Travel has changed. With the ever-expanding internet comes more tools, more efficiency, and cheaper options, which means there is a whole new world out there to learn and navigate in order to get the best deals to save on energy better spent somewhere else. The following travel hacks will help you streamline your vacation and save you time, money, and overall energy and allow you to focus more on Piña Coladas and Vitamin D.
~ Use packing cubes. These organizers will limit clutter and improve your packing experience so life stays tidy when you are required to dig around a luggage or backpack every single day.
~ Remember to pack an international adapter for international trips. But in case you forget, many standard USB ports are located on the back of TVs in hotels and hostels in many places around the world.
~ Use Google Maps offline with a smartphone when you’re in a city in which you won’t have or don’t want to use your mobile service. All you have to do is download the map for the area you’re in to your phone while you have internet (use Wi-Fi to avoid data charges) and open it up while offline to use like normal.
~ If you’re using a credit card to book your reservations (to accumulate miles), look into the card’s policy to see you can take advantage of included travel insurance to avoid paying for a separate policy.
~ Get cash in your destination city rather than in the airport to avoid the higher fees charged to clueless tourists.
~ Sign up your kids for frequent flyer miles. Some travelers don’t realize your kids are just as eligible as you are! Some airlines require you sign them up online or by phone.
~ Use Hotels.com to book accommodation and collect free nights; for every 10th night booked with them, customers receive a free night. This tip can save you thousands.
~ Track your miles with awardwallet.com. So many airlines to travel with results in a lot of disorganization. If you don’t mind giving out a few passwords for your Frequent Flyer award programs in exchange for a tool that will allow you to use them more wisely, then this tool can help you keep track of awards programs. View your rewards all in one place and avoid losing out on expiring mile credits.
~ Combine your family’s frequent flyer miles. Many airlines, though not all, will allow you to combine accumulated miles of multiple people in your family. Some applicable airlines may include (but are not limited to) JetBlue, EGYPTAIR, and their partner airlines, as well.
~ Take a quality multivitamin. This will make your life 1000 times easier, traveling or not. Multivitamins prevent many sicknesses along the way, keeps nails, skin, and hair strong and healthy, helps clear the body of impurities, cleans up acne, gives us more energy, and overall improves the body’s homeostasis (ability to return to a healthy balance between physiological responses), which all allows room for a clearer and sharper mind. Looking for your way back to the hotel in a new city is a hell of a lot easier when your mind and body are working at peak performance.
Make sure the ingredients are of organic quality, if possible. Pesticides and other man-made chemicals in standard-brand multivitamins are less effective than organic because artificial chemicals interfere with our body’s ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients. You may be paying less money up front but the quality makes up for it and could contribute to a need for a doctor’s bill down the road.
Please note: This is not an affiliate picture link 🙂 I can vouch for this product because it has improved my life and travels 100 fold.
~ Don’t drink the plane water. Studies have found the tap water on board to contain everything from salmonella to insect eggs. A better bet is bottled water or juice. Same with ice… better safe than sorry 🙂
~ Check out secretflying.com often if you are flexible in booking dates and your destination location of choice. The website collects and displays prices that have been posted in error by airlines, which happens all the time. Keep checking back frequently as deals are snatched quick and rotated out for new ones every day.
~ Think twice about the vaccine that may be “strongly recommended” or even “mandated” in the country you are visiting. Many vaccines, travel-related or not, may take care of an immediate problem but end up doing more long-term harm than good in our bodies. No doubt there are some useful ones out there that have improved human health drastically, but please do your research and trust yourself on what is best for your body over any doctor. After all, you’re the only one who is going to receive the effects of it, good or bad.
~ Fly into a hub airport and travel by land from there. Many times it is worthwhile to fly into a large airport where traveling around cities is easy, most affordable, and most efficient rather than spending a little . Examples of “hub” airports include Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Fort Lauderdale International Airport (Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA), Frankfurt Airport (Frankfurt, Germany), and Keflavik International Airport (Reykjavik, Iceland).
~ Think realllll good about that night of sleeping at the airport you think might save you some cash. I’ve made the mistake of spending a night in the Fort Lauderdale International Airport, thinking I was saving money, and instead spending as much on airport food and a good night’s sleep as I would have in buying a direct flight.
Airport food is super expensive, so chances are you could end up spending close to, or more than you wanted to save. Plus, you may discover after spending a night on thin-carpeted concrete, a simple bed and your creature comforts are worth a little extra energy.
~ Be aware of the possibilities (both bad AND good). Okay, this one isn’t a hack, per say, but it is so worth saying. If you’re flying to an area that isn’t in the greatest shape economically, chances are you will want to keep your eyes a little wider than when in an area full of people with all they need to survive and thrive. While having fear while traveling is perfectly normal and even a little healthy, too much of it can do us more harm than good.
**People in lack mindsets think less about the feelings of others and more about their own situations, so you tend to see less compassion and more crime in the more impoverished areas. For this reason—and unless you are willing to dance with the devil on this one—stick to calling taxis/Ubers/Lyfts/etc., limiting your time on the streets alone after sunset, and above all, trusting your gut feelings.
~ Expand your accommodation options. The world is changing big time, and gone are the days where we are limited to hotels and motels. Especially thanks to the internet, travel is easier and cheaper than ever. Check out hostelworld.com, booking.com, and airbnb.com for accommodation, but also remember to check general search engines like Bing and Google for the best options for your area.
- You’ve probably noticed search engines will take out keywords you type in to come up with what they think as “better” results for you. Because of this, put quotation marks “ ” around keywords for the area you want to search so that the search engine takes the entire word or phrase and makes sure it’s in the results they provide.
- Using Google or Bing, type in “site:_____” and include the website(s) in which you want to search for accommodation, along with the area of your destination.
Example: type in the search bar in a popular search engine: “site: airbnb.com” “site: booking.com” panama City, panama, and it will come up with results containing those website keywords in Panama City, Panama.
- Use a dash mark to exclude certain words or phrases you want to make sure aren’t in the results.
Example: type in the search bar in a popular search engine: eco-hotel accommodation in venice, italy -“hostel”, and it will come up with results related to your keywords that DO NOT contain the word “hostel”
~ Think about renting an apartment, if you’re staying for more than a week or two. You can try for any of the previously mentioned accommodation search engines, or Google the area you’re in and include “rent” or “apartment” in your search.
Zumper.com (USA & Canada) and Facebook Marketplace are also good resources for apartment hunting. The online tools you can use are endless, but those will definitely get you started.
Short-term apartment rentals save on money in the long-term and lets you travel more like a local.
~ Check for free city tours in your area. Freecitytour.com is a great resource for this. Also try general search engines and Facebook groups for your area of interest.
~ Open a bank account that will provide reimbursement of international ATM charges and other foreign fees. I use and swear by Charles Schwab Bank. They have really great customer service and do all of the above, and more. The only drawback (or benefit, depending on your perspective) is it’s an online bank so you can’t pull cash out of it.
Useful Flight Deal Websites To Book With:
You may want to compare flight prices for each of the following, as all of these will rotate as being the cheapest flight booking website for you, depending on factors such as your timing and location.
~ ***Remember to use private browsing or incognito tab when looking at flights. Your visits to certain websites are tracked and used by airlines to change the prices so that you book sooner.
Useful Transportation Tools:
Car2Go.com: share a car with others to avoid car payments, maintenance and repair, gas, and insurance. Use a car for the day, an hour, or a week and park it anywhere. You don’t even have to fill the tank! This isn’t an affiliate link, I just think it’s a great idea for digital nomads and travelers alike.
Check out some of the prices (in US dollars) below for the Denver, Colorado area and look at the website to see if it’s already available in your area. Car2Go is in many major cities around the world and they accept International Driver’s Licenses!
I have never used this tool before but I only recently found it and will be using it on my next stay-cation. Let me know what you think!
Uber: Like a taxi service, but run by individuals employing themselves. Prices vary by area, weather, traffic, and times.
Lyft: Very similar to Uber, but the prices are arguably more competitive. Prices vary by area, weather, traffic, and times.
Rome2Rio.com: From their website: “Enter any address, landmark, or city as your destination and we will instantly display all your travel and booking options, along with information about accommodation and things to do, in one convenient spot.” This may not account for funky transportation alternatives like gondolas and cable cars, so be sure to do a little extra research on the area’s options if you feel like something different.
Keep an eye out for free or paid bike stations (or businesses) provided by the city or individual enterprises. In Medellín, Colombia, for example, bikes are provided FREE; there are stations all over the big city to leave the bikes on rotation for anyone to use. Just one of the many reasons to love Medellín . . .
This list is being updated often with more useful travel hacks to travel more for less. Have a tip of your own? Comment below or message me on my Instagram at @haileymorganf.
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