Travel Hacks

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The best travel hack would be doing a proper research & planning a perfect trip that suits your need. Following tips will help you figure out to-do’s & not to do’s.


Money

  • Get cash from ATMs for best rates
  • Charles Schwab High Yield Checking accounts refund every single ATM fee worldwide, require no minimum balance, and have no monthly fee
  • Bring a spare credit card for real emergencies
  • Split cash in various places on your person (pockets, shoes) and in your luggage
  • Use a money belt

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Packing

  • Throw the hotel bar soap into your dirty laundry bag so it doesn’t stink up your suitcase for the rest of your trip. Don’t have any bar soap lying around? Use a dryer sheet.
  • Wear a night moisturizer on long flights because it’s extra hydrating and you’ll have plenty of time to let it sink in and do its job (you know, like fighting wrinkles and brightening skin).
  • Pack items like your laptop in smaller bags so you have options when you’re out and about. You don’t want to have to lug your carry-on bag with you everywhere, do you?
  • Store your power cords in an old sunglass case. It’ll keep you from losing your damn mind. We promise.
  • Bring several pairs of underwear in your carry-on—just in case your luggage winds up lost.
  • Collect travel- and sample-size items (gee, where could you find those?) so you’ll have them when you need them.
  • Pre-pack what you can. Always have a toiletry bag ready, so that you don’t need to go crazy the night before you leave.
  • Place a cotton pad in your blush or powder compact to ensure that it won’t break while you’re in transit.
  • Always roll your clothes; don’t fold them. You’ll find a world of space.
  • Don’t carry more clothes than you need. Keep it to a bare minimum.

Hotels

  • Check AirBnB, ZO Rooms , oyorooms, Roomorama, Vacation Apartments and More, Homeaway, before making hotel/room reservations
  • Check Hotel Tonight for a last minute booking
  • Call the hotel directly for rates to compare with online rates.
  • Private rooms in hostels are better deals and more fun than hotels in many 2nd tier cities
  • Always ask for a better room or free upgrade when you check into a hotel. About half the time, you get one.
  • Evaluate quality of the source before accepting restaurant recommendations of hotel employees
  • Need a charger or adapter? Ask the hotel desk. Almost always, they’ll pull a box of chargers abandoned by previous travelers and you can have your pick.

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Frequent Flyer Miles, Hotel Points and other travel loyalty programs

  • Track your miles and points from your smartphone. 

Interacting with locals

  • Follow the locals. If there are locals around you, you’re doing it right. If there are only tourists, you’re probably being ripped off.
  • Smile
  • Learn a bit of the language, make an effort
  • Look for people already drinking and buy a round
  • Eat with them: Eatwith.com
  • Check the Spotted by Locals apps or blogs (Europe & North America)

Travel logistics

  • Email PDFs of your passport to yourself
  • Take an unlocked GSM phone with you, you can buy SIM cards almost everywhere cheap
  • If you need any sort of service and you’re outside the U.S., call the 800 US number if there is one. Much faster and friendlier service.
  • Get a YMCA membership. YMCAs are the most pervasive gym in the U.S. and for $5 you get access to showering, hot tub, swimming pool, locker for an entire day etc.
  • Use Thumbtack to get services done by locals, instead of businesses
  • Use Tripoto to see what other travellers did before you.

Internet

  • Check Foursquare for free Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Rewards lounges usually have unprotected Wi-Fi networks
  • Buying Internet access from your mobile device rather than your laptop can get you a better rate. Alternatively, you can spoof your browser’s User Agent.

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Flights

  • If flying with someone else on 3-seat arrangements, book the aisle and window. The middle seat is likely to remain free, or the person who gets it will be happy to trade with one of you. If traveling solo, buddy up with another solo traveler.
  • In airports, observe the flight crews. They know which places are best to eat at, what monorail to use etc.
  • The first bathroom in the terminal is the most crowded one. Use the next one.
  • Avoid airport security lines with people who look like they don’t travel often (elderly, children, large groups).
  • Ask that your checked bags be marked as “fragile”. This will put them on the top of other bags, so they’ll often come out of the carousel first.
  • If your flight gets cancelled/delayed or you’re likely to miss a connection, pick up the phone and re-book your flight. Don’t wait in the long line at the counter.
  • Always search JetBlue and Southwest in addition to meta-search engines like Kayak, because they may not index them.
  • Bring an empty water bottle through security, then fill it from a fountain for free hydration throughout the flight.
  • Acting sleepy/groggy (yawning a lot and looking bored) makes it very easy to breeze through immigration, customs, security.
  • Book the discounted 5am flight, then show up later in the day and get re-booked on a flight with available seats. You might need to pay at most a $25 rescheduling fee.
  • Cargo pants and vests with many pockets can act as a 3rd carryon

 

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