Pack in one color, fit everything in a carryon, carry an empty water bottle on every flight…these little things can make a trip easier on the wallet and far more efficient. But if you’re anything like me, then you likely pick up and discard new travel habits and hacks throughout the year. Well here are few more that you may want to take into 2019.
When traveling abroad for an extended period, I try to make the most of my trip by remaining flexible. In my book, flexibility means buying one-way tickets. Buying a one-way ticket to your next destination, especially when planning an around the world trip or backpacking a region, ensures that you aren’t married to your next destination or that you aren’t stuck to a timeline you no longer want. Unfortunately, there are still quite a few countries that require an onward ticket even to enter. This means that you end up either changing your return ticket and paying fees or purchasing a non-descript, but super cheap, onward ticket that you have no plans of using.
Onewayfly.com is a service created by a digital nomad but operated through the French travel agency, Dugny Travel. When I tell you what they do, you’re likely going to kick yourself for not thinking of it. It’s brilliant!
So what do they do? They sell one-way tickets! Let me clarify…they sell one-way return or onward tickets for 19 Euros. The tickets can be booked up to 24 hours before your flight, and they are valid for 14 days, then canceled. You get online, tell the people what you need, and they send you a .pdf file of your ticket, a valid PNR number, and you’re good to go. They offer other services too. For 40 Euros you can get a ticket valid for up to a year, and they will also book a hotel for you if residency information is needed by customs. The best thing about this…it’s cheap, and it’s legal!
Of course, needing an onward ticket isn’t the only benefit to using the site. One word: VISAS. An itinerary or proof of your trip, in the form of a ticket, is one of the many things that some consulates ask for when preparing a visa application. For people living in the United States, the UK, Japan or Canada, worrying about entry being denied isn’t something we get accustomed to regularly. However, there are quite a few countries out there where visa denial is a regular and unfortunate occurrence. For these travelers, the idea of purchasing a ticket, only to get denied, is an unbearable expense. This service can help too! Add it to you 2019 travel hacks
TV FOOD MAPS
Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (Triple D), the food show with some of the absolutely best tasting food in some of the worst places, is my thing. Some of you are judging me right now, and I’m okay with that. I once saw an episode featuring a pecan roll at a place called Jimmy’s Down the Street, and I’ve been itching to make my way to Idaho ever since. Idaho! Just for a pecan roll! But I digress…if you love to travel, cooking shows, and good food, then TV Food Maps needs to be on your phone in 2019.
TV Food Maps is an app and website featuring over 5,000 unique restaurants as seen on TV. The site covers the restaurants shown on 49 different food shows on a host of networks. From the Cooking Channel to the Travel Channel you can find information on restaurants from your favorite station. So if Triple D isn’t your thing, but you’d love to visit the restaurant’s of the Chopped contestants, then you’re in the right place.
Now here’s the kicker…
There are two lovely things about this app that make it worthwhile. The first is the Road Trip Planner. If you aren’t in a rush and don’t mind taking an exit or two, then put your road trip information into the planner, and it will kick out all of the restaurants along your route. Say goodbye to whatever restaurants are listed on those road signs along the interstate. You can plan your breakfast, lunch, and dinner stops before even heading out.’
The second best thing is the app notification settings. Layovers, stopovers, day trips, vacations…where ever you are, your phone will ping every time you’re in the vicinity of a restaurant on TV. I don’t know about you, but I’m here for this!
This app is for the chicken in you.
I travel a lot, but I had a really bad flight earlier this year that shook me up. Listen…it was bad – like ‘am I getting off this flight’ bad. The woman next to me flinched a little too, but she was majorly calm in comparison. When the ride finally smoothed out, she confessed that she knew the turbulence would be heavy in that area. In true airplane neighbor fashion, she whipped out her phone and showed me an app, SkyGuru, that one of her girlfriends recommended.
My seat neighbor suffered from anxiety while flying, but travel was a necessary and unavoidable part of her job. SkyGuru to the rescue. Through the use of this app, she was able to enter her departing and landing information, before take off, and receive weather reports all along her route and explanations at each stage of flight. Understanding what was happening and why the plane was experiencing turbulence helped quell a lot of her anxiety. However, the nerds out there may really like how in-depth the information provided is. The app not only tells the users when they can expect turbulence, but it reads the pitch, roll, speed and altitude of the flight.
If flying still makes you nervous or you just like the science of it all, then SkyGuru is the app for you.