Travel Smarter, Not Harder: 10 Hacks Every Traveler Should Know

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What is your absolute favorite travel hack, and how does it come in handy in your travels? An online forum user wanting to become a more savvy traveler asked a group of travelers what their favorite travel hack was. Turns out, some travel hacks are rare knowledge, and by not using them, you may miss out on better traveling experiences. 

Here are some of the best responses you could keep in mind to use in your next trip.

1. Laundry on the Go: The Ultimate Fold-And-Go Bag Hack

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Mixing dirty clothes with clean ones has got to be one of the worst parts of the last days of a trip. 

Providing a solution to this problem, one commenter said, “Bring a foldable, separate bag for dirty laundry. I have one that can hold a good amount and folds 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.”

2. Packing Stress-Free With Packing Lists

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If you are the kind to forget packing essentials or carry many unnecessary items, consider adopting a packing list template. 

A user sharing how these templates have helped them in their travels said, “I use packing list templates that I’ve created over the years. I have one for beach vacations, city vacations, etc., and I modify them for whatever specific trip I take. After I return from my trip, I mark off the things I did not use, so the next time I use that list to pack, I can think twice about the things I need and don’t need.”

3. Luggage Mishaps: How to Handle Delays and Loss

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Your airline can lose or delay your luggage anytime; you never see it coming. This is why you need to be always prepared for when the worst happens. Your carry-on should always have what you need for the first few days of travel. 

“Keep a change of clothes, toiletries, PJs, and flip flops in your carry-on in case the airlines lose your checked bag,” read a comment. Of course, what you deem necessary will vary depending on your trip, but you get the idea.

4. Maximize Experiences With Travel Credit Cards

Photo of an attractive, happy young blonde woman on a Hawaiian beach, wearing a large floppy beach hat, holding a blank green credit card (or gift, reward, incentive, etc.).

We come across so many different suggestions to save money while traveling. While many of them may work, one of the most efficient methods to save while traveling is often overlooked. Travel credit cards have helped people travel so much for less money. If you have been looking to travel and save costs while at it, getting one can be such a lifesaver.

“Travel credit cards have empowered me to life-changing trips for a tenth of the cost,” revealed one comment. While not for everyone, if you have strong money management skills, you really can travel for free with credit card points.

5. Navigating Network Downtimes With Ease

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You can get Wi-Fi connections in many hotels when visiting cities in foreign countries. The problem often comes when you step out to see the city when cellular connection problems can happen. 

You do not want these to hinder your sightseeing, so have your Google Maps ready in case you lose service; as one comment suggested, “Pre-download Google Maps of the area you’re going to, you’ll often lose service, and this could save your life (or simply avoid an annoyance).”

6. Better Safe Than Sorry: The Importance of Documented Readiness

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This is one of the situations where you are better off being safe than sorry. Print all your essential documents in case you need to use them.

“Print all your paperwork (visas, hotel reservations, proof of insurance, etc.) and have it with you. You won’t need it 9/10 times, but that one time could ruin your trip,” said one comment. 

You also want to scan or take photos of your important documents (passport, ID, travel insurance, etc.) and store them securely in a cloud-based service. This can be a lifesaver if you lose your physical documents.

7. Beyond the Crowds: The Joy of Lesser-Known Escapes

Aerial cityscape image of Zagreb capital city of Croatia at sunset.
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Many people’s bucket lists include very hyped up countries such as Italy, Greece, and France. While there is no harm in wanting to see these countries, knowing that it is not always worth it is essential. 

“Go to a less common country (instead of vacationing in Italy or Greece for a Mediterranean vacation, try Croatia or Montenegro). More value for your money,” said one commenter. 

Less popular countries often offer value for money and exceed travelers’ expectations. You get to enjoy crowd-free and preserved natural beauty that has not been tampered with by excessive tourism. 

8. Airport Naptime: Where to Go For On-The-Go Slumber

side view of tired business woman trying to sleep in airport lounge near her hair, formal wear.

Sleeping on airport floors and benches can be very uncomfortable. On the other hand, getting airport hotel rooms can be costly, so many people resort to the floors. 

However, instead of sleeping on the floors and benches, try out chapels, which offer more comfort at no price. And yes, it turns out that airports almost always have chapels in them, “If you’re stuck in an airport during a weather event…go to the chapel to sleep. Very few people go there, and those who do won’t bother you. Much quieter than sleeping with hundreds of people on cots that make creaking noises and the eerie feeling of being watched over by security guards and airport personnel,” said one comment. 

9. Pack It Tight: The Magic of Compression Bags for Travel

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If you are looking to have smaller luggage or just a carry-on for your travels but still be able to bring all you need, you may want to get compression bags for your packing. They will help you fit so much more in a smaller bag. 

“I used a compression bag for the first time on my most recent trip and will never return to not using one. Also, a 3oz bottle of wrinkle release spray to deal with the wrinkled clothes,” read a comment. 

Adding a bottle of wrinkle spray release would be helpful after compressing your clothes to fit into the small compression bag. 

10. How to Skip Long TSA Check Line

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TSA checks typically take a lot of time. If you want to avoid the LONG and cumbersome queues, apply for TSA prechecks online, undergo an eligibility test, and get a membership that will allow you to skip the long queues.  

“TSA Precheck is a must. Can’t tell you how great it feels walking past hundreds of people to the front of the line knowing you don’t have to wait,” said one commenter.

Bonus Tip: Some credit cards offer TSA PreCheck application reimbursement as one of their benefits.

Don’t Be Suspicious: Avoid Doing These Things in Front of a TSA Agent

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Navigating airport security can feel like walking a tightrope, with the looming fear of additional screening or even missing your flight. Here’s what a TSA agent first perceives about you, which could trigger further security checks based on your luggage, attire, and behavior.

Don’t Be Suspicious: Avoid Doing These Things in Front of a TSA Agent

27 Best Tips for Flying for the First Time (2023)

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Flying for the first time can be both exhilarating and frightening. There are many things you can do to make it easier and less stressful, though! I’ve rounded up 27 of the best first time flying tips to make it that much easier for you.

If this is your first time flying, much of your anxiety likely comes from just not knowing for sure what to experience. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to prepare ahead of time!

Here are 27 travel tips for first time flyers that will have you flying like a pro on your very first flight.

27 Best Tips for Flying for the First Time (2023)

10 Airlines People Vow Never to Fly With Again No Matter What They Offered

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A curious traveler took to an online travel forum to pose a contentious question: what airline would you not fly with again because of a horrible experience? Countless passengers recalled flight horror stories involving airlines from all over the world.

10 Airlines People Vow Never to Fly With Again No Matter What They Offered

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I am deeply passionate about making money online, saving money, investing correctly, traveling affordably and living frugally.