There are thousands of ways to pack and prepare for an international vacation and much of the practical value of these tips depend on your personal preferences. Some ideas are downright genius and applicable to most travelers and some are born purely out of personal need. For example I travel with a guitar and caution (the loss of a very expensive Martin acoustic) has taught me to check with airlines first, because even though a guitar can since 2003 considered to be a checked baggage item as well as a carry-on, confusion at the gate can turn the issue into a catastrophe. The minimum you need to do is carry a print out of your airlines policy with regards to guitars on you to avoid confusion and check out this article for more details.
• Avoid creasing your suit coats by packing them inside out. This will also help keep them clean.
• Avoid a long wait at baggage claim by marking your bag “fragile”. Of course this will only work for a short period until everyone picks up on the tip.
• To keep your clothes smelling fresh and clean, put a dryer sheet in the bottom of your suitcase.
• Shower caps work great for covering the bottoms of your shoes in your luggage.
• Save time packing by putting clothes into a hanging organizer and collapsing it to fit into your suitcase.
• Tissue paper keeps your clothes from wrinkling.
• When packing, keep your dress shirts crisp by lining the collar with a belt.
• Rolling your clothes, instead of folding them, saves you more space in your suitcase.
• Use an old Tic Tac or Chewing Gum container to keep hair clips together.
• Binder clips are great for protecting the head of your shaving razors.
• Binder clips can also be used to keep your headphones from tangling
• Use vacuum sealed bags to save tons of space in your carry on.
• Pill containers are great for keeping jewelry untangled, as well as organized.
• You can use straws to carry “travel size” amounts of your favorite skin care products.
• A great way of downsizing make up and lotions for carry-on purpose is the use of clean contact lens holders.
• Old pill bottles are the perfect size to pack q-tips
• Prevent spills in your luggage by putting saran wrap on top of open containers, then screwing the top on over it.
• Very much recommended is to rent a handheld wireless router from TEP for $7 a day, as it will connect you everywhere on your smartphone,laptop and tablet.
• Protect your phone and iPad chargers from breaking (due to too much bending) by using a spring from an old ballpoint pen.
• Loose chargers, earphones and cables can easily be organized inside of a glasses case.
• Get free WIFI at airports by adding “?.jpg” to the end of any URL.
• Charge your smartphones while on airplane mode to save battery and time.
On the Plane
• The most convenient times to use the plane’s lavatory are right after the plane has leveled off and about 20 minutes prior to landing.
• Stretch your legs at least once per hour while you drink a glass of water.
• Don’t buy water at the airport. Instead, bring an empty bottle and then fill it up after you pass security.
• Before arriving at security, put your small belongings (wallets, keys, phones, etc) into your bag before putting it on the conveyor belt. It’ll save you a lot of time and eliminate the need for separate bins.
• Private/Incognito windows on travel supply websites help you see the lowest prices when booking flights and hotels.
• When making reservations on a plane for 2 people, book the aisle and window seat. If no one sits between you, you’ll get the row to yourself.
• Wait to purchase plane tickets until Tuesdays at 3pm.
• By typing “OK Maps” into Google Maps you can use it offline and the visible area will save for future access.
• Save money by using ATMs instead of the currency exchanges in airports.
• Unless in an emergency, always skip the first bathroom in the terminal. It’s usually the longest line and the dirtiest. If you use the next one, your wait will take much less time.
• Did you forget your charger at home? Most times, hotel front desk’s have spare ones in their lost and found left by previous guests.
• FourSquare.com is great for obtaining the WIFI passwords for nearby establishments.
• Scanning important documents before leaving for your trip could come in handy if you ever misplaced or had your personal items stolen.
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