store them in a safe place both on and offline. Hopefully, you’ll never need them, but if you do – you’ll be happy you did.
We hope these handy tips have got you ready for your next holiday, check out our full range of luxury villa and chateaux rentals. And, if you’ve got little ones in tow, some of the top UK family bloggers shared some of their tips for travelling with kids. Don’t forget to let us know if there’s a handy travel tip you’d like to share – let us know in the comments, and we’ll add the best ones to our blog.