These Hacks Will Enhance Any Traveler’s Experience

by Shelley Thompson

One of our favorite things to do is travel around the world. Until you get enough experience and learn the best tricks, you might make mistakes along the way. If you're not a seasoned traveler but love visiting new countries, don't worry, we have tips and hacks to make it easy and enjoyable. You can learn from our mistakes and avoid paying 12 dollars for a hot dog in Paris, getting lost in Italy, or ruining all your clothes in the English rain. Grab your traveling notebook and be ready to take some notes as we give you over 40 travel hacks that will upgrade your next vacation.

Hidden charging spots

You should always arrive at the airport two to three hours early. Taking into account long lines, checking in your luggage, and going through security, you want to leave yourself enough time. But sometimes, there are no long lines; you have to wait two hours at the gate until boarding.

Even if it is fully charged before arriving, going on your phone while waiting to board can drain the battery. If your battery is low, don't worry. Most airports have USB chargers in the waiting lounge or seats at the gate. Also, check behind TVs and monitors; most of them also have USB connectors for your phone.

Space-saving packing

Be sure to pack your bag efficiently; you want to get the most use of the items you travel with. No one can be as organized as Marie Kondo, but you can still pack like a pro with these simple tricks.

Always put the bigger, heavier items at the bottom. Then, roll lighter clothes and arrange them next to each other. You will notice how much space you save by rolling clothes rather than folding and stacking them. Just be sure to take your pets out of your bag!

Layer up

You can't predict the temperature on the plane. You could stuff your carry-on with a blanket to prepare, but that takes too much space. No one wants to be too hot or cold, so wear layers instead. This way, when you are in the air, you have options.

Like an onion, you will have many layers to warm you up if the temperature drops. You can also take off your jacket or sweatshirt if you get hot. A bonus of this trick is that you have extra pockets to carry more things you couldn't fit in your carry-on.

Avoiding the middle seat

Every traveler can agree that the middle seat on a plane is the worst. You don't have the window to look out from, nor the freedom to get up and go to the bathroom if you have the aisle seat. Sometimes you can't choose where you sit, but there is a way around it.

Several websites let you create alerts if a seat on your flight becomes available. Once notified, you can adjust your seat number. With this secret tip, you can always get the seat you want and no longer suffer sitting in the middle.

No more queues

You've likely had a flight canceled or delayed before if you fly a lot. It can be hard to reschedule your flight at a desk when the whole line behind you is trying to do the same.

A quick hack for these situations is to not stand in line like the rest of the passengers but call customer service. Someone is always ready to help, and you will be able to reschedule and book your flight in no time. You won't have to stand in line ever again.

Order your drinks neat

When you are on an airplane, there is no better feeling than drinking a glass of cold water. It is refreshing and can help ease your anxiety throughout the flight. But next time you do it, consider ordering it without any ice.

There isn't any conspiracy theory around it; it's just a sanitary concern. It is well-known that the ice used on flights doesn't follow the same standards as the rest of the food. To avoid getting sick, ask for no ice. The flight attendants keep the water in a fridge anyway, so it is already cold.

Let's talk about air circulation

If you have traveled by plane, you know the feeling you get being in the air for so long, especially if you are claustrophobic. You feel trapped, and unlike with cars, you can't open the window on an airplane.

To help you get through the flight, keep the air conditioning on. Leaving your vent on will keeping the air circulating and stay fresh. This also helps keep the germs on the plane away; circulating the air prevents you from getting sick from the other passengers.

Wipe away germs

There's nothing more embarrassing than getting sick during a flight. The people sitting next to you will notice, and you'll feel bad. If someone else gets sick near you, it's not pleasant either. These germs circulate through the plane. Did you know the germs inside the cabin can get you sick after traveling? That's a sure-fire way to ruin your vacation.

To avoid getting sick, bring disinfectant wipes on the plane. Even though the crew cleans the plane after every flight, you can never be too careful. Use these wipes to clean off your seat, tray table, and surfaces other people may have touched. This extra step will protect you from germs and diseases.

Dress casually

Many people don't think about their outfits when leaving for the airport. They put on a full face of makeup and are overdressed. They don't consider that they might be sitting at the airport or on the plane for hours! It can be uncomfortable sitting there in jeans, don't be one of those people.

You should always dress comfortably when traveling. A good method for getting dressed for the airport is thinking about the outfit you wear on a lazy day. You will most likely sleep and watch a movie while in the air, so add comfortable clothes to your airport packing list.

Avoiding gas

Although it is refreshing, never ask for soda or other fizzy drinks on a plane. When you drink something carbonated, gas accumulates in your body. Imagine how uncomfortable it is sitting on a long flight when you're gassy. If you need a sugar boost, we have a better idea.

If you know you'll need to raise your blood sugar, always have a pack of gum, candy, or chocolate before boarding your flight. You can also ask the flight attendant for coffee to help keep you awake. However you satisfy your sugar craving (even if it is soda), never wait too long before going to the bathroom; trust us, it is much worse.

Extra seat hack

Want to avoid people sitting next to you on a flight? Like reserving seats at the movies, you should always leave one free between yours and another already booked. Most people don't want to sit between two people; purchasing the aisle or window seat will make the middle seat less desirable. If no one books it, you will have more space if the flight isn't crowded.

You should also try this trick if you are traveling by pair. This way, you have a partner to share the middle seat with. Even if someone takes the middle and you want to sit next to your partner, you can ask them to switch seats. After all, no one wants to sit in the middle.

Knowing when to sleep

Many people cannot sleep during a flight. It can be boring and frustrating to be awake the whole trip. So if you can, you should sleep. It makes the flight go by faster, and you won't feel any turbulence or get scared.

You might ask when is the best time to sleep. Some say you shouldn't sleep the night before a flight so you can sleep through it. Never take a nap right before; you will forget to wake up and miss your flight. The best moment to do it is when the plane has reached its top altitude. That way, your ears won't get damaged from altering pressure.

The best seat for turbulence

Turbulence is common on flights, but some people enjoy a slight shaking, and some become extremely anxious. Besides being nervous, you wouldn't want to vomit either. Here is how to minimize feeling the changing air currents the plane goes through.

Our best advice is to choose a seat near the plane's wing. You will still feel turbulence, but it won't be as bad as if you were in the front or back of the aircraft. Also, the emergency exits are placed near the wing, so it is the most structurally stable part of the plane.

Pre-flight warm-up

Have you ever felt like your body is weak when you get off a plane? That is because you were sitting for a long period and not moving your body. You might also feel your blood swelling in different parts of the body. There are a couple of ways to prevent this.

You should always stretch before boarding your plane. That will help your body from getting stiff in the same position. Stretch your arms and legs throughout the flight. Let the people around you know you are about to do it, so you don't disturb them; invite them to join too.

Tune out babies

There is no worse feeling than realizing there is a baby on your flight. Inevitably, the baby will cry at some point during a long flight. It is frustrating to hear them cry when trying to watch a movie or sleep.

To have a peaceful flight, bring noise-canceling headphones in your carry-on bag. You will be thankful once in the air, and all you can hear is your music, the movie you are watching, or your thoughts while trying to fall asleep. Tuning out the baby's cries is easier than you thought.

Underwear in your carry-on

Here is a tip you probably never heard: always carry extra underwear and extra socks in your carry-on. If you are stuck on a plane for over ten hours, you probably want to change before landing to feel fresher.

You won't notice it, but your body sweats a little while sitting. During the long flight, your clothes will absorb the sweat, and you might smell funky. To feel clean and comfortable, carry a light change of clothes. No one likes sitting in sweaty, dirty clothes all day.

Stay dry

If you are a frequent flyer, you know how smelly your clothes and luggage get after a couple of flights. It's bound to happen after wearing the same clothes and carrying your bags from one country to another. And if you travel a lot, you probably won't have time to wash anything.

Our hack is to carry dryer sheets. Every time you pack your bags or are getting back from a trip, you should wipe everything down with a dryer sheet. This helps prevent moisture from accumulating, resulting in that bad smell. The sheets will keep your bags fresh and save you money on dry cleaning.


You couldn't travel to a new place in the past without a tour guide telling you about the site you were visiting. But nowadays, tour guides are more expensive to hire. We are always hesitant to pay that much money for a guide when we can do it ourselves.

The cheapest way to tour a country you're visiting is to research it beforehand. Look up facts, landmarks, and the best spots to see so you can lead your trip. You can use books, Google, and ask people online for travel guides to get the best experience for your trip.

Chargeable batteries

You won't need as many as in the picture, but it is smart to bring extra batteries when you are traveling. You never know when they might come in handy. You can use them in broken hotel remotes or flashlights in a dark room.

If traveling with batteries, we also recommend choosing rechargeable ones. You only have to bring a few, and you can plug them in every night to be sure they are fully charged.

Portable bathroom

Airplane bathrooms are never up to our standards, maybe in first class, but not for everyone else. We recommend keeping a little bag with your essential toiletries to make using the bathroom in the air more pleasant.

You should include hand sanitizer, a small soap, a toothbrush, deodorant, and maybe a little makeup in your carry-on. You can even bring travel-sized containers. These will help you feel fresh and improve your hygiene on the flight. When you can't shower but want to feel clean, a toiletry kit is essential.

Prepare your maps

In 2022 you don't need a GPS or a paper map to help you navigate in a foreign country. You can use map applications that cater to your experience and travels. But don't forget that all those apps need a Wi-Fi connection or mobile data connectivity.

Don't worry; you won't have to go back to scribbling directions on a paper map. Most apps have a download feature. When you are connected, you can choose the streets or city you want a map or directions for and download it for offline use. This can drain your phone, so make sure it has enough battery, or you have a portable charger.

Bring your own blanket

Every airline has its own branded blanket for when you board the plane. Despite coming in a sealed bag, somebody else used it on a previous flight. The airline probably quickly washes it, puts it in a plastic bag, and seals it before giving it to you.

We can't be sure how clean it is, and after all, airplane blankets aren't warm enough. That is why you should travel with a small blanket. A blanket is essential if you don't layer your clothes and are always cold on flights. This is also great to carry if you're traveling with children.

In-flight entertainment

It is very boring to sit on a plane for over 12 hours; there aren't many entertainment options. We don't need a circus performance, but sometimes the in-flight entertainment isn't enough.

That is why you should come prepared and download movies before takeoff. You can also bring your portable devices like a Kindle or laptop. Flying time isn't the same as lost time. To keep yourself busy, read a book, write or draw. If you have friends sitting nearby, you can play games and talk. The 12 hours will fly by.

Portable perfume

The air inside a plane can become stagnant pretty quickly. Considering it is the only thing you will smell throughout your flight, consider an alternative. You can bring portable fragrance bottles to help you cope with long, smelly trips.

They aren't that expensive, and you can fill them with your favorite perfume or cologne. A little spray can go a long way. When something smells a little funky, spray the bottle and immediately notice the difference. For a quick refresh, you can also spray yourself when you get off the plane.

Don't be scared of security

No one likes to have a stressed-out passenger on their flight. And there is no need for that person to be you. Yes, you can worry about being late to the airport and having everything with you. But once you arrive and settle in, you can relax and wait until your flight takes off.

TSA is one stressful part of getting to the airport. Most people fear being called out of line and having a dog go through their luggage. Don't be scared; airport security is there to protect you. You have nothing to worry about as long as you're not carrying a gun, knife, or bomb in your backpack.

Skip the line

There is no way to avoid lines at the airport. You go on them when you arrive and when you leave. But there are some tricks to go through them a little faster. You should be looking for the left line.

Why should you go to the lines on the left? Most people gravitate to the side of their dominant hand, so the right side is more congested. That trick will most likely work when lines are being formed. If not, always look for the lines with fewer families on them.

Razor cover

When leaving home in a hurry to catch a flight, you tend to forget the things you don't usually use. You probably won't forget your razor blade, but you might forget the plastic cover that comes with it (even though you know exactly where it is).

This looks like an accident waiting to happen. Imagine putting your hand inside your toiletry bag with an uncovered razor. A binder clip is an easy way to prevent a bad situation; put it on the razor to avoid accidents. You probably have one lying around your office.

Back-up your documents

Let's hope it never happens, but you can lose your passport and documents, or worse, they could get stolen. You will be stuck in a foreign country with no documentation if that happens. There is no worse feeling for a traveler to experience.

To avoid this nightmare, always photocopy your documents and have photos of them on your phone. They won't be helpful at the airport, as they are not legal, but they will help recover your papers faster when you are at the embassy. Getting a new passport will be much smoother if you're prepared for this emergency.

Making vacation friends

Some people enjoy being alone on vacation to have peace and quiet. If that is not how you like to travel, we suggest finding some company on your trip. If your friends aren't available or cannot afford the trip, you'll have to make new ones.

Making new friends can be challenging, especially if you are in a foreign country. Walking up to strangers and asking if they want to be your friend isn't the safest approach. There are easier and safer ways to meet people. Try an app that lets you know about other single people or solo vacationers in your area. You might meet your new best friend.

Stay hydrated

It is important that you always stay hydrated. If you are working, exercising, or relaxing, your body always needs water. It is vital to stay hydrated on an airplane, where the altitude prevents moisture from accumulating. Make sure to have access to fresh water.

You don't have access to a fridge or a water fountain when traveling. You can bring a reusable water bottle and fill it at the airport. Make sure to drink enough water throughout the flight and ask for it from your flight attendant. And no- wine, sodas, and coffees don't count as staying hydrated.

No “liquids” allowed

We all know you cannot bring liquids on a flight, but did you know that water doesn't always have to be a liquid? Technically if you freeze your bottles, the water is solid, so there isn't any reason for security to confiscate it.

Make sure it stays frozen until you're done going through security and can board the plane. Don't leave for the airport five hours before your flight, and you will be fine.

Meet the locals

Traveling to a new country can be stressful. The customs, food, and people are different, and you can feel alienated. But you don't feel out of place. Be open to trying new things. We encourage you to immerse yourself in other countries' cultures, so you can learn about them and have a more meaningful experience there.

Talk to the locals; they are very welcoming and will be happy to help a foreigner. Making friends in other countries gives you a reason to go back or for them to visit. You can learn a lot from people in different countries: the more friends, the merrier.

Bring your own bottle

We already said you couldn't take anything to drink on the airplane. But, you may get thirsty waiting at the airport to board. You might get dehydrated, and the only options are the overpriced bars in the waiting lounge or expensive bottled water.

To save money, carry a reusable bottle or thermos. It could be a life -and money-saver while you wait. You can fill it before you board and dump the liquid when you hear you get on the plane. Thank us later!

Bring your own snacks

While on your flight, you're likely to get hungry. Although airplane food can be hit or miss, you will probably need another snack to get you through the whole trip. But the complementary nuts you receive on board are never enough.

To satisfy your hunger, pack your snacks from home. The same snacks at the airport are more expensive, and they might not have what you like. Having your favorite snacks can keep you in a good mood during the flight.

Make a budget

You might know the best places to eat at home and where to get the best deals. But when you travel to a foreign country, you don't know what is cheap or expensive there. And you don't want to make this mistake: paying 13 dollars for a hot dog in Paris.

Follow these tips, and you will avoid those experiences and save money. There are plenty of apps and online guides that give the best recommendations. Travel apps and websites will tell you where it is cheap to eat or buy stuff. You never want to waste money or pay for overpriced things, so always travel with a budget.

Always charged

When you are in another country, you might feel lost sometimes. As long as you have your phone, you can usually get around. After all, they were made for, making our lives easier, wherever we are.

That is why you should always have it fully charged. But even if you left it charging all night, with all the apps you use while traveling and photos you take, your battery will drain quickly. Remember to carry a portable charger with you; it can save you from your phone dying and a bad situation.

Stay alert and organized

When traveling, there are many things to keep track of, especially dates and times. You wouldn't want to pay $60 at the airport for forgetting to do the online check-in, as I did in Santiago de Compostela. Always have your checklist in mind.

An excellent way to prevent this from happening is to download apps that keep track of all your travel information. Some apps allow you to create to-do lists, and others keep an eye on your flights and warn you of departure times.

Take the chance

Sometimes, to make more money, airlines overbook flights. It's disheartening to hear this when you are about to board your flight. In this case, they ask for volunteers to skip the flight so other passengers get a seat. Your first instinct is to not give your seat up.

But don't sweat it; airlines will reward you with benefits for your giving up your seat. Having an extra vacation day, with meals or even hotel rooms charged to the airline, isn't that bad of a deal. You'll still go on your trip, just a day or so later.

Organize your backpack

After backpacking through Spain, the best advice I can give you is to be smart about how you pack your bag. It's smartest to put the most important stuff on the top and think about what items you reach for the most. If not, you will be digging and have a mess inside your bag.

There is nothing more annoying than unpacking everything from your bag to reorganize it. No one wants to waste time on their trip reorganizing luggage. So be clever about it how you pack; no one wants to stay at the hotel looking through their backpack while their friends are out exploring. Invest in packing cubes or little pouches to help organize your essentials.

Stay hidden

No, not like Waldo and disappear in a crowd. If traveling with your family or alone, you always want to be safe. Whether that be physically or your belongings, be safe. This tip will protect your searches and is to look for flights and hotels in incognito mode.

Nowadays, all airline and hotel websites have cookies that monitor if you are looking at a specific page. When they find out, they may begin to inflate those hotel or flight prices so that you will pay more. To avoid overpaying, go into your settings for that website and block those cookies.

Prevent jet lag

A frequent flyer's worst enemy is jet lag. It takes so much time to get used to different time zones. If you don't want to lose a whole day in France sleeping in your hotel, try jogging for a while. You will stay alert and won't wake up in the middle of the night with nothing to do yet.

The sun and exercise help your body accustom to the new time zone. Always bring running shoes and workout clothes on your trip; they don't take up that much space in your luggage. It will also help you stay alert and comfortable walking through the city.

Protect your luggage

You cannot predict the weather when traveling. You can protect yourself with an umbrella and a raincoat, but your luggage is not waterproof. If you get stuck in the rain with your suitcase, your belongings inside it could get damaged.

To avoid this, buy a waterproof bag or a plastic covering to put on it. If you're traveling to rainy cities like London, getting wet is inevitable. So the contents of the bag don't get soaked, but a rain coat on your suitcase.

Charger plugs

One thing travelers forget or don't realize is that outlets and plugs are different in each country. Be prepared for this and buy an adapter as soon as you get off the plane. Or you will end up like my friend who had to saw off part of his charger to fit the socket.

Even if you are unable to get one, don't worry. As we have said before, most hotel TVs have a USB port where you can plug in your phone. It may not charge as fast, but it will help you in a pinch.

Fragile luggage

We have all had our luggage damaged when we got it back at our destination. It seems like the bags go through a wrestling match at the drop-off counter. You can be sure airport employees throw every bag around when getting it on the plane.

There isn't much you can do about it; it is in the airline's hands. But one tip we suggest is to ask the airline to mark your luggage as fragile. That way, there will still be a chance of a smoother trip from the belt to the plane.

Avoiding turbulence

Turbulence can be one of the most annoying and anxiety-inducing situations while in the air. And if you aren't a frequent flyer and are scared, you want to avoid it at all costs. We have already told you where to sit, but here is another helpful tip.

Turbulence happens when different temperatures and wind currents collide. One way to avoid or lessen those effects is to travel in the morning, as this heat has not yet risen, and there are fewer chances you will experience turbulence.