Traveling is a passion and a sense of freedom for many. Going around the world visiting different places, studying their culture and traditions, tasting the cuisines, and mingling with people all is an experience of a lifetime. While the whole experience of traveling can be rewarding, sometimes the expenditure may cripple some wanderers from pursuing their desire to see new places. Travel hacks come in handy to help you travel tension-free, be economical, be safe, be healthy, and also informed. So here are some fantastic travel hacks that may come in handy while you are traveling alone, with family or friends.
1. Do your research
Research is the very first and most crucial step for you while planning a trip. Try to sort out the following:
- Where you want to travel to?
- When are you planning to travel?
- Determine the weather conditions of your destination?
- Find the type of activities you want to indulge in during the trip?
Your research will help you plan efficiently so that you can carry with you the only stuff you require.
2. Research your wardrobe
Minimalistic is the new mantra. Pack your minimalist wardrobe for the destination. Research the dressing culture of your destination. It is essential to pack the right clothing & shoes. Artistically create a capsule wardrobe for the trip. The concept is to make a maximum number of outfits from less number of cloths. For example, with four tops and eight pants, you can create 32 outfits. Carry with you the dresses that come under simple universal pallets you can work with. The basic rule is to avoid overpacking. Next, plan your travel wardrobe based on your research. Try wearing your heavy clothing like jackets, especially if you are traveling to cold destinations. You may opt for neutral color coats that go with any outfit and save you from packing bulky. You can wear jackets or coats with extra pockets where you can carry small things that you cannot pack into your suitcase.
3. Narrow down your shoe numbers
Try to take less amount of shoes. If you are traveling in summer, carry walking sandals and a pair of shoes. If you are traveling in winter, bring a pair of sneakers, a pair of boots and a pair of dress shoes. Select colors that go with any costume.
4. Take a break from electronics
The tech-savvy world is strapped with electronics in every walk of our life. There are situations where you are left handicapped without your devices. Avoid taking all your devices with you. Your smartphone can perform the function of multiple devices with different apps and adapters.
5. Avoid the just in case items
We, humans, are always prepared for what-if situations. But while traveling, it is best to avoid bulky baggage with unnecessary things. You can resource many of the stuff from the place you visit. Be clear of the activities you would be doing and also the gear you need. For example, you don’t need an extra toothbrush for just in case situations.
6. Use packing cubes
Packing cubes are small zipper cubes that save space and helps you quickly find your stuff without making a mess of your suitcase. Zipper bags can be used to pack your clothes in a more compressed manner giving you more packing space. You can easily roll your clothes into the cubes.
7. If you lose your luggage
Tag your luggage with your name and phone number before the trip so that in case you forget your luggage anywhere the tag will quickly help other people to return your luggage to you.
8. Pack the heaviest at the bottom
Remember to pack all your heavy things at the bottom of the luggage. Back your woolens, shoes, and heavy stuff in the order of descending order of the weight. The smaller stuff can be securely packed at the top, reducing the risk of damage. This hack also makes sure that you can make some easy adjustments in the packing to quickly zip in the zipper.
You have to take off your belt while moving through the security check. It can be annoying, especially if you are wearing loose-fitting clothes. You may end up embarrassing if you hobble through the X-ray machine hopping your pants won’t fall off. The most feasible solution is to wear a belt with plastic buckles. In case you are not using your belt, you may roll them into the collar of your button-down shirt. This keeps your collar stiff and saves space.
10. Pack extra clothing in your carry on
Try carrying extra clothes in your carry-on in case you lose your language. In case if you are traveling with kids, a change of clotting comes handy if they become sick during the flight.
11. Travel by public transportation
When traveling to an unknown country or the city, travelers prefer to travel by private cars, uber, or taxi. The main reason is not wanting to get lost in a strange town or getting into unwanted troubles with the locals, especially if they don’t know the local language. The taxis and uber etc. can be a bit costly. After doing thorough research on the safety of the paces, you may choose to use public transport which is cheap and reliable.
12. Plan your vacations close to public holidays
Combining your holidays with public holidays offers you the advantage of making your trip longer without disappointing your employer for taking long leaves from work. Though traveling during public holidays can become a little crowded and expensive, yet it’s worth a try to get a long break from work.
13. Travel off-season & save money
Traveling during the peak of tourist season can be beyond budget. There are destinations around the that are fun to visit even during off-seasons. The main perk of traveling off-season is that you get plane tickets, hotel bookings, and entertainment fees, etc. at a much lower rate. The weather may not be as high as the lower rates that you get, still, if you are on a budget and still want a wonderful vacation, try off-season holidays.
14. Look into city passes
If you’re traveling to a major city, you should research the city passes if you plan on going to famous tourist spots. These can save you time and sometimes help you pass the line. Are you going to Portugal? Get a Lisboa Card to get unlimited travel by public transportation, free entry into museums, and more deals. Paris has the Paris Museum Pass, which gets you free entry into more than 60 famous museums and monuments. Florence has the Firenze Card for access to all major museums as well.
15. Use credit cards with travel perks
Applying for yet another credit card might not seem like the best way to save money, but it is when it comes to travel perks. Individual credit cards help you rack up frequent flyer miles without even getting on an airplane so that you can save money on your airfare, your hotel, your rental car, and more. Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best travel cards out there, as it offers 2x points on travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases, as well as travel insurance and deals.
16. Use Crayons instead of candles
Use crayons as candles during travel. A handy travel hack that you may use while camping out in the forest or hill stations. Its believed that usually, a pencil burns up to half an hour offering light. Using crayons is a double advantage. You can use them to write down or draw something also.
17. The Hoodie Pillow
Use hoodie as a pillow on bus, plane, train, and taxi. It is a normal thing to do since other travelers wear their hoodies or hold them on their laps, while they're passed out with their head smashing against the chicken bus window. You can fold your hoodie so that you'll have a beautiful, comfy pillow that can rival those in beautiful hotel rooms.
18. Use local SIM cards
We usually tend to maintain the mobile number from our home town wherever we travel. But the maintenance charge is very high. The best solution to this is to use local SIM cards from countries you go to. Here the rates will be meager with added benefits of high-speed internet. All you need is an ID proof and small fee to get the local SIM card.
19. Keep a stash of snacks
While traveling, eating out of the restaurants are very expensive. Carry a stash of snacks in your backpack is a great way to fill your hungry stomach between main meals and a healthy option where you don’t find clean eat outs. This option can save you a lot of money.
20. Staying safe is a two-step process
While choosing a hotel for your stay, make sure it is in a safe and secure area of the city you visit. It is ok to make friends with the locals of the town but be cautious about what you say. Never answer to leading questions like- "Where do you stay here?” Inform your hotel reception that you are going out before you leave the hotel. It leaves a timestamp of your whereabouts with someone.