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11 (Actually Useful) Free Tips To Make Your Next Holiday Heaps Better

Cheaper and more comfortable flights and hotels, plus other handy tricks.

17/01/2017 12:33 PM AEDT | Updated 18/01/2017 8:59 AM AEDT

Everyone loves a holiday!

Though, not everyone can afford to jet around the world on the regular, so when we do, we want to make the most of it.

Luckily, there's some clever little tweaks which industry insiders know and use to save time and money when travelling. We asked the experts at Hotels Combined to spill on their best kept tricks.


Book a premium hostel room

For a quality room at a really good deal, consider booking a private room in a hostel, which are as low as 30 percent of a regular hotel room price. This can give you better value with an experience that exposes you to meeting new people, stepping outside your comfort zone and having a little more fun. Note that it's best to book these rooms months in advance, as they book out early.

Take advantage of amenities at other hotels

If you are staying in an average hotel, but want to enjoy five-star amenities, ask to use the pool, gym or outdoor areas of the nearest luxury hotel. Hotels often charge a casual rate for the use of their pool or gym -- or, if it's quiet and you ask nicely, the hotel staff might grant you complimentary access.

Fill up your mini bar for free

Eyes bigger than your stomach? If you piled too much fruit on your plate during breaky, why not take the leftovers back to your room and store in your mini bar for a quick snack later? Or, grab some orange slices to make cool refreshing drinks in your hotel room later in the day.

Pgiam via Getty Images
Everyone takes a snack for later from the breakfast buffet, right?

Don't let your location or internet search history increase the price of your online flight booking

Did you know that the location from which a flight is booked can affect the price you pay? Try using a different address when booking to take advantage of potentially lower prices. In addition, always clear your search engine, including your cookies, before checking ticket prices. If an airline forecasts that a flight is likely to be in demand, prices may increase.

Don't get stuck in lines if you have issues with your flight

If your plane is cancelled or delayed, phone the airline from the airport to resolve the issue rather than waiting in a long queue. You will likely speak to someone much quicker.

Give your belongings the highest level of protection and TLC

Mark your baggage as 'fragile' to ensure that it's handled better as it goes through security. Luggage labelled as fragile are always the first to be released on to luggage carousal, helping you get out of the airport quicker. In addition, use mobile phone apps such as Trakdot, which use GPS tracking for your luggage to prevent them from getting lost at the airport.

Aaron Black
Apparently luggage marked fragile comes out first.

Get three seats for the price of two

Score yourself some extra room when travelling in pairs by booking the aisle and window seat. Unless the flight is full, you'll likely have all three seats in the row between the two of you (if not, the person assigned to the middle seat will likely switch with you during the flight).

Save yourself money when changing currency

Currency converters located at airports tend to have high conversion fees. For a more affordable rate, use ATMs to withdraw money directly from your bank account when you have landed at your destination.

Save data when overseas

Using maps via GPS to help find your way around overseas holiday destinations can leave you with a mobile phone bill in the thousands back home. Save data on your phone by downloading offline maps via Wifi while still in Australia. Offline maps use no data whatsoever. In addition, put your phone in 'Aeroplane Mode' overnight or whenever you don't need to access it.

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Load maps using Wifi before heading out. That way, they still work with no internet.

Keep your hotel room as cool or warm as you like it

Popping out, but don't want to return to a sweltering hotel room? Some keycard sockets in hotel rooms might be sensitive to any type of card. Keep the temperature just the way you like it when you return by popping your business card in the power activation outlet to keep the air conditioning on.

Book outside of local events for better-quality and more affordable accommodation

Popular events at your holiday destination often create demand for accommodation. Hotels, therefore, are unlikely to offer deals or last minute discounts, which many travellers rely on. Booking outside of these times can mean a 50 percent difference in hotel pricing between the full standard rate and an unmissable deal.

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