Traveling can be complicated, but it doesn’t always have to be. Whether you’re just buying tickets or about to head through airport security, there’s a hack to help you out.
Whether you travel once a year or once a month, there are some things about embarking on an adventure that just never get easier. From planning the trip, to keeping your clothes wrinkle-free, or navigating your vacation destination, there are plenty of tips and tricks out there that’ll make it easier for you to make the most out of your trip.
Booking Your Trip?
When you go online to book your hotel or flight for a trip, most people just check to see that the site they’re on is secure before they enter any personal info. However, did you know that travel companies often try to charge you more if they know you’ve already been to a certain location? To avoid this, just make sure you book anything for your trip using your Internet browser’s incognito mode.
Google Maps has several features to find locations and events near you. You can even save maps for offline use in case you don’t have access to WiFi, as shown in the video below:
Whether your shoes are dirty when you’re packing them or they get dirty sometime during your trip, there’s a way to prevent them from ruining your Instagram-worthy outfits. Just buy a cheap shower cap to place them in while they’re in your bag to prevent dirt from getting on the rest of your stuff.
Not Enough Space In Your Bag?
Use these five clever packing hacks to save space in your suitcase and make room for all the souvenirs from your vacation.
If you’re flying with an airline that requires you to book seats ahead of time, there’s an easy hack for picking seats for two people. Most people would be inclined to pick the window and middle seats, but pick the window and aisle seats instead.
It’s unlikely that someone will willingly take the middle seat, so you’ll now have the whole aisle to yourselves.
If you’re packing up some shoes that got smelly from a long hike or some clothes you wore on a hot, sweaty day, try tossing a dryer sheet into your bag to give it a fresh smell. You can also do this before your trip to help reduce any static that may have built up on your clothes.
If you’re packing up things that always seem to get wrinkled in your bag, reach for some tissue paper. Just fold up the item and place tissue paper around it on each side; you should also keep it toward the top of your bag so that other items don’t weigh it down.
Most people will pack one thing or another that’s liquid, and it’s one of the biggest pains while traveling for something to spill inside of your bag.
To prevent this, just add a small piece of plastic wrap over the opening of the bottle, then screw the cap back on before you pack. It’s a good idea to put it in a bag (or two) after that, just in case!
No Wall Charger?
Every now and then, you might forget to bring the wall plug-in for your phone charger, even though you remember the cable. When this happens, just plug it into the USB port on the back of the TV in your hotel room and charge your phone that way.
It’s a big no-no to bring a filled water bottle through airport security, but no one wants to spend $5 on one once they get past the gates. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with bringing an empty bottle or tumbler, though.
Just dump out your cup or bottle before you head into the airport and fill it up once you’re through the security checkpoint.
For small things like headphones and phone chargers, pack them into a glasses case before your trip. It won’t take up too much space and it’ll keep them from unraveling.
Just be careful when wrapping those cables—bending cords can damage the cords and cause them to break. Check out 5 ways to repair and prolong the life of your charging cords:
Looking for Wi-Fi?
As you’re walking around, lots of places will have free Wi-Fi, but they’ll likely be password protected and plenty of places won’t give out the password if you aren’t making a purchase. If you just need to use it for a second and don’t want to buy a coffee just to check an email, open apps like FourSquare or Yelp to see if previous visitors have posted the password.
If you know that you’ll be outdoors a lot during your trip and you’re expecting rain, you might begin to worry if you haven’t brought the proper shoes. If you can find a health food store in the area, you’ll probably be able to find some beeswax, which you can apply to any pair of shoes for a waterproof exterior.
Bringing A Baby?
Traveling with a child isn’t really anyone’s idea of a good time, especially when they’re an infant and have so many different needs. To make one thing a little easy, invest in a baby hammock made especially for planes. It just hooks over the back of the seat in front of you, and can help give you a little hands-free time.
Carrying Important Documents?
Losing a passport or driver’s license while traveling is one of everyone’s worst nightmares, and it’s not one that’s really too uncommon.
In the short-term, it could leave you stranded for quite some time and cause you levels of stress that you won’t soon forget. Make sure you have a backup plan and scan any documents you might need onto your phone or tablet before you leave.
Battery Running Low?
When you’re exploring a new place, the last thing you want to happen is for your phone to die, leaving you without a clue of where to go.
To save as much battery life as you can, put your phone on airplane mode until you’re able to charge it again. Doing this can also help your phone charge a little faster.
Using Airport Parking?
The airport is never easy to navigate and, after a week away from home, where you parked you car before you left will be the furthest thing from your mind. To make finding your spot a little easier for when you return, just take a picture of your spot number or level number so there’s no guesswork.
Too Many Chargers?
If you’re going on a business trip or just can’t live without all of your gadgets during vacation, it can be a pain to lug around five different chargers in your luggage. If this is a problem you face often, try investing in a universal charging station that contains ports and cords for all of your gadgets.
Too Many Toiletries?
It can take up a lot of space in your bag to bring along too many items like makeup bottles and moisturizers, even when they are travel sized. For things that you don’t need too much of, try squeezing some into contact lens containers so you only have to bring along just the right amount.
There are lots of things you’ll have to adjust to in different countries, and using different electrical outlets is one of them—no one wants the added stress of a dead phone after being on a plane for 10 hours or more. Think ahead and make sure you bring an adapter for whichever country you’re going to. Skip the $40 ones, though; you don’t need them. You can find cheaper alternatives that work just as well online.
In A Hurry?
Going through airport security isn’t really ever a pleasant experience for anyone, but it’s a lot easier for some than others. If you’re trying to rush through the line, don’t just look at line length—look for the scanners that seem to be filled with people who appear to be frequent travelers, like businesspeople.
Avoid any lines filled with people who will undoubtedly take a while, like families with young kids.
Checking Your Bags?
If you’re a worrier, waiting for your bags to show up in baggage check after your flight can be a stressful experience.
You might wonder if the airline lost your bags, or think that someone with the same black bag as you could pick yours up by mistake. To avoid any confusion, try tying a bright ribbon onto your bag so you can spot it easily.
If you’re going to another country, you’ll probably want to have cash on hand. However, if you don’t know how the currencies convert, you might end up carrying around way more cash than you’re comfortable with. Before you leave on your trip, download an app that help you convert currency when you’re on the go.
Also, skip the currency conversion centers in airports. They charge extra fees on top of regular exchange fees. You’re much more likely to get a better exchange rate at a normal ATM.
Buying Plane Tickets?
According to experts, there is a time that works out best for buying tickets for your flight. Your best bet at cheap tickets is to buy at least six weeks ahead of time, and most deals and discounts are typically offered during the beginning of the week. Depending on where you live, there may also be more than one airport nearby, and one might have cheaper tickets than the others.