Travel tips – the collected wisdom of thousands of travelers from around the globe. Shared on blogs, in articles, guidebooks, and waiting in line at the airport, these little nuggets are fun to read and, for the most part, useful. By now, if you travel regularly or think about traveling regularly, you know the usual tips like:
- roll/stuff/compress your clothes to save space
- arrive at the airport early
- always have a copy of your passport
- don’t change currency at the airport
- ….and so on.
But are there any new travel tips to share? Of course, there are! Those that are new to me and those that may be new to you!
- Always pack a clothes pin/peg to use as a door stop/door lock. I always carry a clothes pin so I can secure hotel curtains when they gap, close a bag of food when I have left-overs, or hang up a garment to drip dry if I can’t find a hanger but using it to secure a door is a new one. Apparently, when you have a missing bathroom stall lock, the pin can be wedged in to secure the door or the pin can be wedged under a door to provide a secondary layer of security on a hotel door. I haven’t tried this, yet. Have you?
- Stop tummy trouble before it starts by chewing a couple Pepto-Bismol tablets before eating. This one makes sense to me because Pepto-Bismol coats your stomach so it can prevent/lessen the impact of that dodgy street food. I’m usually lucky when it comes to travel-related stomach issues but I will try this on my next trip and use it as an excuse to eat everything!
- Stay charged and ask the hotel desk attendant for a phone charger when you’ve forgotten yours. Apparently, mobile phone charges are the most popular item left behind in hotel rooms and there is usually a variety to choose from, so ask nicely and you may get lucky. I try not to take my mobile with me when I travel outside the U.S. and haven’t had to test this tip. Have you ever asked for a charger?
- Protect yourself with a TSA-friendly can of hair spray? This one definitely caught my attention. We all know that you can’t take pepper spray, retractable police batons, or tactical pens on airplanes. This means that you are often left unarmed as it were once you land so what do you do? Use your travel size of aerosol hair spray! Apparently, a shot of hair spray in the eyes of an attacker can buy you time to run away. Not to sound like a ‘prepper’ but I like to stack the self-defense deck in my favor and having one more option makes me happy.
- A pre-written travel journal is at your fingertips when you send postcards from the road. Each day of your trip write a few lines on a postcard from your location and drop it in the mail. By the time you get home, you’ll have a collection of postcards featuring a synopsis of your adventure! Punch a few holes in the long edge and thread with ribbon to make a great keepsake. This makes a great project for the kiddos on your family tree because getting real mail is still cool!
- Protect your adult keepsakes by shipping them home instead of stuffing them in your luggage. Art, masks, and other unique goodies from your exotic destinations can be packed and shipped for a reasonable rate, including insurance which frees you up to enjoy the trip and not worry about crushing that millefiori perfume bottle you picked up in Murano.
- Make a point to source at least one meal from the local grocery store. Not only will it save you money, but it gives you a great up-close-and-personal look at local life, helps you practice your language skills, exposes you to strange and exotic food, and pushes you outside your comfort zone. I had a devil of a time finding anything in a little grocery store in Ushiku, Japan but it remains a memorable experience!
- No matter where you go in this world, you will encounter the need for the facilities, whether golden throne or a squat toilet. While many parts of the world use a bidet or bidet-like apparatus, you can never go wrong by having a roll of toilet tissue. Even if you ‘go native’ with a bum gun, the tissue can be used for other hygienic activities like blowing your nose. Even in your home country, you can find yourself at a roadside rest stop with nary a square to spare, so tuck this little treasure in your bag and forget about it, until you need it.
There you go, fellow traveler, some lesser-known travel tips. What do you think? Are any of these going to make it into your bag of tricks? Let me know in the comments and thanks for stopping by!