Tips for the minibreak traveller

Spanish Steps

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An abundance of cheap flights and deals that can be found on sites like classifieds list means that many of us have now swapped the annual week-long family holiday for shorter and more frequent trips abroad.

Many of you may not regularly need to put a bag in the hold, and instead your trips are more likely to be hand luggage only city breaks.

If this is the case, there are obviously restrictions to what you can take abroad in your hand luggage, like liquids over a certain size and it can be difficult battling with your hand luggage case to get it shut.

If this sounds like you – here are some hacks to get the most out of your short trip:

Get a monzo card

Or any other card that doesn’t charge for international purchases! It’s easy to register for a monzo current account which you can load up with spending money and spend without fear of conversion charges. Whenever you make a purchase you are sent a notification on the app immediately with the amount converted into your own currency so you can keep track of your spending. You can withdraw £200 worth of currency per month for free when you arrive, but you will face a small charge if you withdraw any more than that. Most places accept card now though so £200 is typically more than enough.

Find a brand of luggage you like, then buy second hand

It’s good to have a trusty hand luggage bag that is within the size guidelines for all airlines. Take a look online at the guidelines for the airlines you normally travel with and decide which size is acceptable for all of them. Next, take a look at what luggage you like, and consider buying second hand (particularly if the brand you like is expensive!). For larger items, you might need a courier to get it home so make sure it’s more cost-effective to do it this way.

Download offline maps in advance

It’s SO annoying when you have to keep an eye on your phone’s data usage abroad, and using your phone as a map or satnav constantly won’t help. There are several apps where you can download local maps in advance which you can use offline throughout your holiday without touching your data. Take a look at Scout for maps to download, or download your holiday country offline from Google maps.

Pack a reusable water bottle

It’s really useful to have a reusable bottle for water, so you don’t need to be nipping in and out of supermarkets all the time buying more water. Remember to pour the water away before going through airport security and refilling once you’re on the other side. It also prevents you throwing away single-use plastic bottles constantly during your holiday, which we all know is bad for the ocean and the environment. Speaking of airport security, remember to arrive in plenty of time to ensure that you do not miss your flight! Getting past airport security can sometimes take longer than expected, especially with all the different scanners and turnstiles you have to go through before getting to the departure terminal. Turnstiles, like these ones from a physical security expert like Daosafe, can seem scary, but they are mainly used to stop the airport crowds getting out of control. So, relax, and make sure to plan your journey ahead to ensure that you make it past security without missing your plane!

Portable phone chargers are your friends

If your city break involves lots of walking and taking photos, a portable charger will be a necessity. Do some research into which ones would work well for your needs – is your phone a battery guzzler or will it last a while? Decide how many charges you might need for a day of exploring and buy accordingly. Don’t forget to charge it up overnight!

What are your top tips for city breaks? Let me know in the comments!

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