A quick Google search will open up a world of travel hacks, but you’ve had your share of travel adventures and you’re ready to take it up a notch. Whether you’re headed out for a quick vacation or a longer getaway once it's safe to travel again, these tips will have you traveling like a pro in no time.
Before Your Trip
Photo Cred: Ashley Whitlatch
Book Flights on a Private Browser
This hack begins the moment before you begin searching for flights. Web browsers track your activity through cookies. Once you search for something, it remembers when you search for it again and you’ll start to see higher prices for the same flights you saw just the other day. The work-around is to ensure you always use a private browser when you are searching for flights online. In your browser menu bar, under File, choose New Incognito Window or Private Browsing.
Check Your Credit Cards for Insurance Coverage
Depending on where you go, you might need travel insurance, medical insurance, car insurance, or all three. Check the benefits package offered with your credit card and see what you are covered for before you buy insurance that you already have. Many credit cards already have rental car, lost baggage, cancelled flight and emergency medical insurance included. The catch with most of these cards is that you have to pay for your trip using the card to be eligible for coverage.
Prep Your Digital Wallet
When you’re travelling, anything can happen. Prepare for those moments by scanning your important documents, like your passport, driver’s license, and insurance policies and uploading them to Google Drive, Dropbox, and/or email them to yourself. You can also take photos and make sure they’re stored offline in your phone. In case you get pickpocketed or lose your wallet, it’s helpful to have at least one of your credit cards linked to a digital wallet app.
The true test of a travel pro is what’s in their bag. Packing light can make or break your travel experience. Our best packing travel hack is...drumroll, please… you don’t need as many things as you think you do. Here’s a rapid-fire list of quick tips:
- Pack thermal base-layers instead of a big coat for cold weather destinations
- Use smaller containers for toiletries and bring only what you need
- Bring quick-dry clothes so you can wash your clothing on the go
- Wear the heaviest items you have on your travel days
- Roll your clothes in packing cubes and stuff socks inside your shoes
- Get a suitcase with built-in shelving so you everything stays organized and you can unpack in seconds
While You're Out There
Photo Cred: Ashley Whitlatch
Don’t Lose Your Sense of Wonder
Keeping an open mind when it comes to expectations is essential to travelling like a pro. Our top tip in this arena is to avoid looking at too many photos of the destination before you get there. Let yourself be amazed by something new. Often the best moments of travel happen when you stumble upon something unexpected.
Plan Most of Your Trip, Not All Of It
The more flexible you are, the less you will sweat the small stuff. You’re on vacation, so leave the stress at home. Finding the balance between booking tickets, transfers, or tours ahead and booking last-minute is a skill, but could also be a real gamble. The sweet spot for booking ahead is at least four weeks out. Booking last-minute should really be at the last minute. You risk not being able to do what you had planned, but you could also score a sweet deal. Remember that there’s no single way to discover a new place, so losing out on what you had planned can push you toward an unforgettable adventure you wouldn’t have otherwise experienced.
Bring a Reusable Water Bottle and LifeStraw
Single-use plastics can be found at every stage of your travel journey. Keep your bottle close-by so you can refill it at the airport after security. Bring it around with you to refill at public water stations. In warmer destinations, the sight of an ice-cold bottle of water can be tempting, so it’s important that you get an insulated stainless steel bottle so your water stays cold and fresh. If you’re in an area where the water isn’t potable, pick up a LifeStraw. After all, it won’t matter how much plastic we can pull out of the ocean if we don’t do something about the flow of plastics going into it in the first place.
Quick Tech Tips
Bring Just One Power Adapter
If you’re travelling to another country, you’ll need a travel adapter. It’s worth the investment to get an international adapter so that you can use it no matter where you end up. Instead of bringing multiple adapters, bring a multi-outlet power bar.
Download Offline Maps
Whether you get a local SIM card or using the data from your mobile plan back home, avoid draining your data by downloading offline maps. Connect to wifi and then open up Google Maps, hit the menu on the top left, and click Offline Maps. If you want to do it before you take off, download the Maps.me app.
Stay Charged On-The-Go
Carrying a portable charger makes almost every travel hack list out there, but what happens when you can’t charge your charger? You can avoid the issue by packing a solar-powered powerbank like the Solgaard Solarbank. Heck, take it a step further and get a suitcase or backpack that features an integrated USB port for your powerbank.
Well, there you have it, folks. Travel hacks for travel pros, and there’s more where that came from. Subscribe to our newsletter for more travel tips and guides.