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 comments 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…
1. Use Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is so cheap, I don’t know why people don’t get it. It’s definitely worth getting it just for the amount of stress that it saves.
2. Use Credit Cards With Travel Benefits
If you have any credit cards, check to see what travel benefits are included and use them to book your flight and hotels. If you don’t have a credit card with travel benefits, consider getting one for some of those sweet bonus miles.
3. 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.
4. Reduce Jetlag
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 dehydation, 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.
5. 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.
6. Bring a Water Bottle
A water bottle is a must-have for any trip 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 one.
7. Bring a Thermos
Coffee, tea, hot water at the airport or even keep lunch leftovers for later.
8. 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.
9. Bring Sleep Aids
Sleeping pills, an eye mask, and noise-canceling earplugs are a must-have on an airplane, car, hotel, and especially at hostels.
10. Bring Noise Cancelling Headphones w/ AUX
If traveling someone else, don’t forget the splitter so you can both watch the same thing if you’d like.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. Bring Hand Sanitzer
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.
14. Use Immune Boosters
Travel is rough on the immune system and the last thing you want to do is be bedridden for your entire vacation.
15. Download Netflix for Offline Viewing
Bring your favorite Netflix shows and movies with you by downloading them for offline use so you can watch them on the plane, in the middle of nowhere, or somewhere you don’t have data.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. Bring a Laundry Bag
Use it to keep your dirty clothes or wet swimsuit separate from the rest of your clothes.
19. Bring a Power Adapter, Splitter, & Extender
20. Keep Offline Copies of Travel Documents
Booking Hacks, Tips & Tricks
Finding the best hotels and flights for dirt cheap is the ultimate high. These are the travel hacks I use in order to save money and find the best available transportation and accommodations.
21. 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.
22. Use SeatGuru.com to Find the Best Airplane Seat
Not sure where the best seat is? Use seatguru.com to find the seats with the best legroom and accessibility.
23. Search for Flights on Skipplagged
24. Set Up Alerts For Price Drops
25. 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.
26. Book Flights at Least 2 Hours Apart
27. Use an Incognito Window
28. Book Seperate Tickets
Try booking two separate tickets through different airlines, especially if you already have a layover.
29. Use Skyscanner’s to Everywhere Feature
30. Sit in the Front for Quick & Easy Boarding & Deboarding
31. Sit In the Middle for the Least Turbulance
32. Sit in the Back for the Best Service
33. Use Expert Flyer for Seat Changes
Be notified when the exact seat you want becomes available
34. Try Nearby Airports
35. Get Cash Back Rewards
Use rakuten or other third party distributors for cash back or to rack up reward points.
36. 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.
Accomadation Travel Tips, Tricks & Hacks
37. Use a rubber band to keep your door unlatched.
Luggage & Packing Tips, Tricks & Hacks
38. 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 direction of 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.
39. Use a J Hook
40. Put Your Clothes in Clear Bags
Pack your clothes in clear ziplock bags inside of 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 ziplock bags they can go through and see what’s inside easily without actually touching your personal items.
41. Wear Your Heaviest Clothes & Shoes
42. Bring a Set of Clothes on Your Carry On
Ideally the heaviest you’re packing because airlines are the least likely to weigh your carry-on.
43. Keep Your Most Important Items In Your Personal Item
44. 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.
45. Use a Luggage Tag That Covers Your Info
46. . 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!
47. Take a Picture
Take a picture of your luggage so if for whatever reason you can show it to an airline employee. (e.g. lost, duplicates without tags, etc.)
48. 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.
49. Use Solid Alternatives
50. Use Plastic Wrap on Liquid Bottles
Prior to screwing on the lid.
51. Pack Heavy Items Towards the Bottom by the Wheels.
52. Store Rings, Earings, and Piercings in a Pill Divider
53. Store Necklaces inside Straws
54. Use the Space Inside of Your Shoes
If you pack shoes in your bag, don’t forget about the space available inside of them. There’s just enough room for a few pairs of socks, some underwear, or even a shirt.
55. Use Your Socks for Fragile Items
Store fragile items like a cologne or perfume bottle inside of your socks to keep them from breaking and banging around.
56. Throw a Dryer Sheet In
Keep everything fresh by throwing a dryer sheet on top of your clothes before zipping your luggage up.
Airline Hacks, Tips & Tricks
57. . Get Curbside Check-in
58. Check Into Your Flight Ahead of Time
59. Download Your Airline’s App
60. Use the FlightAware App
61. Use Your Personal Item
62. 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!
63. Ask For a Fragile Sticker
64. Tell Your Flight Attendant of Short Layovers
65. Buy Lounge Passes Secondhand
66. 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.
67. Long Layover? Ask For a Hotel
If you have a layover longer than 8 hours with a national airline, ask for a hotel. All you have to do is ask at the airline’s desk
Airport & TSA Hacks, Tips & Tricks
68. Go To The Left Line
This is one of my favorite travel tips of all time.
69. 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.
70. Freeze Your Water Bottle
Ice is allowed through security.
71. Find Your Airport’s Map Ahead of Time
and know where your gate is.
72. Go Immidiately To Your Gate
You don’t want to wait until ten minutes before your flight before you realize your at the wrong terminal.
73. Set an Alarm
74. Don’t Get Uber or a Taxi At The Airport
75. Wear Securtiy 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.
76. 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.
77. Use SleepingInAirports.net
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 best place to sleep but they also list the locations of charging stations, showers, WIFI and more!
78. Become a Trusted Traveler
79. Check Flight Boards Frequently
Not all airport’s announce gate changes
80. Take a Photo of Where You Parked
Airplane Hacks, Tips & Tricks
81. 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.
82. Wear Sunscreen
83. Chew Gum to Clear Clogged Ears
84. Don’t Be Afraid to Bring 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.
85. Write on Your Eye Mask
Don’t get passed up for food & drinks during your flight by writing on you eye mask. Or you can just ask to be woken up for meals…
86. 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.
87. Wear Dressier Clothes
Some suggest wearing nicer clothes will make you more suitable for an upgrade to business or first class.
88. Bring a Gift for the Flight Crew
Doing so can help your chances of getting upgraded, given an entire row of seats, receive first-class dining, or even some champagne or alcohol for the flight. Check out my post on the best gifts for flight attendants.
89. Get Money For Delayed Flights
90. Use a Clear Bag as a Phone Holder
Simply put your phone in a clear bag and hang it up by closing the open end into the tray table.
91. Airplane Phone Holder/Stand
If you fly frequently, you might want to invest in a phone holder designed specifically for airplanes.
92. Board Last
Although you might have a hard time finding a place for your carry-on.
93. 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.
94. Turn Off Your 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.
Do you have any travel tips, tricks, or hacks that I didn’t include? Let me know in the comments below!