Regarding my travel hacks, disclosure: This post may contain referral links below which means, at no additional cost to you, I will receive compensation if you click through the link to make a purchase. Links are denoted with an asterisk *.
1. Google Fi*
If you travel abroad often, switching sim cards may come as second nature. Switching sims works, but they all cost money. Luckily there’s a way to skip purchasing and switching sims for good.
I first sought out the service to simplify my travels. While my normal service provider was good for use in the US and WiFi abroad, the reality is reliable WiFi is hard to come by! I needed something more and I sure found it. Google Fi saved my butt in Montreal and Tokyo as it works on tower and WiFi. The best part? There’s no extra charges for using data abroad. Though you will be charged for phone calls using international towers. You can use apps to get around the charges or just call people in app because let’s be real, who calls phone numbers for anything other than work or emergencies?
With Google Fi, I can rest assured that I’ll always have tower access because of their extensive network partners. At $35/month for 1 GB data (unlimited text & calls to US numbers) and only $10 per Gig of data that’s adjusted to my unique monthly usage, how could I resist? Sure as heck beats the $10/day plans other providers “brag” about!
Nothing is more satisfying than switching my phone off airplane mode in a new country and getting a “Welcome to xyz(country name)!”. Why waste time and money switching out sims when you can just land and be connected? If you use my referral link*, we both get $20 Fi credit – after your account has been active for 30 days.
Don’t want to use my link? Just Google “Project Fi”! 🙂
2. Quickly Adjust to Time-zone Changes
This second one is a time hack that doesn’t work for everyone.
If your flight is longer than 8 hours and leaves in the morning, you can adjust time-zones easier by getting less sleep the night before. This works great for anxious or excited travelers who wouldn’t get much sleep to begin with.
For example, when flying to Tokyo from Nebraska, I stay up all night with just a short nap and sleep in the plane. When the flight arrives, it’s usually some time in the afternoon and I’m able to go about my day and sleep again when night falls. I’ve never had jet lag using this method.
Note: If you haven’t flown before, keep in mind that some people can’t sleep on planes. It’s okay if you’re one of them, you’ll just need to find a different way to deal with and adjust to time differences.
3. Student Discounts
Did you know being a student or instructor has it’s benefits? Especially when it comes to travel.
You can get decent deals at websites like StudentUniverse. For example, I used them to score round-trip United Airline tickets to Japan $930(including insurance). While that is still a hefty price tag, regular tickets on United’s website were over $1200. Many tickets from my location tend to sell for $1500+. It’s definitely worth using whatever benefits you can get, such as being a student, active duty, retirement age, credit card perks, etc. to score the same flight for less.
Don’t forget to check out their promo codes page to save even more!
4. Cheap flights
If you’re not a student, don’t worry, you can still get good deals! For example, Frontier Airlines is often in my inbox because of their insane deals (up to 99% off select flights). Yet I tend to fly United, WestJet, or Delta due to where I’m flying and the help of StudentUniverse mentioned above.
Other than signing up for discount newsletters, it can be cheaper to book each leg of a round trip separately (OMA>DEN and then DEN>LAX) while other times round-trip is cheaper than a one way ticket. Just keep in mind, the timing of flights may not be beneficial. You’ll need to recheck luggage and will be screwed if a flight is delayed. This is why I don’t recommend booking complicated trips for travel beginners. It’s much safer to book the trip all in one ticket unless you will have the flights separated by a few days.
5. Minimal Packing
Pack your bags, then cut it in half and cut that half in half because chances are you won’t miss or need any of it. This saves you in baggage fees and helps your back. Plus makes traveling faster and sometimes even more affordable as it opens other avenues of transportation. You can use the extra room to bring back things you bought on the trip.
See what I packs for a 3 month trip. HINT: I didn’t even use half of it!
What are your favorite travel hacks? Tell me in the comments!