Have you ever felt like your entire life has been reduced to packing a suitcase and making sure you don’t get stuck in an airport? Well, if the answer is yes, then I’ve got good news: some of the hacks we use in our daily lives can also be applied to travel. You’ll be surprised how much smoother your next trip will go if you take these five tips into account.
Leaving the house at least two hours before your flight
This one might seem pretty obvious, but getting caught up in the traffic and the stress of rushing to the airport can be easy. Whether you’re driving or flying, leaving a little bit earlier than necessary will allow you to relax and ensure that you arrive well before your flight. If driving, remember that unexpected delays happen—and they can throw off your plans if you aren’t prepared. If flying, getting there two hours early is important because it gives security time to check IDs and run through security checks before boarding begins.
Bring a pair of socks for each day of travel… and an extra pair
The reason is simple: When you’ve been traveling long, and your feet are starting to get sweaty, you don’t want to be forced into wearing dirty socks. Staying in hostels or hotels means sharing bathrooms, too—and if you haven’t showered in six days, no one wants that kind of foot funk in their facilities. Plus, it’s nice to have fresh socks every day.
If you forget your socks (and let’s face it: sometimes we do), there are plenty of ways around this problem. You can ask around at any hotel/hostel about borrowing some clean ones from another traveler; many people will have extras lying around just waiting for someone who needs them. Or maybe even buy some from the local drugstore—although this may not be as cheap as finding them at home before leaving on your trip would’ve been.
Carry a binder clip (or two) in your carry-on bag
You may not know this, but binder clips can be used as a travel hack. Did you know that? They’re great for keeping your clothes together in your suitcase and can be used to organize cables, cords, and chargers. You can even use them to secure the straps of your luggage together so that it doesn’t open up in transit.
Clear packing cubes are worth the investment
Packing cubes are essentially clear plastic bags that help you organize and find your stuff in your suitcase. They come in a variety of sizes and also keep dirty laundry separate from clean clothes—a huge bonus when you’re trying to keep the hotel bed sheets smelling like there’s been no one else sleeping on them since you cleaned them last—and they’re inexpensive, too.
Make sure you have one of these things on your boarding pass
The TSA PreCheck® program is a great way to save time at the airport. If you have one of these things on your boarding pass, you can enter an expedited security line, keep your shoes and laptop in the bag, and leave your liquids and gels in the bag when going through security.
You’re ready to travel with ease.
Hopefully, you now feel a little more prepared for your next trip. Bring some snacks if you get stuck at the airport for hours and don’t know what to do. And if you forget your headphones on the plane, don’t worry—some earbuds are probably lying in your seat pocket (or someone else’s). And if all else fails? Try these travel hacks out for size!