Going travelling soon?
Although some tips will have you dining at the best hidden spots in your favourite city, some tips for the modern age are rarely shared and can save your trip (and your wallet). If Carrie Bradshaw was still traipsing about the world, you can guarantee this is how she would have done it. This is travel in the 21st century for the modern fashionista, so listen up!
1. GET A GLOBAL SIM
If you are travelling between countries or even while stopping over at airports you will need to get yourself a global sim card. Forget phone calls, data on your phone is your saviour while overseas.
Google maps is a one stop “get out of jail free” card while lost in foreign cities and you will always need a phone close by if you need to call an Uber (see point 3).
Looking at prices for global sim cards, you wonder why anyone would ever pay so much for such little data. The reason: because data overseas is priceless. Trust me.
2. FREE WI-FI IS (ALMOST) EVERYWHERE
Welcome to the tech world where you can find free Wi-Fi at most airports, train stations and hotels. However this won’t save you if you’re wondering around a Plaza wondering which way the metro was. It is handy if you want to Instagram before jumping on that flight however.
3. UBER EVERWHERE
If you are travelling to major cities across the world, taxi’s are ridiculously priced. City rates and license fees drive up taxi fees to cashed-up-tourist heights. Save your dollars for beautiful dinners and download the Uber app (you can thank me later).
The app allows you to call for your own private driver who picks your up, drops you off and automatically charges your linked card in local currency. Some trips can cost up to 70% less if you travel with Uber Pop (the economical option).
Also a tip for when travelling around home, the newly introduced lower rates means that this doesn’t only have to be an option while travelling overseas!
3. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE TRAVEL ADAPTORS
Don’t wait until you arrive to find out that France has a different adaptor to the UK. Your phone will die, and you will be left without access to information on where to buy an adaptor and how to get there.
4. BOOK EVERYTHING ONLINE
Most tourist hotspots, museums, galleries and attractions that require a ticket will not normally offer a discount for online purchase so you might wonder what the point is.
The point is priority que.
If you have a pre-booked ticket, beat the cue and enter through the VIP line like a true international celebrity.
5. TAX FREE SHOPPING
Most places within Europe will offer visitors a discount, just because. You can get up to 10% off just by showing a passport or drivers license. Most of the time a photo on your phone will suffice but make sure to ask first!
If you are purchasing pricier items or goods for business (hotels, food and drinks not included), take a passport along and ask for a VAT refund form (this might be called something different in every country). Claim this when departing at the airport to get approximately 10% back!
6. BE DEVICE SAVVY
Heavy laptops or tablets with batteries that quickly run out are so passé. Although shopping for tech isn’t always easy, keep in mind portability when getting your next device.
Tip: The Lenovo Yoga range has the worlds thinnest/lightest laptops at no cost to performance and tablets with 15 hours of battery life usage!
7. HAVE EXTRA CLOTHING? PUT IT IN A GARMENT BAG.
A garment bag is rarely weighed when taking it as carry on. Make sure to pack one with your heavy coats, leather jackets, dresses etc and board to save yourself some room in your suitcase (and pack a few extra items for yourself after you’ve gone shopping!)
Bonus: Most airlines will also hang your garment bag!
9. GET APPY
In summary, these are your must have apps.
- Whatsapp/Facebook Messenger for staying in touch with mobile and Facebook contacts.
- Uber for your own private chauffeur while touring.
- Skyscanner. Don’t even think about booking a flight until you’ve skyscanned for the best price.
- Google Maps. Enough said.
- Weather. Also, enough said.
- Pin Drop. For the spontaneous traveller, wander your local area with GPS, and see what everyone has been pinning, sharing and loving (or hating) nearby!
- XE Currency. 5 million others have downloaded so it’s doing something right in the land of currency converters.
- Instagram. It’s the must-have app – to make friends back home green with envy. If you selfie in Milan and nobody saw it, did it ever happen?
10. PACK A BOOK
When your phone dies, which it will, make sure you have your favourite (or any a friend who reads recommends) with you. This will make those long hours suddenly somewhat bearable and who knows, you might actually find a new hobby!