Travel Tips
min read

Travel Hacks To Make Your Next Trip Easier

October 11, 2023
Alexis Miller

Traveling is an incredible adventure that allows us to explore new places, experience different cultures, and create lasting memories. However, it can also be a bit challenging at times, with unexpected hiccups that can turn a dream trip into a stressful ordeal. 

As someone who has completed several major trips this year, there are a few travel hacks and vacation packing hacks that can make your travels smoother and more enjoyable. 

Travel Hacks

No matter where you’re going – whether somewhere new or a place you’ve been before – it’s always a good idea to optimize your travel experience. Below are some tips to help you create an easeful and hopefully stress-free trip – saving you time and energy for the fun parts of your holiday! 

Plan & Book Ahead

While leaving some room for spontaneity can be fun, it's advisable to plan and book important aspects of your trip in advance, such as accommodations and major activities. This can save you time, money, and the stress of finding last-minute arrangements. Keep in mind that some major attractions require reservations ahead of time, and availability may not be available the day or week of your trip.

Use Local Transportation

Immerse yourself in the local culture by using public transportation whenever possible. It's often more affordable and can lead to unique experiences. Many places offer single-day or multi-day passes that cover the spectrum of public transportation in the area. But even better is walking around! This is one of the best ways to find hidden gems like local restaurants and family-owned stores. 

Take a Walking Tour

It’s one thing to walk around a new place and observe what’s there. It’s an entirely different thing to walk around with a local and learn about the history of that place! Walking tours are a great way to start a trip and to orient yourself to your surroundings. Plus, tour guides often offer personalized recommendations for other attractions and places to eat. 

Learn Basic Phrases

Even though you won’t become fluent in the local language, learning a few basic phrases like, “yes,” “no,” "hello," "thank you," and "please" can go a long way in fostering positive interactions with locals. It’s also a nice way to immerse yourself in the culture. Additionally, learning words like, “exit,” “entrance,” “tickets,” and “help,” as well as their spellings can ensure you can easily navigate your surroundings. 

Learn & Identify Local Symbols

Speaking of learning, every location has a different way of representing important parts of their infrastructure. Symbols for the metro, train stations, buses, taxis and even museums will help you easfully navigate your surroundings. Find out the names and signage of local convenience stores, grocery stores and chain coffee shops – just in case you’re in desperate need of some caffeine or a quick snack. 

Beware of High Roaming Fees

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Get Local Recommendations from Your Host

Whether you choose to stay in a hotel or some other type of accommodation, asking your host for recommendations on what to see, what to do and where to eat is a great way to “plug in” to the area. It’s also a clever way to support local businesses and to skip potential scams. 

Use Local Currency

While credit cards are convenient, having local currency on hand is crucial. Not all places accept electronic payments (though it has become more prevalent in recent years), and you might encounter extremely high foreign transaction fees. ATMs are widely available in most destinations. It’s also nice to have cash on hand to tip drivers, tour guides and other service workers. 

Skip Duty-Free

There are, no doubt, advantages to shopping duty-free. But, if you’re traveling overseas and there’s a local product that you’d like to bring home, try to get it outside of the airport. Sweets, food stuffs, local alcoholic beverages, toys, clothing, postcards, magnets and more is usually cheaper when bought “on the economy.” 

Stay Flexible

While planning is essential, remember that no plan survives contact. Unexpected delays or discoveries can lead to some of the best travel memories. Be open to change and embrace the adventure that may come along with it.

Stay Mindful

Travel can be overwhelming; don't forget to savor the moment. Put away your phone occasionally and soak in the sights, sounds, and flavors of your destination. Taking pictures is great, but creating memories is even better.

Plan for the Worst

Though worrying about things that may never happen usually results in more worrying, it’s good to have contingency plans for if things go wrong. Make sure you have copies of your passport or ID – digital and printed – store separately from the physical copy. If you’re traveling out of your home country, identify the nearest embassy or consulate of your home country at your destination. Make sure to apprise someone of your travel plans, and give them the details for your transportation and lodging. 

Vacation Packing Hacks

Another simple, but crucial, way to optimize your travel is to optimize your luggage. Carrying around unnecessary items is not only heavy but doesn’t leave room for souvenirs from your trip. Below are some hacks for packing for your trip. 

Pack Light & Thoughtfully

One of the golden rules of travel is to pack light. Choose versatile clothing and shoes that can be mixed and matched. Remember that most destinations have stores, so you can always buy essentials if you run out. Layers are always a good idea! 

Purchase Travel-Size Toiletries

Do you really need a full bottle of shampoo for your trip? Probably not. Packing your toiletries in travel-sized containers will save you space in your luggage and reduce weight. If you’re staying at a hotel, products like shampoo, conditioner, body wash and soap are usually provided in the room. Opting to use these products during your trip will save you even more space. 

Organize Your Electronics

It’s amazing how much space extra cords, adapters and plugs take up! Look into getting an electronics organizer to keep everything tidy and in an easy-to-find spot. Use fastening cable ties to prevent your cords from becoming tangled and unraveled as you move. 

Wear Your Outerwear

Outerwear can take up a lot of space in your bag. When you get ready to travel, consider wearing your outerwear – like your jacket or boots – instead of packing them. This will save you considerable space in your luggage and help keep you warm if your transportation methods (e.g. flight, train, etc.) are cold. 

Optimize the Space You Have

Rolling your clothes is a great way to maximize the space in your suitcase. Another great tool is packing cubes – which come in a variety of sizes. These help keep your suitcase organized and help increase the amount of space in your bag. 

Create a Laundry Bag

If your suitcase doesn’t already come with one, create a “laundry bag” for yourself. Separating your dirty items from clean will make it easier to manage the space in your bag as your trip progresses. It also makes it easier to unpack when you get home. 

Buy Items That Remain in Your Suitcase

Forgetting a charging cable is extremely annoying. While replacing one is fairly easy to do in most locations, buying a new cable every time you travel is expensive and wasteful. The same goes with hats, scarves, gloves, adapters, sunglasses, umbrellas and other minor, but crucial items. Instead of trying to remember each of these items as you prepare to leave, purchase a version of these items and then leave them in your suitcase between trips. That way, they’re already packed. And, if you don’t need them for this trip – like a winter hat in Fiji –  its easy to take them out and repack them once you return home. 

Use an e-Reader

Reading is a common activity during travel – in a survey of 1,873 people, 76.62% of them bring a book along when they travel. Sitting on airplanes, trains, or in cars is a great way to catch up on one’s reading. But books can be heavy and take up a lot of space. Opting to use an e-reader while you travel makes it easy to bring a book of any size along, and have a backup in case you finish your current read. 

Look for “Packable” Items for Your Trip

Another way to save space when traveling is to bring along items that fold into themselves or pack into themselves. Think: grocery bags that fold into the size your palm; sun hats that twist into small saucers; silicone water bottles that accordion into a flat circle; jackets that can be stuffed into a small pouch or an exterior pocket. These items are useful on your trip and help save space in your bag. 

Opt for a Smaller Purse or Day Bag

What we carry around day-to-day isn’t always practical for travel. Instead of bringing along large wallets or billfolds, consider getting a silmmed down card case or wallet. Additionally, take a look at the purse or day bag you usually carry. Consider opting for a smaller version that only carries what you need. This will reduce the amount of weight you have to carry and make it easier to find what you need during your trip.

Utilize Pill Pack Organizers

There’s no skipping bringing along your medications when you travel. And it’s a good idea to have over-the-counter medications like ibeuprofeun, antacid, benadryl and dramamine – just in case. Instead of bringing along bottles of each, measure out the amount you’ll need for your trip and store them in a handy pill pack organizer. It’s easier to transport and keeps all of your medications in one place. 

Get a Travel Scale

If you’re flying for your travels, especially in places like Europe where weight restrictions are heavily enforced, a travel scale can be a boon to make sure your bag doesn’t exceed the limits set by your ticket. 

Traveling is all about exploration, adventure, and making memories. By following these 24 tips and tricks, you can make your travels easier, more enjoyable, and less stressful. And don't forget to embrace the power of technology by using an eSIM, which ensures you're always connected, no matter where your wanderlust takes you. With the right preparations and mindset, your next journey is bound to be an unforgettable experience. Safe travels!

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