It’s OK To Check In Luggage

I’m not one of those ‘travel hackers’ that says you should only take carry on luggage.

Quite often I do take only my carry on bag for two weeks travel, although there are other times when I check a bag in as well.

Why I Check In A Bag

Ten minutes waiting for a bags isn’t going to spoil my holiday.

Yes you can manage with only 4 shirts/blouses and wash them, but that can get a bit boring, and you don’t want to be known as the ‘Same Shirt Person!’

Going away for a couple of weeks, or more, and I would rather take 7 or 8 shirts, another pair of pants and an extra pair of shoes.

What To Check In

Basically my thoughts for a checked in bag are:

  • Clothes that are nice to have, but not essential; in case the bag gets delayed (I still carry on a bag with all the essentials including spare clothes)
  • Avoid anything that has a risk of being broken.(These need to be in your carry on)
  • Keep the bag reasonably light (as I get older) I don’t want to be pulling 20kg + bag off the carousel or lifting it into a small hire car.

Still More Bad Travel Hacks

Here are a couple more travel hacks I have seen, that I won’t be using.

Wear Black

Well I don’t want to look as though I am going to a funeral.

I think iit’s boring to wear black and shows a lack of imagination.

Finally we have a predominantly white cat and cat hairs really show up on black clothes.

Taking Detergent for Washing Clothes

I have seen small tubes of liquid detergent for travellers, but the cost for a few cc’s is as much as a big bottle!

As far as I am concerned the less liquids that can spill in my bags the better.

I normally wash my T shirts, socks and boxer shorts using the hotel shampoo or shower gel.

Seems to work fine to me but if you really must use a clothes detergent it doesn’t cost much to buy it at your destination..

Seniors Discounts

If you are getting a little bit older its worth checking out Seniors Discounts.

On a recent trip to Adelaide we enjoyed free public transport for the weekend.

We just called in at the Airport Information desk and asked the question “Do you give Seniors Discounts” and immediately received Seniors Free Passes.

This ‘Travel Hack’ saved us lots of money that we might have otherwise spent on taxis and trams.

We also made considerable savings on the Trans Alpine train in New Zealand in 2018

Check the Rules

Wherever you go the rules change, both across Australia and Internationally.

Also public transport may have different rules to attractions and cafes.

Not everyone is as generous as Adelaide who publicise their system fairly heavily.

In the UK pensioners get free public transport . . . .but visitors have to pay full fare.

Probably the biggest surprise was getting a Seniors discount in Kuala Lumpur for being over 55, at a theme park.

Free WiFi, Is It Overrated?

Fifteen years ago we used to use Internet Cafes to get on the net.

Now they seem to have disappeared.

For the last 7 or 8 years everyone has been looking for Free WiFi. . . . . but for how much longer?

Risks

Using free wifi can mean a risk of; data theft, malware attacks, and malicious hotspots .

Often free WiFi that doesn’t require you to enter a username and password to use the network means its easy for criminals to be monitoring your internet activity. 

Another risk of free public WiFi networks is a lack of encryption, which increases the risk of sensitive data being stolen.

Costs

These days in Australia I get 18 Giga Bytes of data plus unlimited phone calls for $25 a month.

Travelling overseas to a single country my travellers hack is to buy a local Sim Card.

In the USA you can get Data only cards for around AU$6/GB, some countries much less.

If you are travelling to several countries then look for a Travellers Sim Card, a little more expensive than a single county card but still pretty reasonable.

Status Runs

Some frequent flyers take additional flights to make sure they maintain their frequent flyer status. . . . . . these are often referred to as ‘Status Runs’.

What’s the Point?

There are several benefits of a high status, particularly gold or above.

These include:

  • Free lounge access, for you, and a 2nd traveller.
  • Additional points from flights (up to 75%).
  • Better access to reward seats, especially for business class.
  • Better chance of free upgrades.
  • Several other ‘nice to have’ benefits such as priority boarding

When I used to travel 2-3 times a month as a gold frequent flyer I would estimate those benefits were worth $1,000 – $2,000 a year to me.

Types of Status Runs

Additional Trips: Taking a trip with the main purpose of collecting additional status points.

Extending Trips: This involves planning your flights to get additional points. For example rather than flying Melbourne to Cairns direct If you choose to fly via Sydney and Brisbane you could get up to 50% more points.

Is it Worth It

It really depends on how much the benefits are worth to you.

When you fly often you aren’t keen to fly if you don’t need to. . . . but if I was just a couple of flights away from gold status it might be worth a ‘Status Run’.

Time and Jet Lag

Flying long haul I used to change my watch to the destination time when I got on the plane, which does help with jet lag.

These days I take a different approach.

Use the World Clock Function

At least a day before I travel I make sure that the time for my destination is in on my world clock page.

I can then start planning my sleep patterns based on the destination time.

If the best fit is to sleep on the early part of the journey I will aim to be as tired as possible when I get on the plane.

If its best to sleep until just before I arrive I will aim to be wide awake when I start the journey.

This doesn’t get rid of jetlag . . . . but does help.

Transit Airport Time Are Important

An additional ‘Travel Hack’ is to include any transit airport time zones on your world clock page.

After travelling for 12 or more hours its easy to get confused about the time at your transit airport.

You don’t want to miss your connecting flight by making a mistake about the time!