Travel expert Mark Wolters details 11 super easy travel hacks to help you get cheap flights, spend less time waiting, and experience the least amount of aggravation during your travels abroad:
Mark’s Travel Hacks:
1. Finding the cheapest tickets
Clear your cookies and cache on your computer or deviceUse comparisons sites like Cheaptickets.com and Expedia first. Find out who offers the cheapest price and with what airline — then go straight to the airline’s site and see what price their offering direct.
2. Roll your clothes
Packing military style! Sure we’ve all heard this before. If not, you can check out this earlier post that’s all about travel packing hacks.
3. Drier sheets in fresh and dirty laundry
This is up to you, but I recommend making all natural scented sachets. Drier sheet and liquid fabric softener are toxic and should be avoided if you care at all about yours and your family’s long-term health.
4. Prebook tickets to trains and events abroad
Buy them online to save time on waiting and of course: waiting in lines — ugh!
5. Store your electronic cords in bags
Much easier than dealing with a rat’s nest when you unpack!
A little tip of my own: Use elastics, velcro tie-straps, or painter’s tape to secure each cord separately before placing them in the bag.
6. Let your banks and credit card companies know that you’re traveling.
This is such a smart hack. Think of the people who’ve been stranded or deprived of food, accommodations and fun because their bank/CC was “looking out for their best interests.”
7. Don’t buy a new phone every time you forget/lose your own
Go to the front desk of your hotel. Trust me, most will have what you’re looking for. Despite what Mark said, I’ve had the charge cord I needed outright given to me before. Regardless, if you lost yours and can find them cheap locally go for it, but if you’re in a tourist hotspot you might be best waiting til you get home or to your next destination to avoid way over-paying for an otherwise cheap item.
8. Scan/photocopy all your ID and passports
This is so important! Write “Copy” on the copied document too, to make it clear you’re not trying to present a forged document. At the very least, this practice will keep you from being promptly strip-searched in the seedier countries. Passports can take time to replace, decimating your budget for food and hotels.
9. Store your passport in a waterproof bag or container
And keep all your family’s documents in the same bag to avoid losing them.
10. Order the vegetarian meal on airlines
Hmmm. Never thought of this one before. Great tip for fresher fare — even if you’re a ravenous meat eater like me!
11. Wear your heavy/bulking clothes when you’re flying
Ha, ha! Never thought of this clever hack either. Wear all your big clothes, coats and footwear on the flight (don’t forget the deodorant if you’re flying coach!) Tie your shoes and sandals to your carry-on if you can.
Main Image: “Travel” by [Duncan]