5 Awesome Tips To Help You Travel Better.

By Posted in - Travel Resources on November 4th, 2014

I think one of the coolest things about being a traveler in the digital age is the abundance of travel tips and hacks that are available online. From the best times to score cheap flights to hacking hotels, and essential travel apps to seeing Europe through the backdoor, every bit of travel advice that you could possibly want is just a Google search away.

With our upcoming trip to the western Caribbean with Carnival just a few weeks out, we’ve decided to put together a collection of our go-to travel tips that we’ll be using on our adventure. Some of these tips are ones that we’ve picked up along the way, and others come from seasoned travelers. All of them, though, can help make travel more efficient. Test them out for yourself and then let us know they worked for you.

Hack airport security lines

We’ve been fortunate to get waved into the TSA PreCheck lines on a few occasions, and each time we wonder why we just haven’t applied for it already. Truth be told, we always forget by the time we get home. But I’m going to try to sign up before our cruise because we’ll be flying from Boston to our departure port in New Orleans. For $85, you guarantee that for five years you’ll never have to take off your shoes or remove your laptop. Plus, the TSA PreCheck lines tend to be less crowded. If you don’t have TSA PreCheck, journalist Peter Greenberg says that security lines with only one screener are generally faster than lines with two because the latter means that one of the officers is in training. CLEAR is another option for speeding up the airport security process. For $179 a year you get to skip the line and go directly to the security checkpoint, the only drawback is that the service is only currently available in nine U.S. airports.

If you do a lot of international travel, then you may want to look into Global Entry, which will cut your wait times getting through U.S. Customs dramatically.

Roll your way to better packing

This tip comes from a story I wrote for Flight Network’s Let’s Roll blog about summer travel packing tips. While there are certainly more than two ways to fill a suitcase, the “roll” and “interlock” methods are by far the most popular packing techniques. Generally speaking, it’s best to roll your clothes if you’re using a duffle or backpack, and to interlock your garments for suitcases. With that said, though, we use the rolling technique for both of these bags and it works great, especially when coupled with packing cubes. For example, in the picture below, I’m using two Tom Bihn packing cubes – one for my t-shirts and boxers and the other, a backpack cube (this also double as a day pack), for my heavier items.

test

We have found that rolling our clothes is an easy, space-saving way to pack both light and heavy clothing, including jeans and dress pants. To fold a polo shirt, for example, you’ll want to place the shirt on a flat surface, face down, and then fold in the sleeves. Now start to roll up from the bottom hem, making sure to smooth out the wrinkles as you go, which will help to ensure that none get folded in. If you rolled the shirt correctly, then the collar should be on the outside of the roll.

Fly on these two days to get the cheapest rates

According to Stephany Zoo of Elite Day, Tuesday and Wednesday are usually the cheapest days to fly with rates being 15 to 20 percent less on those days. Additionally, she says Tuesday at 3 p.m. EST is generally the best time to get deals on fares, as this is when airlines kick off their sales. More and more airlines are turning to social media to announce sales, so make sure you’re following your favorites on Facebook and Twitter. Remember, though, the sales usually only go to Wednesday evening, so make to sure to book your flight before then.

Navigation apps are your friend

My mom swears by Waze – a community-based navigation app that will advise you on alternative routes to avoid traffic and warn you when a cop is up ahead. After a road trip last month I became a believer too. The app’s vigilant community didn’t miss a beat when it came to alerting us of heavy traffic, debris on the road, and upcoming police cars.

For those of you who will be using public transportation and have an Apple device, HopStop is all you need to get around town like a local. And, of course, you can always go the old school route of saving public maps for later use by taking a photo of them with your digital camera or phone.

If you plan to use taxis, Uber, which is now available in 45 countries is a great money saving alternative.

Follow the locals for happy tastebuds

singel 404 sandwich in Amsterdam.

Broodje (a popular style of sandwich in the Netherlands) from Singel 404 in Amsterdam.

It may seem like common sense, but hunger can take you off your game, leading to poor dining choices. If you’re looking for a good place to eat, choose a restaurant that is filled with local-looking diners.

We’ve found that empty restaurants are likely not trusted by locals yet, so why take the chance? Alternatively, Yelp and Foodspotting are awesome apps to have in your arsenal. And if those aren’t working for you, and you have a data connection, try searching online for best restaurants in your location. That is how we found the delicious Singel 404 in Amsterdam.

Got a favorite travel tip that we missed? Tell us in the comments!

Want more cruising stories, check out our recent posts:

The Great Caribbean Cocktail Trail Challenge

5 Awesome Tips to Help You Travel Better

26 Cocktails and Tips For Your Next Cruise

5 Easy Ways to Stay Fit on a Cruise

A Guy’s Guide to Cruising

Win a Free Cruise for Every Year of Your Life


Disclosure: This post was created as part of our collaboration with Carnival. As always, all of the opinions, thoughts, and ideas in this post are my own.


Did you hear? We also make travel scarves with hidden pockets! You can check out our shop at Speakeasy Travel Supply.

speakeasytravel_coverphoto

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

(76) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Oksana | Drink Tea and Travel -

    November 4, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Rolling clothes is the best packing tip ever! I discovered it last it and it actually made a huge difference in my travel. The key is, once you roll you clothes, put a rubber band over each item, so you can easily empty out your entire bag and put it back together in just a few minutes!

  • Karen -

    November 5, 2014 at 2:19 am

    Before getting to a destination check out if there are any Facebook groups related to the destination – it’s a great place to ask for tips from people who either live there, or have been there.

  • De’Jav -

    November 5, 2014 at 4:51 am

    Good post didn’t know you could pay and jump to the front of the TSA line handy. My fav is eat where the locals usually it’s cheaper and the best food.

  • Renuka -

    November 5, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Great travel tips! Yes, booking flights on weekdays is better. The only tip I have is always negotiate for low accommodation rates in advance and not when you arrive at the hotel.

  • Alyssa -

    November 5, 2014 at 11:39 am

    I mostly just wanted to say: I wish I was going on a Caribbean trip! Enjoy 🙂

  • Sand In My Suitcase -

    November 10, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    As Canadians, our NEXUS pass has been a real time-saver. It allows us to go through the Priority security lines at the border and at several other U.S. airports.

  • Bhavya @ Krishna Deluxe -

    November 10, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    This piece is a lifesaver. Especially the bit where you mentioned about how to cut corners in the TSA ordeal 🙂

    XOXO,

    Bhavya.

  • Jonny Duncan -

    November 13, 2014 at 2:44 am

    I would put down having some good games on your smartphone to kill time when waiting for trains and buses to leave! It saves so much boredom hanging around.

  • Kieu -

    November 15, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    I’m a roller from way back! And a lover of that Tom Bihn TriStar and packing cubes — it’s my go to weekender bag. 🙂

  • Dave Briggs -

    November 22, 2014 at 8:55 am

    I use the rolling method for clothes, but you know what, unless I have specific non-crease clothes, they always end up with wrinkles in them! I guess its an art I still need to get the hang of!

    • Sara -

      March 15, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      Before rolling try tucking in one of your smaller items (socks, gym shorts, undershirts, anything you’re not worried about wrinkling) and roll around them. That way the first crease of the folded item isn’t so severe, so you’re less likely to cement a crease in place. Happy travels!

  • Alex -

    November 25, 2014 at 6:37 am

    Instead of packing cubes I have sometimes just used old plastic bags.. in my early budget days haha. Good tips!

  • Saiful Islam Khan -

    December 10, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Undoubtedly a fruitful post for tourists to take right initiatives towards a happy tour indeed. As I believe these tips came through your tour experience that how to backpacking or what to do or how to adjust with local people.
    Thank you Randy Kalp! Truly you’ve written an informative & helpful writing the way I wish you’ll be continuing your sharing.

    Best regards,
    Saiful

  • Sebastian -

    December 14, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Thank you very much for that little list. I definitely have to try those navigation apps in the future.

    One of my favorite travel tips refers to the time when you already landed in the country you wanted to travel to.

    I personally love to travel long term and what I found out is that in some cultures it is more difficult to connect with locals than in others. That’s why I always try to go to local meetups to meet interesting people (most of the time a mix of locals, expats and travelers).

    This makes it really easy to feel at home once you have arrived in a new city.

  • Peter -

    December 14, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    I’ve seen the packing tips before and I’ve used the occasionally and they are superb. I can pack so much !

    But I didn’t know about the cheaper rates being on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I didn’t even know that existed until I read this post.

  • Marla -

    December 19, 2014 at 11:36 am

    With global entry visa you actually get the benefit of the TSA precheck too, so for 5 years you can skip the immigration lines on the way back into the USA but also when leaving the US or flying domestically the precheck is included.

  • Jeff Welborn -

    December 20, 2014 at 9:21 am

    When packing, pack the entire outfit together in one piece. Lie you shirt down flat, then lay you undershirt on top of it, your underwear in the middle where the center crease would be, your socks parallel along the shoulder crease where you would fold the shirt sleeves and sides in. Make sure all wrinkles are out and fold traditionally with the sleeves and sides folded over and the bottom folded up three times just like the stores. Then place it on top of your slacks and wrap your slacks around it. There will be enough material that there will not be any wrinkles or creases and you have an entire days wardrobe ready to unpack in one step.

  • Linda -

    December 23, 2014 at 7:59 am

    In addition to rolling, I use gallon size plastic zip bags for everything. Squeeze the air out just before zipping the last half inch so it all takes less space, things will not be wrinkled, and will stay dry when your bag is in the rain. Always have your own small tissue packs or roll of tp for those bathrooms without. And crackers or sandwich for plane trips.

  • Stephanie -

    December 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    I’ve been rolling my clothes up ever since I can remember. My grandma taught me as a child and I never pack any other way. Great way to save a lot of luggage space!!

  • James -

    December 26, 2014 at 1:01 am

    The one I share with friends is if you have a long layover or delay head straight for the international terminal. Always great restaurants and meeting fellow travelers from around the world is always fun. If you don’t talk to the others around the bar while you’re in an airport it’s time to break out of your shell. It’s what’s great about travel.

  • walter -

    December 26, 2014 at 2:50 am

    ask for the upgrade at the airport. you might be surprised that they just give it to your or give it for a few bucks. join ALL frequent flier programs, even a few miles gives you the edge.

  • joyce -

    December 26, 2014 at 7:44 am

    TSA pre does not “Guarantee” you’ll never have to take off your shoes or remove your laptop. Periodically, you may be required to go through non-TSA-pre lines. It has only happened to me once in 2 years, but it happens. Also, it is only valid in the US

    • Paul -

      January 28, 2015 at 6:07 am

      Joyce, if the shoes alarm they have to be removed and put through the x-ray. Wearing sneakers is one way to keep them on in pre-check (they can be a backup and just replace with your heels, boots-that are in your bag- after you’ve gone through).

  • Colleen -

    December 26, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Another tip for wrinkly clothes…..fill a spray bottle with water and insert a dryer sheet. When you get to your destination unpack and spray on your clothes. Not only will it remove the wrinkles but they will smell fresh too!

  • Elizabeth -

    December 26, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Good tips all round!
    Keep up the good work!???

  • Dave -

    December 27, 2014 at 7:22 am

    I would add that if you have to have a connecting flight to make it to your destination (or home), try to book it at least 1 1/2 hours between flights. I travel 100k miles per year and having close connecting times at large airports is very stressful especially if your 1st flight has even a short delay. And if you are traveling with family, get on the airline website and select your seats as early as possible after booking to give you the best chance of seating close together. And if you can’t, most passengers are willing to change seats as long as they don’t wind up in a middle seat 🙂 – Happy Holidays and safe travels.

  • Elizabeth -

    December 27, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Use local apps! When I went to the Amersterdam, I downloaded an app for the tram/train system that had times when the next train or trolly would be coming along. And since you don’t need a rental car in Amsterdam (or most European cities) it was great! There was even an App for Muiderslot, the castle we went to, and one for the Rijks Museum. There is an app for a lot of travel tools, like even one for San Francisco’s BART system.

  • Cliff -

    December 27, 2014 at 8:20 am

    All good comments. In addition to rolling, you may wish to put cell phone earpiece, charger cord, and ‘foreign plugs’ in a plastic bag. Same for toothrbrush, shaver and small shaving cream; glasses, contacts, eye drop wetting or storing solutions. Basically, all the small items you wish to access, group together in small plastic bags. It’s a lot easier to pull them out in flight, or between flights, than having to search through large pockets of your carry-on luggage.

  • Backpacker -

    December 29, 2014 at 5:25 am

    Some great unique tips, particularly the TSA line

  • jeanette zobjeck -

    December 29, 2014 at 5:41 am

    The army taught me aboutrolling ( helps prevent wrinkles) I don’t fly so I don’t worry about TSA I’ve seen enough of the rest of the world so I drive.

    I don’t have a cellphone but for those who ( eto bad for you) turning off you cell phone before you start your car is the smartest think you will ever do. 😉

    • NCArmyofTwo -

      February 26, 2015 at 6:41 am

      I agree, Army did teach many useful techniques and rolling for a duffle was certainly great for travel. I use that today and enjoy lots of options in clothing due to such. Hooah!

  • Ken -

    December 30, 2014 at 5:26 am

    Used to be American Airlines were the airline of choice with my family now they are last choice. Lets face it the big airlines are nothing like the airlines of the past. As a coach flier I have seen five across seating on single aisle planes go to six across. The end of free food service and fees for everything. The big carriers are making it very clear that if you travel coach, they don’t need or want you. So how about if we give them what they clearly want and not fly them. Not flying Delta, American, United is not enough, make sure to write them and tell them why you chose to find other means of travel. Southwest and Spirit make no bones about being low cost no frills carriers fly them.It is time we let it be clearly known we have had enough. Our dollar spending is important, has power let’s use it where it is wanted.

  • steven p -

    December 31, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Uber does NOT save money. It may be more convsnient but you’ll pay dearly, esp when there’s extra demand, like when it’s raining or during holiday rush. Uber driverz can be pretty clueless as well. Stick with official transpo to avoid surprises.

    You also never even hinted at what the interlock packkng method is, not even in your cited article that the packing tip was copied from in full.

  • Josh Etter -

    December 31, 2014 at 6:44 am

    Get a solar charged energy bank (about the size of a smartphone). Make sure it can be charged w/ out sun via USB:micro/miniUSB. I keep a 4″ cable rubber banded to the battery. On amazon you can also find adapters so you can go USB to any size plug.

    Store the batter on the still of a hotel window or dash of a car. A non-slip rubber pad works very well for the dash.

  • steve lidle -

    January 2, 2015 at 5:48 am

    Hi folks, And please people take half of what you think you need!!!!

  • Scott Seymour -

    January 5, 2015 at 4:09 am

    I know they seem gimmicky, and my wife and i were very hesitant to use them, but the hop on hop off buses have really helped us get more out of visits to big cities lately. An initial tour around various cities we’ve visited (London, Paris, Rome, NY) in the buses with tour guide commentary have helped us get an overview of the city and transportation. … Also, if you’re planning staying in a hotel then the hotel tonight app has saved us a lot. If you download the app and use coupon code hotel_tonight you get an additional $25 off your first night. Cheers.

  • Kathy -

    January 11, 2015 at 4:44 am

    Beware of the TSA pre check as TSA will randomly select individuals and NOT allow them to use the service even after paying $85, being approved and issued your number. Be sure to check your ticket prior to your airport arrival to allow yourself enough time.

    • Paul -

      January 28, 2015 at 6:18 am

      Kathy, If you’ve paid for pre-check TSA will not select you off of it. I’ve learned that when booking your flights YOU have to enter your number (correctly) or it will not be printed on your ticket (it must be on your ticket to use the line and stating it to TSA will not work). If it is not on your ticket something was done in error. You can go to the ticket counter and talk to the airlines, show proper proof and ID and they can have a new ticket printed for you.

  • k. McCluskey -

    January 14, 2015 at 6:09 am

    If you have a tight connection and have to get bags, at check in they can put a sticker on luggage so will come off the plane first. When flying international you do have to remove bags and put into their system.

  • Robert Noe -

    January 15, 2015 at 4:26 am

    The single most important thing is to acquire some language skills before arriving. I always make certain that I am able to say the equivalents of:, please, thank you, pardon me, I am sorry but I do not speak ……….. Do you speak English (or any other language you may have even minor skills)? My name is. Basic phrases like these convey some basic attempts at letting the people know that you are making an attempt. If you make an honest attempt they will do the same. You should also learn to count. Learning to count from one to a million is usually very simple,

  • Michael -

    January 18, 2015 at 2:13 am

    If you really want to save on flights, try taking advantage of sales by “city pairs”. Ex… I wanted to fly from NYC to Atlanta. But there was a cheaper fare for NYC to New Orleans with a layover in Atlanta.. So simply get off in Atl. The airlines will not penalize you for not taking your connecting flight.

    • Susan Jane -

      February 17, 2015 at 7:00 am

      I have always heard that if you don’t finish out the flight, that the airlines will cancel the rest of the ticket, which is a problem for your return home. Have you actually done this round trip, and had it work?

      • Susan Weir -

        March 8, 2015 at 8:13 am

        You’re right, if you if you buy a ticket and get off in a layover city, the airlines will cancel the rest of your trip. The only way this strategy works is if you buy your outbound and return tickets separately, i.e., NYC to New Orleans (through Atlanta) on one ticket and then Atlanta (or New Orleans) to NYC on another. And don’t check luggage, because it will go to New Orleans without you!

  • Carey @Blazeadventure -

    January 20, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Ugh…I wish I knew about hopstop before my last trip to Boston. Would have been a gigantic stress reliever.

    Here’s my travel hack contribution (more for safety): put valuables and money in empty containers like a chapstick tube. Thieves are less likely to pay any attention to these items.

  • Travis -

    January 24, 2015 at 2:32 am

    Avoid Uber unless you want to get ripped off. Or raped. Up to you.

  • Matt -

    January 24, 2015 at 2:45 am

    I can tell you as a one-time baggage handler that it doesn’t matter if your garments are rolled or interlocked if your checked bags are open or damaged when it comes down the conveyor belt to be sorted after check-in. Your clothing will be shoved back in bag, duffel, backpack, cardboard box, etc. anyway possible — if we deem it possible. If the bag is completely open on the conveyor belt we will toss it on the concrete floor and try to shove it’s contents back in and attempt to zip it up or latch it back together. If this doesn’t work we will put the bag in the aircraft cargo container partially open or put it in a large plastic bag — if we have one handy. They don’t give us packing tape to tape your bag like the TSA have.

    If you don’t secure the zipper with a paper clip, a lock, or a zip tie (preferably trimmed so it doesn’t stab us) than the zipper on the bag will at best be open only one or two inches when it is in transit.

    If your bag has any — any — safety pins pinned to its exterior the baggage handlers will remove them and your bag will be thrown against the wall (and floor) of the container as hard as we possibly can. If it has some gnarled razor sharp edges we do the same thing.

    If you put something like a laptop computer in a checked bag that isn’t sufficiently padded or durable — it may not work anymore later. We throw the vast majority of the bags into the cargo container. We ignore all and every ‘Fragile’ tag affixed to your bag (if it isn’t obviously fragile like a TV set or a musical instrument bag.) We don’t care if you are unhappy with the end results of how we stacked (and crushed) your bag, purse, hiking pack, etc.

    They pay us eight dollars less than the TSA officers; we don’t care if your clothing arrives wrinkled, dirty, damaged — or don’t arrive at all. The fine print on your ticket tells you the airline isn’t responsible for your expensive items being trashed because the bag you put them in is a worthless, damaged, idiotically packed piece of crap.

  • Paul -

    January 28, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Regarding the TSA security lines, you forgot to mention not to get in line behind a family (especially if they have a stroller), groups flying together (as they tend to talk instead of navigating the line and mingle on the other side, holding up the line), or anyone grabbing a tray to place their items in. The best way to get through is to have everything out of your pockets and already placed inside your bag/carry-on (where it’s closed, secure, and safe, and include your belt just in case) before getting to the table. Never use the bowls or trays as whatever is loose in there could fall out, tip over, or get left behind. Place everything inside your bag, get through the metal detector (or scanner) grab your bag and go-you’re on your way.

  • Tom -

    January 31, 2015 at 4:51 am

    For the price of a nice automobile, you can get a used single-engine airplane and learn to fly yourself. Forego the BMW, and you won’t need to go through TSA unless you need 500 mph jets to get you there. With 3 people, the cost is usually similar to what you might pay for coach airfare, with no multi-hour layovers. We usually beat the airlines because we can leave when we want and land at smaller airports closer to the destination. So you get to the big airport and hour or two early, sit in the plane for 30 minutes before takeoff, get there really fast, wait another two hours during the layover, another 30 minutes for pushback and clearance, and finally get to the destination really fast. Or chug along at a measly 150 mph, stopping when you want, no TSA, and bring whatever you want, as long as it isn’t illegal. It isn’t cheap to own an aircraft, but a used one is within reach of the middle class.

  • Maria -

    February 1, 2015 at 4:20 am

    When traveling internationally, check your bag to your first ‘gateway’ city, where you will go through customs. Say, you’re flying Chicago to London to Aberdeen. Check your bag to London then recheck it to Aberdeen. It’s more likely to make the connecting flight, especially if you are changing airlines. This may cost you a bit more time at the counter but sure beats waiting a day or two for your bag to be delivered.

  • Gray -

    February 1, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    I always ask the locals where they like to eat and drink. I’ve gotten some great tips on out of the way local spots.

  • Irene Kennedy -

    February 4, 2015 at 5:57 am

    I think the tips were good, but I lay everything flat and fold where needed .It saves a lot of wrinkles. The last comment by a prior baggage handler cam e as no surprise. I have watched the luggage being thrown around like it was trash. I think the airlines could crack down a little on these people because it’s very disrespectful and disturbing. If you are paying $25 for them to check your bags, the least they can do is handle it more carefully. I think a letter campaign to the airlines about this horrendous treatment might help!

  • Jerry Bowzer -

    February 7, 2015 at 7:57 am

    I have been traveling for 19 years weekly and have a comment on delays or missing connections. Remember when this happens to you that the folks at the gate or ticket counter are your friend and not your enemy and the problem is not their fault. They are just as interested in getting you to your location and will work hard for you. Be nice to them and this will give them a reason to give you extras if they can. If you yell or are mad, then they will help you change connections as available, but probably only that. I have sometimes been upgraded just because I was helpful to them and tried to work with them as much as possible.

  • Fritz Steiner -

    February 8, 2015 at 2:31 am

    I learned the advantages of folding when I was a Navy Midshipman many years ago. It still amazes me how much space it saves.

    Different subject: A tip for Americans traveling in Canada … DO NOT DISCUSS POLITICS — American or Canadian. The Canadians know a lot about American politics — probably more than you do. They read about in their newspapers and watch it on TV.

    Some Canadians will attempt to engage you in a conversation about “the States.” Just respond: “I (we) came to Canada to experience your beautiful country and enjoy your hospitality, so if you don’t mind, I (we) would prefer not to discuss politics. Thanks.”

    Btw, We LOVE Canada and Canajuns, eh? We rode “The Canadian” from Tarana to Vancouver and had a great time in both cities as well as on board the train. We love the country and the people.

  • Jane -

    February 9, 2015 at 6:51 am

    Hop=on Hop=off is great in Belfast but there are 2 different groups., Make sure u get the 1 that goes to Belfast Castle. We use space saver bags when going on mission trips to Latin America. I can take all my clothes for a week (reversible hosp scrubs, t-shirts, undies, n2 the carrying on bag. Use big luggage for giveaway things. Hubby and I are both TSA precheck and didn’t pay for it – maybe the $85 is something new and sometimes we don’t get it either. According to a TSA person it’s luck of the draw even if u have signed up for it.

  • james coleman -

    February 11, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Travel hack get the global entry which includes pre check Pay for it with your amex platinum card and they credit your acct so you get it for free.

  • Betty Chatigny -

    February 15, 2015 at 5:03 am

    Many years ago, we went on a days-long bicycling trip and wanted a good way to pack our bike bags. The answer was Ziploc bags! I put a day’s worth of clothing in each bag, rolled out all the air in them by placing on my bed, and squeezing with my knees and zipping closed. The bags were quick, convenient and, best of all, waterproof! Now I use the same system when traveling, except that I zip my intimates, socks, pj’s, etc., into separate bags. It’s amazing how small the “aired-out” bags end up with all the air pushed out. Just toss the into your suitcase and you’re ready to go. No other system has worked so well for us. Enjoy your future travels!!

  • Susan Jane -

    February 17, 2015 at 6:57 am

    You may laugh, but I put my underwear in zip lock bags, because I don’t like the TSA searchers touching my intimate wear. Am betting they don’t change gloves as they go through everyone’s stuff. For long trips, I try to take a few things that can be rinsed out and will dry overnight. I like to roll my stuff too! The smartphone travel apps are the only new things I got from the article, but the comments are interesting!

  • Mike -

    February 20, 2015 at 5:59 am

    I’ve been rolling for years and bundle-roll some shirts together with socks under stuff . Also, depending on the destination of course, I pack old, about to be discarded shirt, socks and underwear and throw them away after use to make room for purchased items.

  • ShepW -

    February 23, 2015 at 6:11 am

    One thing I’ve learned to do, especially on European cruises, is to always take more than one camera and its battery charger with you. Doing so will ensure that not only will you have a fully charged camera available, but also that the camera whose battery is getting charged will be left behind in your ship’s cabin to be ready for next day. In addition, while the tip about best days for flights are Tuesdays and Wednesdays is OK for some people, it’s not always applicable for taking European cruises: some ships leave on a weekday so that they’ll return to the same departure port or a different port on either another weekday or a weekend day. Also, what if you want to spend more than a day in that departure city? Then you’ll have to make hotel reservations and deal with getting fed, which also means having the correct currency and knowing how to use the local mass transit system. When making those hotel reservations, I usually have the cruise line make them, even when I know that the single rates will be higher than the double rates–I do so because I also want the transfers to the piers included in the package. Now, if only cruise lines will include a transfer to the hotel to airport…

  • Kelly -

    March 1, 2015 at 10:52 am

    You can also save maps via Google maps app in offline mode so you can use them without wifi or network connection while abroad.

  • Marlin Moore -

    March 2, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Global Entry is the WAY TO GO! Not only does it significantly reduce customs processings for International flights, your GE number ALSO doubles as a “trusted traveler” number domestically! I put my GE number in my frequent flyer profile and automatically get routed through TSA PreCheck.

  • Rita Shelanskey -

    March 4, 2015 at 8:37 am

    I always carry a clothes pin to keep draperies closed should I want to lay down during the day.

  • Cade -

    March 6, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Getting a TSA PreCheck and rolling clothes are two great tips. I did not know the PreCheck lasted for five years. For $85 bucks, that is worth it.

    I read the tip about rolling a polo shirt twice, but it still worries me that it may come out looking like used Reynolds Wrap.

  • Loretta Killian -

    March 18, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    I always travel with an extension cord/surge protector. Most hotel rooms don’t have enough outlets for charging and I almost always need to use it.

  • BPC -

    March 19, 2015 at 5:58 am

    Either Global Entry or NEXUS (I have NEXUS) qualify you for TSA Pre-Check at no additional charge. Renewal of either GE or NEXUS is easy & less expensive than initial issuance. When I download a boarding pass that doesn’t show “TSA Pre”, I call the airline (I fly Southwest predominantly) ask them to put my trusted traveler number (same as my NEXUS ID#) on my record and download my boarding pass again–it then shows “TSA Pre”. That has worked without fail this far.

  • Kerry -

    April 4, 2015 at 7:22 am

    A strip outlet for charging all those electrical devices. I bought one that can be used mostly in Europe and all I needed to add was a plug adapter for The UK. Often only one outlet in the room works, so I can plug in the strip outlet and we can charge 4 iPhones, two iPads or my camera battery. The voltage is corrected by the device so no bulky heavy converter is needed. Strip outlets are a bit big, but traveling with my family of four it’s worth it.
    I appreciate the other advice listed here, I think we will TSA in the future.

  • Trish -

    April 12, 2015 at 5:07 am

    I have been using non see-thru bags for ever. I was on a puddle jumper flight 40 years ago ( business trip) and they decided to OPEN all our bags before getting on the plane. I had put my bras and undies in last. There I stood at a long table flanked by business men…. And had to open my bag! Another time at JFK my bag came down the conveyer belt broken open with my nightgown actually out of the bag. I could hear people laughing….

  • Dave_M -

    April 16, 2015 at 9:01 am

    I like to pack a 6Strip surge protector (recently found one with USB ports too) in my carry on. While waiting in a crowded airport, finding an outlet to keep you electronics charged can be difficult. Finding a plug, taken or not, and asking to plug in the 6strip, not only gets you the power you need, but you become a hero for the other people around looking to charge their devices.

  • beverly -

    April 16, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Been using the rolling for years as long as I can remember. I have gotten some great tips. Thank you everyone for sharing. Will be bring an extension cord strip on my next trip. I also bring the bed bug kits with me. They are small and easy to pack. This way I know I will not be bringing any home with me. I also put a change of clothes in my carry on just in case they lose my luggage. I bring antibacterial wipes with me to wipe off the TV remotes and door knobs.

  • Romz -

    April 18, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Bring your old, tired, and worn out pieces of clothing when your travel, especially the stuff you no longer need/want! This has worked for me EVERY time. My three main reasons:
    1. You look more “relaxed” and could pass as a local and won’t get harassed by people looking for tourists.
    2. Old /worn out clothing and shoes make the long time you spend walking and seating (plane or train) more comfortable.
    3. As the days go by you can leave behind the stuff you no longer want. (You can throw away those smelly shirts, dirty pants, stretched underwear and socks with holes in them). You can even donate those old shoes to someone who desperately needs them.
    In the end you’ll end up with baggage thats less heavy and you’ll have more room for those must-have souvenirs.

    **If you’re traveling within the U.S. use this tactic and you’ll probably pay for a checked bag on your outbound flight and come back with just a carryon on your return flight. HAPPY TRAVELS everybody!

  • Dave -

    May 8, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    For TSA Precheck to work you have to register your trusted traveler number with each airline you travel with. You can do that on the airline’s website or call them. Once you do that it will show up on your boarding pass.

  • Bettina -

    May 10, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    I ALWAYS travel with a multii-plug (and newer ones have both electrical plugs and USB ports). It benefits me in two ways: 1) I only one adaptor is needed to fit the foreign plug and 2) I NEVER accidently leave a charging item behind somewhere in an unseen corner of the hotel room because all my items are in one place. On my last Africa trip, where outlets are scarce, even our tour guide ended up plugging into my multi-plug.

  • Nancy -

    May 12, 2015 at 8:19 am

    One great way to pack is to use the clear zippered containers that new sheet sets and such come in. Because they are zippered they do not pop open like a Ziploc can and they are a slightly heavier mil of plastic. I have been around the world and some of these cubes have been with me for years.

  • Roxie -

    May 13, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Local apps are great! When in Italy I used the Trenit app for the trains. It’s a third party app so both the federal and private systems are on it. Saved lots of planning time.

    I’ve been rolling since my first trip to Europe in 1970.

    Trip Advisor has been great this year in finding places to eat. Hotels.com was good for finding deals on the fly (when my AirBNB cancelled on me at the last minute).

  • Audra -

    May 16, 2015 at 7:02 am

    I travel internationally and if you apply for global entry – $100 for five years you automatically get enrolled in the TSA program. This was you spend the money once…and some credit cards reimburse for the global entry fee. It’s the best thing since sliced bread! And skwsys bring s change of undergarments and clothes on your carry-on in case you lose your luggage!

  • Zipporah -

    May 18, 2015 at 6:39 am

    Put a piece of plastic wrap under the screw top of your liquids (especially things with flip-top or pop-open style lids) and carefully rescrew the lid on to prevent leaks. I had a slightly oily item leak once and destroy my husband’s shirt, but haven’t had a single problem since I started doing this.