If you travel regularly, for work or fun, you’re sure to have picked up some useful knowledge or short-cuts to make life as easy as possible when you’re on the road. We’re sharing our favourite travel hacks that we’ve accumulated from years of experience – have you got any of your own you’d like to add?
1. Smart Packing
When you’ve got limited space available, maybe you’re flying hand-luggage only, you need to make the best use of what you’ve got. For clothes, roll them up whenever possible, don’t fold. Prevent your shoes from losing their shape by stuffing them with pairs of socks, you can usually get three pairs to a shoe – more if you’ve got big feet! Keep smart shirts in good condition by placing a rolled-up belt inside the collar, and if you do have to fold it, place newspaper inside to prevent creases.
2. No More Spills
Don’t you hate that moment when you’re unpacking and you find your tube of toothpaste has leaked and given everything else in your bag a minty-fresh smile? The easy way to prevent accidents like this is to remove the cap of the tube, or bottle, place some clingfilm tightly over the opening, and then replace the cap.
3. Email Useful Documents
One of the biggest nightmares faced by many travellers is losing important documents such as passports. Minimise the impact by emailing scanned copies to yourself, so if you do lose them or they’re stolen, getting them replaced fast is much less of a headache.
4. Bring A Bandana
May we present the humble bandana. Although this thin strip of material may not look like much, it is actually an incredibly versatile piece of kit, and the saviour of many a traveller. Beyond keeping your hair out of your eyes, it serves as an eye mask on night-flights; a cooling device when soaked in cold water; tie it round your face if you’re somewhere the air is polluted; use as an emergency sling, or wipe; they’re also great for cleaning sunglasses, or as a makeshift sunscreen. There’s probably a million and one other uses for a bandana, and given you can scrunch one up into a pocket, they’re indispensable.
5. Duct Tape
Another helpful everyday item that it pays to bring with you is a simple roll of duct tape. You can use it for all kind of things – temporary repairs to bags or shoes that have split; placing over wall sockets in your hotel room if your toddler has a fascination with them; or fixing damaged guidebooks. Warning, with the release of the “50 Shades of Grey” movie, supplies of duct tape may dry up soon, so buy yours while you can.
6. Get Your Luggage First
It’s not always guaranteed to work, but it doesn’t hurt to place a large Fragile sticker on your hold luggage, even if there’s nothing fragile in it. That should mean it doesn’t get thrown around by baggage handlers, and it also often means it comes out early on the conveyor belt, saving you time.
7. Beat The Thieves
Sadly, tourists are a frequent target for thieves. Keep your cash and cards safe by carrying around a spare, old wallet or purse with a few low-value notes and coins inside, and some cancelled cards, which you can hand over if necessary. And a little tip we recently heard about and love, is to carry an emergency supply of rolled-up notes in an empty chap-stick.
Similar in feel to a chamois leather, these towels are perfect for travellers since they roll up tight, and they dry very fast. Super-absorbent, and lightweight, they may not feel as nice as your fluffy cotton towels back home, but for staying in places where they don’t provide towels, such as hostels, they’re ideal.
9. Pack Some Extra Power
If, like many modern travellers, you’re hauling around a lot of electronic equipment that needs charging frequently such as cameras, smartphones, tablets, hairdryers, then bringing along a power strip with multiple sockets will save you from having to make difficult choices, especially in places like airports where you’ll be pushed for time. And remember, if you need a USB socket but can’t find one, there’s sometimes one at the back of the tv in your hotel room, worth checking.
10. Don’t Lose Your Camera
Write your name and email address or phone number on a piece of card, and take a photo with your camera. That way, if you lose it, any lovely person who finds it and decides to return it to its rightful, grateful owner, will have their job made a lot easier.
Experience travels in another way. Experience gifts by Tinggly: