Each year, millions of people travel from one place to another. Many more make plans to explore new places. Some people do it for the destination and some people do it for the journey. Some people travel in big groups with friends or family, others enjoy traveling solo. As enjoyable and desirable traveling may be, it comes packaged with some stressors that are a part and parcel of the vacation experience. Today, we will take a look at travel hacks that can make your vacation more productive, fun, and comfortable.
Travel Hacks Before You Leave
- Instead of a hotel, try Airbnb. You can reserve family rooms or single rooms with a local resident. This gives you more personal accommodation options and the local experience.
- When packing my clothes, I roll them instead of folding them and stacking them in a pile. It’s a real space saver. You can also roll your smaller items inside the larger pieces of clothing or stuff them in your footwear.
- After a bad experience managing my documents on a foreign trip, I came across this method. Scan all your travel documents, email the soft copies to yourself. When traveling, you don’t always have the internet, it makes sense to keep a copy in your phone’s storage. It seems redundant but you will thank me if you lose your passport (God forbid!)
- Mark your baggage as fragile. Your luggage is kept at the top because of this, which will make it one of the first bags to be released. I know what you are thinking, but I have seen enough cases of baggage mishandling and baggage missing to make it worth doing this.
Travel Hacks For the Departure
- Bring your own water bottle. Not all airlines provide unlimited water, they may have regulations for that. What’s more, not everywhere is water available without payment.
- Never underestimate the value of a fanny pack. Yes, its very 1980s and you run the risk of looking stupid (or I will just say it… uncool), but trust me—it keeps your belongings safe, within arms reach and most importantly it saves time during security checks
- Use the in-flight internet service. You’ll thank me when you see the person sitting next to you is not much of a conversationalist (they hardly ever are, that said, if you are ever on a plane with me, you can forget this one). Plus, you can catch up on work before reaching your destination.
- Ensure that you have a pen before leaving home so you can complete customs forms. Fill the forms out when you get them, and ensure that your family members have theirs filled as well. This one is critical, it feels stupid having to ask for it, nobody has it, not even the airline staff. The only downside, people will ask you for it when you would have to rush (Sigh!)
Travel Hacks When You Arrive
- Use ATMs to get local currency. Using money converters in the airport usually come with their own fees and the exchange rates are a rip-off. ATMs always dispense local currency, of course, so use your debit or credit card and get your money there.
- Ensure that you have Yelp downloaded for domestic travel in the US. This is a great city guide for both travelers and locals alike and is the best way to find the most amazing places to eat and sightsee. Have a similar travel app for the place you are visiting (people are not getting any kinder!)
- Locate a 24 by 7 or a 7-eleven or any departmental store near your hotel. Get a few basic groceries and snacks. This is just basic financial smartness, those hotel minibars are a rip-off.
- Take out only what you need from your suitcase. You are in a hotel and will leave eventually. The more you unpack now, the more you will have to pack later and you may leave something behind for the hotel staff to throw away. This is a real time saver for traveling to multiple locations.
- Exploring Your New Location
- Use the local language as much as possible. It gives a good impression about you and your people in general. It never hurts to make the effort, which can work in your favor in some situations. Some words, greetings and asking for directions you can learn while the person sitting next to you snores away. English isn’t everyone’s preference
- Trying the local cuisine will save you more money and allow you to experience new and flavorful meals. Honestly, what’s the point of coming to another country if you are going to eat the same food you eat at home!
- “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” If a country advises modest dress, for example, follow through. It can even ensure your safety as a foreigner.
Travel Hacks for Returning Home
Unpack immediately when you enter the door. You may be tired, but you’ll be glad you did it in the morning.
The travel hacks above have helped me on numerous occasions, and I know they will provide some assistance to you. Let us know in the comments below which travel hack was your favorite. Also, let us know if there are any travel hacks, not mentioned above that have proved successful for you.