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Lonely Planet reveals its ultimate travel hacks, from the best time to book a flight to tips for getting an upgrade (and why you should ALWAYS pack a sarong)

Lonely Planet is something of an authority when it comes to travel.

And so its handy-new Travel Hack Handbook is guaranteed to be very handy indeed.

The guide reveals that it provides ‘general advice, tips and information from a range of writers, including guest experts such as adventure travel specialists and train travel gurus as well inspirational recommendations on destinations, journeys and experiences that offer the best value to travellers’.

Tom Hall, Head of Lonely Planet UK, commented: ‘We’re really excited to kick the year off with the ultimate travel companion; The Travel Hack Handbook. As UK travellers prepare to make their holiday plans this year, we’ve pulled together our best tips and tricks on how to travel better and save money whilst doing it. From booking flights, to advice on safe solo travel, we’ve compiled expert recommendations that are sure to inspire your next trip.’

Here we can reveal a taste of the helpful tips readers can find in the book, from the best time to book a flight to tips for getting an upgrade.

When to book

Lonely Planet is something of an authority when it comes to travel. And so its new Travel Hack Handbook is guaranteed to be very handy indeed. Booking early is one of many pieces of advice readers will find within its pages  

Book early. That’s the advice from The Travel Hack Handbook, which explains: ‘Most airlines open flights to booking about 11 months before departures. Closer to the departure date, cheaper classes fill up and availability dwindles – try to book at least five weeks ahead. Last-minute bargains are rare – prices usually increase around 21 days before departure.’

Shop the sales

The Travel Hack Handbook says: ‘Many airlines offer sales in January, September and dates such as Black Friday. Sign up for airline newsletters and travel news services such as and for prior notice.’

Compare booking sites

‘Booking sites compare routes and airlines, but it’s often useful to compare booking sites,’ says The Travel Hack Handbook. ‘Search on comprehensive Skyscanner or Google Flights to see the prices that different travel agencies and airlines are charging for a particular route.’

Getting an upgrade

The book explains that airlines give priority to frequent flyer club members with healthy points balances or people with injuries, such as a broken leg, but it adds: ‘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. Upgrades are a solo traveller’s game – nobody gets an upgrade for the whole family.’

Always pack a sarong or shawl

A sarong, says The Travel Hack Handbook, is ‘a blanket when the air-conditioning is icy… an emergency towel’ – and more

Unless you’re certain you can find one locally, pack a sarong or shawl, advises The Travel Hack Handbook, which continues: ‘It’s a blanket when the air-conditioning is icy. It’s an emergency towel. It’s privacy for getting changed on the beach. It’s modesty when you can’t enter a temple with your legs or shoulders showing.’

Avoid motion sickness

If you’re prone to travel sickness, says the book, ‘get a window seat between or forward of the wings, for maximum stability’. It adds: ‘Don’t eat salty, oily or spicy foods, avoid reading or using screens, turn on the overhead air vents and carry Dramamine (or ginger) as a fallback option.’

When to go round-the-world

Fancy going around the world? Here’s the best plan, according to the book: ‘Heading east, start your trip between mid-April and June and you’ll follow good weather around the planet, catching one summer in Australia and one summer in the US. This also coincides with the best prices for round-the-world tickets.’

Be a midweek traveller

Midweek stays are cheaper for many reasons, notes The Travel Hack Handbook

‘Come midweek and you’ll avoid expensive minimum two-night stays and peak transport costs,’ notes The Travel Hack Handbook. ‘If you must come at the weekend, see if any hotels in the business district offer discounts during their quiet time. Be wary of popular festivals and state holidays.’

Pay less for your room

There are hotel bargains to be had if you know which website to consult -and the book does. It says: ‘Roomer ( acts as a marketplace for the resale of unused, non-refundable hotel bookings, offering big discounts on full-price rates.’

Eat where the locals eat

‘It’s easy to spot the best places to eat,’ the book notes, ‘they’re packed out with locals rather than tourists and there’s a queue every mealtime. Often the menu and sign will be in the local language, so be ready to order by pointing to what you see displayed on the counter or other patrons plates.’

The Travel Hack Handbook (from £12.99) is available from or ‘where all good books are sold’.

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