travel smart

Travel Smart

Travel Smart

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Travel increasingly involves a number  of different providers and companies Keep track of all aspects of your trip in one place via an organisational app such as apple’s Wallet (for storing boarding passes, rewards cards, credit and debit cards and more, which can be synced to your calendar)

Create a master itinerary by forwarding confirmation emails from airlines, car rental companies, hotels, restaurants and so on to collation apps such as Tripit and Tripcase . IQ Planner  invite users to upload their itinerary to its marketplace”, then earn money for views and click-through

Avoid awkward Language barriers by using Google translate’s instant camera translation function: take a photo of the foreign text (ideal for cyrillic or Greek and Chinese script), choose the language and wait for the results

Download maps for your chosen destination and then use them offline to navigate when you don’t have access to wifi: it also avoids the “Look At Me. i’m a Tourist”inevitability of traipsing around and trying to scrutinise a street map

Money

There are ways in which to reduce the risk of paying over the odds on currency exchange

There are many ways in which to reduce the risk of paying over the oddson currency exchange-particularly by avoiding last-minute purchases However, a new wave of fintech start-ups is shaking up the ways that money and people move around

Revolut is a digital banking system that comes with a debit card that can be used fee-free in 13 Currencies using the real”(not markedup) exchange rate and holds up to 25 currencies at one time.Weswap bills itself as the people’s currency exchange-the peer-to-peer  site cuts out fees ups and mark up by

connecting travellers with currency Register for a card, load it with sterling then choose your currency

it is swapped at “Low” rates (1=22 percent) and no fees, though watch out for inactivity fees” if you leave any money lingering at the end of a trip

Many currency exchange providers won’t buy back foreign coins. Fourex  is an exception; the company’s automated kiosks (currently only in London) accept small change and even obsolete currency Many currency exchange providers won’t buy back foreign coins. 

Fourex is an exception; the company’s automated kiosks (currently only in London) accept small change and even obsolete currencies. There are no commission fees, although the rates aren’t always attractive -but it still beats wasting your last coins on pointless airport purchases. There are no commission fees, although the rates aren’t always attractive -but it still beats wasting your last coins on pointless airport purchases.

 

Transport

Several apps invite customers to fill unsold posh seats last-minute

The only guaranteed method for ensuring upgrade is to pay for one. But that doesn’t necessarily mean paying full price. Several apps invite customers to fill unsold posh seats last-minute, by means of bidding. Seatfrog recently launched in partnership with Virgin Trains, offering same-day upgrades to first class from as little as £5

Bidding opens two hours before departure and ends 30 minutes before

Plusgrade is the airline equivalent, powering bidding system for nine airlines including Singapore, Etihad, Cathay and Qantas. Virgin Atlantic operates its own online auction, but only permits moving up to the class above your paid-for seat (so you can’t leapfrog from economy to Upper Class) and not all routes are eligible Improve  your chances by checking sites such as Expert flyer com to see which seats are available

If you don’t have the means to upgrade use search site Seatguru  to identify if the best (and worst) seat numbers on your flight  uk flightaware is a useful tool for tracking flights, and more importantly delays. Its Misery Map is an amusing means of keeping track of large-scale snare-ups in the US, such as extreme weather upsets

Frequent flyers are increasingly trialled at a handful of airports in Europe.the US Middle East and Australia. the”single token travel service does away with passports and boarding cards favouring biometrics BA is currently trialling a similar system at Los Angeles airport     (vision box. com)

Security queues at US airports can be avoided-for a fee -by authorised US passport-holders. The TSA Pre service (tsa.gov/precheck) costs $85; apply for screening and once authorised you can sail through security without removing shoes, Laptops and liquids for five years

US immigration-frequently cited as hostile and cumbersome -can also be cleared prior to arrival Ireland is the only European country that is able to conduct pre-clearance for passengers flying to the US: book a connecting flight on Aer Lingus   and clear immigration in Dublin, then walk straight through on arrival.

Citymapper  is an intuitive mapping app that offers intelligent transport solutions in almost 4o cities around the world. Tap in your desired destination and it will use your current location to find the swiftest routes available. Its newest innovations include a “smart bus“route and share black taxi app in central London.

 

Accomodation

Look for mystery Hotel alternatives on booking websites such as Lastminute. Com and Laterooms.Com

Frequent travellers tend to collect Loyalty Points with one hotel brand. However Wanup  casts the net wider, with a huge variety of independent and chain partner hotels. Currently Available in Europe, it rewards stays with cash incentives, perks and rewards

Travellers with flexibility should look to spontaneous booking apps  iphone Hoteltonight google play  Hoteltonight and One Night that offer often deeply-discounted hotel rooms for last minute bookings One Night opens up booking at 3pm on the same day, while HotelTonight improves the offers the more stays you book

For anyone with a taste for adventure Look for secret hotel’ options on booking sites such as Lastminute.com and Laterooms.com. A description is provided but the hotel isn’t revealed until after booking-a trade-off for discounted rates that can be mitigated simply by putting the description into a search engine before committing to the booking