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Travel advice

11 travel hacks

From finding the lowest prices on airfare, to packing smart, use these 11 TripExpert-approved hacks travel like a pro.

by Elana Kreiger-Benson

Let’s face it: usually, the actual traveling is the worst part of traveling. But with so many places to see, don’t let your dread of getting there stand in the way. Here are some tried and true tips and tricks to make flying just a little bit quicker, cheaper and easier — because every bit helps!

1
Book on a Tuesday afternoon

Airlines tend to set sales and price adjustments on Mondays, so by Tuesday afternoon, competition tends to have driven prices down across the board. Obviously, this isn’t a hard and fast rule, and other factors may come into play, but if you can afford to wait until a Tuesday, it’s worth checking prices then.

2
Check flights in a private browser

There’s a debate about whether this happens or not, but basically, airlines may or may not track your flight searches and, if you come back looking for the same ticket, push the price up to encourage you to buy before it rises again. Checking your flight’s price in a private browser before you make a final purchase can help you make sure you’ve gotten the best deal. With ticket pricing as complicated as it is, it can’t hurt to check.

3
Roll up your clothes

Rolling your clothing is actually a double trick: it saves space in your suitcase and minimizes wrinkling. You’ll have more to wear and less to iron!

4
Pack heavy items toward the wheels

Putting shoes, books, etc. towards the bottom of your suitcase makes wheeling it so much easier, not to mention also keeps your other items from getting crushed when you stand the case up.

5
Use a glasses case for cords

Glasses cases make great carriers for phone chargers and other cables, or really any items prone to tangling.

6
Use a contact lens case for lotion or cosmetics

A repurposed contact case is a terrific travel container for a small quantity of lotion, sunscreen or something else similar if you aren’t checking a bag or don’t have tons of space. It’s the perfect trick if you’re off for a weekend getaway or quick overnight.

7
Make a "go-pack"

If you travel often enough, keep a pouch of your travel essentials to grab on your way out the door. My personal recommendations are: lip balm, painkillers, eye mask, gum, wet-wipes and a pen in a make-up bag to stash in your carry-on. Then pop it in the seat-back pocket as soon as you board. Trust me, your future self will thank you when you aren’t digging through the overhead compartment searching for Advil.

8
Pack a pen

Okay, maybe this sounds too simple to technically be a “hack,” but this small step can make all the difference in the world when you and several hundred other people need to make it through Immigration. When they’re  scrambling to use the little pen stations to fill out their immigration cards, you’ll breeze on through. I’ve shaved actual hours off of my wait-time, thanks to a trusty pen.

9
Screenshot the details

If you aren’t sure whether/when you’ll have internet or data, take screenshots on your phone of the key pieces of information on getting from the airport to your destination and the area around your hotel. While many airports have public wifi, don’t count on it everywhere; even at places that have it, it is often painfully slow.

10
Bring key details in the local language

If you’re dealing with a language barrier — especially a different script — take screenshots or print out your hotel information in the local language (usually you can identify it on their website). I had an entire page of Japanese characters from my hotel’s website that meant absolutely nothing to me, but when I handed it to my taxi driver, he knew exactly where we were headed.

11
Harness the power of the sun to beat jetlag

Unless you land at night, resist the urge to crash when you arrive (okay, a half hour nap is acceptable — I know I’m guilty). Sunlight can help adjust your circadian rhythm, so pick an outdoor activity: it doesn’t need to be high-energy, just enough to stay awake!

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