Awesome Travel Hacks

Here are some travel hacks that will make things easier for you from things to do at the airport to finding better prices online.  Implement these time saving and common sense things and your travel life will be much easier and enjoyable.

1.  Turn on 'private browsing' when searching for flights to get cheaper airfare.

By installing cookies on your browser, Airlines and travel sites can record your visits, which can cause the prices you’re shown to rise simply because you’ve searched for those flights previously. Putting your browser in "incognito mode" will do it.  This is to trick you into buying your flights sooner and encourage impulse buying.  Anytime you can save a few dollars here and there, you are winning.

Incognito
Incognito Mode

2.  Don't pay for water at the airport

Let's get real, y'all.  At Costco, you can buy 500 bottles of water for $5 (a bit of an exaggeration).  At the airport, you can easily pay $3 to $5 for a bottle of water.  There are extreme restrictions on bringing liquids to the airport. Doesn’t matter whether it looks as if the seal been tampered with or not, a bottle with liquid in it is a no go. So, instead of bringing a full bottle, bring an empty bottle to the airport and refill it after you’ve passed through security.

water at the airport
Photo: @BUFAirport

3.  Charge your electronics through the TV

I dig this tip.  Lost or forgotten your wall plug for your charger? No worries, most modern Smart TVs have a USB connector on the back or side. Simply plug in your electrical device and watch that little battery icon charging.  I will try this the next time I am traveling.

Charge smartphone through smartTV
Charge smartphone through smartTV

4.  Photograph your passport

Always take a picture of your passport.  Keep a copy on your phone.  It happens from time to time.  People lose their passports.  If you have a digital copy on your phone, you have a backup.

Passport
Photo by Nicole Geri on Unsplash

5.  Download the US Mobile Passport App

While we are talking about passports, download the US Mobile Passport app.  To speed up the process, you can download the US Mobile Passport App. Right before you land, you can answer the customs questions in the app and then make your way to the designated Mobile Passport lanes.

Mobile passport
Mobile passport photo: Cynthia Drescher

6. Mark your baggage as fragile

Just like mail, if your goods are marked as fragile, they need to be handled with care.  Not only does this mean your bag is more likely to be handled correctly, but it’ll also find itself at the top of pile in the storage compartment of the plane. The result? Why, you’ll get your bag back first, of course.

Luggage
Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

7.  Give up your seat for free perks and upgrades

Volunteer to be bumped from an oversold flight and you could find yourself reaping all the benefits; free meals, drink, and accommodation nearby, then all the comforts of business class when you finally do make it on a flight. I’m not going to complain.

Cocktails
Photo: MEREDITH HEIL

8.  Bring a power strip or extension cable

This makes a whole lot of sense if you think about it.  Why take chances that a hotel room doesn't have enough outlets.  We have to recharge our phones and laptops.  We all live this digital life, so,  let's make sure we're always prepared for recharging.

Laptop
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

9.  Make sure you have WhatsApp, Viber or Skype to name a few

When traveling, communication is always important, especially when you travel as a group.  The plan you have for your phone isn't always reliable when you are overseas.  I have learned through personal experience, some apps work well in certain countries when others don't.  So, it's good to have access to as many as possible to keep communications open within your group.  WhatsApp worked well in Costa Rica when Google Hangouts and text messaging didn't.

WhatsApp
WhatsApp

These few things will make your travel life easier.  Check back for more tips.