Flight prices are soaring and crowds are back at the airport. Plan your trips strategically with these apps and tips that will help you navigate the chaos and maximise your comfort.
Miles and loyalty programme advisor | @thepointsguy
For more than a decade, founder Brian Kelly has demystified frequent-flyer programmes as well as offered tips on how travellers can maximise their credit card and hotel loyalty points. His analytics team has also helped countless others explore the world for “free”. To expand your wanderlust opportunities, scroll through his feed or download the brand’s mobile app that allows you to track points in one place, check their monetary value and get tips on how to spend what you have accumulated.
Luxury hotel reviewer | @travelplusstyle
It was until fairly recently that hotel evaluations were spread through word of mouth or the august verdicts of established guidebook authors. Co-founders Luiza Zadros and Daniel Laskowski, however, prefer to be more instantaneous. From classic castles like France’s Les Sources de Cheverny, which holds a special meaning for fans of The Adventures of Tintin, to an African safari experience at the Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp, their reviews are useful for discerning holiday-goers looking for accurate lodging advice.
National park educator | @nationalparkservice
For an account that earnestly urges the public to get outdoors and explore their national parks, its social media presence can be borderline absurdist. Captions are downright witty and funny, whether the team is offering droll advice (“To avoid crowds, visit areas that are less crowded”) or stating facts (“Don’t pet the fluffy cows”). And by cows, they actually mean a herd of bison, which have injured more visitors at Yellowstone in the US than any other animal.
Food enthusiast | @girleatworld
It is hard to remember a time before we habitually took photos of our food before eating it. Melissa, owner of Girl Eat World, prefers to be more spontaneous instead of holding her phone high above the table to get that perfect overhead flat lay. Each shot is composed with this travel (and also tech) junkie holding a must-try local delicacy, with her surroundings serving as the backdrop. Discover some of the most unusual eats (like the Japanese yakimochi or Hungarian Chimney Cake) in the most off-the-beaten-path places.
Personalised itinerary curator | @elsewhere.io
For some people, planning is the most exciting part of a vacation. Others may consider it an absolute chore. Elsewhere cuts off the middleman, pairing travellers directly with highly knowledgeable local experts in destinations around the world. All you have to do is answer a short questionnaire to describe your ideal trip, and the system will craft a personalised itinerary — from accommodation and restaurant reservations to excursions — that will help you discover a country like a local.
Wellness guide | @ochristine
Drawing from her experience of living with lupus nephritis, an autoimmune disease, the Afro-Latina blogger and yoga instructor demonstrates that globetrotting is still possible for anyone facing incredible odds. She teaches exercise moves through adventure, incorporating simple workouts and meditation routines that will keep you active when you need a break from the hammock. From time to time, Olivia Christine Perez recommends hidden respites and natural reserves to heal the mind and body.
Packing expert | @thetravelhack
Checked baggage fees and long waits at the luggage carousel are just a few reasons to travel light. And when your flight is delayed, having your belongings in hand can be the difference between being stuck at the airport feeling miserable or refreshed. A mother of three, Monica doles out simple guidelines to minimise your load, cut down on wrinkles and strategise bag space when you hopscotch through climates or need to pack for a long family vacation with children.
Aviation blogger | @samchui
The jet-setter is living the high life quite literally. He has visited at least 100 countries, flown over 2,000 flights and logged more than three million miles worldwide. Whether it is enjoying a luxurious, ultra-long-haul trip or bush flying in Africa, his candid reviews of some of the best aircraft in the world are valued by frequent flyers and even aviation experts. If you are the kind to book a certain airline according to your in-flight dining preferences, Sam has reviewed enough business class meals to tell you if they are worth your buck or comparable with those at a restaurant.
This article first appeared on July 3, 2023 in The Edge Malaysia.