I love to travel but living here in Western Australia, which is quite an isolated place, means whenever I go away a long flight is involved. So, over the years, I’ve gathered a number of tips and tricks to make my trip as smooth and hassle-free as possible. After all, travelling is meant to be fun and enjoyable!
1. Pack a Powerboard.
For most of us, normal life involves multiple gadgets such as mobile phones, tablets, iPads, cameras etc. all of which need charging. The problem though, is that the average hotel room will probably have just one or two power sockets. So, to enable you to plug in multiple items at once, pack a power board. They’re reasonably lightweight and can easily be slipped down the side of your suitcase.
Remember that different countries have different voltages and use different plugs, so check that your appliances will work in the country you’re visiting and take an appropriate travel adaptor. A good reference source to find out what system is used at your destination is www.power-plugs-sockets.com
Make sure the powerboard you take has surge protection. The electrics at your destination may not be as good as back home so don’t risk frying your appliances. Also, don’t piggy back your powerboard with a secondary board or double adaptors. Many fires have been caused by overloading power points.
2. Pack a small (empty) water spray bottle
Invariably, when you unpack on arrival at your destination, some of your clothes will look crumpled, no matter how carefully you packed originally. Simply give them a good shake and hang them somewhere with plenty of air circulating around them. Don’t hang them in a tightly packed wardrobe – a shower rail is perfect. Then lightly spray them with a fine mist of water the aim is to dampen not saturate, and let them dry. The creases should disappear.
This tip is invaluable if you’re like me and don’t like ironing. However, a word of warning, only do this if you’re confident your clothes won’t get wrecked by water. Check the labels carefully.
You can also slip the water spray bottle into your bag for a refreshing blast of mist on your face while sightseeing in the heat.
3. Save on bottled water.
It’s important to keep yourself hydrated during air travel but buying bottled water at the airport can be expensive and you won’t always be allowed to carry it on the plane. However, you should be allowed to carry an empty bottle through security then when you’ve boarded you can ask a member of the cabin crew to fill it up for you. Alternatively, once you’ve gone through security you will probably find a water fountain where you can refill your bottle. But, a word of warning, don’t bank on always being allowed to carry it on the plane. Some airports have further security checks at the boarding gate with restrictions on carrying liquids.
Bonus tip: Another thing to avoid at the airport is their money exchange services! I’ve found the rates of exchange at the airport are usually pretty poor compared with elsewhere.
4. Organise your clothes in packing cells
Packing cells (lightweight mesh/nylon containers for putting clothes and other small items in) are invaluable for organising your clothes when packing. Everyone will have their own method for organising their clothes eg. underwear in one, t-shirts in another, but I like to put everything I’ll need for an overnight stay in one cell and make sure that’s at the top of my suitcase so if I arrive late at the hotel I don’t waste valuable snooze time rummaging around in my suitcase for my toothbrush!
5. Buy a Headphones Adaptor
I hate the headphones you get on the plane. Invariably they’re uncomfortable and don’t stay in position so I bought an adapter and now use my own comfy earbuds.
Headphones adaptors are available at a low cost from electronics stores or online.
6. Pack Earplugs and an Eyemask.
They’re great for helping you get some shut eye on a long plane journey. They’re also useful for noisy hotel rooms. I was recently in a hotel in Austria located on a very busy road. It was also unusually hot weather and the hotel didn’t have air-conditioning so we had to leave the window open overnight but thanks to earplugs I didn’t hear a thing!
I love Muffles earplugs available from Boots the Chemist. These are made from a wax substance that can be warmed in the hands then moulded to fit comfortably in the ear. Tip: they’re also great if you share your bed with a snorer! Unfortunately, there isn’t a Boots the Chemist here in Western Australia so whenever I’m in the UK or in Asia, I stock up.
7. Pack Bottles of Liquids and Lotions in Snap-Lock Bags
I transfer shampoos and other liquids into small travelling containers to save space and weight then I stash them in zip-lock bags to limit any damage caused by leaks. No matter how well I screw up the stoppers some of the contents always tends to escape.
8. Pack a Hair Drying Turban.
How many times have you stayed somewhere and either been provided with just one towel or maybe also given a second towel but the size of a handkerchief? Also, some hotels don’t allow you to use their towels to dry hair if you’ve got dyed hair. So avoid any hassles by packing one of these hair turbans for drying your hair.
Here in Australia we have Turbie Twist available from Big W (you can also get them online at Amazon) which is made of super-absorbent micro fibre. I love them because they’re light and easy to pack. I’ve tried other brands which aren’t so absorbent.
If you have any good travelling tips please share in the comments section below.