Jet-Set Smarts: 10 Travel Hack Secrets for an Effortless Escape

Is there anything more exciting than embarking on an adventure you’re sure you’ll remember for the rest of your life? I love that feeling. For many travelers, a trip is only as good as the journey to their destination. Recently, men and women met in an online discussion to reveal their favorite travel hacks that streamline their processes and make any trip infinitely more manageable.

1. Always Keep Important Items in Your Carry-On

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Unfortunately, lost luggage is still commonplace in 2023. Despite all the technological advances in the world, airlines still misplace luggage! However, a way to safeguard against this is by always keeping your most essential items in your carry-on. Checked baggage should contain things you’d love to have but aren’t necessary for an unforgettable trip. And for goodness sake, always keep your passport on your body!

2. Remember To Enjoy the Planning Process

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For many travelers, the planning process is as exciting as the trip. Embrace the anticipation, as it makes the days, weeks, and months leading up to your trip pass by quickly. “For me, travel starts the second I sit at the computer and start figuring out how to get there,” reveals one woman who may be my soul mate. “I genuinely enjoy deciding between a B&B or a hotel and whether to find a place that serves breakfast or has a great sunset view. I bet there is a detectable change in my brain waves, blood pressure, and heart rate when I am in trip-planning mode. I’m already there, mentally, and I can’t wait for my body to catch up.”

3. Use the ABC Method

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Regarding your electronic devices like your laptop, phone, and headphones, there’s one rule to live by: Always be charging! The rationale behind this concept is straightforward: You never know when you’ll be away from an outlet or charger for an extended period, so stay prepared by always keeping your devices plugged in and charging. It’s a tiny tip that brings peace of mind to even the most challenging situations.

4. Have a “Mistakes Fund”

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I love the concept of creating a “mistakes fund” for any upcoming adventure. One person explains it better than I ever could: “Give yourself anywhere between $100 and $500 (depending on the trip),” advises one man. “This is what your ‘mistakes’ costs will go toward. For example, a missed train ride, flight change fee, tourist scams, or things like that. It will prevent one bad thing from ruining the whole trip, especially if you are traveling with a partner or group.”

5. Never Bring Extra Large Suitcases

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When traveling for the trip of a lifetime, it’s tempting to buy the biggest luggage you can buy! After all, isn’t it better to be more prepared and pack more? Unfortunately, it isn’t true. I distinctly remember purchasing an extra large suitcase for a three-month Europe trip, loading it to the brim, and encountering endless problems. Not only was the luggage consistently over the weight limit at airports, but it wasn’t easy to maneuver, especially in and out of Airbnbs and hotels. 

6. Practice Stoicism

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Perfecting the art of stoicism can mean the difference between rolling with the punches or letting something unforeseen completely derail your trip. One woman puts it all into perspective. “Sometimes you’re going to miss your bus, and other times the bus might leave without you due to no fault of your own,” explains one savvy traveler. “Sometimes, the restaurant you try will be bad and still expensive, and other times, the one you walked a mile to find won’t even be open. Either way, you can get upset or anxious in those situations and ruin your day/week/whole trip, or you can just accept it’s part of the experience and figure out how to proceed from there.”

7. Utilize Credit Card Rewards

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You’re making a massive mistake if you’re not using credit card rewards to fund your travels. Assuming you’re responsible with money, there’s no reason not to put all your expenses on a rewards card, pay off the balance monthly, and reap the benefits! I’ve traveled around the world in the past two years, and none of it would’ve been possible without me maximizing my credit card rewards.

8. Pack a Bathing Suit and Underwear in Your Carry-On

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True story: I just returned from a five-day trip to Jamaica and forgot to pack underwear! Fun times, huh? I wish I had taken the advice of this woman before I left: “If going solo to a beach place, I always pack a bikini in my carry-on (and clean underwear wherever the destination), as I figure that would be the thing I’d be saddest about missing out on the first day,” she advises.

9. Book Flights Directly

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Sometimes, plans change, and flights must be rescheduled or canceled altogether. However, third-party booking sites like Expedia and Travelocity are notorious for making it difficult to adjust your itinerary. Your best bet is to book directly with airlines to avoid the hassle of switching flights, especially at the last minute.

10. Bring Earplugs

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Flights can be lovely and relaxing sometimes, but unfortunately, they can also be unbearable and loud! Bringing earplugs with you on a flight is arguably the most savvy tip I can give you. As someone who recently spent six hours beside a screaming baby, I can’t tell you how much I appreciated my cheap, foam earplugs. In addition, they also work well when trying to sleep in crowded hostels and busy hotels.

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