Paying for the trip is only half the work. Once travelers book a vacation, the next step is to start preparing. This is easier said than done. Preparation is not just about packing your suitcase and getting to work. It’s also about knowing the ins and outs of how to make travel smoother and more cost-effective.
Depending on the destination, the way a person needs to prepare for a trip will differ. It also looks different for experienced travelers versus amateurs. But there are a few hacks all travelers should remember, no matter how often they go abroad. Below, we take a look at genius travel hacks that can transform the experience. From how to make the airport a more seamless experience to saving money on the go, people who are planning any kind of trip in the near future should keep this in mind. Travelers may want to adjust hacks depending on their plans and lifestyle, but there’s no harm in preparing for a big adventure.
10/10 Pay for the security clearance program
For travelers who hate waiting in airport lines, security clearance programs are game-changers. Usually for an annual fee, travelers can sign up for a program that will offer them special perks for a certain period, such as the ability to use the express line while at the airport.
The types of clearance programs available depend on the airline and where the traveler is going to and from. But some examples include TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and Clear.
9/10 Monitor security wait times
Another way to beat long lines is to monitor them in advance. Some airports publish information about the length of security wait times. But travelers can also use apps (such as TripIt) to monitor wait times as well as track flight status.
Many travelers don’t realize their baggage is overweight until they reach the airport. To avoid paying extra fees, travelers should carry what they can, not just in their carry-on bags.
For travelers wearing a jacket, put heavier items in the pockets. Remove items that are heavier but smaller than checked baggage and move them into the wrap to reduce weight and create additional space.
Travelers using this hack just need to make sure they keep their jackets with them at all times and don’t bring any liquids through security.
7/10 Stay longer, if at all possible
If an accommodation is booked through a website like Airbnb, guests often get a discount for staying for a longer period of time, such as more than 30 days. This will reduce the nightly rate.
However, hotels are not likely to offer similar deals, unless travelers book through a third-party website.
6/10 Pack of protein bars
Food can be one of the biggest expenses when traveling. To reduce the number of servings required, pack protein bars. Travelers can easily stash a couple in their personal bag or carry-on bag, then retrieve them when hungry.
This is a better option than stopping at a restaurant or buying something at a convenience store when feeling hungry, which can result in a higher bill.
Travelers should still enjoy food on their trip, but protein bars can restrict a person, so they don’t have to stop or pay as much for meals.
5/10 Check multiple flight websites
Surveying Google Flights shouldn’t be the only thing travelers do before buying plane tickets. It’s always a good idea to look at the websites of multiple airlines.
Sometimes the price will change for same A trip between the airline’s website and what Google says.
Try using sites like Skyscanner that can show you the best booking timesAnd the Cheapest way (just expect pit stops). It may be cheaper to fly to an airport a little farther but take a bus or train to the destination.
4/10 Passport clip in bag
Pickpocketing is a real problem when traveling internationally, and losing a passport is a nightmare situation when abroad. To reduce the chances, travelers should clip their passports in their bags. Some bags come with a hook pre-attached. Alternatively, carabiners can be used for the same purpose.
This will prevent small pockets from reaching into the bag and easily lifting the passport. The traveler will notice that their bag is being pulled when the clip prevents them from taking the passport.
3/10 Copy important documents
On a similar note, travelers should always photocopy important travel documents. This is important if the original (such as a passport) is lost.
Travelers should also email the documents to themselves, so they have a digital copy. It is also a best practice to leave important documents in accommodations, as long as they are secure, and to take photocopies of them during the day.
2/10 Collapsible and reusable bags are a must
Another thing that is easy to pack is the reusable bags. Travelers should opt for the collapsible type, so they can be easily stuffed into a carry-on or carry-on bag. These are great for travelers who are buying something or need something to carry when back home.
But if it is waterproof, it can also be used to wrap a toiletry bag. That way if your toiletries spill, the reusable bag will prevent product from getting on the other items in the bag.
1/10 Mark the bags as fragile
Finally, if you are checking baggage, it is wise to mark the bag as fragile. Passengers can request a sticker or tag when checking in their bags.
There are actually no breakable items in the suitcase, because they can be damaged. But continuing to use the fragile label will ensure that airport staff handle the bag with extra care, preventing it from being accidentally dented or broken during transit.