Adventure

5 Little-Known Travel Hacks To Upgrade Your Summer

We've all had a terrible year. We deserve a truly great summer.

Brought to you by Mariott Bonvoy

Travel with peace of mind. Book our best rates at Marriott.com.au

Have you ever been this excited for a summer holiday?

The weather is getting warmer, border restrictions are lifting, and you can finally leave this terrible year behind. Sure, no one knows what 2021 will bring – but that’s all the more reason to seize the day. Book that trip! Buy the new bikini! You’ve well and truly earned some time away.

This summer we’re all holidaying close to home, but that doesn’t mean the trip has to be any less luxe. We’ve put together a few handy travel hacks to make sure it lives up to all your expectations.

Go incognito for cheap flights

There are all sorts of factors that determine the price of your flight. That includes obvious things like the kind of ticket you buy (economy or business) and the time of year you’re travelling. But there are some less obvious factors too.

How many times have you visited the website? What previous flights have you booked there? The price you’re seeing isn’t necessarily the same as the one your friend just locked in.

Many airlines set the price of a flight according to what they know about you and how much you will pay for the ticket. This practice is known as dynamic pricing, and it’s not always clear whether your data is getting you a good or bad deal.

One easy workaround: use incognito mode or clear your search history and cookies before looking up airfares. This will often give you a cheaper deal on the exact same flight.

The more money you save while booking, the more you can spend on the holiday itself!

Get a half-price hotel upgrade

Who doesn’t love an upgrade? That bigger room, bigger bed, or added balcony is the sweet little cherry on top of an already amazing stay. And this summer you can get it for an even better price.

From now until January 31, Marriott Bonvoy is offering 50 percent off upgrades to premium rooms and suites in their hotels in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia, and Samoa. That includes not just the Marriott itself but also Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, Four Points, and The Ritz-Carlton.

Even better: the deal covers breakfast too. Your big brekky is included at no extra charge for two adults and kids under 12. To secure the discount, all you have to do is join the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program (it’s free to become a member) and book by January 31 for any trip before April 30.

Pack a few shower caps

We’ve all done it before. You quickly pack your bag, stuffing your shoes and clothes in together, and suddenly there’s dirt and bootprints all over your fresh summer outfits.

Yes, you could always just wash your shoes before packing them, but who has the time? A much easier solution: pop them in a shower cap. The dirty soles will be totally covered and the elastic band will hold everything tight around the top.

Shower caps are a great hack for anyone with grubby shoes after a big bushwalk or hike, but they have other uses too. They’re handy to store used excercise gear or even swimmers that haven’t totally dried.

Download the ultimate beach app

It’s not really a summer holiday without some time at the beach. But when you’re holidaying somewhere new, it can be hard to know exactly where to go.

Luckily you can make sure you’re getting the most out of your trip with the Beachsafe app. This handy tool, developed by Surf Life Saving Australia, will help you find the best beaches all over Australia. It’s also constantly updated with info on beach patrols, weather, swell, and tide.

This means you’re not only finding the best local beach, but also steering clear of dangerous rip currents.

Save your maps and music offline

Australia is a very, very big country. That means there’s loads of far-flung places for you to explore, but it also means reception can be tricky. A four-hour drive through the middle of nowhere is a lot harder when your data drops off.

Make sure you’re prepared this summer by downloading all your directions and music ahead of time. Google Maps has offline functionality, which means you can download large maps to use without internet access. And most streaming platforms will allow you to download whole albums and curated playlists for offline listening too.

Download enough and there’ll be nothing standing between you and a four-hour singalong all the way to your destination.

Lead image: Armin Rimoldi / Pexels 

#HolidayHereThisYear with 50% off upgrades, and breakfast included at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. Book now on Marriott.com.au