This came in really handy when I was on my solo trip in Paris and London—I was able to navigate without my spotty T-Mobile WiFi because the spots were already saved in the app.
Whether traveling near or far, by car or by air, I find hand sanitizer and mild multipurpose cosmetic wipes to be handy, easy hacks for a quick re-fresh.
Wipes can be great after a long airplane ride or while camping (just make sure you’re not allergic). I’ve been teased for breaking out the sanitizer, but I give it full credit for getting me through several overseas trips germ- and sickness-free. And I cannot say the same for those who declined to use it!
Pack light. Pack wool. Pack layers and multi-function clothing and gear.
My favorite travel hack is to bring along a plastic zippered laundry/shopping/storage, such as the one attached from Amazon. (They are also usually available in most tourist locations.) These bags are collapsible and are handy for keeping dirty laundry separate and also can be checked in when flying back if you run out of luggage space in your regular suitcase.
I bring a big plastic bag to store my dirty clothes as I’m traveling. That way, I don’t have to rush to a laundry all the time and the smell of my dirty clothes doesn’t taint the nice smelling clothes. I also put a few dryer sheets in the clear clothes so they stay fresh-smelling.
I download offline versions of the local Google Maps and Google Translate, for those times I don’t have wifi and am kind of lost somewhere. This has saved me a lot because I can point to a map on my phone and then translate a few scattered words to a local to ask them to help me not be lost forever.
When I’m in a hot climate or am traveling somewhere where I don’t need to be cute, I pack old clothes with the intent of leaving them behind. That way, I can travel light and then gradually discard clothing, making room in my luggage for souvenirs to take home.
If you must go on vacation, go someplace where you will have a worse time than your regular life. We were ruined by our trip to France. After dining well for every meal, walking through age-old villas and pristine forests all day, and sleeping in brick mansions and chic Paris hotels at night, we soon came to believe that we were meant to live that way—like aristocrats, or at the very least, like the leisured class. What we could not figure out, upon our return, was how we, cultured and well-traveled aristocrats, should now have to spend hours in our cars each day commuting, have to slave at housework in the evenings, and for that matter have to work at all!
I started carrying a hammock in my carry-on luggage a few years ago after reading an article about airport delays and seeing a photo of a hammock that someone had set up in an airport terminal! I haven’t had to use it for that purpose yet, but it beats lying on the floor or trying to sleep on chairs with metal armrests that get in the way.
The hammock I purchased from Amazon costs just under $15, weighs only 1.6 pounds, and includes ropes and carabiners. It folds up into its own carrying bag and is the size of a loaf of bread.
I’m all about the travel packing cubes. It’s a great way to organize and separate your clothing types into different compartments, and helps to use your luggage’s precious space efficiently (they’re like $15 on Amazon). Gallon-size ziploc bags for dirty clothes is also a must! I also keep a separate toiletry bag specifically for traveling (basically one of those travel-size toiletry kits). That way, you can pack it the night before without having to reach into it the morning of and possibly forget to put it back. Great not only for vacation travel, but for quick trips/getaways.
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