If you’re planning to travel anytime soon, whether it’s an international flight or a domestic road trip, you may be wondering what you should bring and what you should know. It’s more than just packing a bag and hopping in the car. You need to know a few travel hacks to keep you prepared.
What should you bring? What should you leave? What can you expect? How can you get things done? Some people can handle these questions as they come up, and other people need to plan in advance for these eventualities.
You can always hope that your trip will be perfect and worry-free. You won’t forget anything, you won’t miss your flight, the rental car will be ready on time, and your hotel room will be ready when you check-in. But the reality is that things will happen and hiccups will occur. You may not like them when they happen, but you can be prepared for them, no matter what your personality is.
Here are a few travel hacks to help you prepare for these different issues.
Create a checklist for to-do items. It is easy to get lost in the excitement or anxiousness of an upcoming trip. Creating a to-do list will help you follow a detailed plan that will help you prepare as the departure date approaches. Things like renewing your driver’s license, servicing your car, confirming your reservations, and so on are all things that you don’t want to leave to your memory.
Create a packing list for items that you need. As you’re creating your checklist, create your packing list as well. Everyday items like toiletries and laptops may be a given, but you might get stuck on some items. If you’re not sure if you need something, or if you think you only “might” need it, leave it behind. The goal is to travel as light as possible, and bringing things you might need only take up space and add extra weight.
Photocopy important documents. It occasionally happens that people lose items, like a passport or driver’s license. You can reduce the pain or quickly find a replacement if you can produce a photocopy or even a digital photo of the original document. Keep your copies in a hidden pocket of your suitcase, and store the digital photos in the cloud (Evernote, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive) as well as on your mobile phone. Be sure to save them in an encrypted folder on your phone and the cloud drive.
Be ready to move. Sometimes, things go wrong in your hotel room because of the previous guest. So before you unpack, check everything in the room and make sure it’s to your satisfaction. That way, if there’s a problem, you can call down to the front desk and get moved easily. And if you need to move, you only have to grab your suitcase. Other travel experts will tell you to live out of your suitcase the entire time and to never unpack, in case the housekeeping staff needs to move you while you’re away.
Learn essential phrases in the local language. If you’re traveling overseas and relying on English to get by, it doesn’t hurt to know a few critical phrases in the local language. Common phrases like “I need to go to the hospital (or doctor)” and “Where’s the restroom?” can be constructive. Take some time to learn these phrases before you travel in case you get in a pickle. Also, load Google Translate on your phone, so you can read signs you’re unfamiliar with. Just point the phone at the sign, and Translate will translate it on your screen.
What are some of your favorite travel hacks for dealing with the unexpected? Do you have any great stories where you used them or learned them the hard way? Tell us about your favorite hacks on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream. You can also find us on our Instagram page at @TravelproIntl.
Photo credit: designerpoint (Pixabay, Creative Commons 0)