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50 tips to transform your travels, from when to book the best to how to get a room upgrade

To ensure that your vacation runs smoothly, we have consulted experts – from top hoteliers, cabin crew and cruise operators to specialized tour operators and industrial insiders – to compile this list of essential advice for all travelers.

There are tips on how to prevent hell at the airport, baggage advice and assistance in choosing the right destination for you.

Moreover, there are recommendations for those traveling on long train and road journeys, as well as on the high seas …

Avoid hell at the airport

Happy holidays: stick 'fragile' stickers on your checked bag. That should help him go to the carousel faster

Happy holidays: stick ‘fragile’ stickers on your checked bag. That should help him go to the carousel faster

1. Stick “vulnerable” stickers on your checked bag. That should help him go to the carousel faster.

2. For safety, carry a transparent bag with zipper in your hand luggage filled with what you would normally have in your pockets. And never wear boots.

3. Go to the left security queue; most people go to the right because they are prejudiced against their dominant hand.

4. Take an empty bottle of water through the security to fill at the water fountain on the air side – then you can avoid foolish airport prices.

5. If you have to wait a long time, pay to go to an airport lounge – it costs around £ 30 and you get free wi-fi, rest and often unlimited food and drinks.

6. For airport parking use price comparison websites such as holidayextras.co.uk, moneysavingexpert.com or travelsupermarket.com. Meet and greet parking can also be a good price.

7. Take extra items into the cabin in a shopping bag at the airport. Employees will think it contains things that you purchased after the protection was cleared.

8. Wait to check in and take a bump to a later flight, if you are offered one, because you can get delay compensation.

9. Never get currency at the airport; rates are normally terrible.

Come fly with us

The prices can rise every time you fly online. Delete the cookies on your device to beat the algorithms

The prices can rise every time you fly online. Delete the cookies on your device to beat the algorithms

The prices can rise every time you fly online. Delete the cookies on your device to beat the algorithms

10. The prices can rise every time you fly online. Delete the cookies on your device to beat the algorithms.

11. Choose a stopover to save cash. For example, flying direct to Perth in Western Australia costs £ 1,050, but it would cost £ 400 less with a two-hour stopover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

12. Check skyscanner.net for the cheapest flights – it is invaluable for showing many different options.

13. Search for ‘flights’ on Google and then click on ‘price chart’ to view the rates for the coming months.

14. The ‘sweet spot’ for air fares is usually six to 12 weeks before departure.

15. Never assume that a package break is cheaper than DIY.

16. If boarding requires a shuttle bus transfer to the aircraft, board the ship last. You avoid about 20 minutes in an often cold bus and you are one of the first to board the plane.

17. Don’t bother with “priority boarding” on budget airlines, because you could be in a waiting room waiting for everyone else.

18. Avoid “flight mares” by Which? magazine’s online lists of most delayed routes and airlines.

19. Use when booking economy seats seatguru.com to see the best and worst for every airline.

20. Offer in “premium economy” varies considerably, so check the website of an airline before you book. The World Traveler Plus seats from BA are only an inch wider than standard.

21. Do not leave the plane when landing, it is often a burden for others. But walk quickly to passport control to save some time.

So where should I go?

Swap half-expensive summer vacations for a sunny October holiday. Much of Greece still basks at temperatures of mid 20 ° C

Swap half-expensive summer vacations for a sunny October holiday. Much of Greece still basks at temperatures of mid 20 ° C

Swap half-expensive summer vacations for a sunny October holiday. Much of Greece still basks at temperatures of mid 20 ° C

22. Swap half of expensive summer vacations for a sunny October holiday. Much of Greece still basks at temperatures of mid 20 ° C.

23. Be Perverse: go to the mountains instead of the beach in the summer. The sky is great and there are no crowds of tourists.

24. Prices can more than double in February, so forget sunbathing and skiing. Go to a city instead: the Scandinavian capitals, Paris and Rome can be cheap.

25. Flights to Turin or Milan are affordable all year round – and close to the French Alps, Italian lakes, Switzerland and Genoa.

26. Choose destinations with short airport transfers. Valencia (30 minutes) and Lake Como (40 minutes from Milan Malpensa) come to mind.

Go on your way

27. Book directly to get UK hotel deals, recently introduced to compete with booking websites.

28. Give those £ 10 bottles of beer in hotel mini bars a spacious berth. Buy your own drinks at the corner store.

29. Ask for a discount when you book an accommodation on Airbnb; send direct messages to five homeowners and politely ask for a 25 percent discount. Usually someone will agree.

30. Use car rental comparison sites – and always choose internationally recognized names such as Enterprise, Avis and Hertz. Don’t just choose the cheapest, because queues can be terrible (and cars too).

Pack everything. . .

Do not assume that there is one hand luggage rule that applies to all airlines. The fees vary considerably between carriers

Do not assume that there is one hand luggage rule that applies to all airlines. The fees vary considerably between carriers

Do not assume that there is one hand luggage rule that applies to all airlines. The fees vary considerably between carriers

31. Do not assume that one hand luggage rule applies to all airlines. The fees vary considerably between carriers.

32. Wrap bottles and creams that can leak into plastic bags.

33. If you are a compulsive customer, pack an empty bag to return all your goodies.

34. When packing a backpack, rolling your clothes takes up much less space.

All on board for a deal

35. Ignore the Gatwick Express, which costs £ 17.80 online for a non-binding Victoria single. The southern service to Gatwick is from £ 12 off peak and only takes five minutes longer.

36. Use a route map during long train journeys to check which side of the carriage has the best view before you buy tickets.

Be a smart traveler

Visit busy tourist sites such as the Vatican at lunchtime - it is often the quietest time

Visit busy tourist sites such as the Vatican at lunchtime - it is often the quietest time

Visit busy tourist sites such as the Vatican at lunchtime – it is often the quietest time

37. In restaurants, couples are always in a corner. Reserve for three people for a better table and later apologize that your guest cannot be present.

38. Take a photo of your passport data page on your mobile phone and e-mail it to yourself – if you do this, you can receive an emergency passport more quickly if you lose your original.

39. Take care of other people’s pets while they are away for a cheap vacation – see Trustedhousesitters.com. Try it for home exchange Lovehomeswap.com or Homeexchange.com.

40. When checking in at a hotel, request a room with a bathtub. You will almost certainly get a better room quality, or possibly even a suite.

41. When camping with the family, share a double air mattress with your child instead of with your partner. The extra room can make the difference between a good night and a terrible night’s sleep.

42. The most interesting meals are often sold by street vendors – and they are of great value.

43. Turn off data roaming on your mobile and use free wifi at Starbucks, McDonald’s, etc.

44. Learn some words and sentences from the local language that will be greatly appreciated.

45. Visit busy tourist sites, such as the Vatican, for lunch – it is often the quietest time.

46. ​​Buy the local repellent in a mosquito zone, as this should be more effective than buying at home.

47. Read a novel at your destination for an extra dimension – The Quiet American by Graham Greene in Vietnam or The Sun also Rises by Hemingway in Pamplona.

On the high seas

Many cruise ships have a laundry room with free use of tumble dryers. Were you at the end of a cruise to take home clean clothes

Many cruise ships have a laundry room with free use of tumble dryers. Were you at the end of a cruise to take home clean clothes

Many cruise ships have a laundry room with free use of tumble dryers. Were you at the end of a cruise to take home clean clothes

48. Many cruise ships have a laundry room with free use of tumble dryers. Were you at the end of a cruise to take home clean clothes.

49. Spas are quiet on port days, so watch out for any deals. Grab an early or late offer so that you can still go ashore.

50. Book a cabin near the children’s area if you travel with children. Otherwise do the opposite.

  • Contributions: Harry Mount, Rob Crossan, Joanna Tweedy, Deirdre Fernand, Tamara Hinson, Martin Symington, Charlotte Metcalf, Mark Palmer, Harriet Sime, Hugo Brown, Thomas Hodgkinson, Mark Jones, Lesley Bellew, Nigel Tisdall, Tom Chesshyre, Sara Macefield and Kate Johnson.

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