Traveling for a vacation is supposed to be fun. Unfortunately, the stress leading up to and during the trip can often take away from your enjoyment.
It does not have to be this way, however. By following some basic tips, you can save money and your sanity. Here are 10 travel hacks that you can use on your next trip, whether it is a whirlwind Europe tour or a luxurious Bahamas cruise.
1. Roll Your Clothes
Instead of folding the clothes that you are taking on your trip, roll them into tube shapes. This will give you more space in your suitcase and minimize wrinkling. It will also limit the amount of luggage you need, reducing your baggage fees.
Of course, rolling large bulky coats can be difficult. That is why you should leave those at home. If you are traveling someplace with cold weather, take waterproof jackets and lightweight cardigans instead.
2. Limit Toiletries
Large toiletries also take up unnecessary space in a suitcase. Just pack miniature bathroom products instead. After all, you do not need a giant bottle of shampoo for a week-long vacation. You can always buy extra if you run out during your trip.
3. Use Small Containers
You can easily find durable spray bottles in your local store. Instead of taking a large container of aftershave or perfume on your trip, save space by pouring a small amount of this liquid into a travel-size container.
Pill boxes and contact lens holders also make great travel kits. Pill boxes, in particular, can hold tiny batteries or jewelry. Similarly, you can place liquid makeup and skincare products into a lens case.
4. Label Your Bags as ‘Fragile’
Airport staff too often just throw luggage into and off the plane. By putting a “fragile” label on your bags, you will ensure that they get gently placed on top of everyone else’s. This should also make your suitcases the first ones to appear in baggage claim.
5. Hurry to Baggage Claim
Even if your luggage is first in the baggage claim area, you should head there as soon as the plane lands. If you wait too long, it will be a madhouse when you attempt to retrieve your suitcases.
6. Be Smart About Bathroom Use
You should probably go to the bathroom before getting onto the airplane. However, if you get stuck in a long line at a stall, you could end up missing your flight. Instead of hitting the first bathroom you see, look for one that is further away from the main waiting areas. This bathroom should have a shorter line, so you can get in and out with plenty of time to make the flight.
After a long flight, the last thing you want to do is stand in line for the bathroom. You should thus use the toilet on the plane 15 or 20 minutes before it lands.
7. Grab a Pen Before Leaving the House
This is particularly important if you will be filling out customs forms. Flight attendants do not always have pens handy.
Credit Card Hacks
8. Call Your Credit Card Company in Advance
If a credit card company does not know that you are abroad, it may flag your overseas purchases as suspicious and lock you out of your account. Before you leave for your trip, tell the company where and when you will be traveling. This way, you will be able to use your cards whenever necessary.
9. Avoid Foreign Transaction Fees
Some credit card companies charge extra for foreign purchases. Make sure the cards you bring with you do not include these fees.
10. Redeem Your Rewards
Approximately $380 billion in credit card rewards go unredeemed each year. As you plan your trip, see if you can use built-up points or miles to reduce your travel expenses.
The above travel hacks should make your next trip easier and less stressful. This, in turn, should allow you to truly enjoy your vacation