Are you planning a trip? Maybe a well-earned vacation is on the agenda.
It’s a pastime that hundreds of millions of individuals embark on each year. But traveling can be stressful, especially with all the stuff that typically comes before you get to where you’re going. You know what I mean, cramming your life into a suitcase (or two).
Whether you’re a casual vacationer or a million mile a year traveler, there are a few simple, and ingenious travel hacks (like 22) that can help make getting there and back much less of a headache.
- Pack essentials in your carry-on
You may like to travel light, but it’s a good idea to keep some essentials in your carry-on luggage just in case your main suitcase goes awol. Keep items such as spare underwear, socks, toiletries (3 ounce containers) so you’ll always be covered for the first few days.
- Roll your clothes
Folding your clothes can take an awfully long time and they normally end up creased anyway. It’s quicker, easier and a bit of a space saver to roll your clothes instead. Roll and separate your clothes and place them inside a plastic bag.
- Use tissue paper
You know what it’s like, no matter how hard you try to eliminate the wrinkles, you don’t. Until now. To reduce wrinkling in your folded clothes, try wrapping them into tissue paper.
- Keep your shirt collar neat
If you decide to go fold over roll, place your belt inside your shirt collar to help keep it’s shape throughout the journey. Not only will it ensure it stays neat, but this hack gives you a space-saving solution for your belt too. It’s a win-win!
- Pack a dryer sheet
Don’t worry, you don’t have to do any laundry on your holiday. But packing a dryer sheet in your suitcase will help keep your clothes smelling fresh and clean when your arrive.
- Fill your boots
Space is premium when it comes to filling your suitcase, and shoes and boots take up some incredibly valuable space. Stuff your underwear and socks into them. And ta-dah, you’ve got some space back.
- Stop bottles from leaking
Nothing ruins a holiday like a split bottle in your luggage (it’s always the shampoo or perfume right?). Put cling-wrap over the top of the bottle before sealing it with the cap to prevent any spillage on your clothes.
- Use a fragile sticker
Try tricking your airline by placing a ‘fragile’ sticker on your luggage. Not only will this ensure they’re careful when handling your bag, but it will also be kept on top of the pile to avoid being squashed, and it’ll be one of the first to come out at the other end (hopefully).
- Keep cables in a glass case
All of you gadget lovers out there will have lots of cables with you, your phone charger with your iPad charger for example, and you’ll be well aware that they often (okay, always) get tangled up together. Keep them neat, tidy and compact by stuffing them in a glasses case.
- Refill old travel size toiletries
Travel sized toiletries are little lifesavers. They fit the regulations and take up less space, but they’re a little pricey too. Don’t buy new ones each time you go on holiday, instead just refill the bottle using what you have at home already.
- Protect your razor with a binder clip
The blades on your razor can get damaged easily in transit and can damage other items in our wash bag too. Attach a binder clip (borrowed from work, obviously) over the blades to keep them protected throughout the journey. Just remember to take them off when you get there or you’ll have a disappointing shave.
- Make your luggage unique
There’s nothing like that awkward moment when all the bags on the arrivals belt look the exact same. Why not add a sticker or colorful tag to your bag so you can easily spot yours? Unless you like playing luggage roulette with a stranger.
- Keep jewelry in a pill container
Keep your items of jewellery such as earrings and necklaces, in a pill container to keep them from moving around and getting lost in your luggage. If you’re super organized, you can even split them into different days. Bobbie pins or hair clips in a Tic-Tack case is another useful hack!
- Be an online ninja
Travel sites tend to monitor your visits to their site and will increase prices if it looks like you’re interested. Cheeky, right? Before you book your flight or hotel, channel your inner ninja (dressing up is optional) and clear your browser history, cookies and cache to cheat the system.
- Get the entire row
If you’re traveling as a couple, be annoying and book the window and aisle seat – leaving the middle seat empty. If the airline doesn’t sell this seat, bingo, you’ve got all three seats.
- Book at the last-minute
Wait for it… wait… now book it! Many airlines will slash their flight prices days before departure as they want to clear their inventory. This hack may not be ideal if your heart is set on a specific location, but it’s great for the more spontaneous of you.
- Get the wi-fi password
Holidays are supposed to be a time to relax, but most of us are unable to go a whole week without checking social media. Hotels can often charge quite a lot for wi-fi use, so search travel forums and review sites like FourSquare to see if any kind soul has shared the knowledge.
- Take a car park selfie
No, it’s not a bad first holiday snap. When you leave your car in an airport’s long stay car park, it’s amongst hundreds of others, and finding it post holiday can be tricky! Take a photo of your car’s location, or any noticeable things nearby so it’s easy to find your way back.
- Pack an empty bottle
You will not be allowed to take liquids through security, but you can take an empty bottle. Fill it up once you’re through airport security from a water fountain to avoid having to dish out some coin.
- Use the hotel TV as a charger
Instead of fighting with your partner or family for the one plug adapter, use the USB port in the back of your hotel rooms television to charge your gadgets. If you decide to pack a laptop, remember you can use the USB ports on this too.
- Keep your money safe
Clean out a sun screen bottle and use it to store your cash in. Thieves will be looking for your wallet or loose cash in your luggage, but (probably) won’t be interested in stealing your sun tan lotion. Rolling up your cash notes into an empty lip balm is another handy trick.
- Get rid of foreign change
You know that annoying small change you end up with at the end of each holiday? Instead of irritating a store clerk and paying for something in 1 cent coins, why not do a good deed and give it to a homeless person in the local area?
Back to you
Do you have a travel hack that we can add to the list? Let us know in the comments section and we’ll share it with our readers. I hope you found these helpful and ultimately less stressful. Happy trails to you!
Thanks to Hassle, a London-based startup for curating the original travel hack infographic.