Travel hacks before you fly

Posted Date: 16 November 2015
Hacks before you fly

Whether you regularly travel abroad or you’re planning your first family holiday overseas, we have a few tips to help you get everything sorted before you fly. From getting the best deal on a flight, to getting to the right departure gate at the right time, our smart pre take-off tips should get you on the right track.

Travel hacks before you fly infographic created by: Southern Cross Travel Insurance

Money saving travel hacks

Whether you’re touring the finest restaurants or just seeing the sights, it can be easy to let your spending run away with you while travelling. But saving a dollar here and there can make all the difference, especially when you realise you haven’t bought anything for the friends back home!

So keep the wallet in check with these 15 money-saving travel hacks.

1. Avoid airport currency exchanges

Airport currency exchange companies know time-pressed travellers will pay higher rates. The cost of renting store space at an airport is also expensive, so fees are often passed onto you.

2. Book your insurance online

You save 35% when you buy your travel insurance from Southern Cross Travel Insurance online. So you can put the extra cash towards your holiday!

3. Pack a sandwich bag

If you’re bound for the beach, zipping your phone in a sandwich bag will keep it protected from the sand and sea. It’s cheaper than a replacement.

4. Save on excess baggage

You don’t need to pile on ten layers of clothing to avoid paying excess baggage. Make the most of the space you have by using simple tricks like rolling your clothes instead of folding them.

5. Beware of data roaming

We’ve heard horror stories of unwary travellers being stung by expensive phone bills overseas. International data roaming is often the culprit. If you’re taking your phone overseas, save money by switching “Cellular Data” off.

6. Ask for an upgrade

Some hotels will be kind enough to give you a free upgrade if they have an empty room available. When you get to reception, tell them you are celebrating a special occasion – maybe a honeymoon or anniversary. You might just get lucky!

7. Buy your insurance early

Booking your insurance right after your flights and accommodation means you’re covered in case your travel is delayed or cancelled before you depart for your journey. So book early; it won’t cost you any extra!

8. Chat with the locals

Who better to show you the best deals in town than the people who live there? Be friendly, polite and engaged when asking for recommendations and they may just point you in the direction of the best local restaurant or bar.

9. See what’s free

Be on the lookout for free entertainment when you arrive. Finding a restaurant that has live music means you won’t need to pay for a show afterwards. Some cities even organise free walking tours.

10. Take out annual cover

Do you travel a lot? Taking out an annual policy could save you time and money. Our annual policy covers unlimited trips for up to 90 days at a time. One easy transaction and you’ve got a year’s worth of cover.

11. Avoid unnecessary fees

Some airline websites have optional extras, like carbon offsets and SMS confirmations, automatically selected when you book online. When buying flights online, remember to deselect any extra fees you don’t want to pay for.

12. Leave the toiletries at home

Picking up the necessities once you arrive means there’s less chance you’ll have to pay for excess baggage on the plane. You can even do this before you leave the airport at duty-free.

13. Try the town next door

If you don’t mind a short bus ride each day, staying in a smaller town besides the main tourist destination could save you a lot of money.

14. Declare pre-existing conditions

We’ve all heard how costly medical mishaps can be overseas. It’s crucial that you take special care to declare any pre-existing medical conditions when booking your cover, so that we can help you should the unexpected happen.

15. Do your research

While pre-paid travel money cards may be convenient and secure, they can include some hefty fees. Some cards charge extra for withdrawing international currencies like baht and rupees. If you’re using a travel card, shop around and make sure it’s right for your destination.

Got a question about travel insurance? Get in touch with us at


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