Travel tips

Use Facebook groups for local experiences

A great way to discover local experiences that are low-cost, or free is via Facebook groups. Most popular destinations will have a Facebook group that’s dedicated to sharing information about travelling around that destination. We found this group super useful when planning our visit to Sri Lanka. At the time, drone laws were incredibly vague in Sri Lanka and this group was vital in helping us to find out if we could take our drone and also to providing unique spots to film. Here’s 2 other groups we’ve used regularly over the years:

  • Travel Around the World - Backpackers
  • Backpacking Europe

Check into your flight as soon as it opens to get seats together

It’s really annoying when you book flights with your friends or partners and the airline wants to charge you $30 a seat each so that you can sit together. I don’t think it’s justifiable. But there is a way around it. All airlines will tell you the exact time their check-in will open for a flight. I suggest you set an alarm and check it right at that moment, and you’ll likely get to sit next together. This has always worked for us, especially on long haul flights. Some airlines, like Ryanair, purposely seat you away from each other because you didn’t pay for extra seats, but they’re a short haul airline, so it’s fine!

Use Rome2Rio to make planning transfers a LOT easier

Rome2Rio is a fantastic website which lets you type in any two locations in the world and it will give you all the options of getting there, alongside the estimated cost. This is really good, not only for planning a travel route, but also for quickly working out a rough budget. The one thing I will say is to never take their prices as a firm answer. When it comes to actually booking, prices on your chosen days can be a lot different, so instead use them as a rough estimate.

Compare tour sites before booking (Klook/GYG/Viator)

On the same note … there are a lot of tour companies online offering different deals and experiences, but you’d be surprised at just how much the difference in price can be between some of these companies. We always cross-check different websites for the same tour or experience, to see who is giving the best deal. Sometimes this might only be a couple of dollars, but if you’re on a budget, this will add up! Here’s all the tour sites we have used and recommend:

  • GetYourGuide
  • Klook
  • Viator
  • Forever Vacation
  • Musement
  • 12Go ← Not for tours, but excellent on transfers

Book tickets online when possible

Booking tickets online for all aspects of travel has become very popular. We are in a digital age where paper isn’t really necessary. With regards to travelling, this is really useful. There’s less complication and confusion when everything is online. Plus, you’ll often see that when you’re booking tourist attractions online, you can get discounts, coupon codes and flash deals that will allow you to save money. We typically use GetYourGuide & Klook for all our tour needs.

Use Skyscanner before booking any flight

We have never booked a flight without using Skyscanner. Ever. Skyscanner is a flight comparison website and it shows you the best possible flight combinations, in terms of time and price. You’ll never definitely get it cheaper searching direct (unless you have points of course), so Skycanner is the best way to find the best deals on flights all over the world. Plus you can set up price alerts if you’re looking to buy flights at the cheapest price!

Allow at least 1.5 hours between connection flights

Bradley and I have taken a lot of connection flights over the years, and I’ve learnt that there is a perfect balance when it comes to a connection time. Clearly you don’t want it to be too long, because the wait is just annoying, but you also don’t want it to be too short, because that means there is no room for error. We’ve often had flight connection times that were 45 minutes, and when our first flight landed 15 minutes late, and we still have to go through security, run to a different boarding gate, or get on the next flight, there suddenly is NOT a lot of time! We’ve found that a 1.5 hour connection time seems to work well. You’ll have time to go to the toilet and catch a coffee before your next flight.

Purchase a quality backpack or suitcase

Before you head off on an adventure, it’s a good idea to research different backpacks and suitcases that will perform well in the environment you’re visiting. Of course if you’re just visiting one destination that’s quite tourist friendly, then you’ll probably not need something robust and sturdy, but if you’re backpacking for long periods of time in different terrains and places, then you’re going to need a backpack that can handle that environment. Typically, higher quality backpacks are a little more expensive, BUT, they last a lot longer! My top recommendation at the moment would be the Tropicfeel Shell backpack.

Bring more than one credit/debit card with you

Don’t make the mistake of just travelling with one bank card. It’s too easy for it to go missing, to break, be stolen, and there is even the chance that the ATM will not accept it (or eat the card!). Prepare for this by bringing at least 2 or 3 cards with you. This could be one debit card, one credit card, and a travel card. If you’re from the UK (like us) then you should check out Monzo and Revolut.

Bookmark posts on Instagram to remember great places to visit

This is such a great travel tip and something I’ve started doing in more recent years. Instagram is a haven for travel inspiration, and you can discover some pretty awesome places, both popular and remote. If you save those travel photos, you can go in search of them when you visit a location, and lots of time people tag the location in their photos which is super helpful. I found myself with a lot of places to discover from Instagram when we visited The Philippines. It was awesome!