Over the past few years that we’ve spent on the road, we’ve come up with some pretty awesome travel hacks. Some our simple hacks that save us a couple of dollars here and there, while others are great time-saving tips, safety tricks and efficient packing miracles. If you’re spending a considerable amount of time on the road, every dollar, minute and square inch can count, so here are some simple tricks that you can use to maximize the space in your calendar, in your bag and in your wallet.
1. Packing Cubes
Number one on this list can really be a time saver, a money saver and a space saver. Packing cubes can compress your luggage so much that a checked bag may just turn into a carry on, which can save you money. They’re also a huge time saver because with them, you can properly organize your luggage into useful, easy to access compartments. Next time you’re at the airport and you need a jacket, when you open your luggage you won’t just see a pile of folded up clothes. You can reach for the specific packing cube that you use for your “warm clothing”, unzip it and grab out your jacket. You can even get them in different colours so that you know, at a glance, exactly what items are zipped where. These little zipper squares are a life saver and now that we’ve travelled with them, we’d never leave home without them.
Bonus Tip: Always roll your clothes to save room. Folding takes up far more space.
2. Turn Your Hoodie Into a Pillow
Even if you’re travelling to warm climates, you may want to consider bringing a hoodie. Why? Hoodies make for excellent pillows that can be used on buses, planes, trains and taxis, or even in hotel rooms that only offer lumpy, uncomfortable pillows. I use this little trick all of the time. You may be surprised at how comfy your hoodie can be!
3. Use Zipper Locks
For some people, zipper locks are an obvious addition to the travel packing list, but others have never heard of them! These nifty little combo or key locks can keep petty thefts from getting into your bags and stealing your stuff. They also come in handy for locking drawers, closets and doors in hotel rooms. You can pick them up on amazon for about $10 each and they can potentially save the entire contents of your luggage. Just be sure to check that your suitcase or backpack has zippers that are lock compatible.
4. Door Stopper Protection
Everyone likes to feel secure, especially when travelling overseas in exotic countries. Some travellers feel the most vulnerable while they’re in their room at night. Travelling with a rubber door stopper is a great idea for some extra protection for your hotel room. But if you forgot to pack this odd item in your luggage, you can actually use a dinner fork! Check out the video below and feel more secure in your room at night.
5. Use “OK Maps” Function
Nobody likes to get lost and nobody likes to carry around a map either. If you haven’t already, download the Google Maps app to your phone (or smart device). Next time you’re on the road looking for your hotel, guest house or hostel, open the app and follow your route. No 3G or wireless where you are? Before leaving to your destination, open the app and find the area where you plan to travel to, then type “OK Maps” into the search form and the app will automatically save the map area onto your phone so that you can view it offline.
6. Use Empty Lip Balm Containers To Hide Valuables
If you’re carrying jewels, or a little extra cash and you want to put it somewhere that nobody will find it, consider travelling with hollowed out lip balm containers like in the image below. Just make sure that when you’re ditching your old Chap Stick, you don’t get rid of the valuable one!
7. Pack Red Wine in Shoes
If you’re like us and you like to travel with a lot of wine, you’re going to need a lot of pairs of shoes for this hack! The idea is simple, place the bottom of the wine bottle inside one shoe, and the top of the bottle inside another. If you have a solid pair of hiking shoes or a good set of boots, this will be ample amount of protection for your precious reds and whites.
Wish You Read This Sooner?
When I found out about these simple and useful hacks, I couldn’t believe that I didn’t know about them before. Hopefully this post will help you on your next trip to pack smarter and safer.