Packing secrets that will save you money

Packing these five items when you travel will save

Packing secrets to save you money

To some, they may be obvious but for the uninitiated, packing these five items the next time you travel will save you money – and we could all benefit from that!

Empty water bottle
Who wants to pay a premium for drinking water? Unless you’re going to a country that has a reputation for unhealthy drinking water, taking your own water bottle to most western countries will save you a bundle on bottled water.

Sunscreen stick
If you’re heading to a holiday resort where sunscreen is a must, then 100ml – the maximum size of bottled liquid allowed through most airports – is not going to cut it. And sunscreen in sunny places is usually quite expensive. That’s when a sunscreen stick becomes your best friend. It’s like roll-deodorant, only a solid not a liquid, and can be carried onto a plane.

Laundry stain stick
You may think you’ve packed enough clothes for your trip, but all it takes is an accidental spill or a trip in the mud to put you in need of a wash. So, instead of paying high prices for hotel laundering, pack a stain stick or laundry soap sheets – both travel compliant – and do small loads of washing in your hotel bathroom.

Travelling is hungry business and eating can consume a lot of cash on your holiday. Packing a few snacks for your flight, or even for airport transfers or when you first land can eliminate the need to buy marked-up food at the airport or surrounding stores.

Luggage scale
Overweight baggage fees can rack up to $200 with some airlines, but a $15 luggage scale could save you the hassle and the hefty fines for a fat bag.

Do you know of any other items that can save you money when you travel?



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    8th Jan 2018
    Check out the following link re liquids on carry on luggage on domestic and international flights:

    Domestic flights - there's no restriction, unless you're departing from T1 Sydney or T2 Melbourne but flying to an Australian destination (where the LAGS rules apply).

    If you pack all your liquids in your checked luggage, there's no limit to the amount you can take. The only restriction most international airlines put on Aerosols, including perfumes is a total of 2 kg or 2 litres.
    8th Jan 2018
    Some very useful ideas there. We mix our own nuts and dried fruit packed in a sealable bag, saves changing foreign currency or using a credit card in airports and buying junk food. I have a few more money saving tips. 1. I made a small washing line kit; two or three rubber suction cups with hooks from Clark's Rubber; 10m of braided cord and travel pegs (found in German shop but ordinary ones will do) packed in a small bag have enabled us to wash clothes in hotels, apartments and ships' cabins. 2. A SteriPEN water purifier plus a suitable bottle saves money on water and health when travelling; after all who knows the quality of water picked up by planes and held in their tanks? 3. I have collected several 'business class' and 'economy' airline courtesy bags over time and used these to pack travel kits such as first aid, shoe cleaning, electrical adaptors, washing line, took kit etc. The different sizes and colours makes recognition easy and our travel gear is always ready and easy to find and pack. 4 Buy a local SIM card online FROM THE REGION YOU ARE VISITING before you arrive. A UK SIM covers the whole of Europe (except Switzerland). If you have a friend in that region to send it on to you so much the better, if not both UK and US cards are available respectively from or Avoid some of the so called global SIMS that promise to save you money, except maybe E-Kit. Some of them are tedious to set up, need resetting each time you move to a different carrier and cost more than they save. 5. Keep your old unlocked phone for a local SIM.
    15th Jan 2018
    Hi Cosmo, your suggestion in regards to UK SIM cards is very correct. If you want to check out and check out their SIM cards, and many more offers of discounted train travel & sightseeing. A wonderful shopping experience.

    If you're staying in London for any length of time, then an Oyster card would be a certainty. It's a pre-paid card like the NSW Opal & Victorian Myki card and can be kept for future visits. Only needs to be topped up before travel, which can be done @ Heathrow Tube stations when you arrive. So much better than trying to get one when you arrive. They do have Travel cards, but most are date sensitive and you may not be able to do all the travelling you want to do in the specified time limit, but it's your choice.

    Most airlines have bottled water which they provide. You don't need to take any chances with the general water on the plane.

    Of course, have an unlocked phone. If you're not on a plan with your current phone eg end of contract, then use that phone, just swap the SIM cards during your flight.

    My only DON'T suggestion is: Never purchase or hire a Wi-Fi dongle for roaming. Use the Wi-Fi available at your accommodation. Most offer 30 minutes free, and a very reasonable rate for the rest of your stay.

    I know that Travelodge hotels charge the following:

    3 for 24 hours,
    6 for 48 hours,
    9 for 72 hours,
    12 for 7 days,
    20 for 14 days,
    35 for 1 month, which after 12 days the rest of the month is free.

    Check out the charges for the hotel chain you'll be staying in. Most offer good deals like the ones above. If not, then rethink your motives for staying at the chain.
    30th Sep 2018
    SuziJ, I bought a Vodafone portable wifi modem many years ago in the UK, and use it all the time. As it is now old, I was able to get it unlocked by Vodafone UK free of charge, so now I can use any company's data sim in it.

    I have just come back from the UK, and it was invaluable as sometimes the hotel wifi was not very good, slow, or even non-existent in the basement rooms of some hotels in London.

    My portable modem which is tiny saved me and also enabled me to use my phone to make Whatsapp calls to my partner back here in Oz while I was travelling. When I was out and about away from hotel wifi, I had my modem switched on in my backpack, so I could use my phone to check the map etc. Very secure as it is is password protected with a long complex password. I use a combination of random arabic words as well as numbers and symbols, so it would take someone a long time to crack that!
    8th Jan 2018
    The laundry stick tip is good - but where do you get it? I can't recall ever having seen such a thing in the supermarkets I shop in.
    17th Feb 2018
    Kiri, I buy a Sard laundry stick from woolworths or Coles
    15th Jan 2018
    Hi SuziJ, The visitbritain website is a good source. Sadly not all airlines, even the big ones are very consistent on the water issue. I recently flew Singapore Air premium economy to Europe. Bottled water was available from Sydney and on the return flight from Munich but on neither of the legs out of Singapore even when requested. Coincidentally the service was also poor out of Singapore in both directions. It mystifies me how they get rated so highly. Once past security in Singapore where our water was of course confiscated, no bottled water was available to buy but a tap from an unknown source was available in the 'holding pen.' Some other airlines serve water in open plastic cups which I try to avoid as I suspect it comes out of the aircraft tank.
    30th Sep 2018
    I was given a bottle of water on my premium economy SIA flight from Singapore to Frankfurt a few weeks ago.

    You must have had a bad day that day. I have never been able to fault the service on SIA in all the years I have been flying with them. It is actually even better now than before, as I use the airport wheelchair service for boarding and disembarkation, and the SIA staff are fantastic at helping me on board with my bag, and getting me settled in my seat etc. On my recent flight they came by at least once every hour to make sure I was ok, and if I needed any assistance with anything.

    Water in the Changi airport departure lounges (as opposed to your description of holding pen) is perfectly safe to drink as is all water in Singapore. It is NOT a third world country.

    All the airlines I have travelled on in the last 20 years or so pour their water from bottles brought in with the onboard catering, NOT from the aircraft tank. That is why there are signs in the toilets telling you not to drink the water from the tap there.
    1st Apr 2018
    I purchased a digital scale at The Reject Shop for around $5 (could be more these days). There's no need to pay $15 for them unless you're a 'shop snob' and don't go into the cheaper shops.
    1st Oct 2018
    Johninmelb you flight was around a year after I flew, maybe they are lerning but it wasn't just a bad day, it happened on both flights there and back with a month in between and others have repeated the experience. I've flown premium economy with BA since, a much better experience all round and $1000 cheaper than SIA at that time.
    29th May 2020
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