• The Language Union

Travel hacking

Who doesn't love to save money? We certainly do, and especially now that expenses are ramping up before the holiday season.

"Travel hacking" is a term used for different methods of cutting down costs and making your trip more convenient/smoother while flying. Many experienced flyers are using it frequently, and we will be sharing 10 tips to make your wallet stay as thick as possible!

Wear more clothes: If you are worried about fitting all of your items without going over the weight limit, then a great way is to wear an extra jumper, jacket or accessories. Leave anything that you can fit in your pocket instead of packing it in your bags.

Don't worry about toiletries: Shampoo, body lotion, q-tips, a hairdryer and other necessary products for the bathroom may seem like a must to bring, but you may want to avoid packing these items depending on where you are staying. Some host families and student residences are offering this as part of the weekly/monthly rate so make sure to ask this before packing. Most hotels will most certainly have everything you may need, but hostels won't.

Check with your accommodation if you can wash your clothes with them: Instead of packing extra clothes, it can be much more convenient to just use the washing machine an extra time per week. This way you can also bring more stuff back if you are into shopping.

Roll your clothes: A more "modern" and popular way of packing is to roll your clothes to save more space. Look up the Marie Kondo folding method for some great tips!

Take advantage of the duty free shopping trick: If you have to much stuff that you can't fit without going over the maximum allowed weight, make sure to grab a duty free shopping bag and move some items to the shopping bag instead. The maximum weight does not apply to items that have been purchased from the airport. This cheeky trick will make the airline staff believe that you have been on a duty free shopping spree and thus you can get away with having more items inside the plane without paying extra fees.

The layover hack: Let's say you want to travel from London to Berlin. Traveling without any layovers may be expensive on your chosen date. However, taking a flight to Zurich for instance with a stop in Berlin can actually be cheaper. In other words, you need to miss your connection flight and just leave the airport in Berlin. There are some downsides to this though. You can't check-in any luggage as it will be transferred to the final destination so you would need to only bring carry-on bags. Also, be aware that the flight may be re-routed due to weather conditions or other factors.

Change your IP-address before booking a flight: In some cases, booking the exact same flight but from a different destination may turn out to be cheaper. Let's say you want to fly to Sydney from Madrid. Instead of paying in Euros, change your IP-address to India for instance in order to pay in rupees. This way you will end up paying less sometimes.

Ship your items: Paying additional fees to check in heavy bags may hurt your wallet. Sometimes it's actually cheaper to just send a parcel to your destination country with all your belongings. This will also be more convenient as you have less weight to carry around.

Mention special occasions if you are staying at a hotel: Free upgrades are sometimes offered by hotels if you tell them that it's your Birthday or honeymoon for instance. Don't be afraid to ask!

Check in as early as possible: First come first served as they say. This also applies to seat reservations in planes. The sooner you check in, the more seating options you will have to choose from. If you wait too long, you might be stuck in the middle!

Hopefully these tips will help you to save money before and during your next language school trip.

If you have any tips of your own, we would love to hear them!