Whether you’re planning a vacation or you have to attend a conference for work at an off-site location, you want to make sure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible.

From purchasing your tickets and booking your accommodations to packing your bags and getting to the airport on time, there are a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration when you travel. If you don’t take the time and plan wisely, you could end up needing a vacation from your vacation.

If you feel like you are always flustered when it comes to planning and organizing your trip, or you always find that something goes wrong that puts a big hitch in your trip, take a breath and relax. I’ve done a lot of traveling in my life, and here, I will share with you some pointers that will help to ensure your next trip goes as smoothly as possible.

5 of the Best Travel Hacks

There are a lot of travel hacks out there, and believe me, I use a lot of them. From planning to packing, I use so many different tricks to make any trip I go on smooth sailing (even if I’m not going on a cruise.) However, while there are several hacks that I use, here’s a look at my five of my all time favorites.

  1. Flight and Hotel Hack: When you are looking for flights and accommodations, make sure that you set your browser to private. A lot of travel sites will actually track your visits. If you visit the site more than once, they will raise the rates, so don’t be surprised if the price of that amazing hotel you found is jacked up when you decide that you actually want to book it. Why does this happen? – It’s simple: by clicking on a hotel or by looking at flight details, it shows that you are interested in making a purchase. In order to get the most money out of you, travel sites will inflate the price, which of course, means that you will end up paying more. By setting your browser to private, travel sites can’t tell that you have visited before, and you won’t have to deal with unfair price gauging.
  2. Clothing Hack: To make sure my clothes look their best when I arrive at my destination, I do two things: I pack my folded items between tissue paper and I put some dryer sheets in between them. The tissue paper helps to prevent wrinkles from forming (which is, I gather, higher end department stores wrap the clothing you purchase in tissue paper.) The fabric softener sheets help to keep my clothes smelling nice and fresh, like they just came out of the dryer. Plus, the dryer sheets also help to reduce static electricity, which can be a serious drag (if you’ve ever put on a shirt or a pair of pants that are full of static cling, you know how annoying it is.)
  3. Toiletry Hack: Hotels often stock their bathrooms with bars of soap, but they aren’t always the best brands. If you have a specific type of bar soap that you like to use, you probably want to bring it along with you on your trip; however, if you’ve ever tried to travel with a bar of soap before, you know that it can get pretty messy. Once the soap is wet, putting it back into its original cardboard box is pretty pointless, and those hard plastic travel soap holders really don’t do much good; the soap ends up sitting in a puddle of water, pretty much melts to nothing and is virtually unusable. To make packing – and using – your own bar soap easier, place it in a wash cloth. I make up some little pouches by cutting down washcloths and putting a few stitches in them to create a little pocket, which I then place my bar soap into. All you have to do is pull out the washcloth, get it wet and it use it.
  4. Ear Bud Hack: If you want to listen to music when you are traveling, prevent the wires of your ear buds or headphones from getting tangled with this hack. Simply wrap the cord around a binder clip and it will stay nice and neat. Plus, you can clip the cord onto the strap or an interior pocket of a bag so you’ll always know where they are when you want to use them.
  5. Get Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is one of the smartest and most worthwhile investments you can make. In the event that the unforeseeable happens – you have to cancel your trip, you become ill, your bags are lost or stolen, or some other emergency arises – you’ll be glad that you are financially protected.