Polly Fletcher & Robert Arnold

Robert & Polly

October 8, 2014

56 Travel Hacks To Make Your Trips Go Smoothly

Travelling, whether on business or for pleasure can be a stressful experience. This bumper list of travel hacks will help your travels go as smoothly as humanly possible!

Pre-trip

  • Go incognito when looking for hotels and flights – Most travel booking websites (such as hotel, flight and train booking sites) store information about how you’ve browsed their website and which trips you’ve looked at. They then raise the price of the booking. Simply browse for your travel in incognito mode or private mode to avoid being ripped off!
  • Tell your bank and credit card supplier that you’re going abroad – this will save any of the awkwardness of them blocking your card due to suspicious activity.
  • Ask at check-in for a fragile sticker – even if your bag isn’t actually fragile, this will mean your bag is placed on the top of the other bags and it will usually come out first at the other end!
  • Scan a copy of your passport, id and itinerary and email it to yourself – that way, in the event of a theft, you’ll have a copy.
  • Google your flight number to see the status of it – It will show you if the flight’s on time, which terminal it is going from and when it’s scheduled to arrive.
  • The day before a long trip, do some exercise – this will help you to sleep on the plane.
  • If travelling with children, avoid giving the kids sweets before or during travel – the last thing you want is your kid going crazy for the whole journey!
  • Take pictures of things you might need on your phone before travelling to a country that speaks a different language – that way, when you’re stuck, you can show them the picture and they’ll understand!
  • Book your flight transfer or any car hire requirements BEFORE you arrive – this saves the stress of trying to find your way to the hotel when you get there.
  • Wear a jacket to the airport if you can – that way, when you have to remove your belt, wallet, phone and change at security, you can put it all in your jacket pockets so that you can quickly and easily get away from the conveyor belt.
  • Flights are usually cheaper on Wednesdays and Thursdays – they’re usually at their most expensive on a Friday and Saturday, try to book around this.
  • Change money before you leave – airport currency exchange shops aren’t usually great, it’s usually best to do it before you go.
  • Book flights around 8 weeks in advance – this tends to be the best time to book flights for the best cost savings.
  • When you get a new camera, take a selfie – not out of vanity, but because if you lose your camera and it is found, the selfie will prove that it’s yours!
  • If travelling with children, avoid giving the kids sweets before or during travel – the last thing you want is your kid going crazy for the whole journey!

Packing

  • Use a tumble dryer sheet in your case to keep clothes fresh – Putting a tumble dryer sheet in your suitcase will keep your clothes smelling fresh and it will also reduce static.
  • Roll, roll, roll your clothes – Your mum was right; rolling your clothes really does save space in your suitcase. Roll them as tightly as possible to fit more in your case.
  • Put underwear and socks in shoes to save space – Does exactly what it says on the tin! Save space.
  • Use a binder clip to protect your razor – A binder clip will stop your razor blade becoming blunted in transit.
  • Use foil or cling film under your toiletry lids to prevent leaks – this will seal the opening and, when you arrive, you can just throw it away.
  • Use a shower cap to cover your shoes – this is perfect for if your shoes are a bit dirty and you don’t want them to mark your clothes.
  • Use a binder clip to wrap headphones – stop your headphones from tangling when you aren’t using them.
  • Use tic tac containers to keep things tidy – you can fit things like hair grips, pins, safety pins etc. in them to stop them being messy.
  • Put your belts inside shirt collars – this will keep your shirt collars crisp as well as saving space.
  • Use a pen spring to stop charger cables breaking – this will stop the charger cable from bending awkwardly and tearing.
  • Take an empty water bottle in your hand luggage – then you can refill it after security at the airport without paying the extortionate airport prices for water.
  • Pack an extension cable – as we’ve said, some hotels are light on plugs. Taking a power extension cable can get around this.
  • Store loose cables in a glasses case to keep them in one place – if you have a lot of chargers to take with you, store the loose cables in a glasses case to keep them tidy.
  • Have an emergency stash of cash stored in an empty lip balm bottle – thieves are unlikely to steal this.
  • Stop your necklaces becoming tangled by threading them through a straw – then fasten them around it. You can thank us later!
  • Pack a pen – you’ll always need a pen.
  • Bring your own tea/coffee – that way, you have the tea/coffee of your preference.
  • Use an inflatable armband float to keep your wine safe on the way home – if you’re visiting a country known for its wine, you’ll probably want to bring some home. Wrap an inflatable armband around each bottle to keep them safe in transit.
  • Use our handy travel checklist for your pre-travel checks – click here.

Flying

  • If your flight doesn’t have great in-flight entertainment, put your ipod in a clear bag and hang it from the seat in front – that way, you’ll be able to watch whatever shows you have saved on your ipod. Simply attach the bag to where the table folds into.
  • Go to the toilet around 20 minutes before landing – that way you won’t be fighting for the toilets when you get to the airport!
  • If your airline is overbooked, offer to go on the next flight if they ask – usually they pay a lot of money and put you in a hotel for the night! Obviously only do this if you don’t have a meeting planned!

Arriving & Your Trip

  • Express mode in lifts – want to know a cool secret? On some lifts, if you press the close door button and your floor button at the same time, the lift will go straight to your floor without stopping at any others! Perfect for the times when you’re in a rush!
  • Put a door stop on the inside of your hotel door while you sleep – this will stop anybody entering your room at night if your door lock isn’t great.
  • Find networking events and go to them – it’s always good to build a global network and you’ll get loads of advice on things to do in the area!
  • DIY Phone Props – You can use a lot of things as DIY phone props, such as corks with chunks missing and sunglasses.
  • Clean out an old sun screen bottle to store your valuables while you’re at the beach – people won’t expect your valuables to be in there so you can relax about leaving your valuables while you go into the sea.
  • Bring your own tea/coffee – that way, you have the tea/coffee of your preference.
  • Use mobile apps – this will organise your trip in an easy to access way. No one likes faffing around with paper when they’re in a rush. A great app for keeping yourself organised is TripCase. The xe.com app is also great for converting currency while you’re there.
  • Turn mobile data and roaming off when travelling abroad – it can cost you a fortune with modern smartphones.
  • Putting your phone in an empty mug or glass creates a perfect DIY speaker
  • If you have a handbag and plan on leaving it on the floor while you eat, loop it around your leg – that way, if somebody tries to swipe it, you’ll feel it.
  • Press a hot spoon against new mosquito bites – it kills the chemical that causes the itching!
  • If you’re trying to make your phone battery last and don’t plan to use it for calls, put it on flight mode – also turn off the vibrate function. It’ll last much longer!
  • Have an emergency stash of cash stored in an empty lip balm bottle – thieves are unlikely to steal this.
  • Send a postcard to yourself at home every time you do something interesting – it’ll be nice to come home to!
  • Put your phone in a sandwich bag when visiting the beach – not only will this stop your screen getting scratched and your phone getting covered in sand, the touch screen still works through the bag!
  • Use talcum powder to remove sand that’s stuck on your skin and hair – works a treat!
  • Give all of your leftover coins to the homeless – you can’t usually change your coins in your home country anyway, so be a nice person and give your change to the homeless.
  • Use the TV in the hotel to charge your phone or devices – some hotels are pretty light on plugs. You can use the USB slot on the back or side of the hotel TV to charge your devices.
  • When you arrive at your hotel, load Google maps for the local area on your phone, then type ‘ok maps’ to save it offline – then, when you’re out and about, you can access the map and find your way home, even without the Internet.
  • And, when you arrive at your hotel, drop a pin in the map – that way you’ll have a reference point on your map to find your way home!

We hope that you’ve enjoyed the guide, feel free to share it with your friends!