10 Of My Best Travel Tips

I’ll be the first to admit that traveling is one of my love languages. Thankfully Dane feels the same way and usually we aren’t even done with one trip and we’re already daydreaming about our next one. We’ve got a couple of incredible vacations lined up over the course of the next 6 months and I am practically bursting at the seams! In an effort to help out fellow wanderlusters, I wanted to put together some tips that have helped me and can hopefully help you, too!
10 Of My Best Travel Tips
1. Ziploc bags. Use ’em. I look at my entire itinerary and determine the types of outfits I’m going to want and need. Then, I put each bag (underwear included!) into my checked bag, smoosh out all the air and seal it tight. I don’t label the Ziploc at all (those are perfectly useful for other things!) and I make sure that the shirt part of the outfit is on top, so if I’m rummaging through my suitcase, I can identify which outfit it is by the shirt.
**These wind up being perfect for putting dirty clothes/wet bathing suits in.
2. Keep electronic chargers in your purse. You never know when you’re going to be delayed in an airport and need to charge your phone/laptop/iPad/something else. There’s nothing worse than having to buy an overpriced charger from an airport newsstand. I also bring a portable charging battery pack with me everywhere – it’s a total lifesaver!
3. Wear a scarf for the plane, even if you’re going to/coming from a warm location. Airplanes tend to get cold and more often than not, you’ll need something to keep you from putting your head and face against that nasty window. It can also double as a pillow if you’ve been cursed with the dreaded middle seat.
4. Don’t use your credit card at the airport. I repeat, do not use your credit card at the airport. You will wind up spending way more than you need to on candy, magazines and random other goods that are completely unnecessary. Withdraw $20-30 pre-trip and use only that cash for snacks, meals, etc.
4.1 Pack snacks, an empty water bottle (my Hydroflask is the best!) and some drink packets. This not only saves you money, but time. Once you’re through security, fill your water bottle up for free. Plane connection times get shortened frequently and this isn’t the olden days–meals on planes aren’t free anymore and sometimes drinks will cost ya–not to mention the prices of food in the airport terminals are astronomical. Arrive prepared or enter the HANGRY state at your own risk.
I did a full post on all my favorite travel snacks here.
5. Being nice goes a long way. This is sort of my unwritten rule of travel. It doesn’t matter if it’s a gate agent, TSA agent, security guard, flight attendant or the person beside you–give ’em a smile. Being a manageable, friendly traveler has a much better ring than “disgruntled passenger”. And anyway, pushing and shoving yourself out of the plane or making crude remarks isn’t going to get you to your final destination any faster. The airline staff is USUALLY doing the best that they can given the situation.
6. Bring a travel size bottle of hand sanitizer. Airplanes are germ havens–plan accordingly.
7. Give yourself extra time. Planes, trains, automobiles–but especially planes–have a tendency to take longer than anticipated, regardless of the science they’ve gotten air travel down to. Give yourself a buffer around flight time–whether that is checking in, catching a connecting flight or battling a security line.
7.1 The security line. Spend a few extra bucks and pay for priority security. It saves you time and hassle.
If this is truly not an option, remove all your jewelry, your belt and your shoes. Take your laptop and electronics out of your bag and put them in a separate security bin and place your bag on the moving belt. Make sure you have removed your 3-11 bag of liquids and your ID and boarding pass are in hand. Be prepared to do all of this will automatically put you into the good graces of TSA and the folks standing behind you. And for the love of all that is holy, please don’t have a rogue water bottle in your purse.
8. The best airfare deals usually fall on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so try to book on those days if you’re able.
**My full post on getting the cheapest airfare deals can be found here.**
9. Free airport WIFI is unprotected. Sure it’s great to get free internet access, but be wary of the sites you access–important data can easily be zapped from your device. Avoid checking emails, logging into sites that require a password (Facebook, Blogger, etc.) or checking your online banking. Stick to listening to music or streaming a movie–and be sure your sharing is turned OFF.

10. Be safe, use protection. I once thought that luggage locks were a thing of the past, but we learned in Thailand that is not so and we turned to Master Lock, a trusted brand, to help us out. For everything worth protecting while traveling, Master Lock has you covered! We used a TSA-accepted luggage lock, as well as the SentrySafe Portable Combination Safe. The luggage lock offers on-the-go security and features an easy-to-use combination lock that easily affixes to your bags.

10 Of My Best Travel Tips
The portable combination safe helped us to keep our small valuables safe — think cell phones, passports, point-and-shoots and jewelry.
10 Of My Best Travel Tips
10 Of My Best Travel Tips
10 Of My Best Travel Tips
Plus, it’s water resistant, which was incredibly helpful for the downpours we experienced in Phuket.
10 Of My Best Travel Tips
What are your best travel tips?

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  • My best tip is to pack snacks and lots of them. Especially if you are traveling with kids.

  • That lock looks like something I need in my life! I agree withdrawing money is the best policy because you will end up spending a load of money on things you do not need!

  • Thanks for the tips!

    I will pack an empty water bottle when I fly to San Diego in a week & may try your ziplock bag idea for clothes packing too.

  • Love your tips about travel – especially the reminder about being nice (seems like a no-brainer, but some people get too cranky! haha), and allowing for extra time. Also – the wifi. Major! You dont want to be shopping online at the airport and then have all your CC info stolen!
    Karen | GlamKaren.com

  • Love the little safe! I need to get my hands on one of those. I try and remember to be patient… travelling can be stressful and people who are normally level headed can turn into the biggest grouch!

  • I always use ziploc bags when I travel and my hubby thinks they can be used one time only and tries to throw them away and I always save them )))
    I have never thought about airport wifi, thank you for warning!

  • I never thought of using ziploc bags for clothes. That's such a good idea. I've always traveled with an empty regular water bottle, but for my next trip I think I'm gonna try the hydroflask

  • These are really awesome travel tips! Very useful! Just like you I always use ziplock bags and bring my phone charger with me. I also have a long scarf wrap that I double as a blankie whenever I'm on the plane. One helpful tip I have is photocopy your passport and main ID and then email a scanned copy to yourself so you always have this info on hand in case you lose your documents.

  • Great tips! We are headed to Italy in July, so this was much needed.

    My best tip is to transport necklaces by stringing them through a bendy straw and clasping it on the outside. That way it won't get tangled with itself or other necklaces you bring. Works like a charm!

  • I tend to be WAY too trusting and never bother with locks, but you're so right – they're necessary!! I know I'll be sorry one day if/when something bad happens to my stuff. Great post!! We love to travel and I agree with so many of your tips.

  • I am totally going to use the outfit baggie idea for the kids for our next trip. I always pack them outfits and they come out of the bathroom in all the wrong things!

  • That lock looks like a great way to protect your belongings. You hear so many horror stories about baggage at airports and you can't be too safe.

  • Snacks and good reading material are always important. Also trying to remain patient, which can be a challenge when dealing with other travelers who forgot to pack their manners.

  • My fave tip is "Be Kind"! A little kindness can go a long way, no matter what situation you are in while traveling or everyday life!

  • When my mom was an airline agent, she was such an asshole to people who were jerks, but so good to the nice ones! After hearing all of her daily stories, I always make sure to be extra nice.

  • Totally pinned this, such good tips!

  • Great tips for making traveling so much easier. Love the airfare tip. Thanks.

  • I LOVE the masterlock! I will have to show this to my nan as she has started travelling on her own alot and we worry about her!!

  • SUCH a great post and very applicable to my life right now. I need to do the cash thing at the airport, I tend to like to use my plastic card too much ;)! I will always travel with sanitizer, planes are gross.

  • I love the idea of the portable combination safe. I'm always afraid things will get stolen, or damaged.

  • Great idea about bringing an empty water bottle and drink packets. That's a great idea for amusement parks too and many other places that gouge you on drinks.

  • These are all such great tips, Kait! I pretty much refuse to buy flights on any day but Tuesday — it makes such a difference. I've never heard of Master Lock or that type of device, but after reading about it I can definitely see the value. Mike and I travel a lot too, so sounds like it might be a good purchase!

  • Jen

    Yes to ziploc bags!!!!! We use them all the time when traveling.

  • Great tips, some of which I use already. I love to be well organised when travelling to. I might try out the Ziploc bags, never heard of them before!

  • I second the ziploc bags and scarf! I haven't seen a personal safe like this before, but what an awesome idea! I definitely am going to look into that.

  • Ooooo these are some fantastic travel tips!!! I will have to keep these in mind for my next trip here in April!

  • this is such a great list of tips. I wish I was actually planning a trip to take son though. My fave is the packing snacks – no sense in being hungry ever – make it through with snacks!!!

  • Great list! I always travel with a large scarf – planes do get cold! I also throw in a pair of socks (if Im wearing sockless shoes), gum, and my kindle.

  • These are such great tips! I've got the travel bug again but have to wait till July when my baby will be a bit older but so looking forward to some more fun trips!

  • I always travel with a hankerchief tied to by bags and locks on them. I like that Sentry Safe.

  • These are some great tips! I haven't traveled in a long time and can't wait to as well.

  • As a former Flight Attendant, you travel tips are spot on to me! I especially love the empty water bottle. It saves so much to be able to fiull up once through security. I always pack my clothes in Ziplocs as well.

  • A lot of times I just buy things when I Get to my destination. I always feel like I will forget those essentials so I grab them in the new place!

  • These are tried and true tips! I need to invest in getting a portable combination safe. It would certainly give me a peace of mind when traveling.

  • You definitely have to be smart when traveling! These are fantastic tips!

  • Great tips! I love that portable safe too!

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  • Keeping my charger in my purse has saved me more times than I can count! It's definitely an essential for me. Thanks for the tips!

    Be the author of your own story,
    Rebecca Kelsey Sampson

  • Great tips! We are headed to Italy in July, so this was much needed.

    My best tip is to transport necklaces by stringing them through a bendy straw and clasping it on the outside. That way it won't get tangled with itself or other necklaces you bring. Works like a charm!

  • These are generally well-versed guidelines! I want to put money into receiving a lightweight mix safe and sound. It will surely supply us a new comfort while journeying.

  • I would like to add one more point – Keep passport photos with you for emergency purposes, I have seen many people looking for urgent passport photos in new places.

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  • As a seasoned world traveller, I must say, these tips are excellent!! I do most of these things, but agree with you on the security tip. It's time to invest in these safeguards. Great article, Kait.

  • Great article! Loved it! Appreciate the patience in framing such determined content. Thanks for the time and effort 🙂 towelroot

  • Fantastic tips! I can’t wait until Tuesday now to check out flight prices! The sentry safe looks amazing I had no idea they existed… do you keep in inside a bag or hang on the outside?

    • Kait

      Woo! I hope you are successful. I keep it inside 🙂

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