Travel Smart This Summer With These Tips From The Pros - The Gloss Magazine

Travel Smart This Summer With These Tips From The Pros

From securing hotel and flight upgrades to adjusting to time zones and avoiding arguments with travel companions, explore these expert recommendations ahead of your next trip …

Master the art of packing a 10kg bag

“Chances are when you were booking your flights, you breezily opted for just a 10kg bag, adopting an ‘it’ll be fine’ mentality. How naive we all can be when holiday planning! Let me assuage your fears: packing for a holiday with a 10kg bag can be done. In fact, I’ve done just that for a ten day break in the sun. Wearing your bulkiest pieces – trainers, knits and lightweight jackets – while travelling is the best way to cut down on suitcase weight, especially if you’re only travelling with hand luggage. First to go for me were heels: too cumbersome and they take up too much space. Secondly, abandon any notion of less-important toiletries like shower gel or generic body moisturiser (I pick those up locally), you’re going to need to prioritise space for serums, plus a good night cream. Lastly, I always hedge my bets that the accommodation will have a hair dryer,” says Sarah Macken, Contributing Editor, THE GLOSS.

Visit lesser-known destinations during peak season

“Avoiding the crowds while seeing the ancient sites of Greece isn’t easy. But it can be done with some savvy planning by visiting some lesser-known islands, where luxurious stays and gourmet experiences are still guaranteed. This summer, explore Patmos, Samos and Skyros, and do read my short guide to each location here.” Penny McCormick, Contributing Editor, THE GLOSS.

Getting an upgrade

“While airlines often give priority to frequent flyer club members with healthy points balances or people with special reason (e.g a broken leg), dressing smartly, asking politely and arriving early will increase your chances. If the airline asks for volunteers to be bumped onto a later flight, see if you can get an upgrade as part of the deal. And remember, upgrades are a solo traveller’s game – nobody gets an upgrade for the whole family.” Tom Hall, Head of Lonely Planet, UK & Ireland.

Flag special occasions when you book a hotel

“When it comes to booking a hotel, it’s always worthwhile to flag a special occasion in advance as they may do something to recognise this like a birthday plate, an upgrade of your room or a glass of bubbles – I know we do try to mark occasions at InterContinental Dublin. Don’t assume a late checkout is a no-no either; it’s quite often possible, so if you fancy a leisurely breakfast, perhaps a swim before departure, or just a longer lie in don’t be afraid to ask.” Nicky Logue, General Manager, InterContinental Dublin, @nickylogue1

Adjust to new times zones as soon as you can

“Having lived in Asia for almost 20 years, I continue to travel for work and pleasure. I never travel without a large water bottle and try to drink as much water as I possibly can before flying and especially when in the air as it really helps my body to readjust to new time zones. I also have Olbas oil in my carry-on luggage which I sprinkle on a tissue and breathe in to keep my sinuses clear. I try to get into the new time zone as soon as I board by closing my eyes when it’s the right time at my destination, as this helps balance internal circadian rhythms.” Kate O’Brien, @kateobrienwellness.

Invest in some noise cancelling headphones

“The Dyson Zone headphones are the tangible version of a travel hack – no more nasty smells or viruses with the air purification filter attachment – personally I think in the future everyone will be wearing them! They are ideal for those who still wear masks on the plane as these will do the filtering but they are also perfect for properly switching off as they are noise cancelling, with high fidelity sound quality unlike any other headphones, as well as being built for extreme comfort. The filter can be easily detached so they can be worn without the visor.” Avila Lipsett, @avilalipsett.

Book directly with a hotel

“My top tip for travelling is always to book direct with your chosen hotel. Many hotels will offer best rates on their own websites, or if rates are similar across all websites, they will very often have more flexible policies should you need to cancel or postpone your stay.” Rónán O’Halloran, General Manager, Glenlo Abbey Hotel, Galway.

Be a midweek traveller

Book midweek and you’ll often avoid expensive minimum two-night stays and peak transport costs. Also check out Roomer (, which acts as a marketplace for the resale of unused, non-refundable hotel bookings, offering big discounts on full-price rates. Lonely Planet.

Be clever with beauty buys

Decanting favourites into mini pots (such as those saved from beauty advent calendars) means you only carry what you will use; I do this with liquid highlighters and foundation as well as moisturiser and cleansers (such as Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm). Use a fill-your-own travel kit, you can pick them up in Penneys for as little as €7. I save beauty counter perfume and skincare samples and I keep a make-up bag packed with essential minis so it’s always ready to grab and go. We all consider different things to be essentials, but mine include Rhode tinted lip balm, Chanel Baume Essentiel for instant glowing skin, SPF (I like Pestle & Mortar’s Daily Shield SPF50 (€38), which is ideal for sensitive skin, offers broad-spectrum protection and sits well under make-up), a Jones Road concealer crayon (more airport-friendly than a liquid one) and red lipstick,” says Sarah Halliwell, Beauty Editor, THE GLOSS. 

Know when to visit your destination

“Choosing the right time to travel to a destination is important. Take Japan for example. If you really want to see the cherry blossoms, book at least one year in advance to get better rates and secure the right team on the ground. October to February is my favourite time because these months guarantee bright blue skies, crisp temperatures, outdoor hot springs, and fewer tourists in most of the usual hot spots. Most people move around while visiting Japan, and with good reason. A clever solution is in place for sending large suitcases from hotel to hotel so you don’t have to carry them on bullet trains. This makes moving around much lighter!” Darina Slattery, founder Oomi Travel who leads an Ancient Trails tour of Japan among others, @darina.slattery.

Avoid arguments with friends and family

“If you are travelling with an ‘energy vampire’ ie someone who will find something negative to say about the food, the flight, the weather, it’s important to set some boundaries – this might mean telling them that certain topics of conversation are off limits or that you’d like a couple of hours alone each day. Make sure these are clear before you travel,” says Justin Chapman of Go2Africa. “Remember that it’s unlikely that your energy vampire is draining your energy intentionally. They may lack healthy coping mechanisms to be able to deal with their own personal issues and struggles, which unfortunately means you might get the worst of their trauma dumping or constant negativity. Try to understand why they might act the way they do, and have empathy and compassion, while protecting your own wellbeing.” Justin Chapman, Go2Africa.

Make the most of your rental property

“If you’re holidaying in a rental and space is tight in the car I always advise hiring a roof rack to ease the pressure. If you crave sleep, get a vacuum bag and pack your own pillow so you sleep like a queen. For the journey and day trips, bring a tablecloth to cover outdoor picnic benches so you can eat your picnic in peace. Bring a rug and flask too for stop-offs in off-the-beaten-path locations. From experience I always bring a hard copy map in case the WiFi is not good in such locations. And finally: stay longer. Irish Landmark Trust properties cost less the longer you stay, so stay an extra night or two to save money.” Suzanne Cantwell, Communications Manager, Irish Landmark Trust.

Tie in a city break with a cultural exhibition

From iconic photography to haute couture, a visit to an exhibition is a clever excuse to plan a city break. There are some fabulous fashion exhibitions on right now in Paris, London, New York and Milan, which will form the base for upcoming trips, says Penny McCormick, Contributing Editor, THE GLOSS, who shares her recommendations here.

Seek out hidden gems in busy cities

“The High Line in New York City really is a hidden gem and one you should look to experience if you want to get away from the Manhattan crowds and see a different side of the city. The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long elevated linear park, greenway, and rail trail created on a former New York Central Railroad on the west side of Manhattan. This disused rail track has been converted into a public park taking you from the old meat packing district into upper midtown and gives you a completely different aspect to the city. You can even get free guided tours but remember to book online early at and I promise that you won’t be disappointed!” James Coughlan, CEO, Travel Department.


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