You already know to roll your clothes instead of folding them. You have packed ear plugs in your carry-on for years. You are a seasoned traveler ― but that doesn’t mean you know everything about travel. We guarantee there is something on this list of 10 expert tips that will solve your worst travel woes.
I can’t tell you what you’ll need them for, but you should definitely bring a handful of plastic zip-top bags in various sizes. Gallon bags can help you keep dirty and clean clothes separate, or they might let you compress a portion of your wardrobe when you buy too many souvenirs. Sandwich-size bags might save you from disaster when your travel-size shampoo bottle bursts, or they might keep your jewelry organized. Zip-top bags are unendingly useful, and once you start traveling with them, you’ll wonder how you ever did without.
It might seem senseless to waste good suitcase space on accessories, but some accessories are definitely worthwhile. Even if you aren’t a “hat person,” you should bring along some form of head covering. Warm or cold, a hat provides some form of comfort from the elements. Plus, many cultures believe in covering your crown to be more respectful.
Additionally, you should toss in at least one scarf. Scarves look chic ― it’s undeniable ― and they can function as swim suit covers, lightweight blankets, and last-minute travel pillows, among other outstanding trip-saving uses.
Mix and Match
Solo travel is well and good, but almost every traveler will admit that it is much more fun to bring a friend. Plus, having a travel buddy allows you to mix up your belongings between two suitcases. Inevitably, when the airline loses your luggage, you won’t be left without belongings in a strange place. You can use the extras you packed in your friend’s bags to get by until your baggage arrives.
Leave the Smokes
Nothing about travel is smoking-friendly. Airports, museums, restaurants, and even parks around the world have by and large embraced a no-smoking policy, which means you had better leave your cigarettes at home. Fortunately, you can bring along a few disposable e-cigarettes, which are generally still allowed in open-air public spaces, and they are longer-lasting and less expensive than tobacco.
Yes, that shirt goes much better with that skirt than those pants, but packing outfits wastes time and suitcase space. Instead, you should fill your luggage with a range of neutral-toned clothes that you can mix and match. With this method, there is a lower chance of toting around a pair of pants you’ll never wear.
Travelers know the value of penny-pinching; most have to do it throughout their regular lives to afford amazing trips. You can save extra while you travel if you are willing to confront hotel clerks, valet attendants, rental officials, and more about added fees. Usually, all it takes is a simple, “Why did you apply this charge?” for them to scrub it off the bill.
Talk to Employees
Whether you are in the airport or wandering the museum, it pays to befriend the staff. Employees know the system better than you ever will, and most are more than willing to divulge a few secrets to a friendly face. Your inside man could give you tips on how to speed up security checks, where to find the best cocktails, and so much more.
Carry a Notebook
You might think this trip is so once-in-a-lifetime that every second will be etched into your memory in perfect detail. You are wrong. You can find cute, pocket-sized notebooks to carry on your travels, so you can take notes on your tour guide’s name, your favorite artist, that lunch place you loved, and more. Then, when you review your pictures in 25 years, you will have some written explanation for them.
You definitely need your original passport (or other photo ID), but it helps to have a spare in case of emergency. Theft happens, and it will be much easier to communicate with your embassy if you have some form of identification. You should hide your copy in an inconspicuous place, like underneath the insole of your shoe, where no thief will think to look.
Bring Beloved Books
It is always risky to start a new book while you travel. First, it is difficult to fully commit to a new story when exciting things are happening around you. Second, you might not like it, leaving you without reading materials for the duration of your trip. Instead, you should stock your e-reader with a few easy-reading favorites that always keep you happy and entertained.