Written exclusively for Expat Network by AirHelp
Expats travel – a lot. If you identify as an expat, then simply by that definition you’ve likely travelled. Expats are no strangers to long bus rides, early morning flights or the sound of a passport stamp as it indelibly marks your travel documents before you’re waved through security. Put simply – travelling is part and parcel of the expat experience. Yet so many people do it badly or are unprepared for some of the most common travel mishaps. Delayed flights, wasting money on airplane food, not packing the correct clothes for the type of weather they’ll encounter at their destination – it’s a long list. It’s for that reason that we’ve put together this list of travel tips for expats. We’re hoping it’ll save you just a little time and a little money.
Always have travel insurance
This is the first tip of this list and can’t be overstated. Travel insurance is probably the most important thing you can have other than a valid passport. The truth is that the life of a traveller or expat is very unpredictable. Dangerous countries, strange diseases, uncertain infrastructure – all of these potential health and safety hazards which can affect you at a moment’s notice. It’s therefore vital that you’re insured should any of these come to pass. Even something as small as a stolen wallet can put you in trouble, but it can also be mitigated with simple foresight and a comprehensive travel insurance plan.
Know your rights
This is something that many expats and ordinary travellers aren’t aware of, but you have rights – lots of them. As an air passenger, you are, by law, covered in the event of certain unforeseen consequences or negligence on the part of airlines. Specifically, if your flight is delayed by more than three hours or cancelled altogether, you’re eligible to receive a hefty payout to the tune of between €250 and €600 from the airline in question. If you ever find yourself delayed or looking at a cancelled flight, contact a companies such as AirHelp, which exist in order to help you secure this cancellation compensation.
Bring your own reusable water bottle
If you’re a frequent traveller – regardless of if it’s on a bus, train, airplane or horse carriage – then make sure you pack an empty bottle with you the next time you travel. It’s an ingenious travel hack which will save you a ton of money on the road, and also cut down your plastic usage, helping you do your bit for the environment. It may not seem like a lot, but each dollar you spend on a bottle of water adds up (as does the accumulation of single use plastic bottles), and over time it can end up being a small fortune. Having a reusable water bottle on you allows you to fill up wherever you are for a mere fraction of the cost.
Book everything in advance
While expats typically enjoy higher salaries when they move abroad, that’s no reason to waste money. For the very cheapest flights, buses or other forms of transport, book everything as far in advance as possible. You can find dramatic decreases in price this way, especially for flights. You might also try booking on off-peak days such as Tuesday or Thursday for the best possible price.