Simple Travel Hacks to Prevent the Most Common Vacation Problems
When Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in 2010, it resulted in the largest air-traffic shutdown since World War II. In the six days that the ban was in effect, over 95,000 flights were cancelled all across Europe and millions of passengers were stranded around the world.
That’s the kind of travel problem that you can’t prevent. But on bright side, at least your travel consultant can help you fix travel disasters like natural disasters, cancelled flights, and personal emergencies. If you’re looking for a way to prevent the travel problems that you CAN avoid though, we’ve collected some of our most useful travel hacks.
Packing too much
Trying to check a bag that’s overweight can cost an obscene amount of money. Instead of going to the airport and then hoping for the best, weigh it yourself on bathroom scale before you leave to make sure you’re within your airline’s regulations. For the return trip, consider investing in a portable luggage scale. They’re relatively inexpensive, and can save you a lot of headaches when you’re coming back with a suitcase filled with souvenirs. Speaking of which, another insider tip? Since shoes are often some of the heaviest things in a suitcase, try wearing your heaviest pair and just packing your flip-flops.
Losing your luggage
Most importantly, remove all the tags and stickers you still have stuck on your suitcase from past trips. You don’t want there to be any confusion at all about where your bag is going to or coming from. If you have a bag that absolutely must make it to its destination, like a wedding or business trip, consider investing in a device like Trakdot. You can place the FCC-approved device inside your suitcase, and it will track your bag’s movement and send you a text with its exact location when it arrives.
Missing your flight
The easiest way to make sure you don’t miss your flight? Think of the earliest reasonable time you could possibly be at the airport, and then plan on being there a half hour earlier than that. This isn’t the time to tempt fate with flat tires or forgotten passports or inexplicably long security lines. Hanging out at the airport may not be the most fun you’ll have in your day, but most of the time you can grab some food, shop around a bit, or at least find a television to keep you occupied.
Make sure that you set your watch to your destination’s time zone as soon as you board the plane, so you have at least a few hours to get yourself acclimated. When you arrive, try not to sleep until it’s actually night time if at all possible. Go for a walk, grab a cup of coffee, take a shower – anything other than curling in bed and waking up as the sun goes down. If you still can’t get acclimated, you can at least make the most of it. Head somewhere that you can catch the sunrise if you’re up early, or grab a late dinner if you can’t sleep.
There aren’t a lot of things that can sideline a vacation faster than getting sick, but thankfully a little preventative action can go a long way. Before you leave, make sure that you’re getting eight hours of sleep, staying hydrated, and taking your vitamins – basically don’t do anything that could compromise your immune system before you’re even out the door. If you’re heading overseas and may not have easy access to a drug store, ask your doctor for prescription Ciprofloxacin before you leave so you’re prepared for any stomach issues. Seasoned travelers swear by it because it treats the cause of (most) stomach issues instead of just the symptoms. Remember: It’s better to pack it and not use it, than not pack it and wish you had it.
Losing your wallet
Make sure to close your purse every time you use it, or carry your wallet in your front pocket instead of your back pocket. They may not be the most glamorous tips, but they’re the ones that are most likely to cut down on the chance you’ll lose your wallet. If it does get misplaced, there are two things that will can help it get back to you: your contact information (especially an email address), and a cute baby picture. Researchers found that when people carried pictures of babies in their wallet – whether or not the babies actually belonged to them – their wallets were returned more than twice as much than if they had no pictures at all.
By Megan Ranney