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How To - Travel Easy (24 Travel Hacks To Make Life Easier On The Move)
Whether you're a first-time traveller or you fancy yourself an overseas aficionado, a few tricks can make a world of difference to your trip. So if you're planning on getting away overseas or interstate, try out this list of simple travel hacks we've put together to make your experience as smooth as possible:
Before You Go
1. Hybrid-Style Pack - Choose a backpack with top, bottom and front entry. These are sometimes called hybrid packs, being a combination of a traditional top-loading backpack and a suitcase. This gives quick and easy access to avoid burrowing through your pack in search of gear or clothing.
The Explorer pack series is a hybrid-style that provides easy access to your gear via the top, bottom and U-shaped suitcase opening in the centre (left); the Voyager travel pack series features a handy, zip-off day pack so you don't need to take everything with you on day trips or excursions (right).
2. Packing Cells - Organise your pack or bag by sorting your belongings into packing cells. This allows you to find what you're looking for quicker and will help stop everything getting mixed up. This is a great packing system if you've got a fully loaded bag.
3. Roll Your Clothes - To save room in your pack, roll your clothes instead of folding them. This makes it easier to compress your clothing so you can save on space.
4. Scan Copies Of Travel Documents - Before you go, scan copies of your passport (if heading overseas), travel itinerary and ID card, and email them to yourself as well as saving them on your phone. This can come in handy if you lose any of these documents during your trip.
5. Take Your Own Water Bottle - If flying, take your own water bottle so you won't have to rely on the flight attendants to bring you water. That way you have access to it whenever you want!
6. Take A Security Belt - Keep your valuables close with a security travel belt. These come in a range of sizes and can be easily carried under your shirt to keep your passport, money and other important documents safe.
7. Choose Pants With Zip Pockets - Wear pants that have zip up pockets so you can quickly and securely carry important items like train tickets and hotel cards.
8. Use Waterproof Bags For Toiletries - A shampoo leak can be a huge pain during your travels. Pack your toiletries in zip lock bags or a waterproof toiletry bag to avoid leaks and stay organised.
9. Luggage ID - Put ID tags on your checked baggage to make it quick and easy to find at baggage claim. If you have a generic suitcase or pack, you can even tie a coloured ribbon or key chain on it so you can identify it straight away.
10. Learn The Language - We're not saying you need to be fluent, but put in the effort to learn a couple of basics before you go. It doesn't take long to learn phrases such as 'hello', 'excuse me' and 'thank you'. Making the effort to speak the language can help in some situations, plus it can be fun if you practice with a friend.
11. Download Maps - Download Google Map sections of where you are going so you can use them when you're offline. You can even plot out where you are going to go in particular areas as a quick reference.
12. Get Travel Insurance - It's always better to be safe than sorry. You can't foresee injury or illness, so make sure you're covered in case something happens while you're away. Do your research and find a policy that suits the types of activities you'll be doing.
13. Book Your Accommodation In Advance - If you're travelling for a short amount of time, book your accommodation in advance. Knowing where you're going to stay will save you the stress of finding somewhere on the move. During busy travel seasons, hotels, motels and hostels can fill up quickly, leaving you scrambling around looking for somewhere to stay when you should be exploring.
Packing cells and toiletry bags keep you organised so you're not scrambling for gear on the go (left, and far left); zip pockets give you secure storage on your person (right); a water bottle allows you to stay hydrated on the move (far right).
14. Walk & Stretch Pre-Flight - Go for a long walk or run the day before your flight to reduce stress and wear yourself out. This will give you a better chance of sleeping during your flight. If you have time to kill at the airport, take the opportunity to walk around and stretch - your body will thank you for it.
15. Take A Pen - It's a simple tip, but packing a pen for the flight will make it quick and easy to get your forms completed. Flight attendants often don't carry spare pens, so having your own will save you borrowing one from another passenger.
16. In-Flight Comforts - Make your flight as comfortable as possible with a couple of simple extras - pack some ear plugs, a sleeping mask and a travel pillow to get some z's in during your flight. We also recommend wearing some sweatpants and a comfortable sweater. If you're a little self-conscious about wearing sweats in public, pack them in your carry on and get changed on the flight.
17. Use A Zip Lock Bag To Watch Movies - If your plane doesn't have in-flight entertainment, load a movie onto your phone and set up your own mini cinema. Put a small hole in the corner of a zip lock bag, put your phone inside the bag and thread your headphones through the hole. Unlock your tray table, put the top of the zip lock between the seat in front of you and your tray table and lock it back into place with your phone screen facing you. It should hang in place, allowing you to sit back and enjoy your movie.
18. In-Flight Entertainment - Check what in-flight entertainment your airline offers. Some airlines have apps you can download before the flight to stream shows on your devices, while others may require payment and bookings. If you want to plan out how you'll pass the hours on board, check what's available before you fly or load up your devices with your own library of movies and shows.
19. Airline Apps - Many airlines have developed their own apps that help you stay on top of flight updates, check-in and tap into in-flight entertainment. Find out what your airline has to offer before you get to the airport.
Arriving at Your Destination
20. Pick Up Some Groceries - When you arrive at the town you'll be staying in, pick up some snacks from the local grocery store. This saves you from buying overpriced snacks so you can save money for some cheeky local treats instead. Grab staples like muesli bars, crisps, dried fruit, nuts, popcorn and juice boxes. You can also save money and time by picking up food to make packed lunches, especially on days you're heading to busy tourist locations. This allows you to eat cheaply wherever you are.
21. Wear Your Pack On Your Front - In crowded areas where it's common for pick pocketers, keep your pack on your front. You should make sure all your valuables, including your passport, are well out of reach of prying hands at all times. The last thing you want is to spend your well-earned holiday dealing with theft.
22. Layer Up The Right Way - In cold conditions, wear less layers of really warm clothing instead of wearing a lot of lighter layers. You need to be able to quickly adapt between outside temperatures and inside heated temperatures when you're going into shops, cafes, bars or museums.
23. Avoid Tourist Restaurants - Get outside the busy tourist centres for dinner to save money and enjoy a more authentic experience. A lot of restaurants also have cheaper menus at lunch, so you could make this your main meal and have something lighter for dinner.
24. Budget - It's easy to get carried away with food, drinks and souvenirs when you're travelling. Plan out a budget for each day to keep your money in check. It may sound boring, but it could save you from an unpleasant surprise on the credit card bill when you return home.