Yes, dear readers, holidays are on the horizon! Whether you’re in planning mode for this summer or still daydreaming about that major international trip your family is going to take (one day!), here are some travel tips to get you out and about for less, and in a safe and enjoyable manner.

Travel off-peak to save
Visiting destinations during their off-peak or shoulder season presents many benefits to travellers — a smaller price tag, to be sure, but also cooler weather and fewer crowds.

Take your time
Alternate methods of travel can be more attractive on the hip pocket. Train travel has long been popular overseas. The many hassles of flying (from security checkpoints to the uncomfortable flight itself) can be avoided by riding the rails. Renting a car is another option for self-guided and self- paced scenic travel.

Travel with friends/family
Significant cost savings abound if you bring along your extended family or other travel pals. A triple- or quad-share cabin on a cruise can save you money and can also double as a fantastic opportunity for bonding and creating lasting memories together. Now that’s priceless.

Purchase travel insurance
Travel insurance is essential for all travellers – you never know if you or the kids might fall, get sick or anything. Take the time to read the fine print of your policy as some scenarios (eg. pre existing medical conditions) may not be covered.

Don’t advertise your absence
Don’t put the “Clean my room” sign on your door as it is an open invitation to let people know that the room is empty. Engage the security chain on your door whenever you’re in your room. Ask for a room near the elevator (more foot traffic will deter thieves). Stay away from ground-floor rooms where window entry is possible.

Mind your meds
Take as much care with your medications as you do your money and passports. Never pack your meds in checked luggage and don’t leave them lying around your hotel room. Keep separate paperwork with the names and dosages of any medicines so you can try to replace them if needed, or explain them through immigration if travelling overseas.

Keep the bling to a minimum
Carrying items like nice jewellery, gold watches and fancy cameras makes you a target for thieves. You might want to consider leaving the bling at home. And as far as cameras go, your smartphone will take pretty good photos nowadays.

Stay safe on your feet
Beyond wearing comfortable shoes to get through full days of walking and touring, wearing flats will help travellers stay steady on their feet.

Keep others in the loop
When travelling overseas, make sure to keep others apprised of your daily itinerary, including your hotel concierge. Before you depart Australia, print and share your travel documents with family and friends at home.



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