8 Essential Travel Tips

Published on: February 17, 2016

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view of the clouds from an airplane

Traveling is a dream that can sometimes feel like a nightmare. If you’ve ever been stuck on a long flight with a dead Kindle or lost in a city with no mobile data, you know what we’re talking about.

Here are 8 simple ways to make your travel a little easier.

1. For The Directionally-Challenged: Offline Maps On Google
Before you leave, or when you’ve got wifi, open up your Google Maps to the city you’ll be visiting on your phone, and in the search bar type: Ok Maps. Once you hit enter, you’ll be prompted to accept a download, so that you can access the map without using data. The best part is, geo-location (the little blue dot) works without data as well . And don’t worry – Nokia and Apple’s native apps both have similar functionality. 

Bonus: if you’ve got extra time, star/favorite the things you want to visit on the map so you can see them in relation to where you are. 

Check out more here.

2. For Sensitive Ears: Noise Cancelling Headphones
If you find your normally warm heart hardening at the sight of the crying baby or loud talker next to you on a long flight, you can breath easy. I didn’t understand the fuss behind expensive Noise Cancelling Headphones until I tried them. Now, I won’t fly without them. Even without crying babies or drunk passengers, they’re amazing at drowning out the general loudness of the plane. I like Bose, but check out a ‘best of’ list for 2016

Bonus: Most come with converters so that you can use them in the double-pronged headphone outlets on many plane entertainment systems.

3. For The Lazy Packer: Double Up On Your Essentials
To keep your planning to a minimum, keep a second set of your toiletries (in the right sizes) and accessories always packed and ready to go in your suitcase. I always have a toothbrush, floss, shampoo, conditioner, hair products, creams, a hairbrush, tweezers, nail clippers, ibuprofen, multivitamins, and more in a little bag always tucked in my suitcase. Do the same with chargers and computer cables. Less to remember, less decisions to make, less unpacking. 

Bonus: Invest in reusable containers so you can refill and reduce waste.

4. For The Friend-Forgetter: Hack Your Phone
It’s common these days to have friends scattered all over the world. To keep track, put friends’ cities into the ‘works at’ field in your phone’s address book. That way, when you search ‘Miami’ all the friends in Miami pop up. It’s an easy way to keep track of friends and acquaintances you might want to see in cities you aren’t often in.

5. For The Value-Seeker: Clear Your Cookies
Most airlines use dynamic pricing, which prices flights based on demand. If you’ve been searching, clear your cookies and search history when you’re ready to book, because cookies can be used to track what you’ve searched and hike prices.  

Bonus: Use an incognito window when you’re searching.

6. For The Over-Packer: Pack Like A Pro
Roll everything you can. Pack blazers inside out (for less wrinkles.) Use packing cubes to keep things organized. Stuff shoes with smaller items. Use a rolled belt in the collars of shirts to help keep their shape. 

Bonus: Save the space and try not to check a bag. Ever. 

7. For The Frequent Flyer: Hydrate!
Flying high is very dehydrating. Avoid alcohol (you’ll feel hungover before the flight lands!) Bring your own big water bottle and refill before the flight. Pack herbal tea bags or your own coffee alternative and just ask for hot water. 

Bonus: Drink enough that you have to use the washroom frequently. Use it as an opportunity to stretch and move.

 8. For the Zen-Seeker: Meditate & Journal

Many of want to meditate and journal regularly but have trouble finding blocks of uninterrupted time. Use the opportunity in transit to dive into a longer meditation session or to spend time away from the screen getting your brain organized. To meditate, download an app like Headspace, use a soundtrack or do it on your own. 

Bonus: If you’re staying at 1hotels – you can leave your yoga mat at home – you’ll get one in your room. 

To minimize the use of plastic in your own life, look around your home and work to identify plastic items. From there, seek to find alternatives.