As you prepare for your next vacation, here are some tips to make every step of the way more convenient and enjoyable.

Packing hacks

Roll your clothes when putting them into your suitcase for a more efficient use of space than folding.

It probably goes without saying, but in case it doesn’t, look ahead at your destination’s weather forecast and pack appropriately.

Some uncommon items that will come in handy include:

  • Pillowcase – Pillows take up way too much space, but in a pinch, a pillowcase can be filled with soft clothes to create a makeshift cushion.
  • Dirty clothes bag – Unless you have access to laundry facilities, you’ll have to account for the dirty clothes you accumulate during your trip. This is especially true if you plan on being active during your vacation. Bring along an extra fabric bag (or another pillowcase) to separate your dirty clothes, sweaty workout attire and running shoes from your clean luggage.
  • Dryer sheets – Throw one in your luggage and in each of your running shoes to keep your suitcase smelling fresh.

Phone hacks

A few apps and services can make you feel at home in a city or country that isn’t your own.

  • Google Maps – If you’re in another country, you’ll likely be without an internet connection. Download offline maps by simply finding the area that you’ll be travelling to and typing “OK Map” into the Google Maps search bar, then pressing ‘download.’
  • Google Translate – Not only should this help ease communication with locals, but the camera button on the app will allow you to translate menus and signs in real-time. You can download specific languages by going to settings, choosing ‘offline translation,’ and picking the language you need.
  • Yelp – Instead of relying on tourism guidebooks for a list of places to visit, try using Yelp to scope out local gems. Local cuisine will be cheaper than the chain restaurants and tourist traps, and it will give you a more authentic experience of the culture.

Before you go, make sure to scan a copy of your passport, driver’s license and travel itinerary. Send it to yourself and download it for offline viewing on your phone. Nobody plans to lose these important documents, but having a backup on your phone will save you considerable time and stress in the case that the originals do go missing.

Airport hacks

If you’re flying to your destination, the airport can be a stressful place. 

Don’t forget to choose your seat ahead of time (if you have that option), a pair of headphones to plug into the airplane entertainment system or a pen to fill out in-flight customs paperwork (if you’re travelling to another country.

A couple pieces of gym gear can come in handy as well. Wearing compression socks on your flight can help improve circulation and reduce swelling, and packing an empty reusable water bottle to fill up once you pass through security can help save you money (and of course is better for the environment). 

Airplane food can also prompt uncomfortable gastrointestinal issues. If you have a sensitive digestive system, here is a list of the worst airplane foods you should avoid when travelling. 

Stay active 

Staying active during your vacation will give you the energy and mood boost you need to see all of the sights you have on your bucket list. 

If you're staying in a hotel and need a quick and easy workout to keep you in shape, try this simple and effective workout anytime, anywhere. 

Destination hacks

Use the local language, or at least try to where possible. You may feel silly, but this extra effort will reflect well on you as a traveller.

Save money and stay fit and healthy by purchasing essential food and drinks from local grocers/supermarkets instead of the expensive gift shops and kiosks. This will help you eat healthier and stay on budget.

Finally, if you like, donate any remaining change you have to the less fortunate before leaving the country. It’s unlikely that you’re going to exchange it once you return home, and it’s just a kind thing to do.