Smart Travel Hacks To Save Your Trip
Who loves to travel? I bet you do!
It’s so exciting to get on a plane or take a drive to somewhere you’ve never been. Even a few days away can be restorative to your soul, and leave you ready to tackle your life when you return.
But getting ready before going away can be a little anxiety-inducing. However, there’s no reason for that! In this all-encompassing guide to travel, we’ve covered the best travel hacks to make sure your vacation will stay a vacation.
Our favorite travel hack? Use a Travel Agent! Did you know they can often save you money? They have the best packages and the most knowledge. Don’t waste your vacation time, here’s 10 reasons you need a Travel Agent!
Leave a gap in the middle
If you are flying as a couple or with a friend, try this one! If you book the aisle and window seats and the flight isn’t full, you are likely to end up with an empty seat in the middle to make your flight more comfortable. You’ll be able to stretch out and enjoy your flight, without having to squeeze by anyone whenever you need to visit the restroom. If someone books the seat between you, you can kindly ask to swap at no loss!
Make a copy
A lost ID or passport is at the top of everyone’s fear list. Simply take a clear, quality photo of important documents with your cell phone and email them to yourself. And print a copy too. Even if you lose the documents, you’ll be able to supply ID and passport numbers, check into your hotel and continue with your vacation.
No matter what’s in your bag, mark your baggage as fragile, even if it’s not. Airport baggage handlers are notorious for being rough with traveler’s goods. The chances of airport workers tossing your bag around in a free for all are much slimmer if it’s marked fragile, and your items will be protected from unexpected damage.
Have you discovered shampoo bars yet? It takes a few goes to get used to it, but once you do there is no going back. These long-lasting, light little bundles of shampoo are concentrated, and easy to transport (no liquid problems!). They are not cheap but a single bar could take you around the world in 80 washes.
Travel-size containers can be purchased from anywhere, and you can use them to pack your favorite products. This is much cheaper than buying travel-size products and you can keep re-using your containers over and over again!
Be ready for emergency
You’ll never know when you’re going to need a pain reliever or a bandaid. Make sure you always pack a mini first-aid kit (or if you are as cheap as me, just pack some essentials in your beauty bag!). Bandaids have multiple uses, as well; you might find yourself needing a few to cover the heels of your feet as you hike around your town. I never forget bandaids of different sizes and shapes, paracetamol and ibuprofen.
Make sure you pack your own headphones. Normally you’ll get cheap ones on your flight, but you’ll be much better off with your own. And when you spend a long time traveling, you’ll enjoy watching a movie together or listen to the same music. Dan and I always bring a mini-jack headphone splitter cable to do that.
Use zipper file bags
A good zipper file bag will protect your electronics from spills, rain, and other hazards and you’ll avoid having to deal with tangled cords. It’s one packing hack that can save you a lot of headaches, so be sure to pick some up before you pack.
Fold the Marie Condo way
Once upon a time rolling was the new thing while traveling. Not anymore! You need to fold your clothes, the Marie Kondo way. I swear you will save space and your clothes are more likely to stay wrinkle free. Less time ironing and you still get to look fantastic? Sounds like a plan to me.
When shoes get bent or folded, they can lose their shape. Avoid this travel mishap by stuffing your shoes with paper before packing. They’ll withstand the rigors of suitcase life, and look great when you unpack. And remember: always put your shoes in bags, to avoid dirty soles spreading germs on your clean clothes!
Pack a USB charger
Pack a compact multiple USB charger. It’s super-useful to keep all your devices together, and it will avoid having cables all over your room. It’ll be harder to forget things when they are all charging in the same spot.
Pack a foldable bag
Chances are, your suitcase is full, so be sure to pack a foldable bag into your luggage. You’re going to need it for that souvenir you just had to have, or that fantastic outfit you find while visiting local shops. Save yourself the hassle of purchasing another bag and just pack one before you go.
Make it smell like a fresh flower
Let’s face it: depending on how long your flight is, your suitcase doesn’t always smell like a rose when you first open it. Solve this unpleasant side effect of packing by placing a bar of your favorite soap or a dryer sheet inside your bag. Your clothes will smell fresh and clean when you arrive. And as a bonus, dryer sheets are serviceable as lint removers when rubbed on your clothes.
Buy a portable phone charger
The last thing you want is to be stuck in an unfamiliar city without a working phone. Purchase a charger and carry it around with you. Don’t be shy about asking your cab, uber or other transportation if you can plug in for the ride. I use this.
Prepare your mobile
Check if you can use your data allowance in your destination. If you can, great! If you can’t do this:
Turn off your data roaming BEFORE you land. I wish Dan remember that when we went to Indonesia last time…He kept it on for 5 minutes without realizing it, while we were waiting for a connection flight. Once we reached our hotel, he got a message saying he spent over $50 in data. Ouch!
Make sure your phone is unlocked. This will let you buy a local SIM card in your destination to be able to use cheaper data to communicate with your friends and family.
Split your photos
If you use SD cards to store your travel photos, it’s better to buy multiple smaller cards than a big one. In the unfortunate event that you’ll lose one, or it becomes faulty for any reason, you’ll still be able to recover some of your photos from the other cards.
Weight your bag before you go to the airport to make sure you are within the limit. The last thing you need is to have to pay an extra charge for a bit of extra weight.
Write it down
I am sure you have the reservation details of your hotel on your phone (in an email or in your booking app). But you never know if you’ll have access to your data when you arrive or if you’ll have problems with your phone. By having the address handy, you’ll be safer and able to get to your desired location, no matter what happens.
Let your bank know
The last thing you want is to be eating at a restaurant and your card is declined. Yes, many banks will flag an account that’s spending in areas that are unusual. Do yourself a favor and let your bank know about your travel plans. With some banks, you need to login to your online banking and add information about your destination and travel dates. With others, you need to make a simple phone call. Either way, make sure you notify them to avoid being stuck in another country with no money!
Do this before you land
Don’t get caught searching through a busy, crowded airport for the restrooms. Chances are, there’s going to be a line when you get there. Use the toilet on the plane before you land and be ready to go grab your bags as soon as you get out.
A bit of exercise goes a long way
Everyone hates jet lag, but a few people realize it can be shaken off quickly with a little exercise. Be sure to stretch, do a bit of yoga or go for a run to get your blood flowing and relieve your body from the traveling stress.
Shop like a local
I love to explore local supermarkets when I am traveling abroad. It lets me discover new foods and products I would never taste if I only ate in restaurants. I normally buy fresh fruit, snacks and all the ingredients to make delicious homemade sandwiches. By doing this, I can also save lots of money!
Always split up your money
Never carry all of your cash or cards with you, all the time. If the worst happens and you lose your purse or wallet, you won’t be stranded without money. Either use the hotel safe or find a secure place to stash an emergency card and cash in your room.
Only unpack what you really need
If you are moving around quite a lot during your trip and staying in each location for only a few days don’t unpack everything. Just take out what you need. This will save you time when you need to check out at the last minute.
Batteries in the fridge
Not the freezer, but the fridge. This can help rechargeable batteries live a longer life, especially if you are staying in a hot country. It’s one travel tip you can’t live without.
Charge your electronics through a TV
If it’s a smart TV, it has a USB port, and if it has a USB port, you can charge your electronics through it. A genius, but often neglected way to keep your devices fully charged. Give the TV in your room a quick glance to see if this will work with it.
I know sometimes it can be tempting to end up in safe places like MacDonalds and Starbucks when you are abroad. But for me, travel is all about experiencing new things, so skip the obvious international restaurants and hit local eateries. You’ll discover some incredible new flavors that you could never experience in your own country.
Ready for your holiday? We have a huge directory of qualified directories who can plan the perfect vacation, that’s the ultimate travel hack!