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As you’re planning your next trip, start off on the right foot with my 10 best practical travel hacks that will make you a smarter, healthier and happier traveler. These tips have served me well in my travels to 30 countries and 33 states thus far, and I hope you’ll find them useful as well.
Book the earliest flight possible for each leg of your trip. Start at Rakuten to earn cash back on all your flight, hotel and cruise bookings.
- If the airline overbooks your flight (which happens fairly often on popular routes), you can then volunteer for a later flight and possibly earn a free flight voucher while still getting to your destination that day. I’ve gotten a $400 voucher several times in exchange for volunteering.
- Another thing to consider – if no one volunteers immediately, don’t be afraid to ask the gate agent if they’d be willing to raise the amount of the voucher for you. Typically, they will want to raise the value of the voucher instead of making someone angry by taking away their seat.
- Another benefit to earlier flights is fresher pilots and fewer chances of delays if you’re one of the first flights of the day to leave. This is especially important in a city like San Francisco which is notorious for its fog – leaving on an early flight will help you avoid delays due to some types of weather as well.
If you didn’t bring an adapter, check to see if the TV in your hotel or hostel has a USB port for charging.
- It may not charge your device quite as quickly as a wall outlet, but at least you will get some charge out of it. Another option is to bring a portable battery which is useful if you’re out and about without access to any physical outlets.
Email a picture of your Passport and other important documents and credit cards to yourself before you leave.
- Some people opt for a printed copy which is fine if you have room, but I prefer to have an electronic copy in case I lose my wallet or get anything stolen. Having an email record of all your important documents can definitely come in handy in a crisis.
Always keep a travel pack (or two) of tissues with you.
- Especially in Asia but also in Europe, you might be surprised to find out just how many places do not supply toilet paper in public restrooms!
- It’s also a good idea to carry coins with you at all times since many countries now charge for the use of public restrooms.
Bring a travel washcloth.
- It’s amazing how refreshing it can be to wash your face on a long plane or train ride.
- If staying in a hostel or Airbnb, you might also need to bring your own since they’re not always provided.
Bring a pillowcase and create your own pillow with a jacket or rolled up clothes when you’re in a pinch. If that’s too uncomfortable for you, you can also purchase a small travel pillow.
- Whether camping, on a long layover in the airport, or just for times I need a place to rest my head on public transport, a pillow has been a nice comfort to have.
Download movies or books for your trip before you get to the airport
- Not all flights have seatback screens and/or you might end up with one that’s broken. Having things to read or watch on your own device is indispensable.
- Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans – This is a great option if you want to check out the books they have to offer since the first month is free.
Pack a shampoo bar.
- This serves as soap and shampoo in one – a great space saver in your luggage! I like having bar soap on hand since body wash just doesn’t leave me feeling as clean, so this is one of my favorite inventions.
Donate all your coins to a charity or to the homeless before leaving each country.
- Typically, you can’t exchange coins back into your own currency (only paper bills), so why not help out those in need instead of just wasting them? Many airports also have donation stations for this purpose.
Utilize a free app for international calls.
- You can use apps like Skype, WhatsApp, or Viber for free international calls. You can also make calls via Facebook messenger, but the quality isn’t great.
I hope you’ll be able to benefit from at least a few of these hacks on your next trip. Do you want in on even more of my favorites? Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to receive 25 additional travel hacks that you may not have heard of!
What are your favorite travel hacks? I’d love for you to share them with me below. Also, be sure to shop my travel essentials for your packing list.
Thanks for reading!