A silhouetted figure in an airport terminal.

6 Travel Hacks that Will Save You Time and Money

Travel hacks can be the difference between a great holiday and a really horrible one. After all, time and money are two of your biggest assets on vacation, so you want to save both wherever you can.

Here at Drive South Africa, we strive to give our customers an efficient, professional, and stress-free journey from start to finish. Whether you’re looking for the best airline fares or reliable car rental, we’re here to help. Here are six brilliant travel hacks to help you get the most out of your next adventure. Read on to learn more.

1. Book Flights on “Discount Days”

A woman searches for travel hacks on her laptop.

Book your flights as early as possible

Have you ever heard that you can save money by booking flights on certain days or at certain times? It’s one of the most commonly discussed travel hacks. As it turns out, there’s some truth to it, but the latest report from Google suggests that it’s not so much about when you book. Instead, it’s about when you’re booking for.

The Google study assessed five years’ worth of flight data. It concluded that flights that departed on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday were 12% cheaper. Basically, you should always try to fly mid-week.

Google came up with some other tips, too:

  • Prices are usually at their lowest between 21 to 60 days before departure
  • Nonstop flights can be up to 20% more expensive than flights with layovers
  • The sooner you book, the better

2. Skip the SIM Card and Use Wi-Fi, Instead

A Wi-Fi sign on the side of a public bus.

You can often find free Wi-Fi on public transport

Gone are the days when you needed to purchase a SIM card as soon as you landed. Today, many destinations around the world offer free Wi-Fi at airports, train stations, restaurants, hotels, and more. In fact, depending on where you go, you might never be disconnected from the web.

That means you can use WhatsApp, WeChat, or Telegram to call people over Wi-Fi, saving you money. You also won’t need to face any language barriers at cellular stores, saving you plenty of time, too.

Keep in mind that it can be dangerous to use banking apps on public Wi-Fi. Instead, ask your hotel if you can have access to a secure network.

3. Embrace Contactless Payments

Using contactless payment as a travel hack.

You can use NFC technology to board buses and trains

There was a time when travelling meant carrying a moon bag everywhere you went. These days, with the advent of contactless payment technology, you can store all your bank cards on your smartphone.

This is especially useful for travelling, especially if you’re visiting a country with a high risk of petty crime. In fact, you can use the same contactless technology to use bus cards, train cards, loyalty cards, and more.

Sure, it’s still useful to carry some cash on you. However, contactless payments will help you manage your money better and will prevent you from wasting time at ATMs. Just make sure you check exchange rates for the local currency. After all, nobody likes hidden travel credit card fees and foreign transaction fees.

4. Always Mark Your Luggage as Fragile

A fragile sticker on a red suitcase.

Fragile stickers can look different in different countries

Ever wondered how you get one of those fragile luggage stickers? You simply ask for one at the check-in counter. It might seem disingenuous, but there are two major benefits:

  • Firstly, your luggage will receive special treatment from baggage handlers
  • Secondly, airlines usually offload fragile luggage first, so you’ll receive your bags safe and sound before everyone else

Your luggage might not actually be fragile, but that doesn’t mean it’s not precious. Best of all, this service is free of charge. For an extra layer of protection, get your bag wrapped at the airport before you check in and make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance.

5. Pack Like a Travel Hacks Pro

Packing a suitcase according to travel hacks.

Packing efficiently is key to a good holiday

Everyone’s got an opinion on the best way to pack your travel bag. However, we can all agree on one thing: rolling up your clothes is far more efficient than folding them. Lifehacker compared six different packing methods, concluding that rolling is the absolute best way to maximise space.

The article recommends using vacuum compression packs for bulky items and “bundling” for keeping your clothes wrinkle-free. You can also use packing cubes to improve organisation, but it seems the best way to pack is to use a combination of methods.

Here’s an extra travel hack: always pack an extra pillowcase just in case your luggage is overweight. It’ll help you quickly shift some items from one bag to another or you can simply use it as carry-on.

6. Book Car Rental With Africa’s Leading Car Rental Service

Cars on a freeway in Johannesburg.

Car rental is the best way to navigate South Africa’s major cities

London has the Underground, New York City has the Subway, and Paris has the Metro. Sadly, public transport in South Africa leaves plenty to be desired. Car rental remains the best way to make the most of your holiday, whether you want to cruise in a luxury car rental in Cape Town or a rugged 4×4 rental in the Kruger National Park.

At Drive South Africa, we’ve been putting people behind the wheel for over 20 years. We offer a wide range of vehicles that will suit everyone from big families to honeymooners. We even offer RV rental, giving you the opportunity to explore southern Africa at your own pace.

Our nifty online car hire comparison tool is one of the ultimate travel hacks. You can use it to search for car rental in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, and beyond and you can depend on our dedicated customer service to give you the best experience possible. Speak to our agents today to secure your booking.

Image credits: Unsplash

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