They say the joy is in the journey, but when it comes to TSA checkpoint lines, in-bag toiletry explosions or that little one behind you kicking your seat (with surprising force), travel can be anything but joyful. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make your next trip a little easier – and a whole lot more convenient.
Don’t cry over forgotten wall chargers
You know the drill; you finally make it to your hotel, tired after a long flight, only to find that you left the wall plug to your cellphone charger at home. And, naturally, you’ve already received a low-battery warning. What you might not know is that most hotel televisions have a USB port in the back, which will save your cellphone (and your sanity) in a pinch.
Cap the shoes
Even the cleanest of people tend to have dirty shoes, and if you’re hoping to protect your nice clothes from those filthy soles, just grab a couple shower caps. Stretch them over the soles of the shoes and you’ll keep dirt and grime off your folded clothing.
Wear a scarf
Those infinity scarves aren’t just decorative. On a long flight, that scarf will be your best friend. Whether serving as a soft blanket in a cold cabin, or wrapped around your head to keep the light out while you sleep, you’ll find more function than form by donning a scarf.
Shrink wrap it all
A burst bottle of shampoo doesn’t just leave you without shampoo, it also leaves you with an aggravating – and likely expensive – mess. Make sure your bag doesn’t fall victim to kamikaze toiletry bottles by shrink wrapping each container.
Steal the soap
A few days into your trip, your dirty clothes bag could be making you feel and smell like you have a dirty clothes suitcase. If that’s the case, grab a bar of soap from the hotel and toss it into your laundry bag. The soap will act as a natural deodorizer. Or if you happen to plan ahead, throw a couple dryer sheets in for the same effect.
Embrace DIY in-flight entertainment
No in-flight entertainment system? No worries. Buzzfeed suggests creating your own using your handy smartphone or tablet. Just bring a plastic baggie with you, slip the device inside and lodge the whole thing in the tray table holder. Voila! It’s time to Netflix and chill.
Multitask the mundane
Put seemingly useless household items to good use while you travel. Store bobby pins or safety pins in a Tic Tac case to keep them contained. Keep earrings and other small pieces of jewelry protected in a pill organizer, and grab a sunglass case to store all those device chargers and earbuds.
Wear deep pockets
In the airport, your attire can make or break you. Dress for travel success by sporting deep pockets – those that will hold your boarding pass, ID, cellphone and any other items you seem to be constantly digging through your bag to retrieve.
Carry on wisely
When you’re traveling, your carry-on bag is your secret source of power. Not only does it house all your in-flight necessities, but it also serves as your emergency kit if the airline happens to lose your bag. Today suggests tossing in your electronics chargers (especially handy when you’re delayed), a notebook and pen, travel arrangement information (including passport, if necessary), a change of clothes and underwear, face wipes, travel toothbrush and toothpaste, eye drops, medications and snacks.