8 Quick Travel Hacks to Get the Most Out of Your Trip
As adults, our trips are hard-earned, and should be as fun and convenient as possible, while also getting the most bang for the buck. Sometimes, all it takes is a couple of small, smart tweaks to squeeze a little bit more out of your precious funds or make yourself a lot more comfortable. We consulted some frequent travelers who gave us these nifty (and crafty) holiday tips:
1| When booking flights or hotels, turn on private browsing.
Hotel and airline booking sites track the number of times you visit, and jack their prices up accordingly. To avoid this, open a new incognito window on Google or Safari when you’re looking for flights or booking rooms.
2| Use Google Maps offline.
If you'd like to avoid paper maps that just scream "tourist!" but don't want to be hit with outrageous data roaming charges, make sure you download your maps before you go. Star the places you plan to visit on the Google Maps app, then save the entire area by typing “OK Maps” in the search bar.
3| Charge your devices using the TV’s USB slot.
If you’ve forgotten your plug, or the hotel has run out of universal adapters, you can still charge your phone by connecting it to your TV’s USB slot.
4|Keep digital files of your passport, tickets, and IDs.
Better safe than sorry. Take photos of the relevant page of your passport, itinerary, and other important IDs, and store the files in the Cloud or email them to yourself. A word of caution, however: if you’re saving your personal identification in your email, it’s best to make sure your password isn’t one that’s easy to hack.
5| Mark your bags as fragile.
Does your luggage always come out last? Get the check-in counter staff to mark it as fragile—that ensures that it will be properly handled and stacked on top in cargo, not to mention placed on the luggage belt first.
6| Set up price alerts.
If you’re the type to wait for the best prices before booking a flight, download the Hopper app. After entering your destination and preferred dates, it will let you know if you should book now or wait for prices to drop. If your dates are flexible, you can also specify a particular week or month, and the app will send you alerts when good deals become available. You can buy tickets directly through the app, and its “Fair Bear” will take you through the details in the fine print.
You should also sign up for your preferred airlines’ mailing lists and follow them on social media. This way when they do seat sales, you’ll be the first to know.
7| Use a belt to keep your collars stiff.
Everyone knows about rolling your clothes to save space. But if you want to keep your collars neat, fold your shirts and place your belts in the neck holes.
8| Call your credit card company.
Nobody wants to have their purchases rejected, and then waste time and money reassuring their credit card company that they’re legitimate. So make sure to contact your company beforehand and let them know about your destination and travel dates.