I don’t know if you’re a new reader or if you’ve been with me from the beginning (either way thank you for being here) but if someone asked me what’s the one thing that’s defined my life I would say without a doubt that it’s all the traveling I’ve done! I’ve been truly lucky to have been able to travel with friends and by myself too many times to count, but I also grew up all over the world with my family never really settling down in one place. We moved every 1-2 years, sometimes every 6 months and others we moved within the same month and that has taught me so much! I am grateful to my parents for giving me and my brother these life experiences that have made me who I am today.
So as I was writing down ideas for new blog posts the other day, I realized that I’ve never really shared any traveling tips on the blog so here are some helpful hacks I’ve learned one the years to keep in mind for your next travels:
*I’m aware that the first one runs long, but trust me you need to consider this…
Travel Hack No. 1: Rent a car to get from/to the airport. If you live right next to the airpot then obviously disregard this, but that’s not usually the case. I’m here to share that it’s cheaper to rent a car from your local Car Rental service provider and drop it off that same day at the airport than to pay for an Uber/Lyft or even worst to leave your car at the airport and pay parking for the week –that gets expensive fast. This of course also works from airport to home because again these car rental providers are everywhere! So it’s easy to drop off the car rental and take an Uber from there to your home or have a loved one pick you up at that nearby location.
To give you an insight… Last time I did this, I rented a car for $26 (tax included) from San Diego to Orange County (about 90miles away). I booked it online because it’s cheaper than waiting to get to their facility and I had of course chosen the lowest rate expecting to receive a small Fiesta, who cares right? But instead I was nicely surprised that they gave me a new Jeep Renegade 4×4, more than enough space for me and my 2 pieces of luggage. I had checked UBER and LYFT and with either it would have been close to $100 one way. In this case it’s also cheaper than taking the Amtrak train, and cheaper than the expense of gas from driving myself back and forth and having to pay the parking structure for however many days –This of course varies depending on where you live, but you get the idea. It is also a better option than having to ask a friend or my boyfriend to drive the 2 hours down there (that’s if there’s no traffic) and then a 2hr drive back just to pick me up. This also is not taking into account that during peek seasons and even holidays, flights tend to get delayed and having to re-arrange pick ups last minute is just one more thing I don’t want to worry about when I’m already stressed. So truly, this is just so much more convenient!! Next time you need to head to the airport consider this option, I live by it.
Travel Hack No. 2: Avoid over packing by taking photos of the outfits you’re taking. I swear it’s not a blogger thing! It might sound over the top at first, but hear me out because I started doing this years before I ever started blogging and it 100% works! If you take a photo of exactly what shoes you’ll need with what outfit plus handbag and accessories included, then it inevitably prevents you from over packing. Simple as that! I do however always pack a dressier option regardless if I think I’ll need it or not, it’s just smart to be prepared rather than feel underdressed, right? So what I do is I wear the FULL outfit and literally take a full body mirror selfie and then roll the clothes. That way I know that every single item I’ve packed is worth the space in my luggage, plus it’s not like you have to make a cute face… Think of it as taking inventory so it really just takes a second! This also helps me see if I can re-style an item with several other outfits therefore saving me tons of space. *Don’t forget to pack several Fresh Scent Packets in your suitcase to keep things smelling fresh, you’ve probably heard this plenty but I always do it and feel so grateful I did.
Travel Hack No. 3: I use Muslin bags to protect my shoes inside the luggage. I bought a pack from amazon, but I know they sell them at Michaels and Joan’s and all of those craft stores. They’re cheap and so worth it! Because I don’t know about you, but it just kills me to put new shoes next to things inside my lugage that might dent and damage them or what’s worse, let the dirty soles touch ANYTHING else I’ve packed (I get anxiety just thinking about it). But these thin little bags with their cotton strings won’t take up any extra space, they’re easy to wash and really do keep your bffs safe.
Travel Hack No. 4: The Travel Pillow with Hoodie that actually works. Take it from me, I DO NOT sleep on planes, I have been flying since I was 1 year old and my mother can testify that my mind and body cannot relax on a plane. That is until she recently gifted me a Pillow with a Hoodie attached, I’m sure many of you have seen them but I’ve truly figured out what makes a travel pillow work! The hoodie part needs to be long enough where it basically covers my face down to the tip of my nose so I don’t feel claustrophobic and the pillow part needs to be the higher/taller memory foam one so I don’t feel like I’m choking, I swear this combo makes it easier to tune out the rest of the world. I know there’s eye masks but I get headaches and migraines ALL the time and sleeping masks always end up giving me a pulsing pain on the temples after a while, so no thank you! Of course, you could argue that you could just wear a normal hoodie with your travel pillow but there’s something about both items being attached that keeps your head nice and levelled allowing you to actually fall asleep without the annoying pillow slipping off or moving around. It’s been life changing for me. I guess you would have to go try a couple different ones to see which is your best fit because some necks might be longer than others but look for these details and you’ll never travel the same!
Travel Hack No. 5: I use Stopwatch on my iPhone. This one is simple but it keeps me from going insane. How? Well let’s say my flight will be 5 hrs and 20min, so the moment we are actually taking off (not a second sooner) I press start on Stopwatch, close the app and wait as long as I possibly can to peek at how much longer the flight will be (if you have an android you will find the option as well). I know it’s a mental game, but it really keeps me occupied on other things and distracts me from how much I do not want to be there. I also make it so the timer goes off about 25min before landing that way I have time to put myself together, freshen up my face with any face mists I have, fix my hair, put away my things, etc.
And lastly guys, there’s nothing more wasteful than coming home with foreign change in your pocket so why not donate it to someone in need? Before you leave a country do a good deed and think about giving it to a homeless person. It’s of little loss for you but a huge help to those who have nothing.
Hope you found these hacks helpful on your next travels and if you do apply any of them you can tell everyone Erika shared it with you lol. And please don’t be shy and let me know, it would make me so happy! Safe travels everyone.
Thanks for stopping by at Wander With Love,