My job allows me the flexibility to work from any location, which means I get to do something that I love more than almost anything: travel. I'm constantly jetting off to some new and exciting location, and while the experience of being in these locations and exploring new destinations is amazing, the process of actually getting there can be a different story altogether. From frustratingly long lines, endless waiting periods, cranky passengers and intense security situations, airports can be one of the most stressful places on earth. In fact, I get so nervous about the idea of missing my flight that I insist on getting to the airport four hours early every time. My husband is not a fan of this practice.
Luckily, there are travel hacks to make the experience less agonizing. These travel tips from frequent flyers are beyond brilliant. In fact, you might want to bookmark these travel packing tips right now so you can reference it later. From what to pack to how to get upgrades on the cheap, read on for the best travel tips around, as approved by frequent flyers.
Melatonin, checked bags and speed-walking
I fly a lot. A thread of what I learned: • Never check bags. Pack for max 10 days & do laundry. • Jetlag hits you… https://t.co/DCUg1nUdBZ— taha (@taha)1550667852.0
The first of these travel tips might be a deal-breaker for some people.
I understand that the idea of only packing a carry-on bag for long trips sounds daunting, but this travel hack will save you money and the added time of waiting at baggage claim.
Travel fans swear by melatonin, and it really works! The natural sleep aid will send you into a deep sleep almost instantaneously, letting you catch up with the time zone.
Combating cabin pressure
• Cabin pressure & lack of movement is bad for blood circulation. Regular stretches & movement prevents aching. •… https://t.co/ir417py80y— taha (@taha)1550667852.0
I actually hadn't considered the fact that watching movies can dry out your eyes.
Instead, listening to music or a podcast allows you to rest your eyes so you can arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready for fun.
Upgrades are key
• Ask for upgrades at the gate everytime. Sometimes they’re really cheap. • Noise cancelling headphones are essent… https://t.co/oC5XsiKKDL— taha (@taha)1550667853.0
I have literally never asked for an upgrade, mostly because I just assume they'll be out of my price range. Querying the airline employees at the gate is a great travel hack.
Also, power banks are the perfect way to combat the complete and total lack of available outlets at airports.
Snacks on snacks on snacks
• Snacks. M&Ms or Skittles are good. • Orange Juice is magic. It makes you feel alive again. Bring your own, their… https://t.co/MhNZG1rsTP— taha (@taha)1550667853.0
Everyone knows that snacks are essential when traveling, but what you choose makes all the difference.
One of the best travel tips is to back orange juice. It's the perfect way to get some much-needed vitamins and a quick pick-me-up without all the added sugar. In that mind frame, stock up on fresh fruit at the airport shops - it's a great travel packing tip.
A beautiful deception.If your plans change and you need to cancel your hotel reservation against the hotel's cancellation policy, don't call and cancel. I've tried to barter with hotels many times, but truthfully unless you have a good relationship with the hotel, they have no reason to refund you. Instead, call the hotel and move your reservation to next week. Even if it is against the cancellation policy, most hotels will allow you to alter a reservation without issue. Then (usually a few hours later to guarantee you talk to a different hotel rep) call and cancel your "new" reservation. - Peacockblue11
Give yourself options, girl!
When it comes to travel packing hacks....
Take clothes that all match with each other, whatever combination you wear. Don't pack anything you can only wear with one specific outfit.
Better safe than sorry.Photocopy all your important documents, credit card numbers etc, email them to yourself and someone at home. And have two credit/debit cards and leave one in your room so if you get mugged, you have a back-up. - hippiebanana
"Did we just become best friends?!"As soon as possible, become friends with a local. That will make everything 90% easier than it should be. Also, memorize or write down the "important " phone numbers of the place you're at. Numbers such as police, firefighter, KFC... Your call. - NoFlyingSolo
It's fun to secretly palm people money — try it next time you're paying back your friend for buying drinks.If you're traveling to a third world country look into the accepted bribery practices. - ButtersHound Best way to do this is buy one of those plastic holders for your passport/license. Keep a $20 in the plastic holder behind your documents. If the police officer is looking for a bribe, they will take the documents, and return them without the $20. If the police officer isn't looking for a bribe, you can say that you just keep a $20 in there for emergency situations. - [account deleted]
"Hey honey, remember when we were at this sign? Good times."Make the first photo you take of the place you're visiting a photo of the place's name (Like the train terminal or similar). That way you'll be able to work out later where you took all your photo's that day. - Shishakli
Great use for old clothes.If you have an old shirt or socks you are going to throw out anyway, bring it and wear it but throw it out before you come back that way you make room for souvenirs. - PM_ME_GIRL
They probably have good turkey in Paris, too.
If you are leaving the country (United States) and can swing it, my best travel tip is leave on Thanksgiving. It's an American holiday and people are traveling state to state. Ticket prices go WAY down if you are leaving the country.
A few years ago I wanted to go to Ireland and booked my tickets 2 months in advance. Tickets were around 1,200 dollars every day except thanksgiving which dropped to 550. Have done this every Thanksgiving since.
They mean get pushed off your plane and take another plane later, not the illicit kind of "bump."Take a bump on a plane if there's one available and you have the flexibility in your schedule. Go right to the front desk at the gate to see if one is available and put yourself on the waiting list in case the opportunity arises. The upside to taking a bump is tremendous; there are typically financial incentives and sometimes upgrades on your next flight. If you have to stay an extra night in your location the airline will put you up in a hotel. I've even gotten bumps that have resulted in boarding direct flights and avoiding a layover, which cut time OUT of my overall travel. - ailetoile
They keep your legs warm!
The one time I didn't bring pants in my carry-on I got stranded in Chicago for three days.
Always bring pants.
A handy travel hack is to wear them.
As the renter of an apartment, I am happy to vouch for apartments.
A great travel hack is to rent an apartment instead of a hotel room if you're staying more than a week. You'll have a kitchen so you don't have to eat out all the time, a more realistic experience of the city, and it's typically cheaper than the hotel would have been.
Suck up that wifi like Daniel Plainview sucked up oil (like a milkshake).If you're in an airport that doesn't have any free wifi, look for the airline lounges. The lounges always have free wifi, and you should be able to pick up the signal outside the doors. I know United doesn't even have a landing page on theirs. Just connect and you're on the fast internet. - nebulus64
Just get a few useful phrases in your vocabulary.
Language. You don't need a mastery of it, but learn the phrases "How much is this?" "Where is the bathroom?" and if you're in Asia or street markets, learn bartering words like "Cheaper" and whatnot is one of the best travel tips.
Also learn how to "walk away" from the deal to get a better one. Learning key language phrases can also help you navigate local public transportation so you don't get screwed over by the taxis.
How else are you supposed to carry your Nintendo Switch?
The greatest travel hack is a man bag/purse. In many countries, it's common to put stuff in a bag of some type. Avoid putting your wallet in your back pocket and if you do then avoid "tap checking" things to make sure they're there. You're just saying "Hey, my valuables are in these pockets."
Truly ingenious.Buy a cheap starter pistol and include it in your checked bag/case. Declare it when you check the bag. They will inspect it and place a card inside and lock it back up. The airline really does not want a case with a weapon in it getting lost or tampered with. Photographers have been doing this for many years to ensure their expensive equipment arrives intact. Starter pistol in every case. - Freakin_A
Sounds like a fun trip!
For you booze lovers like me, you are allowed to bring as many of those tiny bottles of liquor onto a plane as you please as long as they are in a zip-locked bag - a serious travel packing hack. Found that out last year on my trip over to Spain.
These are some good Google Maps work-arounds.
A great travel hack is if you're traveling in another country (i.e. probably do not have cellular data), always zoom in on the map on Google Maps and scroll around to load as much of the map as possible whenever you have wifi, and then leave the application running (don't quit out of it).
The GPS doesn't require data to use (so you can turn off data and still use your GPS on Google Maps), so when you're trying to get from point A to point B, you can just use the map on your phone to see where you're going, and since you've already loaded the zoomed-in map, you can see street names and other details.
Clear your cacheEvery time you look up a flight the price goes up. Clear your cookies first to get the original price - cepppaf/
My best travel tips? Business cards.
Whenever I go to a new town (China) I take a business card from the restaurant I liked. Write a description on back. As I cannot read Chinese. So I have cards that on the back say, American Steaks, Korean BBQ. Fish house.
Hotels are getting smart, the desk clerk will write on the back of their card in Chinese where I want to go. Mall, Bar, Ferry, etc. This also does double duty as I can now use card to get back to hotel.
Go out on a limb.I always book hotels about 15 mins before I show up. You may not always get the room or place you want, but I have stayed at many 4 and 5 star hotels between Philly, NY, Baltimore, and DC for less than 100 a night. I also do this if I am going to a sporting event in that given city. I've gone to multiple NFL playoff games for 50-60 and sat lower level. - kevrjs37
They're also good for diapers.
My best travel packing tips? Buy a diaper bag for photography equipment. They're cheaper, waterproof, and nobody steals a diaper bag.
Chuck everything out of your suitcase.
When it comes to travel tips, travel as light as possible. If you question if you'll need it, you don't need it.
And know where you're going! Don't jump three lanes of traffic to make an exit and don't stop in the middle of the concourse to figure out where your flight is.
This is maybe a good idea outside of travel too?Bring a journal and write down everything you do. EVERYTHING. Hold onto receipts, brochures, etc. Not only will this keep you organized, you can have lots of memories to fall back on. The worst thing in traveling is to have wonderful experiences in a new place and forgetting what exactly was so wonderful a few months later. - FRUITY_GAY_GUY
If you are looking to party and you're at a hostel... find the Australians.
Carry baby wipes on your hip like you were a cowboy and they were your six-shooter.BABY WIPES ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND. You can give yourself a quick wipe down, and feel much cleaner than just washing your face. GREAT for bathroom stops. AND you will always have clean hands. I keep a pack in my purse (yes I'm a girl) at ALL times. You can get them for super cheap! - amazonallie
Might I recommend a fine Taco Bell washroom?If you are traveling in a place with less than ideal bathrooms, try going to a fast-food restaurant. They usually are fairly clean compared to local bathrooms and usually don't charge money to use the toilet. - oaklandnative
Roll the dice... on adventure.Try skyskanner.com. You can leave inbound or outbound destinations blank allowing you to find the cheapest flight if you don't have a set itinerary or if you're feeling open/adventurous as to where you go. - duffsmuff
Turns out, water is important.UV light water filters. It will run you about 50 bucks but being able to get water straight out of the tap will save you money in the long run. Plus being able to drink water straight out of a river could save your life. - cosmicjesus3
Make it a fun little scavenger hunt for the burglars!Do not hide your money at the same place! Put some in your socks, your bra, your shirt, your butt if you want — but don't leave them at the same place! - Deerattack
Might I recommend the bacon-wrapped hot dog, sir?When you go somewhere that is all about street food but have a sensitive stomach stick to stands where you see more woman and children eating. - TheVelvetMayor
Getting through security
• Passports are pocket sized. Keep it on you from start to finish. • Always take off belt, shoes & jackets at secu… https://t.co/GIUcR0yoWU— taha (@taha)1550667854.0
Don't cheap out on bags
• Have good bags. I use an Away Suitcase & a Peak Design Backpack. • Always have a shortcut set up to alert someon… https://t.co/FqrywK1Vud— taha (@taha)1550667854.0
Pack like a pro
@AmandaSellers22 @KhanStopMe Roll all the clothes you can & limit bulky items (wear them on the plane if you can, o… https://t.co/cAISiqrQuQ— katy (@katy)1550682631.0
When it comes to travel packing tips, it helps to think to yourself, "What would Marie Kondo do?"
In fact, that mindset helps in all areas of life.
Don't over shoe it
@AmandaSellers22 @insan3_duan3 @KhanStopMe Also, packing cubes with compression zippers can save you even more spac… https://t.co/30A1WMkvsy— Mike Morain (@Mike Morain)1550683519.0
@KhanStopMe • Bring an empty reusable water bottle - no need to pay for a $5 bottle in the airport or deal with the… https://t.co/p8nrCn1sfv— Always Right about market manipulation (@Always Right about market manipulation)1550678026.0
Not only is that empty water bottle idea a brilliant travel packing hack, but you'd be amazed at how far simply being kind can get you.
Airport employees are so used to dealing with rude, stressed-out people that they're much more willing to throw an upgrade or perk to the ones who are polite and agreeable.
Flight essentialsI cannot stress this enough: DRESS. IN. LAYERS. Also, bringing your own soft yet compact blanket is 100X better than using one of those germ-riddled ones they provide for you on the plane.
Germs, germs, germs!
@ViviFriedgut @mely1706 @KhanStopMe Flight attendant friends have told me, never touch or reach into the seat pocke… https://t.co/5HmWnpWhMo— Gurjeet (@Gurjeet)1550755353.0
Don't forget your pen
@KhanStopMe Always keep a pen in your carryon so you can fill out the landing card early and not have the whole pla… https://t.co/68XQPFCxJY— Evan Edinger (@Evan Edinger)1550668308.0
Pockets are essentialIf you're about to miss your flight, there's simply no time to sit there and re-pack your carry-on back after going through security. This tip is essential for those who don't insist on getting to the airport four hours early (like I do).
Aisle seats are awesomeI've always been a die-hard aisle fan and would take an aisle seat over a window seat every time. There are few things more awkward in life than having to wake up your sleeping seatmate so you can use the bathroom.
Just add water
@KhanStopMe I fly a lot and I always bring my own packets of instant oatmeal and teabags. Just ask for hot water.— Shea (@Shea)1550677213.0
@KhanStopMe Use the bathroom on the plane right when you board. It's as clean as it will ever be, and there's no line.— Peter Micek (@Peter Micek)1550680517.0
Avoid food poisoning
Sure, that airport sushi looks like it would be a great pre-flight snack, but do you really want to risk hurling your guts out at 31,000 feet? May we remind you our 'bring healthy food' travel packing hacks?
Kids travel must-haves
@KhanStopMe I make an activity pack each for my kids. A magazine of their choice, pad, pens, tablet on flight mode… https://t.co/zMfnOu2SD7— 𝓒𝓵𝓪𝓲𝓻𝓮 (@𝓒𝓵𝓪𝓲𝓻𝓮)1550677434.0
Traveling with small children has got to be a harrowing experience.
Parents, come prepared with your best travel tips.
Only non-noisy toys
@KhanStopMe When traveling with young kids... bring new toys (not noisy!!), novelty will distract your kid and then… https://t.co/odTYT8qmyp— Sarah Pinault (@Sarah Pinault)1550676537.0
Bare feet are a no-no
@KhanStopMe For all that is holy keep your shoes/slippers on your dang feet! Please, keep your pants on. I don’t c… https://t.co/71JOURwgdi— Debbie Mason (@Debbie Mason)1550679496.0
@KhanStopMe Listen to the in-flight safety demo! Disrespectful and irresponsible not to, even if you’re a regular flyer.— d s (@d s)1550678037.0
Make your suitcase stand out
@mattpalka @Arch_tweets @CourtneyStaton0 I bought royal purple luggage. Under the harsh airport lights, it practica… https://t.co/1eUgIpY9h0— Amanda Buskill (@Amanda Buskill)1550778009.0
One of my biggest travel packing tips? I made the mistake of buying my husband and me generic black luggage for our New Orleans honeymoon, and I can't even tell you how many suitcases we picked up thinking they were ours.
Do something to make yours easy to spot.
Bribe your way to business classSure, this probably won't result in an immediate upgrade most of the time, but it can't hurt, right?
@KhanStopMe Take a picture of all your prescriptions and keep all your meds in carry on luggage only. A lot of peop… https://t.co/2vCbkmk7zb— SimpleHealthRadio (@SimpleHealthRadio)1550688074.0
Patience is a virtue
@KhanStopMe - Delays are not always the airlines fault. Just because the weather isn’t bad where you are, doesn’t m… https://t.co/rQOmzIbYKo— Alyssa ⭕️ (@Alyssa ⭕️)1550688317.0
Be strategic with your seat
@KhanStopMe When flying international, choose seat when booking but do not online check in. At check in, ask if pla… https://t.co/KzLNKC66lr— amy❣️sweetondean (@amy❣️sweetondean)1550689344.0
Tray tables are gross
@Ann_Slater22 Baby diaper changes often occur on tray tables, just FYI. And people stuff their used tissues, napkin… https://t.co/3uTxQ79qQW— Serenity Now! (@Serenity Now!)1550685609.0
Walk it out
@KhanStopMe Take walks around the airport to see everything they have, relieve anxiety and tire yourself out a bit… https://t.co/cD0YDUqTPs— not that bad (@not that bad)1550685084.0
Tour the cockpit
@KhanStopMe Also, for the aviation geeks like myself 😂 Some airlines, like Southwest will let you come into the co… https://t.co/33RmM95BFb— JayBird (@JayBird)1550693069.0
How cool is this great travel hack?!?
I'm definitely trying this the next time I fly.
Don't be a jerk when deplaning
@KhanStopMe Be considerate of deplaning - if you aren’t in a rush to make a connecting flight, exit ROW BY ROW, sta… https://t.co/6tsfoigKzi— Tara Oram (@Tara Oram)1550756445.0
Everyone has that moment when the plane lands and they just want to push everyone out of the way in order to be the first one off the plane.
I have that urge literally every time.
But please, try to stifle that urge.
Believe it or not, you're actually not more important than the 300 other people on the plane.
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