Booking the best value holiday
– Use Airhint to find out whether your Ryanair, easyJet or Vueling flights are likely to go up or down.
– Download the Hopper app to set up alerts for your flights and it will notify you of changes.
– Sign up to airline enews and be the first in line to hear about flash sales.
Packing like a pro
– Type up a list of basics you always want to take with you as a starter whenever you travel.
– Some people swear by rolling up all their clothes, but I find layering clothes up, making everything as flat as possible, works best for me.
– Each airline seems to have slightly different size and weight guidelines for cabin and hold luggage, and it can be frustrating to be caught out. Skyscanner recently published a handy article listing allowances across lots of major airlines.
Living and travelling like a local
– The whole ethos of my website, tune in to each blog for tips!
– If you pay for something by card in another country and you’re given the choice to pay in local currency or your home currency, always pick local, otherwise you face whatever rubbish exchange that merchant or bank chooses for that transaction!
Turning your passion for travel into a career
– I recently attended a fantastically insightful Travel Writing Workshop run by Peter Carty, a successful freelance travel writer. Writing for, among others, the Guardian, The Independent and Condé Nast Traveller, Peter knows a lot about impactful writing and how to attract the attention of those busy travel editors.
– Lonely Planet’s 2017 publication How to be a Travel Writer is packed full of insider travel writer tips, anecdotes, useful information and exercises to get you from amateur to professional.
Avoiding scams and fees
– The Italian postal system is notoriously bad. If you post small items, don’t expect them to arrive quickly, and if you need to ship anything of value, always track it or send via companies such as UPS.
– Never rely on the good faith of staff from one airport to the next, and if your airline has a one bag policy, make sure you can pack your second bag in your case if asked. Otherwise, like me this year returning via Milan Malpensa airport (and not Luton on the way out), you might end up on the receiving end of a fine to put a bag in the hold.