Travel tips

Ask locals for advice on the local safety

No one knows the safety of a city or country better than the locals themselves. Ask your hotel staff or guy at the coffee shop if the area is safe. Ask if there are anything extra precautions you should take, can you walk alone at night, should you trust the taxi drivers, etc. You’ll often find that locals want to keep you safe, so that you can encourage others to visit, so they’ll be open and honest. We’ve always found this.

When carrying medical supplies: split between two bags

Since I have type 1 diabetes, this is an important factor for me, but lots of people travel with some sort of condition or illness and if that applies to you, then make sure you split your important supplies between two different bags. It could be your bag and your travel partners bag, or a day bag or a main bag. This means if something gets stolen (or ruined), you have a backup plan.

Always bring a lock for your bags/items

A lock is a good way to help keep your items more secure. I do think that they aren’t full proof, because if someone wants to steal your stuff, then a lock won’t stand in their way. But it can act as a deterrent. Locks are cheap, just make sure you don’t lose the keys!

Make full use of sign up codes

Sign up codes are a great travel tip when you want to save money for travel! Lots of accommodation websites use sign up codes to entice you into your first booking, and if a sign up code requires an email address, remember you can use different email addresses to reuse the code on different occasions. Here are a few of our sign up codes you can use to get started:

  • Airbnb Be sure to pass your own referral code onto friends and relatives so you can benefit again and again!

Pick up a Handpresso and still have great coffee every day

This is an awesome device I recently discovered as Bradley got me one for my birthday! This nifty device allows you to make real espresso on the go! All you need is your coffee and hot water and you’re ready to make great coffee. I’m a coffee lover, and sometimes I miss espresso coffee when travelling, especially when on a road trip, so this is a brilliant alternative and a great way for me to get my caffeine fix! It also means you can pick up local coffee from around the world and try it when travelling. Central America is a great place for this since it has so many amazing coffee regions including, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica & El Salvador.

Use local transport to save money

Local transport is always cheaper because locals use it. It’s true, in some countries local transport is over-crowded, not very safe, and just very manic. But if you like a challenge, then it’s always fun to use and the cheapest way to get around. It’s always best to just ask a local for advice with local transport. Tell them where you want to go and they’ll point you to the right train or bus.

Couchsurfing is a great low-budget accommodation option

We’ve only done couch surfing once, when in Chile, but it was amazing. We ended up staying with a wonderful couple who we are still in touch with today. Staying with locals allows you to really see more of a country from a local perspective and it’s a great way to make new connections. Plus, couchsurfing works on a free basis. You stay at the hosts home for free, and in return, you are typically just expected to spend some time with and get to know them. You really never know just who you might meet!

Use Revolut/Monzo for the best exchange rates (avoid airport exchanging)

Monzo and Revolut are two digital banking systems that offer the best exchange rates on the market. There is no hidden detail or charges, it’s very basic and you get the best exchange rate available. You also get no charges for withdrawals up to a certain amount, which in the UK is £200 per month on each card. So we often travel with two cards each, which means we get £800 worth of free withdrawals between us monthly. You’ll find that most places take cards nowadays anyway, so you never really go over the limit. But even if you do, it’s only a small percentage (2%). Exchanging at the airport is a waste of time and money. Just withdraw your money from the ATM at the destination you’ve arrived at with your travel card. REMEMBER, when the ATM asks you to choose either the ATMs exchange rate or your bank’s, you choose your bank’s. This option is sometimes called: “continue without conversion”.

Carry one laundry soap bar and wash the basics yourself

Laundry soap bars are very cheap and a great way to keep on top of your washing. When travelling, doing the laundry is actually time consuming, so we often try to do it once a week, or every 10 days, but this means we might run out of basics, like underwear. When you’ve got your own laundry soap bar, you can clean these yourself to stay on top of things.

Travelling with a friend or partner is always cheaper

Whether it’s a romantic partner or a great friend, travelling with someone else always seems to work out cheaper. You’ll be able to get a twin room/double room often for less than it costs for two dorm beds, you’ll be able to haggle for better prices on tours, and you can split food bills and taxis. It’s one of the reasons Bradley and I love travelling as a couple!