Travel Smarter, Not Harder: Expert Hacks From Real Travelers

Are you searching for ways to make travel easier? We have got you covered. Someone recently asked, “What are your absolute favorite travel hacks?”

“For example, a favorite hack for anything to do with travel that makes your travel life easier, cheaper, more efficient, most _____? Mine is utilizing a duty-free bag to supplement one-bag carry-on-only travel.” Here are the top-voted travel hacks people online offered up.

1. Packing List Templates

Packing List
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Someone shared, “I use packing list templates I’ve curated over the years. I have one for beach vacations, city vacations, etc., and I modify them for whatever specific trip I take.”

“Then, after I return from my trip, I mark off the things I did not use so that the next time I use that list to pack, I can think twice about the things I need and don’t need.”

“Likewise, I create an Excel spreadsheet, make a fresh copy, and eliminate things you don’t need for that trip,” confirmed another. 

2. Credit Cards With Lounge Access

Leverage Spending To Make Money From Your Credit Cards
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“Credit cards that give you lounge access. The upside of lounge access is I don’t mind being three hours early at the airport anymore. The downside is that it has become an essential luxury, and I’m peeved when I’m at a smaller airport with no lounge,” one stated.

Another admitted, “Once you go to an airport lounge, travel will never be the same without it. Typically free good food and booze with a swanky lounge feel—a private, clean restroom with friendly happier travelers. The positives continue—no downsides. Even if a layover is very short, I’ll hit the lounge to use the restroom or grab a quick bite or drink.”

3. Separate Bag for Dirty Laundry

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“Bring a foldable, separate bag for dirty laundry,” one said. “I have one that can hold a good amount and folds down into my palm. I’ve had it since 2008! I even bring it on day trips in case something like sneakers or pants are too dirty to throw in my regular backpack.”

“I use a dry bag for this. You can stuff clothes in it on the way there,” confessed another. “And on longer trips to the second /third world, I bring a laundry detergent sheet to wash stuff easily in the sink or tub or in the dry bag itself. Then air dry. You can then put your dirty clothes in it as you head home, and it keeps your stinky stuff separate.”

4. Travel Credit Cards

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One person replied, “Travel credit cards have empowered me to life-changing trips for a tenth of the cost. Usually, it’s a bouquet of travel credit cards to get the significant redemptions (free stuff). For example, I have the Capital One Venture X, Chase Ink, Chase Sapphire, and Marriott Bonvoy, which are suitable for points and miles.”

“My personal favorite is the Capital One cards, though. They have a purchase easer for travel that is so easy to use and has no learning curve, so that’s where I would personally start. People will argue that Chase is better, and I agree they have significant redemptions, but it is much less user-friendly.”

5. Carry on Change of Clothes

carry on bag
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“Keep a change of clothes, toiletries, PJs, and flip-flops in your carry-on in case the airlines lose your checked bag,” one user expressed. Another agreed, “Yup! I traveled with three friends years ago.”

“I was the only one with a change of clothes after the other three had their luggage not make a connecting flight. They had to wait 24 hours before another flight could bring their bags, and they had no change of clothes in their carry-on.”

6. Large Ziploc Bags

Ziploc Bags
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“I use large Ziploc bags to organize stuff because it’s easier to find things buried in a pack/luggage if you can see inside,” shared one. “Seconding the Ziploc bags (get the good ones, they are worth it),” another agreed.

“They are suitable for food items, toiletries, pens, soap, wet bathing suits, whatever. Also, I unscrew bottle caps of liquid items, put a piece of plastic wrap, then screw the top back on. It keeps them from leaking. I had a shampoo and conditioner leak on my last trip.”

7. Eat Some Meals From Grocery Store Shopping

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Someone suggested, “Eat some meals from shopping at the grocery store. I always pack a bamboo fork and spoon so I can buy things like yogurt.” Another user shared, “We have a little plastic kit that is two bits that fit together for knife, fork, and spoon.”

“Maybe chopsticks as well. This is in Australia, and the brand is Sistema, which is available from any supermarket for about $7. We also carry a small plastic bowl each to eat from local supermarkets.”

8. Order Business Class Meals in Economy

Airplane Food
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“You can order the business class meal (entree, dinner roll, beer/wine) in economy class, and it’s way better than a sandwich box or crummy heated-up pizza. It’s around $15,” one noted. “Mind you, this is for Air Canada and on flights that serve a meal (usually 2.5hr+ flights), but this is probably true for all carriers with a business class cabin.”

9. Use a Compression Bag

compression bag
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“I just used a compression bag for the first time on my most recent trip and will never go back to not using one,” someone confessed. “Also, a 3oz bottle of wrinkle release spray to deal with the wrinkled clothes is a game-changer.”

10. Buy New Toiletries, Don’t Bring Them

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“My favorite travel hack is buying toiletries at my destination rather than bringing them with me. I originally stumbled upon this due to procrastination and have utilized this hack ever since,” someone admitted.

Another confessed, “I do the same, except that I bring them back. I usually donate an outfit or two to a local shelter before I leave so I have room for new toiletries and souvenirs.”

What do you think? Did people online get this right, or are significant travel hacks missing from this list?

A thread inspired this article.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

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