Other travel tips and hacks 2018-01-15T12:13:42+00:00

Other travel tips and hacks

A secure and cheap way to take money overseas when travelling, thanks to HSBC

People often ask me about cheap and secure ways to take money overseas when travelling. Many readers have been in touch after trying popular travel money and debit cards, and being frustrated by their high fees and poor currency exchange rates. I haven’t written about this topic until now, as none of the products on the market were particularly compelling. But an innovative new offering from HSBC has changed the game, and I’m pleased to partner with HSBC to [...]

Your best airport lounge option may not be the one your airline directs you to

If you have status with an airline or fly in business or first class, you'll typically have access to a lounge at the airport - and, sometimes, you'll have a choice of several lounges. Your airline will usually direct you to a specific lounge, which will be the one it operates or has a special arrangement with. But not all lounges are havens of comfort and glamour - in fact, some are barely a step up from the mess [...]

How to improve your seat on a Qantas flight 80 hours before departure

Selecting the best possible seat on a flight is an important part of travel preparation for many frequent flyers. Those of us who spend a lot of time in the air tend to have a strong preference for where we sit (unlike the occasional traveller, perhaps), and that's typically near the front of the cabin next to the aisle or window - and never in a middle seat. When you fly with Qantas, you can choose a seat as [...]

How to pay for a Qantas flight with a credit or debit card and avoid Qantas’ card payment fee

When you pay for a Qantas flight with a credit or debit card, you have to cop Qantas' annoying card payment fee, which is up to $11 for a domestic flight or $70 for an international flight, per passenger. While these fees aren't huge, they do add up - especially if you travel often or in a group - and although Qantas does provide fee-free payment options, many customers want to use a card because of the convenience, to earn [...]

How to pay to enter a Virgin Australia lounge

Having access to an airport lounge can be a godsend: not only does it give you a comfortable space in which to work, relax or socialise before boarding, but if for some reason your flight is delayed, it makes waiting infinitely more bearable. Virgin Australia operates a network of lounges in Australia, with spaces in all state and territory capitals (except Hobart), and Alice Springs, Cairns, the Gold Coast and Mackay. In a Virgin Australia lounge, customers have access [...]

Join the Qantas Frequent Flyer program for free

Qantas bizarrely continues to charge Australians $89.50 to join its loyalty program, Qantas Frequent Flyer. That's pretty steep when you consider that almost all other major airlines around the world (including Virgin Australia) provide free access to their loyalty programs. All it takes is a simple Google search to find ways to get around paying Qantas' joining fee. That means many Australians are getting free membership while those who pay for it probably feel duped when they realise they wasted their money. [...]

You can pay to enjoy the Emirates lounges at Dubai Airport

Are you flying through Dubai International Airport but stuck without lounge access? It can be a nightmare dealing with that busy airport, especially when you’re exhausted after a long flight – which is probably the case if you’re flying economy! The good news is that Emirates allows weary passengers to pay their way into the airline's lux business and first class lounges, regardless of status or class of travel. The price isn’t cheap - US$100 for four hours' access [...]

Google Flights officially takes off in Australia

Google has this week formally launched its handy flight booking tool, Google Flights, in Australia. Google Flights allows users to compare flights and prices, with options to search by destination, airline, time and class. This tool has been available for Australians to use for a while, but it appears Google has added some new features for the official launch here. One of these new features is that you can now search for flights simply by googling things like “flights to [...]

How to get cheap oneworld business class seats with purchased American Airlines miles

Last week I flew in Qantas business class from Melbourne to Perth and it only cost me $500 – that’s a quarter of the usual price of $2000 one-way! I absolutely love the Business Suite in the Qantas A330s, as well Qantas' service - so for me this was a great deal for the 4-hour flight. Here’s the hack I used to get the cheap tickets: I purchased American Airlines frequent flyer miles and then redeemed them instantly for my [...]

Save thousands on business class trips by stopping over in Asia

It costs so much more for Australians to fly international business class compared to people in other countries. I’m constantly amazed at some of the cheap business class fares people can get in Europe, North America and Asia with full service airlines. But there is a way that Aussies can get in on some of the action. The trick is to use Asia as a stopover before continuing on to Europe, Africa or North America. You can save thousands [...]