Whether you’ve visited every country, or this is your first time traveling, there is always something new to learn about travel and ways to improve your experience. Through the years of my travel experiences, I have been able to gather some of my top travel hacks to make traveling easier. With all of the unknowns and unexpected things that come along with traveling, there’s a lot that is out of our control, but there are some things you can do to help ensure you have an easier trip with less time stressing over the little things and more time enjoying your destination.
- The Right Carry On
It’s important to have a great carry on that fits everything you need. A small cross body bag for walking around and staying close to your body and a great travel backpack for day trips. This one I recently took to my trip to Cuba is from Cynthia Mae, and I love it because it has so many compartments for easy organization, its waterproof for those unexpected rainy days, and it even has a yoga strap and can double as a gym bag.
It’s important to choose a bag that’s both functional for all the ways you’ll need it during your trip, but that’s versatile in style for all the outfits you’ll be changing into. Your bag is something you’ll carry around with you a lot, so it better be cute. The style on this Cynthia Mae bag is very trendy and urban so it goes great with most outfits.
2. Phone Charger
Traveling can drain your battery, and you don’t want to go a long period of time without the lifeline that is your phone. We all know the struggle of losing all life to our phones, and it’s not fun. It’s a great idea to bring an extra phone charger with you to plug into the plane, but sometimes the plane doesn’t have a USB spot. Better yet, get a small portable charger for your phone and bring it with you. Use it on planes, car rides, you name it. They’re small enough to fit in your purse and powerful enough to save your battery life.
3. Must Have Travel Apps
When traveling internationally, many times data and cell service is no longer an option, but this doesn’t mean you have to go without. Before every trip, I download the apps that I need and any useful information to make it available offline.
If you’re a music listener, but don’t want to use up the space on your phone with iTunes, download “Spotify” to your phone, make a few playlists, and then download the playlist to make the songs available offline.
“Google translate” is a must if you’re going to a country foreign to you and you don’t speak their language. It enables you to enter words and sentences even when you’re offline to translate. Simply download the language before you go. It even enables you to take photos of labels in foreign countries and translates the labels for you so you can know jus what you’re grabbing off the shelf. This is a huge perk if you’re going to be gone on an extended trip and will need to purchase beauty products.
If in Europe, and you will be traveling by train, I highly recommend downloading the “Trainline EU” app, and if by car, download the “mytaxi” app, because many countries do not have Uber and Lyft.
“Open table” is a great restaurant app, and helps you ensure you are not wasting your money on tourist traps. “Maps.me” is extremely helpful for getting your way around, because it gives you the maps offline for a step by step gps.
Different destinations will have different apps, so do a little research and find out what countries have apps specific to them. For example, I discovered this “Cuba travel” app and “Cuba Maps” that was very helpful for me on my most recent trip to Cuba.
4. Book the Best Accommodation
When you travel, where you stay makes all the difference. Location, comfort, price, amenities that are important to you, etc. Make sure you d o your research, but it can really be a struggle to trust what you find online. When it comes to surprises in our accommodation, we only like the good ones. I like to use Airbnb whenever possible because it’s a more homey feel and I trust the platform. You can typically get a much cozier spot for a fraction of the price. HotelTonight and Hotels.com are my go-to’s for when I’m opting for the hotel option because they have a wide variety of options and they usually have great discount rates, and allow you to book last minute and still get a good deal.
5. Bring Snacks!
One of the most simple, yet important recommendation I can make to you is to bring your own snacks. The last thing you want to do is go hungry, and the second to last thing you want to do is spend too much money on overpriced and not very delicious food. A box of granola bars can ensure you hel you maintain your healthy diet on the go, and give you the extra fuel you need to seek out the good restaurants, and not settle for a more convenient restaurant in the touristy areas.