Travel hacks are the pride and joy of every avid traveller. In this post, we are spilling the beans on 26 travel hacks gathered from years of experience of travelling. These hacks will save you time, money and ensure your trip goes to plan without a hitch!
Continue reading to learn 26 awesome travel hacks that every traveller needs to know.
1. Never pay for water at the airport
Airports have gotten really strict when it comes to bring liquids through security. Instead of having to throw out your regular water bottle and shelling out on ridiculously pricey water, bring an empty stainless steel water bottle and fill it up for free. Airports will almost always have water refill stations.
2. Turn on ‘Incognito mode’ when searching for flights
This travel hack will help you save your hard-earned cash. Airline and travel sites will install cookies onto your browser which can affect the prices that you are shown when searching for deals. They will increase the price on a flight simply because you have previously searched for that same flight.
This is done to encourage impulse buying by using scarcity tactics. To overcome this and always find the fairest price, switch to private browsing or incognito mode in Chrome so the airlines can’t track any cookies previously installed on your browser.
3. Roll your clothes for more space
This is an essential packing travel hack, especially if you are backpacking for an extended period of time with little space. You simply tightly roll up your clothes, rather than folding them. Rolling your clothes into a small tube will save a lot of space!
Take it a step further by using packing cells. Roll up your clothing and squash them tightly into smaller packing cells to make the most out of the space in your bag.
4. Buy a portable phone charger
Having a portable charger is an essential travel hack and is an absolute must for every traveller. It doesn’t matter if you are going on a 2-day business trip or a year-long around the world journey, a portable charger will always come in handy.
A portable phone charger is an external battery which can charge any device with a USB charging cable. These come in handy whenever you are using your phone for extended periods without access to a PowerPoint like when you are taking long flights or out exploring a city for the day with google maps.
Portable chargers also make an awesome and practical Christmas or birthday giftfor travellers.
5. Email yourself a scan of your passport, license & visas
Having scans of all your important documents like your passport and visa on your email is one of the best travel hacks. It is a really good idea! If you are the victim of theft you’ll be able to access these documents as long as you have access to the internet and your login.
Save PDFs or take screenshots of your passport and any flight, bus or train tickets as well so you always have access to them even if you aren’t online.
It’s also much handier having everything on your phone instead of going through papers when you need to show your documents at your hotel or airport.
6. Mark your baggage as fragile
This is one of the best travel hacks because not only will your bag be handled with more care (I think we have all been victims of broken suitcases thanks to the airport!) but it’ll be kept on top in the storage compartment. This means your bag will be the first one to come off the plane!
7. Use ATMs to get local currency
This is one of the best money-saving travel hacks on our list. Forget exchanging cash at the bank or at a currency exchange shop it’s much cheaper these days to withdraw the local currency from an ATM once you arrive. You will receive much better rates and relatively lower fees.
There are so many options these days when it comes to prepaid travel cards. You can exchange major currencies on the app (& receive great rates) or you can just withdraw the local currency straight from the ATM using your card. Online prepaid travel card companies include Revolut, Monzo and Transferwise. They all have multiple currencies, excellent exchange rates and very low fees compared to traditional banks.
This will seriously save you a fortune if you are travelling for extended periods of time!
8. Only unpack what you really need when you arrive at your destination
If you are travelling around a lot, it’s unlikely you will stay at one place for long. To save time on packing, only take out what you will definitely need when you are there. This will save you a lot of time packing and will also keep your bag tidy and secure if you are staying in a hostel.
Using packing cells can really help you organise or luggage and keep everything in reach without having to unpack everything to find a pair of socks!
9. Combat jet lag
To fight jet lag when travelling it is recommended to get in some exercise before your flight. Remember to drink a load of water when you are flying, avoid alcohol and bring your own healthy snacks.
Once you arrive at your destination, stay awake until at least 9 pm even if it feels tortuous. This is the best way to sync up to your new time zone quickly.
10. Book your flights & accommodation on the go
Not only can you get some great deals but thanks to the internet, it has never been easier to be spontaneous while on the road and plan your trip as you go!
11. Put your rechargeable batteries in the fridge
This is one of the more strange travel hacks but it really works! Put your portable charger in your hostel or hotel bridge to help your batteries last longer. Rechargeable batteries retain their charge better in colder temperatures, meaning you won’t have to recharge them as often.
12. Follow the pub crawl path
If you’re pinching pennies and don’t want to shell out for a pub crawl ticket, just find out the bars on the pub crawl route and go to them yourself.
When you are travelling with friends you can do this together. If you are flying solo try and round up some other budget-conscious travellers at your hostel or covertly join an organised group. No one will even notice!
13. Waterproof your bag with a bin liner
Getting the inside of your bag wet can be a real disaster, especially if you are carrying electronics or are in a humid climate where things never dry.
Combat this by lining your backpack with a bin bag. This will keep everything nice and dry and really save you if you get stuck unexpectedly in a storm.
14. Bring a power strip or extension cable
When it comes to travelling, especially when staying a hostel, having enough power points for all your electronics can become a real headache. It’s important to look after your electronics and keep them full of juice. Bring a power strip with you with multiple plugs. This will most likely become your top travel accessory! You can easily fit one in your bag and you will always have plenty of power sockets for all your electronics (& everyone else’s!).
15. Use Google Maps offline or Maps.me
Using offline maps with Google Maps or Maps.me can be a real lifesaver when you are exploring. Whether you have no data or are in a remote place with no coverage, having offline maps downloaded on your phone will be extremely helpful.
Google Maps offline is great for finding specific places to go in a city, whereas Maps.me is helpful for finding more remote walking and driving routes that might not be visible on Google Maps.
16. Make sure you have Viber, WhatsApp and Skype
Having at least WhatsApp is vital these days for every traveller. These internet-based communication apps make it ridiculously easy to communicate with anyone anywhere in the world at the push of the button.
You can call home, send videos and pictures or call your hotel or tour providers through these services for free (as long as you have an internet connection).
17. Bring a fanny pack
You might think fanny packs are funny and not exactly cool (even though they have made a fashion comeback recently!) but these bags are irresistibly practical for travellers. They make it handy to reach your valuables and keep them safe and secure while keeping your hands free.
18. Travel with pens
Travelling with pens in every bag is a no brainer when it comes to travelling. It makes it so much easier to fill out customs forms on the plane or in the airport. Plus you can be that awesome person who has pens to lend to the person sitting next to you!
19. Go to the supermarket
As soon as you arrive at your new destination, scope out the nearest supermarket and stock up on healthy snacks. You will save heaps of money and keep yourself fueled with nutritious food. This will help you keep any hanger episodes under control when you are faced with a big day of exploring.
20. Reserve aisle and window seats
If your airline lets you reserve a window or aisle seat (without charging extra!) do so in advance. When you are travelling with a friend or partner, reserve both the window and aisle seat in hopes that no one books the middle seat, allowing you to take up the whole row!
If you can’t reserve these seats online in advance, arrive at the airport early and request your desired seats from the check-in staff.
21. Find wifi passwords
Logging into wifi accounts successfully is serious business when it comes to travelling but it can be very frustrating. FourSquare is a website & app where people share tips, rating and reviews on places near you. In the tips section where people leave helpful recommendations, you’ll often find the wifi passwords for places that people have shared.
Wifi Map is another app that helps you find the passwords to wifi networks. The passwords are organised on a map so you can easily find the ones closest to you.
22. Always get a local sim as soon as you arrive
The first thing you should do when you arrive in a new country is get a local sim card with a good data package. You will get access to local rates (which if you are in a developing country will be super cheap) instead of forking out for roaming charges.
This will make travelling so much easier with access to data instead of always having to rely on wifi, which we all know can be unreliable at the best of times. Just make sure your phone is unlocked and not tied to a contract at home.
23. Download google translate for use offline
Google Translate is a genius app that you should definitely have on your phone if you are travelling to a country where people don’t speak your language. The app has a ton of language and is easy to use. Plus you can download certain languages so you have access to them offline.
You can use the app by writing or speaking what you want to be translated. You can also use your camera and hover over documents in another language and it will translate in front of your eyes. This is especially handy for translating food and drink menus!
24. Bring baby powder or corn powder to freshen up fast
Baby powder or corn powder may seem a bit weird or something that only your grandmother would use. But the truth is these powders are very absorbent and will wick away oils and odours from your body and hair. Use the powder on greasy hair, on sweaty feet or under clammy armpits.
This is handy for long-distance trips without access to a shower, multi-day festivals or just when you are travelling in a hot place.
25. Put a colourful ribbon on luggage and always put a name tag on it
Always put a colourful ribbon and name tag on your bag. The colourful ribbon will help you easily identify your bag on the conveyor belt.
The name tag will come in handy if you bag ends up getting lost. Make sure you have your full name, home address, email and phone number so you can always be contacted.
26. Go left at security or any queue you encounter
This is a sneaky hack to help you minimise queuing time. Studies have shown that people naturally veer right when walking into a shop or into a queue.
So when you reach security (or any queue for that matter) head to the line furthest to the left to give you the best chance of getting in the shortest queue!
There you have it! 26 easy travel hacks to make your next trip even better.