Travel tips Part One

1. For those living in London, the best foreign currency rates are Thomas Exchange Global Ltd followed by Covent Garden FX.

2. Backpacking and short on space? Instead of taking a beach towel, take a shammy leather – it’ll dry you off immediately after a swim in the ocean, dries out quickly in the sun, can be rinsed out immediately and takes up minimal space.

3. Those with older style GHD hair straighteners, unscrew the plug to reveal a pin plug ready for use in Europe without the need for an adaptor.

4. Need somewhere to put your keys/phone/wallet while on the beach? Get an old tub, possibly a tub that your shammy leather came in that has a lid and put your belongings in this when going for a swim. Not only does it protect them from sand but makes them less obvious to thieves (unless they are reading this).

5. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS leave enough time for your stopovers at US airports, a slight delay to your first leg flight plus the long queues at US immigration mean you could be pushing it to make your connecting flight. Remember, you have to collect your bags, re-check in your bags and go through security again before you make your next flight.

6. Always check airbnb for accommodation. Often it can be much cheaper than staying in hotels and gives you the opportunity to pick the brains of your hosts who are likely to be locals.

7. Use Quidco for booking travel – you can save so much money and this is absolutely one of my favourite websites.

8. Sign up to hotel chain loyalty schemes such as Hilton Honours or Marriott Rewards. This can often lead to free wifi at their hotels which you would otherwise have to pay for.

9. Look out for loyalty schemes such as which offer one night stay free after paying for 10 nights.

10. Always take advantage of airmiles. This can save you lots of money and get you trips worldwide if you build up enough airmiles.

More hints and tips coming soon!

Air Miles

Isla ZapatillaNo travel blog for savvy travellers could be complete without a section on AirMiles.

I’m constantly looking online for ways to earn more air miles and the credit card or loyalty schemes which will reward me for my membership and spending with the most air miles. Afterall, who doesn’t want to travel the world for less?

This past year, i have had the American Express Preferred Gold Reward card with me at all times, constantly asking ‘Do you take Amex?’ at every shop or restaurant I have frequented. With 20,000 air miles for spending 3000GBP in the first few months and two miles per pound spent on petrol and in supermarkets and thanks to the 9000 miles reward for referring a friend (thank you to my friends for listening to my constant sales pitch), I have flown to Europe a few times thanks to my Amex.

The Amex Gold card has enabled me to put miles into both my British Airways Executive Club and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club accounts. When only paying taxes for trips to Europe and the US, it definitely makes being Credit Card savvy worthwhile.

I am now looking at which card to move to next when my Amex Gold expires and am weighing up my options between the British Airways Amex Premium credit card or the Virgin Atlantic Black credit card. Regardless of which credit card I choose (a post will appear on here nearer to the time I am sure), it is always worth investing in a credit card which gives you travel rewards for money which you would already be spending in the first place!