Whether you’re a seasoned globetrotter or a first-time explorer, our experts have compiled a list of tips and tricks that will change how you travel.
From packing must-haves to snagging the best deals on flights and accommodations, as you plan your next getaway, use these 114 travel hacks as a checklist to ensure you travel smarter.
With advice on how to increase security at your accommodation and score access to the airport lounge even when you’re not flying first class, these travel hacks will change how you travel.
114 Mind-Blowing Travel Hacks You Didn’t Know of
We have categorized these 114 Mind-Blowing Travel Hacks into categories for ease and organization.
To maximize the time at your destination, it is always good to do some research before your trip. As you start to plan your getaway, add checking these websites to your to-do list:
1. Google Local Festivals & Events
Before visiting a location, check if local festivals or events are happening. It can significantly enhance your experience (or cause disruptions, so it’s good to know in advance).
2. Free Walking Tours
Many cities offer free walking tours. They’re a great way to get oriented, learn history, and receive local recommendations. Just remember, it’s courteous to tip your guide.
3. Digital Guidebooks
Websites like Wikivoyage offer free, up-to-date travel guides that can be saved offline.
4. Local Recommendations
Use platforms like Spotted by Locals or Like A Local to get recommendations directly from residents.
5. Travel Forums
Platforms like TripAdvisor forums or the subreddit r/travel can be a goldmine for specific travel advice, hidden gems, and recent experiences of other travelers.
6. Check Local Deal Websites
Before traveling, check local deal websites (like Groupon) for the country you’re visiting. They might have discounts for attractions, restaurants, or activities.
In Europe especially, platforms like BlaBlaCar allow you to share rides with locals.
(Be sure to scroll down to the accommodation and flying hacks for more advice on planning and booking smart to save you money and headaches as you travel.)
Whether you’re an over or forgetful packer, we have all had travel headaches at some point, starting with what we decided to put into a suitcase or what we forgot to bring.
A successful trip hinges on what you are packing, so our experts have put together an extensive list of travel packing secrets:
8. Toothpaste Dots
Instead of carrying a bulky tube of toothpaste, squeeze small dots onto tin foil, let them harden, and then store them in a small Ziplock bag. Apply one toothpaste dot to your toothbrush every time you want to brush.
9. Shower Cap for Shoes
The soles of your shoes can cover your clothes and other items with dirt, mud, and germs. Use a hotel shower cap to wrap around the soles of your shoes when packing them in your luggage to keep other items clean.
10. Contact Lens Cases for Creams
Use empty contact lens cases to carry small amounts of creams or lotions, so you don’t need to pack full-sized bottles.
11. Single-Use Ointments
Bring single-use packets of ointments, gels, or creams. They save space and ensure you only carry what you’ll use.
12. DIY Speaker
Leave the weight of wireless speakers at home. If you need to amplify your phone’s speaker, place it into an empty mug or glass to boost the sound.
13. Silica Gel Packs
Keep those tiny silica gel packs you find in new bags or shoes. Put them in your luggage; they help remove moisture and prevent odors.
14. Paper Clips for SIM Cards
Keep a paperclip in your wallet if you’re switching out SIM cards while traveling internationally. It’s a handy tool for ejecting the SIM tray on most phones.
15. Packing Cubes
Not familiar? Think of it as a bento box for your belongings. Packing cubes help organize your things and often allow you to fit more into your luggage.
16. Soap Case for Camera Storage
Those plastic soap cases can be the perfect size for storing smaller digital cameras, offering them some protection from bumps and scratches.
17. Straw for Necklaces
To avoid getting your necklaces tangled, thread them through a straw and close the clasp. This keeps them organized and tangle-free.
18. Elastic Bands Around Clothes
If you’re rolling clothes, use small elastic bands or hair ties to keep them in place. This can add an extra layer of organization.
19. Pillowcase Storage
Bring an extra pillowcase. It can be used to collect your laundry to avoid mixing dirty clothes with clean ones. Find yourself stuck in an airport overnight? You can use it as a makeshift pillow when full of clothing.
20. Dryer Sheets
Place dryer sheets between clothes in your luggage. They can help keep your clothes smelling fresh and can reduce static.
21. Roll and Fold
Roll some of your clothes and fold some to save space and reduces the number of wrinkles.
22. Pack a Multi-purpose Scarf or Sarong
These can be used as a blanket, towel, sun shield, or even as a makeshift bag.
23.Use a Sunglasses Case for Chargers
A hard-shell sunglasses case can be a perfect container for your chargers, earbuds, and other small items, protecting them and keeping them organized.
24. Binder Clips for Razor Protection
Use a binder clip to cover the sharp end of a razor. It saves space compared to a traditional case and protects other items in your bag.
25. Solid Toiletries
Avoid liquid restrictions at airport security checks by shifting to solid toiletries, like shampoo bars, solid conditioners, and toothpaste tablets.
26. Portable Power Strip
If you have multiple devices, especially if you’re traveling internationally, where plug types might vary, a portable power strip with multiple USB ports is invaluable. It ensures you can charge everything with just one adapter.
27. Baby Powder for Sand
If you plan to go to the beach, baby powder easily removes sand from your skin.
28. Earrings Through Buttons
Earrings can be a nightmare to keep track of in your luggage. Avoid losing them by threading stud earrings through the holes of buttons on your clothing. This keeps them paired and prevents them from getting lost.
29. Portable Laundry Detergent Sheets
Instead of carrying liquid or powder detergent, use portable laundry detergent sheets that dissolve in water, making it easy to do laundry on the go.
30. Use Wine Packing for Fragile Items
If you’re traveling with fragile items, consider using wine packaging or inflatable wine protectors. They offer excellent protection for breakables.
31. Clothespin for Toothbrush
Use a clothespin to prop up your toothbrush in the bathroom, ensuring the brush head doesn’t touch surfaces.
32. Wet Wipes & Hand Sanitizer
Always handy, not just for cleanliness, but for freshening up during long hauls or if you find yourself in accommodations without ideal facilities.
33. Instant Oatmeal & Coffee Packets
Ideal for early travel days when you don’t have time to find breakfast. Just ask for hot water on the plane or at the airport.
34. Cotton Pad Protection
Place cotton pads inside your compact makeup cases. This helps prevent the makeup from breaking.
35. Oven Mitt for Hot Hair Tools
Traveling and in a rush? Pack your still-warm curling iron or straightener inside an oven mitt.
36. Binder Clips for Electronics
These standard office supplies can protect the heads of your electronic chargers or organize and wrap up cords.
37. Single-Day Medicine Packs
Instead of carrying entire medicine bottles, use a 7-day pill organizer to bring just what you need.
38. DIY Document Organizer
Use a zippered fabric pencil case (the kind students use for school) to organize and store your passport, tickets, and other travel documents. They’re slim, lightweight, and can easily be slipped into a daypack or purse.
39. Tissue Shoes
Stuff your shoes with socks or tissue paper to help them keep their shape inside your luggage.
40. Duct Tape
Wrap a small amount around a pencil. It can be handy for quick fixes like sealing a torn bag or removing lint from clothing.
41. Refillable Perfume Atomizer
Instead of carrying an oversized perfume bottle, use a refillable atomizer. They’re TSA-friendly and great for a quick refresh.
42. Safety Pin Savior
Keep a couple of safety pins in your wallet or purse. They can be lifesavers for a wardrobe malfunction.
43. Ziplock Bags
Always carry a few. They’re great for organizing, keeping gadgets dry, or storing leftover snacks.
44. Schedule Mid-Trip Laundry
Instead of packing clothes for every day, plan to do laundry at your destination. Many places offer quick, affordable laundry services.
RELATED → Fillable Travel Itinerary Template
45. Business Card in Luggage
Place a business card or write down your contact details on a piece of paper inside each checked bag. If the luggage tag outside gets lost, airlines can still contact you.
46. Avoiding Spillages
Place a piece of plastic wrap under the cap of your liquid bottles before sealing them. This prevents leaks and potential messes in your luggage.
47. Tube Wringer
If you travel with tubes of creams or toothpaste, a tube wringer (often used for paints) ensures you get every last bit out.
48. Matchbox Sewing Kit
Place a needle, thread, and a button inside a matchbox for a super compact emergency sewing kit.
49. Mini First Aid Kit
Use an old prescription bottle or an Altoids tin to create a mini first-aid kit with band-aids, painkillers, and any personal meds.
50. Clip-on Pouch
Attach a small clip-on pouch to your backpack strap or belt loop for easy access to essentials like cash or lip balm.
51. Twist Ties or Rubber Bands
These are always useful for managing cords, sealing open food packages, or quick fixes. They take up virtually no space, so always have a few on hand.
52. Repurpose Prescription Bottles
Cleaned-out prescription pill bottles can be great for storing Q-tips, cotton balls, or small amounts of over-the-counter meds.
53. Ditch the “Just in Case” Items
More often than not, you won’t need them. If you do, you can usually buy them locally.
54. Peer-to-Peer Luggage Storage
Websites like Stasher or Nannybag allow storing your luggage in local businesses or homes, often cheaper than traditional luggage storage facilities.
If you ask most travelers, they will likely tell you the part of the trip that stresses them out the most. From the high cost of airline tickets to navigating busy airports, every aspect of your Flight can create headaches. Here are a few travel hacks that will leave you no longer feeling like flying should be left to the birds.
55. Empty Bottle Trick
Carry an empty bottle instead of buying water after airport security. Many airports now have water refill stations, so you can fill it up after passing security.
56. Mark Luggage as Fragile
Even if it isn’t, marking your baggage as “fragile” can often mean it’s handled more carefully and comes out first on the baggage carousel.
57. Digital Luggage Scale
Avoid overweight baggage fees by checking the weight of your luggage with a handheld digital scale before you get to the airport.
58. Use ATMs for Better Exchange Rates
Rather than using airport currency exchanges, which often have high fees and poor rates, withdraw money from a local ATM. You’ll typically get a better conversion rate. Just be aware of your bank’s foreign transaction fees.
59. Book Direct Morning Flights
They tend to have fewer delays than later flights since aircraft are already at the airport from the night before. Also, flying in the morning can give you extra time at your destination.
60. Lounge Access
Even if you’re not flying business or first class, you can sometimes purchase a day pass for an airline lounge. Some credit cards also offer lounge access as a perk. Websites like LoungeBuddy also allow you to book airport lounge access even if you’re not flying business or first class.
61. Speedy Security:
Sometimes, the security line farthest to the left (considering most people are right-handed and might naturally veer right) is faster. But always scope out all the lines; the shortest one isn’t always the quickest.
62. Use Airport Apps
Many airports have their apps with terminal maps, dining options, and gate information. Familiarizing yourself with these can save time.
63. DIY Seat Alert
If you didn’t get the seat you wanted when booking, set up a flight alert on a site like ExpertFlyer to notify you when a preferred seat (like an exit row or window seat) becomes available.
64. Airport Fast Track
Some airports allow you to purchase a fast-track security pass even if you aren’t a frequent flyer or in business class.
65. Seat Selection
The back of the plane might be noisier due to the engines, but it’s also where you’ll experience less turbulence. Conversely, over the wings is generally the most stable area.
66. Layer Up
Airplane cabin temperatures can be unpredictable. Wear layers so you can adjust to your comfort level.
67. Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
Both can dehydrate you and disrupt your sleep pattern. Drink water or herbal teas instead.
68. Compression Socks
On long flights, these can help improve circulation and reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
69. Noise-Canceling Headphones
They may be an investment, but they can be a game-changer by drowning out engine noise and loud passengers.
70. Neck Pillow Hack
If you slide the neck pillow’s curved part to the front, you can lean forward to sleep, especially if the headrest is uncomfortable.
71. Flight Mode for Faster Charge
If you’re charging your phone on the plane, putting it in airplane mode will make it charge faster as it’s not using energy searching for a signal.
72. Booking Refundable Rates
Book a refundable rate early, then check periodically to see if the rates have dropped. If they have, rebook at a lower rate.
73. Error Fares
Websites like SecretFlying and Fly4Free sometimes post “error fares,” which are ridiculously cheap flight prices due to system glitches or human error.
74. Google Flights Explore
If you’re flexible with your destination, use the “explore” feature on Google Flights to see where you can go within your budget.
75. Social Media
Follow airlines, hotels, and travel deal accounts on social media platforms like Twitter. They occasionally offer special discounts or promo codes.
76. Booking Hotel + Flight Together
On some websites like Expedia or Orbitz, booking your Hotel and Flight together can sometimes be cheaper than booking them separately.
77. Email Alerts
Sign up for fare alerts from sites like Kayak, Skyscanner, or Airfarewatchdog to get notified when prices drop.
78. Seat Maps
Websites like SeatGuru or SeatMaestro provide detailed aircraft seat maps and reviews, helping you choose the best seat before you fly.
Whether staying at an Airbnb or a hotel or crashing on someone’s couch, these accommodation travel hacks will help you feel more at home.
79. Ditch the Hotel Room Key
If your hotel room requires a card in a slot to keep the power on (common in many places outside the U.S.), any card will typically work. Use an old or expired card to keep the room’s AC or heater running while you’re out.
80. Use Hotels for Luggage Storage
If you’re checking out of a hotel, but your Flight isn’t until later, most hotels will store your luggage for free or a small fee.
81. TV USB Charging
Check the back of the TV if your hotel room doesn’t have enough plug sockets. Most modern TVs have a USB port that can charge devices.
82. Unpack Only What You Need
If you’re hopping between locations frequently, only partially unpack at each place. Take out only what you need. It makes repacking quicker and ensures you don’t leave items behind.
If your dates are flexible, staying during off-peak times often gets you better rates and fewer crowds.
84. Alternative Accommodations
Consider guesthouses, hostels, or platforms like Airbnb for cheaper and more authentic stays.
85. Call Directly
Sometimes, calling the Hotel directly can get you a better rate than online platforms.
86. Hotel Room Humidifier
If you’re staying in a dry place and don’t have a humidifier in your hotel room, wet a towel and hang it near the air conditioning unit. It can act as a makeshift humidifier.
87. Ask for Upgrades
88. If you’re celebrating a special occasion like an anniversary or birthday, mention it. Hotels might offer a complimentary upgrade or amenities.
89. Last-minute Deals
Apps like HotelTonight specialize in last-minute deals for same-day bookings. Hotels lower rates for rooms they have yet to be able to fill.
90. Look into Business Hotels
Places that cater to business travelers can offer great weekend rates because their primary clientele usually stays during the workweek.
91. Avoid Hidden Fees
Some hotels charge resort fees, parking fees, or fees for Wi-Fi. Make sure you’re aware of all charges when comparing hotel prices.
92. Book Longer, Pay Less
Some hotels offer a free night or significant discounts if you book for a certain number of days.
93. Contact Information
Write down your accommodation’s address and phone number on a piece of paper. Not everyone has a smartphone, and if yours dies or gets lost, this can be crucial.
94. Check for Hotel Airport Shuttles
Some hotels offer free shuttles to and from the airport. It’s easy to overlook and can save a taxi fare.
95. Check Cancellation Policies
Book accommodations with free cancellation options on platforms like Booking.com. You can continue to check for better deals and cancel the initial booking if you find a better price.
96. Last-Minute Bookings
Apps like HotelTonight specialize in last-minute hotel deals for those who have flexible plans.
97. Avoid International Transaction Fees
Use websites like Wise (formerly TransferWise) to pay for accommodations or services in foreign currencies without hefty bank fees.
Safety & Security Hacks
Your travel went off without a hitch, you packed perfectly, and you found a great rate on somewhere to stay. However, as you settle down on your pillow on your first night, you feel a sense of unease due to a new and unfamiliar environment. With these safety travel hacks, you will always feel safe in your hotel room.
98. Inside-Out Socks
If traveling to places where luggage security might be an issue, place valuables inside socks and turn them inside out. It makes them less conspicuous.
99. Lip Balm for Small Valuables
An empty lip balm tube can discreetly store small valuables like folded bills or small jewelry pieces.
100. Split Up Your Money
Instead of keeping all your cash and cards in one wallet, split them up. Keep some in your main bag, some in a money belt, and some in your pocket or daypack. That way, you won’t be left without resources if something gets stolen.
101. Portable Door Lock
If you’re staying in places where security might be a concern, carry a portable door lock. It’s a small device that you can fit into most doors, providing an additional layer of security.
102. Safety Pin Secure Zippers
If you’re worried about pickpocketing, you can thread a safety pin through your bag’s zipper pulls to deter thieves.
103. Door Stopper for Security
Carry a small rubber door stopper. When lodged under your hotel or guesthouse door from the inside, it can provide an added layer of security.
104. Door Jam Alarm
For added safety in hotel rooms, portable alarms can be hung on the door handle. If someone tries to enter, the alarm will sound.
105. Fork Lock
If you’re staying somewhere with a sliding door and no lock (like some balcony doors in hotels), a fork can be jammed into the track to prevent the door from opening.
We have already touched on how technology can help you find the best deals on flights and accommodations, but that’s not all your phone, tablet, or laptop can be useful for as you head out on your getaway.
106. Digital Backups
Scan or photograph essential documents like passports, IDs, and travel insurance. Store them securely in the cloud or on an encrypted USB. If you lose the originals, you’ll have backup copies to refer to.
107. Use Google Translator’s Offline Mode
Download the language of the country you’re visiting in Google Translate. This way, you can translate on the go, even without internet access.
108. Watch Movies Offline
Streaming apps like Netflix allow you to download movies and shows to your device. Do this before your trip to have entertainment during flights or long waits without needing an internet connection.
109. Offline Maps
Apps like Google Maps allow you to download maps for offline use. Do this before you travel to save on data usage and ensure you have access even in areas with poor signal.
110. Use Google Photos
Automatically back up your travel photos to Google Photos. This way, even if you lose your device, you won’t lose your memories.
111. Scan QR Codes for Discounts
Scanning QR codes in tourist areas in many cities, especially in Asia, might give you discounts or promotions for local attractions or restaurants.
112. Use Incognito Mode
When booking flights and hotels online, use incognito mode or clear your cookies. Some websites track your visits and might raise the price based on your search frequency.
113. Virtual VPN
Using a VPN can sometimes get you cheaper booking rates by changing your browsing location.
114. Use Points Aggregator Platforms
Websites like AwardWallet can help you track and manage your loyalty points across different programs.
These 114 Travel Hacks are what you turn to repeatedly when embarking on a trip. We hope they help you as you set off on your journey.
Remember, a great getaway is about being in the moment and experiencing something new.
Worrying about booking fees, forgotten luggage, or safety and security steals from you the ability to explore and take in your new surroundings fully.
Bookmark this list so every trip you take will be a memorable one.