Traveling can be expensive, stressful, and tiring. Rather than run around an airport or be digging through your carry on for your earbuds, follow these amazing travel hacks. They can help you pack, make your flight easier, and your vacation better.
1. Save your bank account before you book a flight.
First and foremost, the thing everyone does before everything else is look at flights. We all do it. We take the time to compare prices, flight times, airways, and so many other details. The thing is that most people don’t realize is airlines are watching what you do. Not like hack into your computer and see everything, but they are able to record traffic on their site from your computer.
This means the more you look at that flight just to double check the price and to see if it changes that airlines notice that. They start to change the prices they show you an show you the more expensive flights and seats.
Rather than miss out on that great deal flight you saw the first time turn on private browsing mode. This prevents airlines from monitoring traffic from your computer. It tricks the system into thinking you’re a new viewers and will show you lower prices. So before you book your flight put on private browsing and take off while saving money!
2. Take the back seat for a better flying experience.
The first seats that get filled up are the ones near the front no matter what class you fly. They’re further from the bathroom and when it is time to get off the plane their the first ones off. As great as it is to be the first off the plane, it means you might be missing out on a better flying experience.
When you sit further up there are a lot of eyes on you from other passengers. They can see how flight attendants treat you and what stuff you are given. This means flight attendants have to be careful how to treat you. If they be too nice to you then all the other passengers expect the same.
If you sit towards the back then that is less eyes on you and gives you a bit of an advantage. Now not all flight attendants will be like this, but some might. When you ask for that extra soda they might give you what you ask for. They don’t have to worry about all the eyes watching them as most people will be facing straight ahead and not looking back at you. Sacrifice those few moments you save from sitting up front for a seat and take a back seat for hopefully some extra attention.
3. Keep your clothing options open so you mix and match outfits.
Say you’re going on vacation for a week. That means you need to fit seven outfits in your one suitcase. This doesn’t leave much room for anything you might get while on vacation or anything else you have to pack for vacation. Worst part is, is when you get there and get home you realize you didn’t even wear one of the outfits. Instead pack less clothes.
Rather than pack seven different pairs of shorts, skirts, pants, or whatever bottoms you wear. Try to pick outneutral colors for your bottoms that allow you to mix and match them with different tops. So say you choose five different pairs of bottoms that are a mix of shorts, pants, or whatever clothes are appropriate for your vacation. Then you pack six or seven different tops that match with more than one pair of bottoms. So essentially you packed more than seven outfits while packing less clothing!
4. Save space in your suitcase with this handy trick.
When you start packing it might seem like the smartest and easiest thing to do is to take your already folded clothes and place them in the suitcase. Sure that may save sometime and the hassle of refolding clothes, but it’s definitely not the most efficient. You begin to quickly realize you’re running out of space before you even finished packing.
So how do you alleviate the problem? Roll your clothes up like a tube. This drastically saves space in your suitcase and allows for better packing. What was once a full suitcase of just clothes is now taking up 1/3 or more less space than before. It saves a ton of space and gives you more wiggle room to pack because it’s much easier to squeeze a rolled up shirt somewhere than a folded one.
5. Use every nook and cranny of your suitcase to your advantage.
Suitcases are not only limited by weight, but by size too. Trying to squeeze everything into one suitcase can risk you having to sit on it to zip it closed or even risk the zippers popping open! Don’t take that risk and instead use every possible spot in your suitcase.
When you pack up your shoes stuff your socks or underwear in them. This is sometimes underutilized space and it keeps these little pieces of clothing from floating around. Not only that, but stuffing your shoes with something can help them keep their shape and not be squished from being in a suitcase. So don’t hesitate putting some items into other items if that means your suitcase will close comfortably or with room to spare.
6. Keep your collars crisp and not crumpled.
If you find yourself packing collared shirts for your trip than you’re probably packing belts to go with them. Probably not as many belts as you have shirts packed, but you can keep your collars crisp and correctly shaped using your belt.
Coil your belt up so it is slightly smaller than the neck hole. Place the coiled belt in the center and slowly work it and uncoil it until it fits snug inside of the collar of the shirt. It will help keep the shape of the collar and if you look when you buy shirts they use pieces of cardboard to keep the collar shape. Your belt is the cardboard. For your other shirts you can save the pieces of cardboard that usually come with them or cut up thin cardboard into strips for your collars. On your next vacation use this little hack so you can throw your shirt on with worrying about a wrinkled collar.
7. Stop wrinkles before they happen.
If you chose to use the last hack than your collared shirts are safe from wrinkles, well at least the collar. What about the rest of the shirt? Nothing is worse than when you’re on vacation than having to do ironing for your shirts. Save yourself the time and energy that ironing requires and try this out.
Stop by your local dollar store or craft store, but really any store that sells tissue paper. Pick yourself up a pack and get ready for wrinkle free clothes. As you’re packing place on piece of tissue paper down then on top of it place your folded shirt (and your nicely shaped collar!) into the suitcase. Repeat this for however many shirts you have or whatever you don’t want to get wrinkled.
Now this might not completely avoid wrinkles, but it greatly decreases the chance of wrinkles appearing in your clothes. So grab your gift wrapping supplies and use that tissue paper to save your stress free vacation.
8. Make easy portioned out packs of liquids with a little DIY.
The best part about this traveling this hack is that you might already have the most important part sitting in your kitchen. Straws! Take advantage of these simple tubes of plastic to make yourself perfectly portioned amounts of soap, toothpaste, lotion, and anything else that you can squeeze into a tube.
So here is what you’ll need to do this…
Pair of pliers (preferably needle nose)
Straws (different colors will let you color code)
Any liquids you want to portion
Masking or washi tape
Fine tip marker
Step One: Grab your pair of pliers and pinch off one end of the straw, but leave a small bit sticking out to melt.
Step Two: Carefully melt the bit of straw sticking out from the pliers with the lighter. This will create a seal that won’t let the liquid spill out, but will make it easy enough for you to break with one squeeze.
Step Three: Carefully squeeze your soap, lotion, or toothpaste into the open end, but leave enough room to be able to pinch it off with the pliers.
Step Four: Seal the other end the same way the first end was sealed.
Step Five: Take a piece of tape and tape either the length of the straw or create a label by folding the tape over the straw in half. Grab the marker and label the straw with what is in it. If you want to make it easier, color code the straws for certain liquids. Example: Orange straws are filled with toothpaste, blue straws have soap, and so on.
9. Take the time to organize jewelry for less than a dollar.
Maybe you plan to wear jewelry while you’re on vacation, but nothing is worse than finding tangled necklaces, missing earrings, or missing pieces of jewelry all together. Alleviate the worry and use a simple hack to keep all your jewelry in place.
In dollar stores it’s easy to find daily or monthly pill organizers. The compartments are quite large when you take a closer look at them. At this point you know what this hack is and that is buy the pill organizer and place your pieces of jewelry in the compartments. One compartment for a pair of earrings, another one for a necklace, another for a ring, and so on. If you need more than seven compartments than buy the monthly organizer or two weekly ones. Mix and match the organizers to fit your need and the best part is it keeps your jewelry in one place while keeping them from getting lost and tangled up.
10. Be sure to make copies of any important documents or papers.
Everything is pretty much electronic in some way at this point, but there’s something about a physical copy that gives a feeling of security. When you travel things can and most likely will go wrong, especially in the airport. Check in takes longer than you expected, the airport computers aren’t working, or your phone dies before you even make it to security. The worst part of all of that is if you saved all your important papers on your phone.
Save the time of scrolling through your phone or risk seeing the dreaded one percent and print your boarding pass and anything else you need at home. While you’re at your printer make at least double copies of everything so one can be a backup. This can include your passport, ID, boarding pass, and any other important papers that is best to have doubles of so you can keep one in your backpack and another in your carry on so if anything were to happen you are prepared.
11. Keep things for your phone all in one spot.
Packing can get hectic and things are forgotten. The worst part is when you realize the thing you forgot is something you need for your phone! Earbuds, chargers, extra batteries are all important pieces of technology in the 21st century. Don’t be stuck on a long flight with nothing to listen to, but the boring hum of the airplane.
Instead of forgetting the most precious cargo, make sure to store all the things you need in one handy spot. More specifically a container that you can grab and go with and that is an eyeglasses holder. They’re a perfect size to fit in any bag or water bottle pocket of a backpack making it even easier to grab. Plus the hard shell means it won’t get crushed and cables won’t get tangled. Everything will be right there in a simple, inexpensive case.
12. Binder clips will keep tangles away.
Tangled headphones are the absolute worse when traveling. You want to be able to pop them into your ears and drown out the noises. With a quick and simple hack using an office supply can take away the stress of tangled headphones.
Next time you’re at the office or getting school supplies get a medium size binder clip. Grab your headphones and wrap them around three of your fingers in a coil. Once you reach the end don’t pull the headphones off your fingers yet. Get your binder clip and clip the coil so the wires settle at the base of the triangle of the binder clip. Easy as that!
The best part is that not only does it keep wires from tangling, it also gives you the flexibility to clip your earbuds to a spot that is easily accessible. You can clip them to the strap of your backpack, purse, or slip them to your jacket. Wherever you clip them, you can grab them and go!
13. Don’t pay for expensive bottled water when you don’t have to.
If you’re not an experienced traveler you might forget that TSA is strict on how much liquid you take through security and this especially includes water bottles. Some people will try to argue with security that it’s just water and what’s the issue. Don’t be that person. Get a reusable water bottle.
The benefit of getting a reusable water bottle is that it saves you money. First time you travel you’ll instantly save yourself a couple of dollars versus paying for a bottle of water. Another great thing is that reusable water bottles usually hold more liquid than disposable one. So you can sip on it while you’re waiting for your flight to board and not even worry about running out and having to buy a new one.
If the airport has water that might taste a bit different than what you’re used to or you prefer the taste of filtered water there are plenty of water bottles available that have built in water purifiers.
If you’re looking for a water bottle that’s reusable and will withstand traveling and anything else for that matter, I highly recommend a Nalgene. They’re durable water bottles that I take every where from walking around doing errands to outdoors hiking. Plus they come in a bunch of different shapes, sizes, and designs to accommodate any task.
14. Always bring a jacket to the airport.
This hack is definitely worth doing! You might think to yourself to grab a jacket before you leave for the airport because airports are cold and so are planes. Though not enough people take advantage of the pockets in jackets! Even if you’re traveling or leaving to a warm place still bring a jacket.
Pop you phone, wallet, keys, and whatever else you would normally carry in your pants pockets into the jacket pockets. That way when you get to security all you have to do is take the jacket off and not mess around with emptying your pockets. You’ll fly through security and not have to worry about filling your pockets back up. Grab your jacket and on you go!
15. Portable chargers will come in handy and are a must!
Portable chargers are great for any form of travel whether it be by car, bike, plane, boat, and even walking. It gives you the power to charge your devices without being committed to a wall outlet or cramming to find one. They’re easily affordable and offer great battery life to extend any device you have. The great part is their compact so they will fit in any bag without taking up a lot of room or adding much weight.
It alleviates the fear of losing the charge in your device. There is no need to worry about being unprepared with no way to contact someone or losing your battery from capturing all the memories from your travels.
16. Pack some snacks or even a meal.
Airplane food has been on the tail end of jokes for decades. Sometimes those jokes aren’t just jokes, but the honest truth about the food. Or maybe you’re getting a flight that isn’t long enough to provide in-flight meals. Either way you’re probably going to get hungry.
It’s a simple hack and habit some people may have already formed when traveling. Before you leave the house pack some snacks you will enjoy munching on during your flight. Bonus, if you choose less salty foods you’ll feel better after your flight. You tend to dehydrate quicker on a plane than if your were traveling by car. If your flight is longer and you don’t want to eat the meal the plane provides then pack some sandwiches before you leave. Airport food tends to be more expensive than making something yourself and it gives you the chance to empty your fridge without throwing out food before your trip. So avoid nasty airline food and pack your own then you know you’re eating something you enjoy!
17. Make yourself a hot cup of tea on the plane.
This hack takes a little preparation and a bit of planning to pull it off, but if you do it’s well worth it. If you have a thermos or a travel mug pop a tea bag in it and a honey straw (try hack number 8 for DIY honey straws) or single serving packet of sugar. Maybe a slice of lemon if you like lemon with your tea.
Just don’t fill the thermos or travel mug with hot water because it won’t stay hot by the time you take off and TSA won’t let it go through security. When you get on the plane and take everything out of the thermos or travel mug. Ask the flight attendant if they can fill your container with hot water. They usually will and when you get the cup back throw in your tea bag and break open the honey straw or sugar to sweeten the hot tea. Nothing like a fresh cup of tea thousands of feet in the sky.
BONUS: This will also work with coffee. Some stores sell individual coffee bags similar to tea bags. If you prefer instant you can get the already portioned packs of instant coffee. Simply use the same hack with tea, but replace the tea with coffee. If you like cream with your coffee you can save the little cups of half and half. Be creative with however you can get your caffeine fix.
18. Clean up missed wrinkles with a hair straightener.
Now there’s no 100% fool proof method to prevent wrinkles in your clothes when you travel. You might find when you unpack that some of your clothes got wrinkles that can be unsightly. Rather than whip out a full size iron and ironing board use a hair straightener. They allow precision ironing touch ups and work especially well on collars of shirts. Whether you’re a guy or a girl pack a hair straightener that allows you to do quick iron touch ups if you want wrinkle free clothes when you travel.
19. Keep the smell of airports and airplanes off of your clothes.
Honestly, this hack is great for both heading out and heading back from a trip. Airplanes aren’t the most pleasant smelling places and your suitcase is going to be mixed in with other suitcases. Then on the way back you’ll have dirty clothes in your suitcase that can stink up both some of your clean clothes and your suitcase.
Prevent a bad smelling suitcase and bad smelling clothes by simply throwing a few dryer sheets into your suitcase. They will keep airplane smell and dirty clothes smell away. Plus your clothes will smell like they came fresh out of the wash rather than fresh out of an airplane.
20. Cash is great, but having a debit or credit card can help in a pinch.
When most people travel they plan to use only cash for almost all their purchases. This becomes extremely common when you travel internationally because you tend to get your currency exchanged to the currency of whatever country you travel to. Cash seems like the right to go in that situation. You don’t want to risk losing your credit or debit card while in a foreign country or risk having your card number stolen. But when cash runs low faster than you expected then you might not know what to do.
Before you travel internationally call your bank ahead of time to ask them if your card can be used internationally. Most cards usually are, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. If your card does work internationally still call your bank and give them a heads up that you will be using your card internationally. It will help to prevent locked cards because to the bank you’re spending money somewhere that’s not common to your spending habits. So take the time to make the call ahead of time to be able to have money in a pinch while you’re traveling internationally.
21. Keep emergency cash and stash it away.
Speaking of cash be sure to stash some away in case of an emergency. If you find yourself short a few dollars or in the airport heading home and you need to buy something you’re able to. It’s good to have emergency cash for any situation because there’s security in having back up money.
Some places to store emergency cash is a small pocket of your purse that you never use or a slot in your wallet. This will keep it out sight and out of mind so you don’t spend it, but it’s there in case you do need it. Another place is a pocket of your traveling bag that you keep on you the entire time through the airport and plane. It can be quickly accessed and available to you.
The only issue this is the place pickpockets might look while you’re traveling. One great hack to go along with this is that to store emergency cash in a lip balm tube. No thief will steal your lip balm when they’ll be focused on wallets and purses. All you have to do is buy a lip balm tube or grab an old one and empty out the lip balm from it. Clean it out and let it dry then roll up a $20 bill and place it inside.
It’s enough cash to get you out of pinch. The lip balm tube hiding spot won’t stop thieves from taking your whole bag or wallet. If you keep it in your pocket they most likely won’t take it. Travel with security of emergency cash and avoid being stuck in a foreign country with no money at all.
Follow all of these hacks for better and more enjoyable traveling. Safe travels and never stop exploring.