My 100+ Best Travel Tips, Tricks, and Hacks: An Ultimate List
Whether you’re a digital nomad or a travel-hacking mom, these travel tips, tricks, and hacks are guaranteed to save you time, money, and stress! Be sure to check out my favorites (numbers 62 & 68) and let me know what your favorite was in the comment section below.
General Travel Tips, Tricks & Hacks
These general travel hacks are the most versatile and helpful tips and tricks. They’re also the tips and tricks that didn’t fit into any other category…
Use Travel Insurance
No one wants to think about what could go wrong on their vacation, but the fact is those unfortunate things can and do happen. That’s why it’s so important to have travel insurance before you go. Whether you get sick before your trip and have to cancel, or your luggage gets lost once you’re there, travel insurance can help to ease the financial burden. Many policies also provide coverage for medical emergencies that occur while you’re away from home. So before you book your next trip, be sure to purchase travel insurance. It could end up being the best decision you make.
Use a Travel Planning App
I love to travel, but I’ll admit that I used to be a bit of a disorganized traveler. I would pack my bags at the last minute and try to remember everything I needed to do and see when I got to my destination. But now I’ve started using TripIt, an app that helps me plan my trips and keep all my travel information in one place. TripIt syncs with my email, so every time I book a flight or hotel, the app automatically adds it to my itinerary. I can also add activities, restaurants, and other places I want to visit. And if my plans change, I can easily update my itinerary on the app. Having all my travel information in one place has made me a much more organized traveler, and I would recommend TripIt (or a similar app) to anyone who wants to streamline their travel planning process.
Sign Up for Travel Alerts
Signing up for travel alerts from the government or your credit card company can help you stay informed about travel advisories and warnings.
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service that allows U.S. citizens and nationals to register their travel plans with the US Department of State.
Use Credit Cards With Travel Benefits
Many people think that using a credit card only leads to debt and financial instability. However, if used wisely, credit cards can actually be a helpful tool – especially when it comes to travel. Many credit cards offer a variety of benefits for travelers, such as free checked bags, airport lounge access, and trip cancellation insurance. In addition, many cards offer rewards points that can be redeemed for free travel. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers 3x points on travel and dining purchases, which can be redeemed for airfare, hotels, and more. So, if you’re smart about using your credit card, it can actually help you save money on your next trip.
Use a VPN
Using a VPN that encrypts your data is a must if you plan on using public WIFI when you travel. Anyone else on the same network as you can sniff out your data and see what you are doing. VPNs can even bypass government internet restrictions and filters.
A VPN isn’t only good for keeping your data private, it can also allow you to watch movies and tv shows that have location restrictions.
Check the Weather Forecast Often
Before you pack for your trip, be sure to check the weather forecast for your destination. That way, you can pack appropriate clothing and gear for the conditions you’re likely to encounter.
Once you arrive at your destination, however, don’t assume that the weather will stay the same. Be sure to check the forecast on a daily basis so you can plan your activities accordingly. If you’re prepared for the weather conditions, you’re more likely to have an enjoyable and safe trip.
Bring a Reusable Bag or Packable Backpack
When packing for a trip, I always make sure to include a reusable bag or packable backpack. Not only are they eco-friendly, but they’re also incredibly versatile. I can use them as an extra carry-on bag for items like a jacket or snacks, or I can use them as a day bag for exploring a new city.
If my plans change and I end up staying longer than expected, I can easily pack everything into my backpack and head off on an impromptu adventure. So whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a month-long journey, make sure to pack a reusable bag or packable backpack — you’ll be glad you did.
Bring a Neck Pillow
When traveling, there are a few essential items that you should always bring with you. One of those items is a neck pillow. A neck pillow can make all the difference when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep on a plane, train, or in a car.
Neck pillows provide support for your head and neck, preventing you from waking up with a stiff neck. They also help to block out noise and light, making it easier to fall asleep. When choosing a neck pillow, look for one that is soft and comfortable yet firm enough to provide support.
You may also want to consider one that is inflatable so that you can adjust the level of support. And be sure to pack it in your carry-on so that you can use it as soon as you need it!
Download Your Favorite Shows and Movies
There’s nothing worse than being stuck on a long flight or train ride with nothing to watch. To avoid this situation, be sure to download your favorite shows and movies before you travel. This way, you’ll have something to keep you entertained no matter how long your journey is.
Plus, if you’re traveling to a different country, downloading your entertainment beforehand will ensure that you have something to watch that’s in your native language. So before you pack your bags, make sure to download your entertainment so you can relax and enjoy your trip.
Bring a Portable Power Bank
Portable power banks are an essential item for any modern traveler. With our reliance on electronic devices, it’s all too easy to find yourself in a situation where you’re desperately searching for a place to plug in your phone or laptop. A portable power bank can give you the boost you need to get through the day, and they’re small enough to throw in your bag or pocket.
When choosing a power bank, be sure to pay attention to capacity and compatibility. Capacity is measured in mAh, and the higher the number, the longer your devices will be able to run on a single charge. As for compatibility, make sure that the power bank you choose can be used with the type of devices you’ll be bringing with you on your trip.
Bring a Portable Speaker
A portable speaker can be a great addition to any trip, whether you’re going on a long vacation or a weekend getaway. Not only will it give you the ability to listen to your favorite music, but it can also be used to stream podcasts or audiobooks. And if you’re traveling with others, a portable speaker can be a great way to share your audio content with them.
Download Google Maps for Offline Use
When I travel, the first thing I do is download Google Maps for offline use. This way, even if I don’t have data or an internet connection, I can still access maps and navigation.
To do this, open Google Maps and search for the city or area you’re traveling to. Once the map loads, click on the menu button in the top-right corner and select “Offline areas.” From there, you can choose to download a map of the entire city or just a specific area. Once the map is downloaded, you’ll be able to access it even without an internet connection.
Bring an e-Reader
When I travel, I always make sure to bring my e-Reader. This handy little device allows me to pack a whole library worth of books without taking up too much space in my suitcase. You can also download local newspapers and magazines to stay up-to-date on current events in your destination city. Plus, it’s great for long layovers, delays, or days at the beach – I can just pull out my e-Reader and escape into a good book.
Keep All of Your Travel Documents Together
Whenever you’re planning a trip, it’s important to keep all of your travel documents together in one place. This includes things like your passport, tickets, itinerary, and travel insurance information. Having everything in one place will make it easier to stay organized and find what you need when you’re on the go.
Make Copies & Take Pictures of Important Documents
When I’m getting ready to travel, the first thing I do is make copies and take pictures of all my important documents. I keep one set of copies at home, and I take the other set with me when I go. That way, if I lose my passport or my credit card, I have a backup.
It’s also a good idea to take pictures of important documents because it’s easier to find them if you have a visual reference. And if you’re ever in a situation where you can’t access your documents, you can always show the pictures to someone who can help you.
Bring a Travel Journal
A travel journal is an essential item for any trip, no matter how long or short. It’s a great way to record all your thoughts and memories of a trip, whether it’s a weekend getaway or a round-the-world adventure. A travel journal can take many different forms, from a simple notebook to a more elaborate scrapbook. The important thing is to choose a journal that suits your needs and makes it easy for you to record your experiences. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your travel journal:
• Start by writing down your itinerary. This will help you keep track of all the places you visit and make it easy to reference specific memories later on.
• Be sure to include photos, maps, and other mementos. These will help to flesh out your memories and give your journal a personal touch.
• Write about more than just the highlights. It’s often the little details that make a trip special, so don’t forget to jot down those small moments that made you smile.
• Be creative! Your journal is a reflection of you, so don’t be afraid to express yourself. Use drawings, sketches, or even poems to capture your experiences in a unique way.
With a little planning and effort, your travel journal will be a treasured reminder of all the wonderful places you’ve been lucky enough to visit.
Bring a Travel Blanket
Traveling can be quite stressful – there’s so much to think about and plan for. But one thing you shouldn’t have to worry about is being comfortable on your trip. That’s why I always make sure to bring a travel blanket with me wherever I go. A travel blanket is a must-have for any traveler, whether you’re going by plane, train, or car. It’s small and compact, so it won’t take up much space in your luggage. And it’s versatile – you can use it as a pillow, a blanket, or even a shawl. Trust me, a travel blanket will make your trip a lot more enjoyable. So make sure to pack one the next time you hit the road.
Travel With a Blanket Scarf
I always travel with a blanket scarf because of its versatility. You can bunch it up and use it as a pillow, a blanket when you inevitably get cold, an eye mask for sleeping, an impromptu beach or shower towel, a head covering for temples/mosques, a cover-up from the sun, a makeshift belt, a makeshift sling/bandage/tourniquet, a stylish head wrap/headband, a DYI shirt or skirt, a face mask during dust storms or bad smells, cushion for fragile souvenirs, etc.
Pack a Small Sewing Kit
Whenever I travel, I always make sure to pack a small sewing kit. This comes in handy more often than you might think! Whether it’s a ripped seam or a loose button, a sewing kit can be a lifesaver. Plus, it’s much cheaper to make repairs on your clothes than it is to buy new clothes while you’re away from home.
Pack a First-aid Kit
Whenever I travel, whether it’s for business or pleasure, I always make sure to pack a first-aid kit. You never know when you might need it, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. After all, when you’re away from home you don’t have the same access to medical care that you’re used to.
A first-aid kit should include items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze, and adhesive tape. It’s also a good idea to include a pain reliever like ibuprofen, some anti-diarrhea, as well as some allergy medication if you’re prone to allergies. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, a first-aid kit is an essential item to pack.
Jetlag plagues travelers of all kinds, especially those going east, and its symptoms can include fatigue, irritability, nausea, trouble concentrating, headache, and an upset stomach.
As a rule of thumb, it generally takes a day to adjust for every time zone you’ve crossed, although the older you are, the longer the adjustment can take.
Although there’s no way to prevent jetlag, Harvard Medical School has provided 3 ways to reduce its effects and duration:
- Start to shift bed and meal times before the trip, 30 mins at a time.
- Keep well hydrated and avoid dehydration, caffeine, and alcohol.
- Switch to the local time zone as soon as possible after you arrive.
Jet Lag Rooster is a cool tool you can use to help you schedule your sleep and melatonin schedule. Just enter your flight schedule and it will spit out a customized plan.
Bring a Water Bottle
A water bottle is a must-have for any trip, especially for all my hydro homies. Make sure it’s empty before going through airport security and you can fill it up on the other side instead of paying for a $5 bottle at Starbucks.
Don’t have space for a water bottle? Try a collapsible water bottle.
Bring an Empty Pillowcase
I hate bringing a pillow with me because of how big and inconvenient it can be but I also like to stay comfy during flights and to have an extra pillow at the hotel.
By bringing an empty pillowcase, I can stuff it with my sweatshirt and other clothes to make a pillow and I can shape it however I like. I also use it for my dirty clothes when bringing them to get washed.
Bring Sleep Aids
There’s nothing worse than being unable to sleep when you’re trying to travel. Whether you’re on an airplane, in a car, or in a hotel room, a good night’s sleep is essential to making your journey a successful one. That’s why I always make sure to bring along sleeping pills, an eye mask, and noise-canceling earplugs whenever I’m traveling.
Sleeping pills help me to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep through the night, even in less-than-ideal conditions. An eye mask blocks out any unwanted light, while noise-canceling earplugs help to drown out any unwanted noise. Together, these three items are a must-have for anyone who wants to get a good night’s sleep while traveling.
Bring Noise Cancelling Headphones w/ AUX
From screaming children to chatty seatmates, there are plenty of things that can make it hard to get some peace and quiet on a plane. That’s why it’s always a good idea to bring along a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Not only will they help to block out unwanted noise, but they can also be used to connect to the airplane’s entertainment system if they have an AUX cord. Also, if traveling with someone else, don’t forget a splitter so you can both watch the same thing at the same time.
Bring a Carabiner & Aligator Clip
Carabiners and alligator clips are some of the versatile items you can bring. You’ll be able to hang almost anything anywhere, keep things closed, and even make a makeshift phone holder.
I always use an alligator clip to keep the curtains closed tights so I can sleep in late without any light shining through the crack in the middle.
Use a Travel Wallet & Money Belt
A travel wallet and money belt are made specifically to keep your most essential items safe. You can store your passport, tickets, and papers safely in a money belt or wallet to help protects and hide your money against thieves and pickpocketers.
I always make sure that whatever I use has RFID-blocking technology and if using a money belt, I get one that is cut-resistant.
Bring Hand Sanitizer
What it’s not on every person’s list of travel hacks, hand sanitizer is a must for anywhere you go. When you travel, your immune system is weakened and you’re exposed to new germs you haven’t had a chance to build an immunity up to.
I like to get a travel-size hand sanitizer that can connect to the outside of my bag for easy access and so it doesn’t take up any precious space inside my bag.
Use Immune Boosters
When I travel, I always make sure to pack a few immune boosters. After all, no one wants to spend their vacation sick in bed. My go-to booster is vitamin C. I take it every day, and I always make sure to pack an extra bottle when I’m going on a trip. I also like to bring along some echinacea and ginger.
Echinacea is a great herbal remedy for boosting the immune system, and ginger is helpful for settling the stomach. If I’m feeling particularly stressed or run down before a trip, I might also take some ashwagandha. This herb is known for its stress-reducing properties, and it can also help to support the immune system. By keeping my immune system strong, I’m able to enjoy my travels without worrying about getting sick.
Always Carry a Writing Utensil
Always having a pen on you when you travel will help when you need to fill out immigration forms on the plane, fill out your contact detail at the hotel or even draw or play some games if you have some paper.
Better yet, bring a crayon in your wallet when you travel.
Use a Global SIM Card
Having a global SIM card will allow you to instantly have cell phone reception and data anywhere you go in the world. I personally use Google Fi which is about $70/month and works in 200+ countries across the globe. No more roaming charges and you don’t have to deal with local SIM cards and their sketchy vendors.
Bring a Dry Bag
When packing for a vacation, it’s important to bring a dry bag to keep your dirty clothes or wet swimsuit separate from the rest of your clothes. A dry bag is a waterproof bag that is perfect for carrying items that you don’t want to get wet.
You can find dry bags in a variety of sizes, so it’s easy to find one that fits all of your needs. Most dry bags have a roll-top closure that makes them easy to close and open. Simply fill the dry bag with your items, roll down the top, and then clip it shut. This will ensure that no water gets in and ruin your belongings. When you’re finished using the dry bag, simply unclip the top and let it air out so that it’s ready to use again next time.
Bring a Power Adapter, Splitter, & Extender
When traveling, it’s important to make sure you have the right adapters and splitters for your devices. Otherwise, you might not be able to use them at all! A power adapter is a device that allows you to plug into different types of sockets. A splitter allows you to connect multiple devices to one socket, and an extender extends the reach of a cord. If you’re not sure what you need, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and bring all three. That way, you’ll be prepared for anything!
Travel Tips for Booking Flights
Book the Aisle and Window Seat When Traveling in Pairs
When traveling with one other person, try booking the aisle and window seat. Nobody will probably book the middle seat unless it’s the last one available and if someone does book it, you can just ask to switch with them.
Use SeatGuru.com to Find the Best Airplane Seat
Have you ever gotten to your seat on an airplane only to find that your legroom is nonexistent? Or that you’re stuck in the middle seat with no chance of getting up to stretch your legs? If you’re fed up with gate agents telling you that all the seats are the same, then you need seatguru.com.
This website provides detailed seat maps for almost every commercial airplane, so you can see at a glance which seats have the most legroom or which ones are near the bathrooms. In addition, you can filter your search by airline or aircraft type, so you can make sure you’re getting the most accurate information.
If you’re traveling with someone who has special needs, seatguru.com can help you find seats that are near an exit row or that have extra space for a wheelchair. So next time you’re booking a flight, don’t leave your seat selection to chance—check out seatguru.com first.
Search for Flight Hacks on Skipplagged.com
If you’re looking for ways to save money on air travel, Skipplagged.com is a great resource. The site offers a variety of “flight hacks” that can help you eliminate costly layovers and get the best deals on airline tickets. For example, Skipplagged.com can help you find “hidden city” flights, which are flights that end at a layover city rather than the final destination.
This can be a great way to save money, but it’s important to note that airlines don’t allow this type of ticketing with checked baggage. Skiplagged.com also offers a variety of tips and tricks for finding the best deals on airline tickets, so it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re looking to save some money on your next trip.
Check Airline Websites for Sales/Deals
Travel can be an expensive proposition, which is why it pays to do your research before booking a flight. Checking airline websites is a good place to start, as many carriers offer sales and deals that can save you money. It’s important to act quickly, however, as these deals typically don’t last long.
Another tip is to sign up for newsletters from your preferred airlines. This way, you’ll be among the first to know about any special offers or promotions.
Set Up Alerts For Price Drops
A recent study conducted by airlines shows that the average consumer can save hundreds of dollars on their flight by booking at the right time. However, knowing when to book can be tricky, as prices are constantly fluctuating. One way to make sure you get the best deal is to set up price alerts.
Kayak.com is my favorite site for doing this, as they not only send you an alert when the price drops, but they also tell you when they think the best day to book is. This takes the guesswork out of finding the best deal, and can help you save a significant amount of money on your next flight.
Book an Early Departure Flight
If your flight gets delayed or canceled you have a better chance of not getting stuck overnight at the airport and you can get a different flight if need be. If your flight is the last one for the day and it gets canceled, you’re going to have to wait until the next day.
Book Flights at Least 2 Hours Apart
Whenever I travel, I always make sure to book my flights at least two hours apart. This may seem like a lot of time, but it gives me a buffer in case there are any delays. I’ve found that even a small delay can cause me to miss my connecting flight.
By giving myself two hours, I decrease the chances of this happening. In addition, two hours is usually enough time to grab a bite to eat or do some shopping at the airport. So if you’re looking to avoid any travel stress, be sure to give yourself plenty of time between flights.
Use an Incognito Window
One way to find cheaper flights is to use an incognito window. This will prevent your browser from tracking your searches and raising the price of the flight. Instead, you’ll be able to get unbiased search results.
To open an incognito window, just click on the three dots in the top right corner of your browser and select “incognito mode.” Then, start your search for flights as normal. You may be surprised at how much money you can save by using this simple trick.
Book Separate Tickets
If you’re looking for ways to save money on airfare, booking two separate tickets through different airlines can be a great option- especially if you’re traveling with a carry-on bag only. This approach can often be cheaper than booking a single ticket.
When searching for flights, look for an initial flight on one airline followed by a second flight on a different airline. As long as you have a layover of at least two hours, you won’t need to worry about checking your bag. And, since you’re only carrying a carry-on, you’ll be able to save time at the airport by skipping the baggage claim process.
Use Skyscanner’s to Everywhere Feature
Here’s a travel secret: some of the best deals can be found by searching for flights to “everywhere.” That’s right – Skyscanner’s “To Everywhere” feature is a great way to find low-priced flights, especially if you’re not sure where you want to go.
Simply enter your departure airport and your dates of travel, and Skyscanner will show you a list of destinations around the world, along with the lowest airfares. You can then sort the results by price, so you can easily find the most affordable option.
Sit in the Front for Quick & Easy Boarding & Deboarding
One of the best tips for quickly and easily boarding and disembarking from a plane is to sit in the front. Unlike those who are seated further back in the plane, you won’t have to fight your way through aisles full of people to get to your seat. In addition, you’ll be one of the first to exit the plane when it arrives at your destination. This can be a major advantage if you’re pressed for time or just want to avoid the crowds. So next time you fly, be sure to take advantage of this simple tip and choose a seat near the front of the plane.
Sit In the Middle for the Least Turbulence
If you’re worried about turbulence on your next flight, there’s one simple step you can take to help reduce the chances of a bumpy ride: sit in the middle of the plane.
Turbulence is caused by a number of factors, including changes in air pressure, temperature, and wind direction. Sitting in the middle of the plane puts you at a more stable point, where you’re less likely to be jostled by turbulent air.
Sit in the Back for the Best Service
If you’re looking for the best possible service on your next flight, you might want to consider sitting in the back of the plane. Sure, it may not be the most convenient location, but it’s often where you’ll find the most attentive flight attendants. After all, they have to walk past you every time they travel up and down the aisle, so they’re more likely to notice if you need anything. Plus, they tend to focus their attention on the back of the plane first, since that’s where most of the action is. So if you’re looking for a little extra attention, sitting in the back is often the best bet.
Use ExpertFlyer.com for Seat Changes
If you’ve ever flown on an airplane, you know that not all seats are created equal. Some are closer to the front of the plane, while others are in the middle of the aisle. And if you have a preferred seat, it can be hard to get it – especially if you’re booking your flight at the last minute.
However, there’s a website that can help you get the exact seat you want: ExpertFlyer.com. This site allows you to search for available seats on any flight, and then set up alerts so that you’ll be notified as soon as your desired seat becomes available. You can even select multiple seats and preferences so that you’re sure to get a good seat no matter what.
ExpertFlyer.com is a valuable tool for anyone who wants to ensure they get the best possible seat on their next flight. With its easy-to-use interface and helpful features, it’s the perfect way to make your travel plans with peace of mind.
Try Nearby Airports
When booking a flight, it’s always worth considering nearby airports. While the obvious choice may be the airport closest to your destination, another airport may offer better routes, cheaper flights, or less crowded conditions.
For example, flying into San Francisco International Airport may be more expensive than flying into Oakland International Airport, but it may be worth the extra cost to avoid a long layover or a connecting flight.
Likewise, if you’re traveling to a small town, the local airport is likely to have fewer crowds and more convenient flight times than a larger airport in a nearby city.
Get Cash Back Rewards
Use Rakuten or other third-party distributors for cash back or to rack up reward points.
Join Your Airline’s Loyalty Program
Joining an airline loyalty program can help you save money on flights and get other benefits like priority boarding and free checked bags.
Travel Tips for Booking Hotels
Leave Your Floor Preference
When booking a hotel, leave your floor preference in the comments. Lower floors have a greater chance of theft, outside noise, and a poorer view.
Join Hotel Loyalty Programs
If you travel often, it’s worth joining a loyalty program with your favorite hotels. This will help you save money and get perks that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
Travel Tips for Booking Tours & Activities
Check Tour Operator Websites
When looking for tours and activities, always check the tour operator’s website first. They will often have better deals than third-party websites.
Travel Tips for Packing and Luggage
Invest in TSA-Approved Luggage locks
I always make sure to travel with TSA-approved luggage locks. Not only do they give me peace of mind, but they also help to keep my belongings safe.
TSA-approved locks are designed to be opened by TSA agents without damaging the lock, so I know that my luggage will be safe even if it’s inspected.
Wrap your electronics in bubble wrap
I remember the first time I went abroad – I was so excited to finally be taking the trip I had been dreaming of for years. But in the back of my mind, I was also worried about how I was going to keep my electronics safe.
I did some research and found out that wrapping them in bubble wrap is the best way to protect them. Not only does it cushion them from impact, but it also prevents scratches and other damage.
It’s easy to do – just make sure you have enough bubble wrap to cover all your devices, and then secure it with tape. With my electronics safely packed, I was able to relax and enjoy my trip without worry. And when I got home, all my devices were still in perfect condition.
Create a packing list before you pack
Creating a packing list before you pack will help ensure that you don’t forget anything important. Be sure to include everything you’ll need for your trip and bring the packing list with you for on the way home.
Invest in a Good Carry-on
I’ve been a traveler for years now, and in that time I’ve learned a lot of tips and tricks for packing light and staying organized on the road. One of the most important things I’ve learned is the importance of investing in a good carry-on bag. A good carry-on should be lightweight, durable, and large enough to fit all of your essential items. It should also have a comfortable shoulder strap for easy transport. I personally prefer bags with a lot of compartments and pockets, as this helps me to keep my belongings organized and easy to find. When choosing a carry-on bag, it’s important to prioritize quality over style. Also, make sure that it will fit within the airline’s guidelines.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people overpack. Just remember that you can always buy things that you need when you’re on the road.
Invest in Good Luggage
If you travel frequently, it’s important to invest in good luggage. Cheap suitcases can fall apart easily, which can be frustrating and cause delays when you’re trying to catch a flight.
While you might be tempted to save money by using a backpack or duffel bag instead of a suitcase, this isn’t always the best idea. Backpacks can be difficult to carry through an airport, and they’re often too small to fit everything you need for a long trip.
Duffel bags are a little better in this regard, but they’re still not as convenient as a regular suitcase. So if you want to make your travels as hassle-free as possible, it’s worth investing in high-quality luggage. You’ll be glad you did the next time you’re standing at the baggage carousel waiting for your bags to appear.
Use Packing Cubes
Packing cubes are small, lightweight bags that you can use to organize your clothes in your suitcase. They come in a variety of sizes, so you can find the perfect one for everything from underwear to sweaters. And they’re not just for clothes- you can also use them to organize your toiletries, cords, and other travel essentials.
I like to use different colors for different types of items so that I can easily find what I’m looking for at a glance. Packing cubes have completely changed the way I travel, and I would recommend them to anyone who wants to stay organized on the road.
Roll Your Clothes
I never used to roll my clothes when I packed for a trip. I would just cram everything into my suitcase, and inevitably, everything would be a wrinkled mess by the time I arrived at my destination. That all changed when I started rolling my clothes instead of folding them.
Not only did it save a lot of space in my suitcase, but it also helped to prevent wrinkles. Now, whenever I travel, I make sure to roll my clothes before packing them. It’s such a simple method, but it makes all the difference in terms of both wrinkles and space.
Write Your Contact Details Inside Your Luggage
Put an A4 / letter size page with your Name, Flight Number, Arrival location (Either home or your hotel depending on the direction of the journey), and contact details (Phone / Email) inside your luggage.
If the bags get “misdirected” and your luggage tags have come off your bag, the airline can easily locate you and forward your bags on to you.
Put Your Clothes in Clear Bags
Pack your clothes in clear bags inside your luggage. When going through customs the agents will sometimes open your suitcases to check for illegal contraband and if your clothes are in clear bags they can go through and see what’s inside easily without actually touching your personal items.
Wear Your Heaviest Clothes & Shoes
One way to lighten your load is to wear your heaviest clothes and shoes instead of packing them. This can be especially helpful if you’re traveling by plane, as every extra kilogram of weight will add to the cost of your ticket.
Wearing your heaviest items also means that they won’t take up valuable space in your luggage. And if you’re worried about getting too hot, simply layer up with light clothing that can be easily removed.
Use a luggage scale
One of the most important ways to avoid costly overweight baggage fees is to use a luggage scale. You can easily see how much your suitcase weighs and then make adjustments.
A luggage scale is also a good backup in case the airline’s scales are inaccurate. If they claim your bag is overweight, you can use the scale and prove them wrong.
Keep Your Most Important Items In Your Personal/Carry-on Item
Whenever I travel, I always make sure to keep my most important items in my personal/carry-on item. That way, even if my luggage gets lost, I’ll still have my passport, credit cards, medicine, and other essential items. A change of clothes is also a good idea.
And while it’s always important to have a backup of your important documents, there are some items that you should never put in your checked luggage. For example, irreplaceable items like family photos or heirlooms, as well as electronics like laptops and cameras. Similarly, you should also avoid packing anything delicate or fragile in your checked luggage.
Make Your Luggage Easily Identifiable
Luggage stickers, covers, or even a piece of string can help you pick your luggage out of the lineup and can help prevent someone else from taking it by mistake.
Use a Luggage Tag That Covers Your Info
If you’re going to use a luggage tag, make sure it covers your information. You don’t want anyone to be able to see your name, address, and phone number.
A good way to cover your information is to use a label maker. That way, you can put your information on the tag, but it will be covered by the label.
Another good option is to use a privacy sleeve. This is a sleeve that goes over the tag and covers the information. It’s important to choose a sleeve that is durable and won’t tear easily. You don’t want someone to be able to access your information without having to break the sleeve.
Use a Tracker
If you’re traveling with valuable items, it might make sense to put a tracker into your luggage. When you use a tracker you can keep track of it anywhere in the world and you can be sure to get it back if the airline loses it or it gets stolen.
Be sure to check your airline’s rules on using GPS trackers. If GPS trackers aren’t allowed, Bluetooth ones like tile or Apple’s air tags work pretty well as an alternative!
Take a Picture
Take a picture of your bag before you check it. That way, if your bag doesn’t end up on the carousel, you can simply show the picture to an airline employee and they’ll be able to identify it. And if your suitcase is truly lost, having a picture will make it easier to describe what it looks like and help the airline track it down.
Divide Your Luggage
When traveling with others, divide your luggage between suitcases (especially medication) so if one case gets lost you’ll still have some of your stuff in the other one.
Use Solid Alternatives
Whenever I travel, I make a point of using solid alternatives for my liquids. That way, I don’t have to worry about leaks or spillages in my luggage and I don’t have to take them out at the security checkpoint.
Not only is this a more convenient way to pack, but it’s also better for the environment. Solid alternatives are often made from natural ingredients, and they don’t require the use of disposable plastic bottles. Plus, they’re usually just as effective as their liquid counterparts.
Use Plastic Wrap on Liquid Bottles
If you’re bringing along any liquid toiletries, it’s a good idea to put a layer of plastic wrap over the opening before screwing on the lid. This will help to prevent any accidental leaks, and it will also save you from having to do a lot of laundry when you get home or to your destination.
Pack Heavy Items Towards the Bottom by the Wheels
When packing your luggage for a trip, it’s important to keep in mind how the bag will be carried. If you’ll be rolling your suitcase, pack heavy items towards the bottom by the wheels. This will help to distribute the weight evenly and make it easier to move the bag.
Store Rings, Earrings, and Piercings in a Pill Divider
One of my favorite packing hacks is to store small items like rings, earrings, and piercings in a pill divider. Not only does this keep them organized and easy to find, but it also protects them from getting lost or damaged in transit. Plus, it’s a great way to keep track of all your jewelry if you’re traveling with multiple people.
Store Necklaces inside Straws
I always pack my necklaces inside straws when I travel. It’s a great way to keep them organized and prevent them from tangling. Plus, it’s easy to find a straw in your luggage if you need to access your necklace in a hurry.
To do this, simply thread the necklace through the straw and then seal the ends of the straw with tape. I also like to label each straw with the name of the necklace inside, so I can easily find the one I’m looking for.
This method is cheap, easy, and effective, and it has saved me a lot of headaches on my travels.
Use the Space Inside of Your Shoes
When packing for a vacation, I always make sure to use the space inside of my shoes. It’s a great way to utilize space and keep things organized. Plus, it helps to protect your shoes from getting damaged.
Start by putting my shoes in the bottom of my suitcase. Then fill up the space inside each shoe with smaller items like socks, underwear, and small accessories.
This not only saves space but also keeps things from shifting around in your suitcase. And if you’re worried about your shoes getting things dirty, you can always put them in a plastic bag first.
Use Your Socks for Fragile Items
Whenever I’m packing for a trip, I always make sure to store my fragile items like cologne and perfume bottles inside of my socks. That way, they’re cushioned and less likely to break or get damaged during the journey.
I’ve found that this method works much better than just throwing them into my suitcase without any protection. Not only does it keep them from breaking, but it also prevents your cologne or perfume from spraying everywhere.
Throw a Dryer Sheet In
Simply throw a dryer sheet on top of your clothes before you zip up your luggage. The dryer sheet will help to absorb any unwanted odors, leaving your clothes smelling fresh and clean. Best of all, you have an extra dryer sheet if you decide to do laundry on your trip.
Leave room for Souvenirs
When packing for a vacation, it’s always a good idea to leave some extra room in your suitcase. You never know when you might want to buy souvenirs while you’re traveling.
By leaving some extra room, you can avoid having to lug around an extra bag or suitcase. And if you do end up buying souvenirs, you can pack them more securely, which will help prevent them from getting damaged during the journey home.
Travel Tips for Airports, Airlines & TSA
Download Your Airline’s App
Most airlines have an app that you can download for free. This is a great way to keep track of your flight information and get updates on delays or changes.
Get Curbside Check-in
Have you ever arrived at the airport only to discover that the check-in line is miles long? If so, you’ll be happy to know that many airlines now offer curbside check-in. This service allows you to check in for your flight without having to enter the terminal.
Simply pull up to the curb, hand your luggage to the skycap, and they will take care of the rest. In most cases, you can even pay any baggage fees at the curbside. Then, all you need to do is proceed directly to security.
Check Into Your Flight Ahead of Time
Checking in for your flight ahead of time is always a good idea. Not only does it save you time at the airport, but it also helps to ensure that you get the seat you want.
You can usually check in online starting 24 hours before your flight. Once you’ve checked in, you can print out your boarding pass or have it sent to your mobile device. Checking in ahead of time is a simple way to make your travel experience more enjoyable.
Use the FlightAware App
As a frequent flyer, I’ve used a lot of different apps to keep track of my flights. FlightAware is by far my favorite.
Not only does it give you up-to-the-minute information on your flight’s status, but it also maps the plane’s progress in real-time. You can even set up alerts so that you’re notified if your flight is delayed or canceled.
Use Your Personal Item
When packing for a flight, it’s important to remember that you are allowed to bring a personal item in addition to your carry-on bag. This can be a purse, briefcase, laptop bag, or diaper bag. The personal item must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you, and it can’t weigh more than 10 pounds.
Use Duty-Free Bags
A favorite travel tip of mine, ask for a bag from any of the duty-free stores and put some of your heavy clothes or items in there for an extra carry-on bag that won’t get weighed or checked at the gate!
Ask For a Fragile Sticker
When you check a bag at the airport, be sure to ask for a fragile sticker. This will help to ensure that your bag is handled with care. The sticker will alert baggage handlers to the fact that your bag contains fragile items and needs to be treated with extra care. In addition, the sticker will help to identify your bag in the event that it is misplaced or damaged.
Tell Your Flight Attendant of Short Layovers
As a seasoned traveler, I’ve had my fair share of short layovers. And while it may seem like a hassle to have to tell your flight attendant about your tight connection, it’s actually in your best interest to do so.
Your flight attendant can help to make sure that you’re seated as close to the front of the plane as possible. This can help to ensure that you’re one of the first passengers off the plane when you land, giving you a better chance of making your connecting flight.
Buy Lounge Passes Secondhand
When it comes to airport lounges, there’s no need to pay full price. If you’re willing to do a little research, you can find passes for a fraction of the cost. There are a few different ways to go about this. One is to search websites like eBay and Craigslist.
You can also check out sites that specialize in selling secondhand travel items, such as Travelzoo. Another option is to ask friends and family if they have any passes they’re not using. With a little effort, you can easily find airport lounge passes at a fraction of the cost.
Get Money For Delayed or Canceled Flights
You have rights when it comes to delayed or canceled flights and you can receive up to $700 per passenger. You can file a claim directly with the airport or you can do what I do and let AirHelp.com do all the work.
Long Layover? Ask For a Hotel
If you’re stuck at the airport with a long layover, don’t despair! All you need to do is ask the airline’s desk for a hotel voucher. Many national airlines will provide vouchers for accommodation if your layover is longer than 8 hours. This can mean a comfortable bed and a hot shower instead of sleeping on the airport floor! To get a voucher, simply ask at the airline’s desk and they will be happy to help you.
Go To The Left Line
This is one of my favorite travel tips of all time. Based on psychology, most people will go to the line that’s the same side as their dominant hand. Since most people are right-handed, it’s almost always better to go the left line.
Keep Loose Items Together
When going through security, instead of putting your keys, change, wallet, and other loose items in the bin, put them in the inside pocket of your jacket or even in a fanny pack to keep everything together, smooth, and organized.
Freeze Your Water Bottle
I’m always looking for ways to make my travel quicker and easier, and one of the best tips I’ve ever learned is to freeze my water bottle before I go through security at the airport.
Because ice is allowed through security, it means that I can have a cold drink on the plane without having to buy one from the airport. Plus, it saves me from having to wait in line for the water fountain after I’ve been through security.
Find Your Airport’s Map Ahead of Time
Traveling can be stressful, especially if you’re flying to a new or unfamiliar airport. One way to make your travel experience a little smoother is to familiarize yourself with the airport layout before you even get to the terminal.
Most airports have a map available on their website, and many also have apps that you can download. Taking a few minutes to study the map ahead of time can help you avoid getting lost or missing your gate.
It can also help you locate the amenities that you’ll need during your travel, such as food and bathrooms. Knowing where these things are ahead of time can help reduce stress and make your travel experience more enjoyable.
Go Immediately To Your Gate
It can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the airport, but it’s important to make sure you’re not late for your gate. If you have time before your flight, go directly to your gate and relax there until it’s time to board. This way, you can be sure you won’t miss any announcements and you’ll be able to board as soon as possible.
If you’re running late, don’t panic. Just head to your gate as quickly as possible and let the staff know what happened. They may be able to hold the plane for a few minutes or give you other instructions. Either way, it’s always better to be at the gate early or on time so you can avoid any stressful situations.
Set an Alarm
I always make sure to set an alarm for my boarding time when I’m taking an airplane. It can be easy to lose track of time while you’re at the airport, especially if your flight is delayed or you have a long layover. I’ve missed my fair share of flights in the past, and it’s never a fun experience.
Trust me, you don’t want to be that person who has to run through the airport trying to catch your plane. So, save yourself the stress and set an alarm on your phone for 10-15 mins before your boarding time. That way, you can relax and enjoy your time at the airport without worrying about missing your flight.
Don’t Get an Uber or a Taxi At The Airport
If you’re traveling to a new city, the last thing you want to do is waste time and money getting around. And one of the biggest mistakes you can make is taking an Uber or taxi from the airport.
Public buses and trains are my preferred way to leave the airport. They’re a fraction of the cost and if it doesn’t bring you to where you need to go, the Uber/Taxi at the end of the route will be a lot cheaper.
Wear Security Appropriate Clothes
I always like to prepare for airport security by not wearing any belts or clothes that will set off the metal detectors, wearing shoes that I can slip on and off easily, and having my laptop and other electronics easily accessible.
Don’t wear sandals or you might have to go barefoot on the same floor as hundreds of others that same day.
Know Your Hotel’s Address Before Landing
Immigration forms and agents will almost always ask for the address of the place you’re staying. By having the address of your hotel or Airbnb handy, you can be sure to breeze right through immigration and customs.
When booking flights that have long overnight layovers, I always check SleepingInAirports.net for the best place in and around the airport to sleep. Not only do they tell you the best place to sleep but they also list the locations of charging stations, showers, WIFI, and more!
Get a TSA PreCheck or CLEAR membership
If you travel frequently, then you know the drill: take off your shoes and belt, empty your pockets, place your bag on the conveyor belt, and step through the metal detector. But what if there was a way to speed up this process? TSA PreCheck and CLEAR are both programs that allow members to bypass the traditional security line and get through security faster.
With TSA PreCheck, members can leave their shoes and belts on, and they don’t need to remove laptops or liquids from their carry-on bags. In addition, PreCheck members can use the dedicated PreCheck lanes at select airports.
CLEAR is similar to PreCheck, but it uses biometrics (fingerprints and iris scans) instead of having members go through an extensive background check. As a result, CLEAR members can often get through security in just a few minutes.
Get a Global Entry card
Global Entry is a US Customs and Border Protection program that allows pre-screened, low-risk travelers to expedite their entry into the United States.
The application process includes an interview and background check, and the fee is $100.
Once you’re approved, you’ll be able to use dedicated lines at select airports and get through Customs in no time. Plus, your Global Entry card will also serve as your TSA PreCheck, so you can breeze through airport security.
Check Flight Boards Frequently
I’ve been caught out by gate changes at the airport before and it’s not a pleasant experience. Having to sprint through the terminal to make your flight is stressful, especially if you’re carrying heavy bags. And even if you do make it to the gate in time, you’ll probably be out of breath and sweating by the time you get there.
To avoid this situation, I always make sure to check the flight boards frequently. That way, I can be confident that I’m headed to the right gate and that I won’t miss my flight.
Not all airports announce gate changes over the PA system, so it’s definitely worth checking the boards on a regular basis. And even if you do get a notification on your phone, it’s always best to double-check just to be safe. After all, you don’t want to miss your flight because you were relying on an imperfect system.
Take a Photo & Save Where You Parked
When you arrive at the airport, be sure to take a photo of where you parked. This will help you find your car when you return from your trip. You can also save the parking location in your phone so you don’t have to worry about taking a picture.
If you’re using a rental car, be sure to take a photo of the license plate as well. This will come in handy if you need to report the car lost or stolen. By taking these simple precautions, you can avoid a lot of stressful searching when it’s time to go home.
Travel Tips for While on Airplanes
Get Your Leg Room Back
If the person sitting in front of you on a flight reclines their seat all the way back and leaves you with no room, turn on the air above you to full blast and point it at the top of their head.
If they’re sensitive to it (especially if they’re bald), they’ll straighten up their seat. If not, then you’ll both be uncomfortable for the entire flight.
You can get sunburned while flying! To protect your skin, it is important to apply sunscreen before takeoff. Be sure to choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and apply it liberally to all exposed areas of the skin.
Chew Gum to Clear Clogged Ears
I have flown many times, and each time, I have chewed gum to help with the pressure changes. I have found that it really does help to clear my ears. And, it is not just me, many people swear by this method to clear their clogged ears.
Here is how it works: The act of chewing gum helps to stimulate the production of saliva. This extra saliva helps to lubricate the Eustachian tubes. The Eustachian tubes are located in the back of the throat and they connect the middle ear to the upper throat/nasal area. when these tubes are not working properly, it can cause a sensation of fullness or pressure in the ears.
Chewing gum can help to open up these tubes and equalize the pressure, relieving the fullness or pressure sensation. So, next time you fly, be sure to bring along a stick of gum!
Exercise before a long flight
When I’m getting ready to take a long flight, I always try to fit in a good workout beforehand as it can actually help reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a condition that can occur when blood clots form in the veins, and it can be dangerous if the clot breaks free and travels to the lungs.
While there are other factors that can contribute to DVT (like age, dehydration, and sitting still for too long), studies have shown that exercising before a long flight can help reduce the risk. So even though it might not be the most convenient thing to do, I always make sure to get in a quick workout before heading to the airport.
Get up and walk around often on long flights
Long flights can be tough on the body. Not only do you have to deal with the discomfort of being in a cramped space for hours on end, but you’re also at risk of developing blood clots. That’s why it’s important to get up and walk around often during long flights. Walking helps to keep the blood flowing and prevents clots from forming. I always make sure to walk around the cabin every hour or so, and I also do some simple stretches in my seat. It’s definitely worth it to prevent deep vein thrombosis.
Bring your own snacks
Bringing your own snacks is a great way to save money and avoid unhealthy airport food. A clever travel hack is to bring oatmeal, ramen, or even instant soup and then simply ask for some hot water on the plane.
Write on Your Eye Mask
Don’t get passed up for food & drinks during your flight by writing on your eye mask. Or you can just ask to be woken up for meals…
Bring Layers For The Airplane
Airplanes tend to get cold during their flight and it’s a good idea to bring extra layers of clothes or even a blanket to stay warm and comfy during your flight.
Wear Dressier Clothes
Have you ever been stuck in a middle seat in coach while the people around you enjoy the extra legroom and free champagne of first or business class? If you’re looking for a way to improve your chances of being upgraded on your next flight, the solution may be as simple as making sure you look your best.
While it’s certainly no guarantee, dressing well can help you stand out from the rest of the passengers and increase your chances of being upgraded.
Next time you travel, try wearing clothing that is tasteful and well-fitting. Avoid anything too casual or revealing, and make sure to leave any oversized bags at home. With any luck, you’ll be enjoying the perks of first class in no time.
Bring a Gift for the Flight Crew
Doing so can help your chances of getting upgraded, given an entire row of seats, receiving first-class dining, or even some champagne or alcohol for the flight. Check out my post on the best gifts for flight attendants.
Use a Clear Bag as a Phone Holder
Have you ever been on an airplane and had to hold your phone the entire time because there was no good place to put it? Well, I have a solution for you!
Next time you fly, bring along a clear bag and use it as a phone holder. Simply put your phone in the bag and hang it up by closing the open end into the tray table. This way, you can watch movies, play games, or do whatever you want on your phone without having to worry about holding it the whole time.
Airplane Phone Holder/Stand
If you’re a frequent flyer, then you know how important it is to stay entertained during long flights. One way to do this is to watch movies or TV shows on your phone. However, holding your phone for the entire duration of the flight can be tiring and even painful. That’s why it’s a good idea to invest in a phone holder designed specifically for airplanes. These holders are usually made of soft, flexible material that can be attached to the armrest or tray table. They provide a stable, comfortable place for your phone, so you can relax and enjoy the flight.
If you’re taking a flight, you may be wondering if it’s better to board first or last. While there are some benefits to boarding early, such as getting settled in your seat and having more time to stow your carry-on luggage, there are also some advantages to waiting until the end of the boarding process.
For one thing, you’ll avoid the crowds and the risk of getting caught up in a stampede as passengers jockey for position. In addition, you’ll have a better chance of getting an upgrade if there are any empty seats in the first-class cabin.
Don’t Put Carry-on Behind You
Don’t put your bags in an overhead bin that is behind your seat, even one row behind. Always put your bag ahead of your seat (even if it is 10 rows) so that you can get it easily when getting off the plane.
Turn Off Your Roaming Data
Prevent expensive roaming charges by turning off your data before you land.
I use Google Fi as my cell phone provider because they offer global services and allow me to travel anywhere in the world without worrying about where I can get a local SIM card.
Travel Tips for Staying at Hotels, Hostels, & Airbnbs
Store your valuables in the hotel safe.
If you’re worried about your valuables being stolen, store them in a hotel safe. That way, you’ll know they’re secure.
Use a rubber band to keep your door unlatched.
Travel Tips for Exploring Destinations
Don’t carry all your cash in one place
When I’m traveling, I never carry all my cash with me. I always spread it out in different places so I’m not carrying too much at once. I usually put some in my wallet, some in my suitcase, and some in my carry-on bag. That way, if I lose my wallet or my suitcase, I still have some cash. And if I’m mugged, the thief won’t get all of my money. So spreading out your cash is a good way to protect yourself when you’re traveling.
Dress in layers
As someone who loves to travel, I’ve learned that one of the most important things you can do is dress in layers. That way, no matter what the climate is like, you can always be comfortable.
For example, if you’re traveling to a warm destination, you can start with a tank top and shorts. As the day gets colder, you can add a light sweater or jacket. And if it gets really cold at night, you can put on a heavy coat. Then, in the morning, when it starts to warm up again, you can simply take off a layer or two.
The same is true for cold destinations. You can start with a heavy coat, and then add or remove layers as the day goes on. So whether you’re headed to the beach or the mountains, dressing in layers is always a good idea.
Wear a hat
I love hats! Not only are they great for protecting your head from the sun and keeping your face warm in cold weather, but they’re also perfect for hiding bed hair.
I have a wide variety of hats that I wear depending on the occasion. For example, when I’m going to the beach, I like to wear a big sunhat to keep my face from getting sunburned.
When it’s cold outside, I’ll often put on a beanie or toboggan to keep my head and ears warm. And when I’m having a bad hair day, I’ll throw on a baseball cap or fedora.
Know where the nearest hospital is
When I travel, I always make a point of finding out where the nearest hospital is. That way, if I ever have an emergency, I know exactly where to go. And in some cases, it can even be a lifesaver. For example, last year I was on vacation in Mexico when I suddenly came down with a severe case of food poisoning.
Thanks to knowing where the hospital was, I was able to get treatment quickly and prevent the situation from becoming life-threatening. So if you’re ever in an unfamiliar place, take a few minutes to research the local medical facilities – it could end up being the most important thing you do.
Learn some basic phrases in the local language
When traveling to a new country, it can be helpful to learn some basic phrases in the local language. Even if you don’t know the language fluently, making an effort to learn a few key phrases shows respect for the culture and can go a long way in making your trip more enjoyable. Plus, it can come in handy if you find yourself in a situation where you need help but don’t speak the language fluently.
Some useful phrases to know include “Please,” “Thank you,” “Excuse me,” and “Where is the bathroom?” With just a few basic phrases, you can make a good impression and get by in most situations.
Wear The Right Shoes
When you’re packing for a trip, it’s easy to focus on clothes and toiletries and forget about some of the other essentials. One item that’s often overlooked is a good pair of shoes.
Whether you’re hiking through the woods or exploring a new city, comfortable shoes are a must. And if you’re going to be doing a lot of walking, you’ll want to make sure your shoes are well-supported to avoid blisters and sore feet.
It’s also important to choose shoes that are appropriate for the climate and terrain you’ll be encountering. If you’re traveling to a hot, sunny destination, sandals or open-toed shoes are a good option. But if you’re headed somewhere cold or wet, you’ll need something warmer and more water-resistant. Whatever your itinerary entails, make sure you pack the right shoes and your feet will thank you.
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