Travel hacks for an easier trip

When it’s time to prepare for and embark on a trip away from home, the timeline of events before and during can be a stressful process. Travel hacks can save you time, money, and frustration. Here are several tips and tricks we’ve gathered:


- Clear your cache when booking flights online. Refreshing a window dozens of times will not make a flight cheaper. Instead, it may actually go up as it changes base on demand. This is the art of “dynamic pricing”. Clear your cookies and try again.


- Signing up for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry can save the dreaded security process at the airport. These programs are pre-approvals from the US Customs and Border Protection that classify you as a low-risk traveler. All it takes is some light paperwork and a quick interview and you can save some time at these express lanes at airports. TSA PreCheck makes US domestic travel much quicker, while Global Entry allows the return trip home from an international trip easier.


- Roll your clothes when packing as it can maximize space and minimize wrinkling. Also try rolling socks and underwear within your clothes for optimal space-saving. Using air compression plastic bags to squeeze the air out of them can add more pace. Storing items inside your shoes and boots for even more space!


- If traveling internationally, prepare for the transactions. Call your credit or debit card company before you leave to make sure your card is authorized to be used in a foreign destination. This prevents them from suspecting suspicious activity and ensure that you have the ability to make transactions without any uncertainty. Also plan beforehand where you can withdraw cash and exchange currency in your destination.


- If you travel frequently, prepare a go-bag of toiletries and other essential items. Keeping a stash of travel size products will prevent you from packing and unpacking over and over again. When it is time to pack, you won’t have to think about the basics you will eventually need anymore, allowing you to focus on packing other luggage. This also avoids spending money on expensive toiletries if you happen to forget anything.


- Put a dryer sheet at the bottom of your suitcase containing the bulk of your clothes. It will keep it all smelling freshly laundered until you get the chance to actually do some laundry.


- If you are traveling with lots of jewelry, a pill box may do the trick. They provide a small and effective storage option for sorting earrings, necklaces, rings and lockets. 


- Store power cords in an old sunglass case or pouch. This will prevent them from getting tangled up and you’ll know exactly where they are stored. Even more importantly: keep an extra pair! In the age of portable modern technology, we all know how vital chargers are. 


- Mark your bags as fragile. This is a great way to ensure your baggage is handled correctly. With the ‘Fragile’ tag, your luggage will be kept at the top to avoid it being squashed and will make it one of the first bags to be released. 


- When arriving to your hotel room, only remove items from your luggage that are completely necessary. Trying to make yourself at home by hanging all your clothes and laying all your shoes out will only make re-packing more difficult. It can also increase your chances of forgetting something when scrambling to leave by the check-out time.