Want to know of some secrets or helpful travel hacks?
■ A successful vacation is when you have had a rejuvenating escape and enjoyed every minute of it. However, it needs proper planning, else it could easily become a frustrating experience. Small little ideas help to make a trip more enjoyable and more memorable, while making the mundane part of the planning exercise and the vacation experience much easier. We are talking about travel hacks, of course!
■ If you want your luggage to be hauled around with care, attach a FRAGILE tag to it.
■ While packing, make sure all the heavy items are at the bottom. This keeps the suitcase better balanced when you roll it.
■ Rolling your clothes prevents wrinkles and maximizes space. Packing cubes and compression bags also maximize storage. Compression bags are the best aids for travel and in general at home.
■ It is so much easier to carry your jewelry in a pills/ supplement case, none of your necklaces would be tangled.
■ Any lotion or oil you carry, make sure you cover the mouths with clear cling wraps, and then replace the lid. This prevents any spillage and saves precious clothes and shoes that are packed alongside in the luggage.
■ Placing four or five dryer sheets in between your clothes keeps them smelling fresh and free of static.
■ Wear tall boots or carry that heavy winter jacket in your hand, that way you save on important packing space.
■ If it can be avoided and even as a best practice, learn to travel light. Use carry-on baggage, and skip on the check-in. This not only saves some precious time waiting for baggage claim, but also saves your suitcases from torture and abuse.
■ Plan your packing! Make a list! For example, take a shirt that pairs well with multiple bottoms. Pack based on your destination, the weather and the activities. For men, two pairs of shoes, maybe brown and black will cover all your outfits. Carry a sandal if needed. Women can carry one pair of heels that will work for occasions, one sports shoe and one casual sandal.
■ Repress the urge to overpack! Trust us, being minimalistic while packing will save you so much. And don't forget, you also need space to bring back souvenirs and gifts. So, pack light.
■ Use up all unused space. Pack 3 pairs of socks inside your shoes, wrap a bunch of hair ties around your hairbrush etc. Use common sense.
■ Ladies, it's time to ditch that little purse you carry around in the local area. Pack it up in the baggage if you want. But while in-route, it is important to carry a decent size tote or handbag. That extra space will help significantly as you will now have quick temporary space for your documents, a packed lunch from the airport, etc., and your hands will be free.
Air Travel Hacks
■ Did you know only 50% of seats available really show up online? So, if it appears that the flight is full, just call the airline directly and speak to a living, breathing person. We can bet they can get you that ticket in no time.
■ This is an important one - Listen up close! Clear up all the cookies and history from your laptop before you start the booking process on your laptop. Every website you visit and show interest, you are being flagged; and that jacks up your prices. You definitely do not want your history to cost you more, do you?
■ Here's another neat one - one we have noticed consistently - 3pm on the Tuesday that falls six weeks prior to your date of travel, tickets are always absolutely the cheapest. Oh and bonus - Sundays are the most expensive days to travel. See if you could skip the day.
■ Flying into smaller and near enough airports versus flying into the most traffic-heavy and hub airports can have huge differences in airfares. Check this one out for yourself.
■ You hate the middle seat, who doesn't! How about the seats closer to the restrooms! Ugh! The key is to understand that most airlines hold back at least 30% of seats, so all you have to do really is ask. Ask and you shall receive! If you are nice, the airline representative will most probably give you your preferred seat.
■ There are two websites that we want to share with you. SeatGuru.com can help you see the seats that are in the exit row, or the seats that have no storage, and more. Using this, you can pick the best seats in the plane. You can sign up for NextVacay.com, and your home airport will notify you of fantastic travel deals.
■ We've saved the best one for the last. When you book an economy ticket, look at the booking code, and if it is Y or B, you have the best chance of an upgrade. Yay!
■ Do not call the 800 number to make a reservation at a hotel of choice, instead, make the extra effort to get the hotel's direct number and reach out to the manager or the sales director. You will have your room booked in no time.
■ Another small little tip - sending a handwritten thank you note to the booking agent will win you an upgrade. Not all the time, but there's nothing to lose here, really. A little kindness does go a long way.
■ At the check-in desk, ask which floor do they have their booster pumps installed? Requesting a room on that floor so you have better water pressure in your shower.
■ Pack a power strip, preferably with USB ports. You will be able to maximize the charging on your multiple devices. Also, all your chargers will be in one location and there's no chance of forgetting chargers at the hotel.
■ Don't forget to ask for an upgrade. You just might be in luck! All you need to do is ask.
■ If you have to wait at the airport lounges, you can avail their free Wifi. If it is free for only an hour, roll your device's clock back one hour when your time is just about to be over.
■ Instead of standing in long lines to collect a taxi at arrival, move your steps towards departures and grab one from there.
■ Look for tickets beforehand for tours/ other activities. This saves on time standing in the lines at actual locations and you could relax and simply enjoy your activities.
■ Before you leave for a location that has a time difference, plan for combating the jet lag a couple days in advance. Start sleeping at the appropriate time before traveling. On arrival, do not go to bed if it is not nighttime. Hold on for a good time, that way your body will adjust to the new schedule easily.
So, there you have it. Hopefully, there is enough value in this post for you to make your trip easy. Remember, the key is a deliberate and prior planning. A little pain at this earlier stage will serve you well and ensure you play hard later. The vice-versa could quite certainly be true as well. So, plan early, plan well, keep your awareness meter up and then enjoy the pleasures of your trip!
Share on social
More from Wander
Subscribe to Wander newsletter and get our "Making new friends on the road" guide