When I travel, I want my vacation to be relaxing, easy, and fun. Sometimes I am working when I travel but, more often than not, I am there to center myself, rejuvenate my soul, and give my brain a rest.
Unfortunately, minor issues can make a difference in how easy your vacation is but I am going to share a few things that have helped me quite a bit over the years.
Send information to yourself via email.
When you start planning and booking your vacation, you end up with a lot of documents, right? Itineraries, booking numbers, addresses, etc., right? I print what I absolutely have to have on my person but I really prefer to be paperless if I can. Email yourself everything you have and might need later. By doing that, you always have a copy on you even if you lose your printed info. The last thing you want is to be somewhere, encounter an issue with your booking, and have nothing on you showing what you booked and paid for. This will facilitate issue resolution if you ever have a problem.
Take a picture of your parking spot.
No, this is not a recommendation for Instagram or Facebook content 😊. I am the first to admit that my memory I have had trouble finding my car at the airport or cruise terminal. A quick solution is to take a picture of your parking level, row, and/or spot. Email it to yourself if you anticipate deleting photos from your phone or camera for storage purposes too. It will save you time and frustration searching for you car.
Use offline maps.
If you want to avoid roaming or excessive data charges, download maps of your destination(s) including where you are staying as well as points of interest. I like using Google maps or Maps.me so that I always have a way of finding my way around my intended destinations. It is a huge benefit to have them available without the worry of excessive charges to access them.
Use medication organizers for more than just your medicines.
Medication organizers can be used for organizing more than just your meds. You can use them for keeping jewelry neatly packed and safe from being lost in your luggage. Organize and protect earrings, necklaces, extra buttons, and any small items you need to take with you. You can find them at your local pharmacy for just a few bucks and they come in multiple sizes.
Wrap your shoes to protect them and your clothing.
I don’t wear shower caps but I do put them to good use. How? You can use them to cover your shoes. By covering them, you can protect them and your clothing from whatever dirt and grime you have acquired while on vacation.
Re-pack your moisturizers and lotions.
If you don’t have the space for large bottles, consider using contact lens containers to store moisturizers, lotions, and even sunscreen. This really only works if you use small amounts of them but for shorter trips, they can really save space and you can keep them in your carry-on without worrying about whether or not they will pass through TSA screening. If you need larger amounts, consider buying small travel bottles but be mindful of their size and whether or not you need to pack them in your checked back due to their size/volume.
Wrap your toiletries.
One thing I really hate is opening my luggage to find that my toiletries have leaked out onto my clothes and shoes. I had that happen one time many years ago and I quickly learned to put my toiletries in Ziploc bags. If you don’t have Ziploc bags available, you can use regular plastic grocery bags in a pinch. The last thing I want to do when I get to my intended destination is laundry.
Make your luggage easily identifiable.
If you have non-descript luggage you can spend a fair amount of time checking luggage tags on a lot of other bags before you find yours. You can make your bag stand out but using brightly colored ribbons, bows, or tape. Personally, I like wrapping mine with tape with sugar skulls on it.
WHILE ON VACATION
Protect your phone.
If you are heading to a beach destination, you don’t want to risk your phone getting wet, right? If you have time, you can order a water proof phone pouch that floats to keep your phone from a watery death. I prefer to attach the one of the floating handle attachments for my GoPro. If you don’t have time to order something to be delivered, there are plenty of DIY videos available that show how you can create a float using pool noodles.
Bring a travel bottle.
I am big on minimizing waste so one of my favorite hacks it to bring a re-usable bottle. I like to refill my bottle throughout my day and sometimes change it up with some of my favorite flavors that I bring from home (i.e. Crystal Light). You can stay hydrated while visiting your favorite destinations, save a little money, and minimize waste from buying disposable bottles.
Keep your valuables safe from thieves.
Several years ago I came across the Vacation Vault. They are small plastic safe canisters that lock and have a cut-resistant chain. Lock your valuables inside and then use the chain to attach it to a table, chair, or other large item that cannot be easily removed. If you don’t have time to order a Vacation Vault, try using an empty sunscreen bottle. Clean the bottle and then use it to store valuables in a clever way…..out of view from thieves.
Keep your feet sand free.
I love visiting the beach but I definitely dislike sandy feet and shoes. The fastest, easiest way to remove sand from your feet is to use baby powder. Sprinkle it on your feet or any body part in which you have sand, and the sand just falls off. The baby powder removes moisture from your skin and that releases the grip sand has on you. As a bonus, you will smell good too!
By employing even just a few of these hacks, you can simplify things a little and hopefully enjoy your trip more. Be careful, be savvy, and go out there to experience everything the world has to offer. As always, make this beautiful day count!