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10 Little Known Travel Hacks That Will Save You Money and Reduce Stress - 2017 Edition

Traveling can be daunting at times, but it doesn’t always have to be. No matter the occasion, there is always a little "hack" to help you get by and operate at maximum efficiency. After all, vacations are supposed to be the best times of your life, not stressful!

 

Whether you travel once a year or once a month, there are some things about embarking on an adventure that just never get easier. From planning the trip, to keeping your clothes wrinkle-free, or navigating your vacation destination, there are plenty of tips and tricks out there that’ll make it easier for you to make the most out of your trip.

1. Go Incognito When Booking Your Trip...

What do we mean by this? You probably know that online websites can track your past behavior. When you go online to book your hotel or flight for a trip, travel companies often try to charge you more if they know you’ve already been to a certain location. To avoid this and ensure that you'll be getting the best rates just simply open up a new window in your browser in "incognito mode." The other way to bypass any cached data on your computer is to clear your cookies. 

2. Dirty Shoes?

Nobody likes dirty shoes case they make everything else in your bag smell. Even if your shoes are clean at the beginning of your trip, chances are you'll have done a lot of walking or maybe even some hiking depending on the type of trip you went on. Who wants to co-mingle those dirty shoes with the rest of your clothes? A real quick and simple solution is to buy a $1 shower cap to wrap around your shoes. 1 will be enough to cover the bottoms and if you want to cover the whole entire pair, you can just buy  a second cap to place over the top. This will trap in all the dirt and odor!

* Bonus Tip: To drastically lessen odor from dirty clothes just toss a dryer sheet or two in your bag. Problem solved!

3. Not Enough Space In Your Bag?

Check the video below to see 5 unique little hacks that will ensure you can bring all your belongings with you on your trip!

4. Picking Seats Can Be a Real Pain

This mainly applies to smaller, less crowded flights where you have more control. If you’re flying with an airline that requires you to book seats ahead of time, there’s a way you can pick seats for two people. The majority of people pick the window and middle seats when pre-booking. We highly recommend you pick the window and aisle seats instead.

It's unlikely that someone will willingly take the middle seat, so you'll now have the whole aisle to yourself!

5. Wrinkly Clothes?

Some of us do business on our travels and need our clothes to stay looking clean and wrinkle free. An amazing solution to this is to use a mini handheld travel steamer to quickly get any wrinkles out in a few minutes. No ironing boards or big metal irons needed!

6. Don't Want to Spill?

Most people will pack several different products that contain liquid or gel. That can be a huge pain in the you know what while traveling.

To prevent this, always seal up your liquid items in a plastic bad even if you're also going to zip them up in your toiletry bag. Having that double layer protection is essential. 

7. Looking for Wi-Fi, or don't want to pay for it?

You'll find that many places even in lesser developed countries have Wi-Fi around. Most likely they will be password protected however. A handy trick is to open up apps like Yelp or Foursqaure to see if any previous visitors have shared the password. You'd be surprised at how helpful your fellow travelers can be!

8. Carrying Important Documents?

Losing a passport or driver’s license while traveling is one of everyone’s worst nightmares, and it’s not one that’s really too uncommon.

In the short-term, it could leave you stranded for quite some time and cause you levels of stress that you won’t soon forget. Make sure you have a backup plan and scan any documents you might need onto your phone or tablet before you leave.

9. Getting Your Currency Converted?

Convert your currency at home BEFORE you leave abroad. Unfortunately, many people tend to overlook this. Not only is it cheaper to convert your currency on home soil, but you'll be far less stressed out when you finally arrive at your travel destination. We've run into this situation on more than one occasion. Simply go to your local currency exchange (or your bank) and convert your money in accordance to wherever it is you are going. 

Your bank will charge you little to no fee on the exchange rate, so we highly recommend doing that if you're an early and thoughtful planner. If the speed of life grabs a hold of you and you forget this step in your travel preparation, don't sweat it because there is still a fail safe! Every modern airport has multiple kiosks (digital and/or human operated) that can exchange your cash in a matter of seconds. You're all good!   
Bonus tip #1: Always take out a little extra cash than you budgeted for, as a backup. Running out of the local currency in an underdeveloped nation is NO FUN! Many countries only accept cash for essential services such as taxis, and food. On top of that, they will almost certainly not have your bank, and you could get charged outrageous fees.
 
Bonus tip #2: (If you plan to use your credit card) ALWAYS alert your bank, or whatever company your credit card is associated with, and tell them that you will be leaving the country for "x" amount of days. Tell them specifically where you are going and how long you will be there for. If you don't take this necessary step, your bank will almost certainly lock your card because they will think fraud is being committed. This is especially important because even if you don't plan to use your credit card on your trip, it can serve as a backup "lifeline" if something unexpected were to ever happen.  
Trust us, this has happened to us numerous times in Africa, South America, and Asia. It's is a major headache!

10. Buying Plane Tickets?

According to experts, there is a time window that statistically works out best for buying tickets for your flight. Your best bet at cheap tickets is to buy at least six weeks ahead of time, and most deals and discounts are typically offered during the beginning of the week. Depending on where you live, there may also be more than one airport nearby, and one might have cheaper tickets than the others.


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