Savvy Girl Ultimate Travel Hacks
Genius Space-Saving Hacks for Packing Your Suitcase
Who doesn't look forward to a weekend getaway or long saved for or planned vacation. Inevitably, you'll forget something or pay an additional fee for trying to shove or stuff some must have items, into an already overstuffed suitcase.
Here are 10 great travel hacks to get you on your way to a vacate filled with blue skies and tons of fun.
1. Set your jewelry between two sheets of plastic wrap to prevent it from moving around and tangling inside your bag.
2. Use pill case compartments or an old lip balm container to organize and keep track of your smaller jewelry, like rings and earrings.
3. String the ends of a dainty necklace through straws to prevent the chain from knotting and tangling.
4. Keep track of small stud earrings by fastening the set through buttonholes before slipping them into your jewelry bag.
5. When packing clothes that wrinkle easily, lay the clothing flat inside a dry-cleaning bag, and then fold as normal. The plastic will prevent creases from setting in.
6. To maximize the space in your luggage, roll your clothes instead of folding them. You'll be surprised by how much more you can fit this way.
7. Help your bras maintain their shape while also saving space by stacking your bras on top of each other, folding them in half, and tucking your underwear inside. Stuffing your underwear inside your bras will prevent the cups from folding inward and help extend the life of your bras beyond your trip.
8. Keep the dirty soles of your shoes away from your clothes by sticking them inside a shower cap.
9. Stuff socks and products that won't burst inside your shoes if you're low on packing space.
10. Fold your underwear instead of just wadding it up and stuffing it in your bag, which can take up a lot of space.
Spill No More - Tip #13
To prevent liquid products from bursting (and ruining everything else) inside your bag, cut a small square of plastic wrap, unscrew the product's lid, set the plastic wrap on top, and screw the lid back on. That way if the lid pops open, no product can spill out.
Savvy Travel Poll
How Many Bags Are You Traveling With This Season
Rough travel and extreme sports can quickly dehydrate your body, especially in hot, dry climates such as the American Southwest or East Africa. Stock up on purified, bottled water in areas where a safe source may not exist. As a backup, carry oral rehydration solutions (ORS), which typically contain salts and a simple sugar such as glucose, to counter intestinal disorders and heat exhaustion.
On flights, skip sugary, caffeinated soft drinks from the beverage cart for healthier green tea, which contains immune-boosting, detoxifying polyphenol compounds.
Get Your Klean Freak On
Channel your inner Howard Hughes and wipe your surroundings, like your arm rest and tray tables with antibacterial wipes or sanitizers that contain at least 60 percent alcohol, the minimum that will kill most germs on contact.
It doesn’t hurt to also sanitize your environment, whether it’s your hotel room, airplane tray table, or the back seat of a taxi. (Just consider how many people touch the plasma TV screens installed in many cabs these days.) After checking into a hotel room, swipe surfaces such as remote controls, telephone cradles, doorknobs, and light switches.
Remember that those pretty throw pillows and comforter covers on the guest bed are not always changed or washed regularly. On many airlines, the same is true of standard-issue blankets and headrest covers.
ST Girl Recommends: Klean Offz. They are worth every cent, and they are TSA friendly and won't spill.
Don't Worry Be Appy
Everyone has an airport horror story. But you can make the most of a bad situation with apps like Flight+, which will keep you abreast of the latest delays and gate changes. And if you need a shower, unlimited Wi-Fi, or a work space during your extended layover, LoungeBuddy will alert you as to which free and pay-as-you-go lounges are available.
These are just two of the digital tools that can improve your experience on the road—among the 100,000-plus travel apps on the market. No need to feel overwhelmed, though. We spent the past year travel-testing apps and websites, everywhere from airplanes and buses to airport lounges, cars, and remote camping sites across the globe. The resulting list represents the best of the best, with runners-up in categories where the competition is fierce.
Google certainly makes an appearance, given the search giant's strengths in navigation (Google Maps), translation (Google Translate), photo management and storage (Google+), booking (Google Flight Search), and communication (Gmail and Google Hangouts).
Still, there are plenty of areas that shine brighter in other companies. RouteHappy's flight ratings guide you to the most stress-free flight; Booking.com's stellar customer service delivers an actual human on the other end of the help line; and Flickr offers a whopping 1 terabyte (TB) of free photo storage.
Pick a Pain-Free Flight: Routehappy
Cheap tickets can come with high hassle factors (impossibly short connections; multiple stops). Enter Routehappy, which uses “Happiness” scores to prioritize itineraries that are shorter, have the simplest layover logistics, and the best prices. Its user-friendly design makes it easy to see the benefits of each route and book your favorite in just a few taps. Free; routehappy.com.
Track Fares: Yapta
Not only does this scrappy site watch your airfares and alert you when the price drops but it also monitors your ticket (or hotel) after you’ve booked, up to the day you depart. Should it fall further, Yapta automatically helps you secure any rebates you’re eligible for; the average user saves $335 annually. Free; yapta.com.
Easy Laptop Lesson
Always password protect a laptop, and where possible, encrypt all data on the device—but understand that data encryption is illegal in some countries (notably China and Russia), and it is grounds for seizing the device, notes Kroll’s Brill. He adds: “If you don’t want your computer inspected, don’t bring it across a border.”
More advice is to always connect to networks using a VPN (virtual private network, a secure networking protocol provided by many organizations to their employees), if available. For those without a VPN, always use secure browsing—HTTPS—which encrypts data in motion so that even if a crook is “eavesdropping” on a session, he will probably get only gibberish.
Also, avoid public Wi-Fi in hotel rooms, airports and coffee shops, says Michael Patterson, CEO of Plixer, a network performance measuring company. Most newer smart phones can quickly create a private mobile hotspot (look under settings) that is a more secure Internet connection. At 4G speed it probably equals Wi-Fi at most hotels anyway.
Where public Wi-Fi must be used, take caution to connect only to the authentic article. Any crook can easily erect a rogue hotspot—labeled “Airport” or “Your Hotel”—and that may let him read the traffic that goes out over his fake network. You don’t want to be that victim. If in doubt of a Wi-Fi network’s authenticity, don’t use it.
Always back up all data to a remote server (Dropbox will do in a pinch, although some companies ban its use; check with corporate IT). Hardware can be replaced. Original material sometimes can’t be.