15 Travel Hacks You Need For Your Next Trip
The one travel hack nearly everyone agrees on? Avoid checking a bag at all costs! Sometimes you simply have to, but one of the most common tips from expert travelers is to bring your luggage on board in order to avoid lost or damaged baggage, baggage delays, and general travel nuisances. Reddit users from all over the world offered tips and hacks based on what they've learned through their own extensive travels, so read on and wise up before your next trip.
- Make your baggage stand out with tape. "I put coloured tape on all the corners of my checked luggage. It makes identifying your luggage at the carousel so much easier. Duct tape sells lots of distinctive patterns, or painter's tape if you're cheap," said Reddit user imperfectchicken.
- Always try to carry on your luggage instead of checking it! "Any time you can, travel with a carry-on only. Not only do airlines charge for your first checked bag fairly often now, but you also don't risk having your luggage lost. A lot of people won't travel with a carry-on because they think you can't bring enough liquids or essentials like contact solution and razors," says Reddit user emellee89. "Anything like contact solution is considered medicated though so you can bring a large bottle and not have it count towards liquids. As far as razors, you can bring the ones where you can't remove the individual blade, so anything disposable or where the head is disposable is fine."
- Have a copy of your passport and important documents. Photocopy or take a photo on your phone of your passport/other documents, or have images of them saved somewhere on the Cloud or Dropbox so that if you lose anything important, you'll have backup copies.
- Have backup clothes in your carry-on if you check a bag. Pack a complete outfit in your carry-on. Delayed baggage is common and it's best to ensure you have backup clothes so you can at least wash them without having to hang around a hotel in a robe half of the day just to have some clean underwear. "Don't forget to ask the airline what they offer for delayed luggage compensation on the spot," says Reddit user Colonel-of-Truth. "You can usually get at least a first-class toiletry/travel kit (especially for international travel); if they already know your bag will be delayed at least overnight, you might be able to get reimbursed for the purchase of a change of clothes (obviously ask first, and keep your receipt. They should give you a claim form.)"
- You can use your phone's GPS even if you don't have data. If you're traveling internationally, you may not have data or service, but there are ways to access your GPS/get directions even without WiFi or data. "GPS doesn't use cell towers to parse location; it uses satellites. No data required, bit of a battery hog though. I download terrain maps and use GPS sometimes when I'm out backpacking in the wilderness and need a quick fix on my position," says Redditor heartbeats. You can use Google Maps to do this, as well as CityMaps2Go app, Caltopo, and Maps.me.
- Travel quickly in expensive places; take your time in cheaper ones. If you are traveling for an extended period of time to different places, consider spending more time in the less expensive areas so that you can see something new while saving on hotels, food, and activities.
- Know how to get back to where you're staying at all times. "You always have to know how to get back to your hotel, hostel, etc. Make it your first priority or else you end up lost," says Reddit user phaylinsok. If you stray far from your home base, always keep the address on you in case you don't speak the language and need to ask for help by showing somewhere where you're trying to go. If the hotel has a card, take one and keep it with you!
- Post your rough itinerary on r/travel before your trip. "Before you travel anywhere post a rough itinerary and ask for suggestions. You'll get awesome tips from people that have been there and might suggest some towns you might not have ever heard of. Obviously you'll get some people who have negative things to say but filter that out and do your own research and see what tips apply to you," said Reddit user mosdefinite09.
- Pack a backup compass. Don't always rely on technology to steer you in the right direction; technology can fail you. "I carry a $10 compass, thankful for it 10 times a day," says cosine5000. It's always smart to have a contingency plan.
- Know the weather before you go. Being unprepared for bad weather can make a great trip go wrong quickly. Make sure you know what temperatures to expect, and be prepared for whatever Mother Nature may throw at you while you're traveling so that you can soak up the sun (or shelter yourself from the rain) wherever you go.
- Be flexible and keep an open mind. "When traveling, allow yourself to be flexible. Have general ideas of things you want to do and places you want to go to, but keep an open mind. You will meet people that will give you advice on places to go and things not to be missed, and from my experience, theses are always the best," said Reddit user AndreeAnneP.
- Bring extra battery packs!. Bring backup portable battery chargers so that you can power up your devices no matter where you are/how long you've been away from an outlet.
- Get your body on the time of the your destination. One of the best ways to avoid jet lag is to set your clock for the time of your destination and start to acclimate to that zone. "Once the plane takes off, set clocks to destination time. Try to stay awake until something like a normal bedtime at your destination (this will be easy or hard depending on direction of travel and the time you leave)," said Reddit user LaunchAllVipers.
- Keep your essential medicines with you in your carry-on. "Pack up a small first-aid kit that includes pain meds, anti-diahhrial, laxatives, Benedryl, cold meds, Tums, sore throat treatment, bandages, disinfectant, and other things you'd want if you were sick and didn't have easy access to them. Always keep this in your bag," says mdowney.
- Look at everything as an adventure. "Things will go wrong. Museums will be on strike, trains will break down, you'll forget to pack something you always bring. It is far better to look at these things as opportunities to change plans and do something different," says Redditor RioOnTheWestrnFront. "Going into every situation with that attitude makes a major difference in having a bad day and having a funny story to tell when you get home."