Travel

10 Tried & Tested Travel Tips I Swear by!

Travel tips and hacks you need to know before you take your next trip

Does your mind wander off in beautiful places every now and then? Does the thought of going on a vacation excite you?

Being someone who loves to travel, I am always looking out for travel tips that can make my life easy.

I mean the last thing that should be on your mind when you are out on vacation is – ‘Oh shit! I should have got an extra set of clothes’ (just saying!)

If you do a simple google search, you will be flooded with hundreds of brilliant dos and dont’s. As perfect as they may seem, I’m not someone who follows all of them as I try and look out for practical approaches.

Today, I decided to share few of my tried and tested travel tips that I absolutely swear by… Be it just a weekend away or an entire fortnight out on vacation, they have always, always helped me. 

1. Make Lists

lists-notebook

Seriously, lists have saved my life! Unless you are some crazy intelligent person who can remember every single thing, writing down all the things you need to take with you will save you from a lot of unwanted hassle. 

They have helped me to remember to put that phone charger or those earphones which I would have otherwise forgotten in the rush of getting out.

2. Check the weather! 

Pretty self-explanatory. You can never guess if it’s going to rain or if it’s going to be super chilly. By checking the weather forecast, you always give yourself a chance to be prepared.

3. Extra set of documents & clothes

papers-documents

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, right? Keep a printed copy of your important documents with you just in case the original ones get lost. Emailing yourself a copy of your scanned documents is also a good option.

If you are traveling by airplane, carrying a set of clothes in your handbag is a smart move. In the dreaded event that your luggage gets misplaced, you will have a set of clothes with you and you won’t have to go hunting for new clothes immediately in a new location.

4. Roll clothes instead of folding

Speaking of clothes, rolling them up takes so much less space as opposed to folding them in the usual way. I had read about it but never tried it until that day when we were in San Fransisco… you see, we had done so much of shopping that on our return trip, our bags were practically overflowing! 

That is when I decided to test this trick out and whaddya know? All our clothes could magically fit in our bag using this method. A general rule of thumb is to fold your clothes in half and then roll it up.

5. Carry Snacks

nuts-pistachios

Who doesn’t like to save money? Be it a plane or a road trip, I definitely like to save some money by carrying my own snacks. My must-haves are sandwiches, nuts, energy bars, fruits like berries, grapes or oranges and a pack of gum.

And how can I forget water? Even though airports don’t allow you to carry water during their security check, you can always carry an empty bottle or two and then refill it whenever you wish to.

6. Stash some Cash

Okay, I am guilty of not practicing this. In the age of paperless transactions, it is quite easy to forget about it. But when you are traveling you might come across several places that accept cash only. So keep a small amount on hand always, something you won’t mind losing in the event it might get stolen 😉

7. Park Smartly

Has it ever happened to you that you parked a car in an unfamiliar place and later on totally forgot what the parking lot number was? Well, I have been there and it was sure to give us a mini-heart attack!

That is why I now quickly click a photo of the parking lot number in my phone or jot it down in the notes section of the phone.

8. Plastic bags to the rescue

Remember those grocery shop bags you have lying around the house? Don’t tell me I am the only one. Now is a good time to re-use them. I always keep 5-6 of those bags in the side pocket of my bag – they always come in handy when you have to throw trash or keep your used clothes in them. That way your used clothes do not come in contact with the fresh ones. 

Ziploc bags are another good way of keeping the toiletries – If anything happens to explode or break, the mess will be contained in the Ziploc and won’t destroy other things.

9. Eat local food 

Think you know how authentic a particular cuisine tastes like? Not really. Like the time we went to Malaysia, we tried out Malay food and absolutely fell in love with it!

So don’t be afraid to experiment with local food when you go to a certain country or city, but make sure that you eat in limited quantities and take any allergies into consideration.

10. Speak with Locals

I can’t stress this enough. You see, not all the information may be on the internet. Sometimes locals will recommend some of the best street food or a must visit place which you otherwise would not have seen. So ask the concierge in the hotel where you are staying or get chatty with that local coffee shop guy. You might learn a thing or two.

So these are some of the tips that always work for me… most of them are common sense but nonetheless important as they may slip our minds when we are in a rush.

10 helpful travel tips

What are some of your favorite travel tips? I would love to know!

travel quote

XOXO

Smiling Notes

 

 

 

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* Pic courtesy: Pixabay and Picjumbo

ethannevelyn

Domesblissity

FMTC

132 Comments

  • Reply

    Fabiola Rodriguez

    March 3, 2016

    Loved this! I follow most of these tips whenever I go somewhere, but rolling clothes is a brilliant idea!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 3, 2016

      Thanks a lot Fabiola! Rolling clothes indeed saves a lot of space 🙂

  • Reply

    mukul chand

    March 3, 2016

    Great Post

  • Reply

    That Tiny Giant

    March 3, 2016

    I roll my clothes too! It saves a ton of space.

  • Reply

    lynne hoareau

    March 3, 2016

    Shamira, I love this, and couldn’t have been posted at a better time. My hubby is travelling next week to Portugal for business….Last year, he was on a flight and in the beginning of the flight knocked his coffee all over his jeans…yip and he had no spare clothes in his hand luggage, and he was on a long flight…He has learnt his lesson since then 🙂
    Thanks again for this, I really appreciate it. xxx

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 3, 2016

      Oh I’m sooo glad to know you liked my post Lynne… you are always so supportive with your sweet comments 🙂 And yes accidents like that can always happen.. always better to carry spare clothes in the handbag 🙂 xoxo

  • Reply

    Lifestylebites3

    March 3, 2016

    Really useful information is out there. Also, I too roll my clothes instead of folding when I do air travels and I know how much space it saves.

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 3, 2016

      Very true my dear… gives us that extra space to squeeze more things in 😉

      • Reply

        Lifestylebites3

        March 3, 2016

        Certainly! Have you planned any holidays for this Spring/Summer then?

        • Reply

          Smiling Notes

          March 3, 2016

          As of now, a short hiking trip in upstate New York (after the weather gets a little warmer) is on my mind 🙂 What about you? do you have any plans?

          • Lifestylebites3

            March 3, 2016

            Upstate NewYork! Wow! That sounds awesome. Looking forward to those beautiful scenic pictures. I’m planning to go somewhere around August. Let’s see.

          • Smiling Notes

            March 3, 2016

            Ooh that’s awesome!! Hope you keep us updated 😉😘

          • Lifestylebites3

            March 3, 2016

            Certainly dear

          • Lifestylebites3

            March 3, 2016

            Advanced best wishes for your awesome trip.

          • Smiling Notes

            March 3, 2016

            Thanks a ton honey!! And wish you the same too 😘

  • Reply

    Book Club Mom

    March 3, 2016

    Some very useful tips-thanks!

  • Reply

    anroworld

    March 3, 2016

    Shamira, great idea to share these tips, I found out so much useful! I think you mentioned all I knew! Have a nice day!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 3, 2016

      Thanks a lot Ann!! These are my go-to tips that I always follow 😊 have a great day ahead!!

      • Reply

        anroworld

        March 3, 2016

        Thank you, dear Shamira! Here is already getting closer to night, we have a big time difference! So, going to bed soon!

  • Reply

    Erika Kind

    March 3, 2016

    All very valuable tips! My compliment! I can confirm it all except the rolling of clothes. I never tried it. I only did it when I needed to fill out some empty space. I have to check that out the next time.
    Btw. I tried out your Hasselback Chicken today…. yummie. Everybody loved it!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 3, 2016

      Thanks a lot Erika! Rolling clothes does save a ton of space… You can actually fit in a lot more in the bag that way 😉
      And I’m soooo happy to know that you loved the Hasselback chicken!! Really made me happy 😘thanks a lot for letting me know 😊💃🏻

      • Reply

        Erika Kind

        March 3, 2016

        That is really a great tip. I just have to be careful beause of the weight. But other than that! I might use the shopping options more now… lol!

  • Reply

    Sadie's Nest

    March 3, 2016

    Love these tips! So true, I always have to make a list and check weather. I should probably roll more clothes… love to eat local!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 3, 2016

      Thanks Sadie! Yeah lists and weather check is like a must right?! 😊 have a wonderful day ahead! XoXo

  • Reply

    Freda @ Aromatic essence

    March 3, 2016

    Very useful tips there !! The plastic bags are a must for me 😀😀

  • Reply

    Jim

    March 3, 2016

    I slide some empty 1 gallon, 2 gallon and a jumbo size Ziploc bags in the outside pockets of my suitcase. they always come in handy. all my toiletries go into a couple Ziplocs as well to keep them together. and I find the Yahoo weather app to be pretty accurate for watching the weather where I’m going. I load up the main cities I’m going to a couple months before and I check the weather there every now and then.

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 3, 2016

      Putting different size ziploc bags is a cool tip! Going to keep it in mind the next time I go out! I generally rely on the weather.com site but will give the yahoo weather app a try now. Thanks a lot for sharing Jim! 😊

  • Reply

    MyCulinarySaga

    March 3, 2016

    👌🏼 tips

  • Reply

    Sally@Toddlers on Tour

    March 3, 2016

    Good tips, I love making lists, I always have loads of them for each of us when we travel. I also always use the plastic bags and carry snacks and water.

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 3, 2016

      Thanks a lot for stopping by Sally! Glad even you follow many of these things 😊

  • Reply

    Linda Arthur Tejera

    March 3, 2016

    All excellent and practical advice, indeed! 🙂

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 3, 2016

      Thanks a lot Linda! Really appreciate your comment 😊

  • Reply

    budgettraveltalk

    March 3, 2016

    Excellent List. I need to follow the Stash some Cash idea. I always carry toiletries in zip lock bags. Not only are they water tight for leaks but you can see instantly what is in them. I break them up into every day items like toothbrush/paste another for make-up and one for shampoo/conditioner. When going through airport checks they are all their in the plastic bags.

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 3, 2016

      Yes it definitely makes sense to carry them in ziploc since like you said, it isconvenient when it comes to airport security checks too! Thanks a lot for checking out my post 😊

  • Reply

    Love Served Daily

    March 3, 2016

    Such great tips. Let the vacations begin.

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 3, 2016

      Thnxx Ritu… Let the vacations begin haha well said!! 😘

  • Reply

    Sakthi

    March 3, 2016

    Useful tips!!! I like about rolling clothes rather than folding 🙂

  • Reply

    luckyjc007

    March 4, 2016

    Very helpful! 😍

  • Reply

    Sher Jester

    March 4, 2016

    These are great tips. I have found that rolling my clothes also helps them not get so wrinkled.

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 4, 2016

      Yes I have found the same.. Although many people think it might cause the clothes to wrinkle, I have found the opposite is true. Thanks a lot for reading 😊

  • Reply

    Chitra Jagadish

    March 4, 2016

    Great tips… Thanks for sharing such lovely post with us….

  • Reply

    Sartenada

    March 4, 2016

    Missing travel insurance. Depending on the destination, be aware of pickpockets. I haven robbed in Paris metro station an at Brussel’s train station. There will not be the third time. 🙂

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 4, 2016

      Yeah travel insurance is a very important point… missed that one in the list.
      Oh that must have been terrible that you got robbed!! Happy and safe travels to you next time 😊 thanks a lot for stopping by and for giving your feedback.

  • Reply

    sandramytravelness

    March 4, 2016

    I looooove this post. It’s so helpful. I am going to print it 🙂 And I am having that feeling of travelness again…Thank you, thank you!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 4, 2016

      Aww that is so sweet of you my dear! Thank you so much for your comment.. And honestly, I’m getting that feeling of travelness too 😜 Waiting for the weather to get warmer here. Have a wonderful day!

  • Reply

    anotherfoodieblogger

    March 4, 2016

    Fantastic travel advice! I practice most of those already, especially the list thing. I am the Queen of Lists when it come to travel. One bit I haven’t done is copied or emailed my travel documents, I’ll start doing that! Thank you!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 4, 2016

      Thanks a lot for reading my post. A Copy of documents or emailing them is a good way to be safe just in case.
      Hahaa Queen of lists lol.. My family members sometimes laugh at me as I’m always making lists but hey they work, right?! 😜

  • Reply

    businesstravelerswife

    March 4, 2016

    Great list! 🙂 I haven’t thought about bringing plastic bags and taking note of the parking lot (we got lost a lot of time already lol). Thanks for these!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 4, 2016

      Thanks a lot.!! We were once lost in a huge parking lot for almost 15-20 minutes.. now I know now to do 😉

  • Reply

    Ruth

    March 4, 2016

    Love your tips! I already roll my clothes, bring snacks and cash. I have a scanned set of documents in my inbox folder too (just in case). The weather checking is one I tend to forget a lot.

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 4, 2016

      Thanks a lot Ruth! Yeah checking the weather is something that I used to forget too 😉

  • Reply

    ethannevelyn.com

    March 4, 2016

    These are great tips. I roll clothes too, and always speaks to the locals. This list is very useful for when we go on over to Thailand during Easter break. Have pinned. Thank you very much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 4, 2016

      Thanks a lot for pinning as well as for hosting the linky party! Have a wonderful trip to Thailand! 😊

  • Reply

    Rhonda Sittig

    March 5, 2016

    Great tips– you’re making me want to pack up for somewhere–anywhere! and head out on a vacation…

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 5, 2016

      Hahaa believe me even I’m getting that feeling to just get up and travel.. Can’t wait for spring to arrive 😉 Thanks a lot.

      • Reply

        Rhonda Sittig

        March 5, 2016

        I know. I think air fares are down a bit right now– and I need to looks at tickets to see our kids at spring break and this summer! Maybe this will get me searching on kayak!! thanks!

  • Reply

    Nancie

    March 5, 2016

    Great tips! I practice a few of them. Thanks for linking up this week. If you’d like to add the Travel Photo Thursday badge to your next TPThursday submission, you can find it on my homepage, http://www.budgettravelerssandbox.com/ #TPThursday

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 5, 2016

      Thanks a lot Nancie for hosting.. Will surely add the badge in sometime 😊

  • Reply

    Mummy's Blog

    March 6, 2016

    This is a great post. I can’t say I ever thought of emailing myself a copy of my documents, but I’ll definitely do that, it’s so obvious when you think about it! x
    #FabFridayPost

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 6, 2016

      Thanks a lot for checking out my post.. You are right.. Emailing yourself the documents is a small yet effective thing which can help us in times of need 😊 #FabFridayPost

  • Reply

    Debbie Woodruff

    March 6, 2016

    Great tips. I actually use a lot of them already. I can’t imagine traveling anywhere without eating the local cuisine (local vegan cuisine in my case) or talking to locals. I will try the rolling trick next time I travel though. Sounds like a great idea. Thanks for sharing at the Blogger’s Pit Stop!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 6, 2016

      Thanks a lot for checking out my post.. Rolling saves a ton of space in my opinion.. Thanks a lot for hosting the bloggers pit stop!

  • Reply

    Great tips. I live in France where I have a holiday cottage and I always suggest to guests that they should go to the local markets. That way they will buy the best local produce and they are a great place to talk to the locals #FabFridayPost

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 7, 2016

      Yes very true.. the local markets have the best produce as opposed to the things that we get in regular stores. Thanks a lot for checking out my post, Rosie.. much appreciated! xoxo

  • Reply

    Lynz Real Cooking

    March 7, 2016

    This is a wonderful list of your tips!

  • Reply

    Maggie Unzueta

    March 7, 2016

    That’s excellent advice. My husband is bi-coastal, and he travels a lot. The best thing he ever taught me was to roll my clothes. Great tips!!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 7, 2016

      Thanks a lot Maggie.. Rolling clothes is a great way to space right?! Have a wonderful week ahead!

  • Reply

    johncoyote

    March 8, 2016

    Very wise advice. Always be prepared for anything when you travel.

  • Reply

    Karen

    March 8, 2016

    All tips worth remembering…I do them all except rolling my clothes. I pack everything in a roll on bag whether I’m going on a short trip here in Florida or a three week trip to Europe and it always fits. Perhaps I’ll experiment someday.

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 8, 2016

      Thanks a lot Karen.. I’m glad you liked my post 🙂

  • Reply

    christineeveryday1

    March 8, 2016

    Love these tips! Thanks for sharing on Meetup Monday!

  • Reply

    Kassie O'Driscoll

    March 8, 2016

    These are great tips and I abide by nearly all of them when I travel! Great minds think alike. 🙂

    Thanks for linking up. 🙂

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 8, 2016

      That’s so cool Kassie! Thanks a lot for hosting and for your sweet comment 😊 xoxo

  • Reply

    This list makes me want to pack my bags on go somewhere! Thanks for sharing at Waiting on…Wednesday! Hope you’ll join us again tomorrow!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 8, 2016

      Thanks a lot!! Will definitely Join you guys tomorrow!! 😊

  • Reply

    Anne Murphy

    March 9, 2016

    These are such great tips. I don’t travel too far with my kids these days but now that they are older, I’m thinking of heading further afar with them. We have to take less things so it’s more management. Thank you so much for sharing at Thriving on Thursdays last week. I’m featuring this post at tomorrow’s party. Hope to see you again.

    Anne @ Domesblissity

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 9, 2016

      Wow I feel so honored that my post will be featured! So happy.. Thanks a lot Anne for your sweet comment as well as for hosting! I’m so glad you liked my post. XoXo

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  • Reply

    Awesome tips! Love the last tip!

  • Reply

    hilkayaker

    March 10, 2016

    I am a big list maker too. Essential for planning a trip.

    Thanks so much for linking up at the #BloggerSpotlight party! I pinned this to our group board. Don’t forget to come link up again tonight and see the featured posts!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 10, 2016

      Yup lists are definitely a must 😊 Thanks a lot for hosting! Will definitely join in the fun again tonight! XoXo

  • Reply

    njwalter2004

    March 10, 2016

    What a wonderful list of ideas! I completely agree with quite a few of them, with 8 people to pack for it would be a nightmare with a list!! Snacks are always great to keep the kids happy. We will be traveling next weekend so I will be trying the rolling tip, I have seen it pinned before but never remembered to do it, this time I will!! Pinned and Stumbled! Thanks for lining up with Inspire Me Monday. have a wonderful weekend!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 10, 2016

      Yes you should definitely try rolling the clothes. Wow and I agree… for 8 people, it would really be a nightmare if you start making a list lol. Thanks a lot for hosting and have a wonderful journey next weekend!

  • Reply

    parijatshukla2014

    March 10, 2016

    Really useful tips. Thanks a lot 🙂

  • Reply

    r_prab

    March 17, 2016

    I ve read plenty of travel tips but I still your list quite informative!You told about the most minor of things and I gather you are not just a seasoned traveler but have a keen sense of observation and a knack to derive solutions! Thank you so much for sharing your wealth of tips!

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 17, 2016

      Thanks a lot for reading my post and appreciating it. I like to keep things simple as well as organized when I travel. Once again glad you liked my post 😊

  • Reply

    alexgettinglost

    March 20, 2016

    Great tips…especially to speak with locals! So important and yet so many people don’t do it!?

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 20, 2016

      So true.. Those are the very same people who can give some of the best info out there! Thanks a lot for checking out my post. XoXo

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  • Reply

    susieshy45

    March 31, 2016

    Great tips especially the eating local food part. I confirm this works out to be much cheaper.
    Thanks for sharing !

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      March 31, 2016

      Very true..saves money plus one gets to try out something different 😊 thanks a lot! XoXo

  • Reply

    Ioana

    April 1, 2016

    I always make a travel clothing planner. Before doing this planner I put a lot of things without using them. This planner helps me have more space in my suitcase and I use as all things more than once. My travel clothing planner is like this:http://www.thehousewifemodern.com/uploads/3/5/1/7/3517377/travel_clothing_planner_pdf.pdf

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      April 1, 2016

      I just checked your planner and it is so awesome! Loved it. it is a very smart way to doing packing. Thanks a lot for checking my post and for commenting 🙂

  • Reply

    Tanja

    May 7, 2016

    yes to snacks! everybody laughs at me for carrying snacks but then they all ask me for some:))

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 7, 2016

      Hahhaa same here!! The very same people who make fun of me, then start asking me for snacks 😂😂

  • Reply

    thedutchessoflondon

    May 22, 2016

    This is so true and I do them as well! Also very guilty on not carrying some cash with me, and the snack option is actually very clever. But as a foodie I always get drawn to these cute foodstands and gobble some more, including the snacks, haha! Always rolling up my clothing too! another thing that saves a lot of space is rolling up my socks and undies, and put them in my shoes or between my bras (in the suitcase ofcourse, haha)

    • Reply

      Smiling Notes

      May 22, 2016

      Haha that is a great tip.. Putting those small clothes in the shoes or bras 😜 Oh and I too get drawn to the food stands especially if they are serving local food 😊

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  • Reply

    hcfvpakr@gmail.com

    June 6, 2016

    You’ve got one of the greatest web pages

  • Reply

    Along with the cash tip – don’t forget to notify your bank and/or credit card companies if you’re traveling. It may save your card from being flagged for potential fraud and frozen if you’re using it in unusual locations.

    • Reply

      smilingnotes

      October 3, 2016

      That’s an awesome and really important tip Kimberly!! Thanks a lot 👍🏼

  • Reply

    Brooke of Passport Couture

    October 3, 2016

    Love the last two tips! Packing extra money, having necessary travel documents, and making lists are incredibly important, but remembering to experience and enjoy local culture is just as significant.

    • Reply

      smilingnotes

      October 4, 2016

      Yes…! We always try and experience the local culture as much as we can 🙂 Thanks a lot for your kind words. xoxo

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear what you think