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Save yourself money with these travel packing tips

15th April 2019

Packing for an overseas holiday can be pretty daunting, and rightfully so. Navigating suitcase weight and size restrictions, remembering to pack your phone charger and ensuring you have enough room for souvenirs can be stressful at best. Not to mention the questions that plague your mind as you pack: ‘what if I forget something that I really need?’ or ‘will three outfits per day be enough?’

Stress less, we have some tips to make the whole process that little bit easier for you. It’s worthwhile repacking what you originally planned and taking half the clothes and double the money. Although this may not be practical in all instances it's still some decent advice and here’s why we think so – at the end of the day if you forget anything you can always purchase a replacement!

We hope to simplify the packing process to save you time, stress and money. The trifecta, if you will. Here are our top 7 things to pack:

1.   Travel Card

Money, money, money. A necessity for life in general, not to mention travel! For most people, every cent counts when on holiday.

Consider taking a travel card such as the Travel Money NZ Cash Passport. It can hold up to 10 currencies, plus we make sure you aren’t hit with any hidden fees or charges that could dampen your holiday. This means more money for you to spend on poolside cocktails and souvenirs. Plus, it’s accepted everywhere Mastercard is (so pretty much everywhere). It’s super convenient, and the free app allows you to track your spending and reload on the go. With the Cash Passport you will be all over your finances like child in a candy store.


2.   Universal Power Adapter

Travelling with technology is a given these days and in order to power these devices while overseas an adaptor is required. Instead of buying an individual power adapter for each country consider a universal power adapter. Most will allow you to stay connected in more than 150 countries. Keep a look out for one that has included USB ports as well, that way you don’t have to charge devices through the main outlet.

If you have space or need to charge bulk gadgets, consider packing a power board with surge protection. Universal power adaptors range from $20-50 online - think of it as an investment for your travelling career!

3.   Portable Charger

Imagine you are exploring the streets of Manhattan and it's heading towards happy hour. Keen on finding the best local bar and capturing it with some candid insta pics, your hopes are quickly crushed as your phone battery lingers at 5%. Instantly your happy hour is in danger, forcing you to trudge back to your accommodation to charge your phone.

Let’s be real, we’ve all been there and it’s the worst feeling. If you’re like me, your phone provides a sense of security (and is pretty much an extension of your hand) when travelling. Avoid situations like this by carrying a portable charger. They can provide you with that extra boost of power to make sure you’re ready to explore at all hours of the day. 

4.   Luggage Scales

It is well known that airlines love slapping you with hefty fees for overweight baggage - happy holidays, right!. They don’t make it easy for us either, with each airline having their own policies around how much your bag can weigh for both checked and carry on luggage.

If you are planning a jaunt through Europe that involves a few flights with a mix of premium and low-cost airlines, there is a lot of stress and pressure involved with luggage weight restrictions.

With this in mind, packing a portable luggage scale might just be your lifesaver (and money saver). It could very well be the difference between spending $20 on scales versus the $200 overweight baggage fees at the airport. Use them to provide you with an early indication if extra baggage should be purchased before arriving at the airport, as it’s cheaper to purchase before the flight. They are easy to use and lightweight so it’s not adding to the weight problem either.


5. Reusable Water Bottle

Packing a reusable water bottle when travelling is of the simplest ways you can save yourself money and help the environment at the same time. Consider if you bought a plastic water bottle each day while on a trip in Europe for 3 weeks. Assuming each bottle is €2, this could easily add up to €40 or more! Those funds would be much better spent on a ticket up the eiffel tour, or a schnitzel and a few beers in Germany. If the cost alone isn’t enough to convince you, take comfort in the fact that you wouldn’t be contributing to the 500 billion plastic water bottles that are set to be sold next year alone. Taking a reusable water bottle is just one way that you can alleviate the 91% of plastics that either enter the oceans or landfill each year. Good for the turtles, good for your wallet and they can be pretty stylish!

If you’re flying international, just remember to make sure your bottle is empty when going through customs. You can always fill it up once you’ve made it past this point.

6. Sunscreen / Umbrella

Now this one really depends on the weather of your destination. If you’re headed to a  tropical destination like Fiji or Thailand that has a proven track record of sunshine for a majority of the year, then you’re probably safe just packing the sunscreen. Most people would agree that sunscreen is expensive at the best of times, this can be made even worse if you’re overseas and the labels are printed in another language. Not to mention that shops may inflate the price of sunscreen for tourists!

Hawaii can be particularly deceptive in that it is portrayed as having sunshine all year round, yet Hilo on Big Island only has an average of 168 sunny days per year. We definitely recommend taking a look at the average weather of a destination before you embark on your journey and packing to suit the conditions. Weather spark is an awesome free tool to check the typical weather anywhere in the world.


7.   Travel insurance

Whilst you can’t technically pack this one, it’s still a necessity that has got the potential to save you a great deal of money in the long run. Travelling is such an exciting and rewarding experience however there can be accidents and injuries along the way.

Making sure you have the right level of protection before you leave is just one way to secure peace of mind and stress less. In the event that something bad happens, such as a delayed flight, lost luggage or you require immediate medical attention, travel insurance is there to ensure you are not left out of pocket

My mum always says ‘if you can’t afford insurance, then you can’t afford to travel’. Whilst the policy might be a small investment at the start of the trip, it is well worth the expense.

Travel Money NZ offers policies with Cover-More. If you want more budgeting tips head in store and speak to the experts at any of our Travel Money NZ locations or purchase a currency pass online.

This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs.  You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.  While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you.  We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.