Important Phone Numbers
Program phone numbers for your airline, hotel, travel insurance provider, embassy and emergency services into your phone before you go. If you're going to buy a SIM card abroad, make sure you save the numbers to your phone's memory, not your local SIM card.
Get the Best Deal
One of the best deals in many cities is staying in private rooms in hostels. Though simple, these rooms are clean and functional, and hostels are very good places to meet people. Bigger hostels also offer family rooms, which will be a big hit with kids.
When changing money, always take low-denomination notes or bills. They are less susceptible for forgery, but you also avoid the 'sorry, no change' argument used by taxi drivers.
The Best Seat to Sleep
If you have the option of choosing your seat for a long-haul flight, ask or check out how close to the engines you'll be. Sleep is easier the further away you are.
Suck It Up!
Go to the butcher before you leave and ask him to vaccum pack one set of spare clothes for you. Keep it at the bottom of your backpack and you will always have some nice smelling, dry clothes!
Save Room In Your Carry-On
Wear your bulkiest items from check-in through security. This will save you space in your carry-on luggage. You can even stow a few items in your pockets and sleeves of your coat if you have one.
Get An Upgrade
Hotels have been known to upgrade people just for joining a loyalty program on the spot. The best time to try this is at check-in. If you don't get the bump, at least you're earning points.
Always Find Your Way
On your way out of your hotel, pick up its business card with its address on it. You can use it to ask for directions, or to give to your taxi driver to get back to your room after a long and tiring day.
Travel with a camping spoon or throwaway chopsticks, which you can clean yourself. It will be handy when you're not sure when the provided cutlery was last used, or how it was cleaned.
Save On Airport Parking
Book your airport parking in advance, even if you do it the morning of your trip. This is the best way to save money.
Try for free wi-fi at airports by finding a wall adjoining an airport lounge. You can often pick up wi-fi signals intended for elite flyers inside.
Save On Transport
Book ahead for ground transport if possible. This is where you'll find the best bargain prices, from first-class rail to budget buses. Sometimes the fare can be low enough to mean that even if you end up not taking that particular route it's not the end of the world.
Always have a quick look around the cupboards, drawers and floors of your hotel room before you leave - even under the bed - thousands of items are left in hotels every year.
Best Train Deals
The best train deals are generally available as soon as tickets are selling. But this date vary hugely. On Amtrak train services in the US, in Canada and in Australia, tickets are on sale 11 months before the date of travel. In the UK it's 120 days. In Western Europe, it's 90 days; Eastern Europe, 60 days. And in India, it's 90 days before departure.
Clear Immigration Faster
Queues for the toilets are always longest just before passport control, and place you at the queue to clear immigration. Wait until you're in baggage reclaim: you'll queue less and get to where you're going faster.
Never travel without a second bag: a foldaway one which folds inside itself and weighs almost nothing. You can fill it up and leave it behind when doing a side trip, put all your wet clothes after a day at the beach, or take it with you on a day out, so you're never short of a spare bag.