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16 Travel Hacks To Make Your Vacation 16x Better

16 Travel Hacks To Make Your Vacation 16x Better

When’s the last time you daydreamed about your ideal vacation? I’m willing to bet that it wasn’t that long ago. Whether you’re toiling away at a 9-5 job or packing your bags to leave tomorrow, here are 16 travel hacks that are sure to serve you well.

1. Bring earplugs on the plane

Better yet, get yourself some noise cancelling headphones.

I used to be one of those travelers continually complaining about jetlag. I thought it was all to do with the time difference. But I’ve realized that the biggest killer on my energy was actually just the 12 hours of constant ambient airplane noise keeping my brain awake.

Now, my strategy is to have those earplugs and headphones locked and loaded before I walk on the plane. It makes for some funny moments when the flight attendants tries to ask you what you want to eat for dinner, but at the end of the day, I get off the plane feeling so much fresher than otherwise.

2. Try and sneak a free row or business class seat

It’s actually not that hard to sneak into Emirates First Class — I did it!

It’s true, another massive factor of jetlag is the mere fact that we generally don’t get much sleep on those long-haul flights during the times when we would otherwise be getting our 8 hours.

My solution: scout out a free row down in the back of the plane or get yourself a sneaky in-plane upgrade for that sleep you only ever dreamed of.

3. Bring a power board to cut down on adaptors

Ever been caught only being able to power one thing at a time because you only have one travel adaptor?

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Well, this is easily fixed. Grab yourself a travel power board to get all your appliances going at once and in your local socket.

4. Get the right credit card

Getting the right credit card can not only ELIMINATE your conversion fees, but it can also save you on the cost of insurance.

Regardless of the payment method you end up choosing, always remember to call your bank to make sure they know you are travelling before they freeze your card on your first attempted transaction.

5. Bring photos of all your important ID info

When we travel, we are always on our toes in new environments.

For me, this leads to just generally forgetting stuff and leaving things on chairs to never be seen again, like the time I left my wallet with $1,000 in it in the Dubai airport.

A lot of people suggest printing off copies of your ID. This is all well and good, however I suggest taking photos of them all on your phone so you have a better chance of accessing them when you need them.

6. Bring a case for your Smartphone

I’m not sure about you, but I need a case. I drop my iPhone all the time, and that’s when I’m in my hometown.

When travelling, we are always in new environments, out hiking, wearing different clothes with different pockets, swimming etc. Getting a case like the one from LifeProof has saved my phone and my cash balance many times!

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7. Use Dry Bags, not plastic bags

In the good ol’ days I would always pack some big garbage bags to put my shoes or dirty clothes in.

These days, I’ve gone a little heavier duty and better on the environment by stocking up on these bad boys. Dry bags are the way of the future. Not only are they made from really good quality material, they can be rolled up to squeeze all the air out and keep everything inside waterproof. Perfect for a day out rafting or just to keep things airtight in your luggage.

8. Bring an empty pillowcase and stuff it with a jacket

I remember on my first few holidays actually packing a full pillow in my suitcase just to be sure I had a good night sleep.

Yes, I agree, this was ridiculous.

So these days, instead of packing the whole pillow, I just bring a pillow case and stuff it with my puffy jacket if I never need an emergency pillow on a night bus or in a hostel dorm.

9. Roll your clothes, don’t fold

Better yet, get some packing cubes.

If you really want to be efficient about how much you pack, as well as how long it takes to find stuff, packing cubes will do the job. It makes it so much easier for me to swap things around on the go.

10. Check out Airbnb and HostelWorld

If you’re want to stay in a hotel, then by all means hotelscombined.com is the best site for you to find the cheapest deal. Take my word.

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But if you want to be a little less conventional, you can use Airbnb or HostelWorld for the most comprehensive list of hostels around the world. Your pick.

11. Always mark your luggage as fragile

This one is a little crafty, but it works every time.

For no reason other than to just get a one-up on the world, mark your bags as fragile at the check-in counter.

This will have the handlers treat your luggage with a little extra care, and also have your bag coming out first on the carousel because it was generally the last thing to be loaded in the first place.

12. Bring your own water bottle everywhere

Be environmentally conscious!

Not only will getting around with your own reusable bottle save the environment from the scourge of plastic bottles filling our landfills and oceans, but you’ll also save a tonne of cash by not buying fresh bottles every day.

If you’re worried about the quality of the water in the country you’re in, consider investing in a water purifier as well.

13. Download Duolingo and Dict.cc to get yourself around foreign languages

There is nothing more frustrating for me than getting to a new city and having zero idea what the symbol translates to in English. Some languages are just too hard to read for me.

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But, at the very least, apps like Duolingo will help with the basic pronunciations and directives to get you to your hotel and out of paying $200 for an apple.

For a big list of the best travel apps, check this out!

14. Use TSA approved locks

If you’re travelling in the US, this is mandatory. If you don’t, you’ll end up losing your locks and having TSA guys sniff through your delicates.

Regardless, getting a good TSA-approved retractable lock is my suggestion. It works just like a normal lock, but can be extended to also keep your bag secured to a bed leg or seat on a bus while you sleep.

15. Set your browser to private browsing when booking tickets

When you’re booking your flights, you might be interested to know that airlines actually set the prices for you based on your home location and how often you check the prices. It’s their way of keeping the prices as high as you’ll possibly pay.

To get around this, clear your cookies before searching and set your browser to “private browsing” so that the sites don’t know where you are searching from.

16. Remember to keep your carryon toiletries below 100 ml

This one is simply about saving some cash. If you want to bring your hairspray or personal items on the plane, that’s fine. Just remember to keep them in small containers, otherwise the customs officers will confiscate them. Otherwise, just keep your toiletries in your checked in luggage.

Do you have any tips of your own to share? What do you do to make your travels as hassle-free as possible?

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Last Updated on August 20, 2018

35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

Every mature relationship has had a less-than-memorable anniversary. Maybe one of you forgot, or both of you got busy with work, kids, family issues, or something else. Whatever happened, the day came and went without fanfare. And neither of you seemed to notice or much care.

But for the health of any relationship, it’s important to make important days feel special. Anniversaries offer the wonderful opportunity to relive beautiful memories, practice gratefulness for your partner, and to show your love and strengthen your bond. Make this year’s anniversary with your significant other something special  — one that will bring you closer together.

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The best way to create a memorable anniversary is to do something new and different together as a couple. Stretch yourselves a bit.

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While boredom can silently kill a relationship, new experiences reinforce the shared bond you already have and create strong new memories. Just think back to the most significant memories you have right now with your spouse and imagine what new ones you can create!

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While you enjoy your chosen anniversary activity, be sure to keep a positive attitude and make your partner happy too on that day. Leave all arguments and day to day detail behind. Just celebrate your relationship. Whether you’re going to spend the day together at home, getting away, or having a wild and crazy new experience together, you can have your best anniversary yet!

If You’re Staying In

  1. Spend an evening with no technology, just the two of you and maybe a board game. It’s hard to keep ourselves away from our computers and smartphones long enough to have a meaningful conversation. Make a rule not to use your tech and you’ll rekindle your relationship!
  2. Make wine or beer together. If you enjoy drinking together, this is a fun activity to try together. Just remember to buy the necessary equipment ahead of time.
  3. Learn something new about each other. With an open mind, try asking some of the New York Times’ 36 questions that lead to love. They’ll help spark intimacy and will lead to some really honest moments.
  4. Have a lazy day. Breakfasts in bed, spend all day in bed talking and napping. Follow breakfast with champagne and dessert! If you feel like getting more active, cook together or play some games. Here’re some simple breakfast ideas for you.
    • Learn to dance at home. This is best for those active couples who work out together and also enjoy learning something new together. Just go on Youtube to find any music with dance tutorials and learn together.
    • Visit model homes or open houses and plan your dream home.
    • Have a special dessert – champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Having an unusual treat makes a day feel extra special. If you want to make the dessert really special, try these tasty dessert recipes.
    • Create a playlist of your favorite songs as a couple. Choose songs that tell your story, and songs that you bonded over throughout your relationships. Here’re some love songs ideas for your inspirations.
      • Write your love story. Write it together or ave each of you write your own and then bring them together in an interesting, both sides of the story format.
      • Get a fondue pot. Fondue is a fun way to enjoy melted cheeses (for savory items) and melted chocolate (for sweeter treats).
      • Decorate! Turn your home into a dressed-up french cottage, a sophisticated restaurant, or simply with flowers. The different ambience will immediately change the feel of your home and make it feel like a staycation.
        • Talk about the future together. It might sound simple and everyday, but imagining how you want to spend your retirement together, or planning future trips can be exciting and romantic.

        If You Want to Get Away

        1. Take a day trip together to your favorite spot. If you live in a city, it can be incredibly refreshing to get away for an afternoon and drink in the outdoors.
        2. Go on a scenic drive and stop at a wine and cheese bar. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have lots of options where you live, try a brewpub. There are tons of small craft breweries with fantastic food options too.
        3. Go camping. Relatively affordable and, if the weather’s right, beautiful and romantic.
          • Take an overnight backpacking trip. For the more adventurous couples, backpacking is an even more intense way to challenge yourself physically while becoming one with nature.
          • Take a wine tasting tour. If you live on the West Coast or in the Northeast, take a drive to the nearest winery. Many offer relatively inexpensive tastings and deals if you purchase a certain amount.
          • Take a scenic train trip. Taking the train means less stress traveling: nobody has to drive, you don’t have to stop for breaks every few hours, and you can sleep if you need to!
          • Save up for a destination vacation. What better time than your anniversary to enjoy the beach at a beautiful resort?
          • Explore a new city. Whether you’re on a budget or have a lot saved up, you can have a great time just exploring an unfamiliar town.
          • Rent a cabin for a weekend away, in the woods or next to a lake or ocean. If you like the outdoors but can only take so much nature, try glamping.
            • Go on a retreat. Yoga retreats, meditation retreats, beautiful natural surroundings … they’re all the rage. Search for centeredness and calm with your partner.
            • Spend a day at a food festival. Many cities have fun and affordable food festivals, occasionally based on a theme. Check out your town’s (or a nearby city) calendar for inspiration!

            New & Exciting Experiences

            1. Go spelunking. Dark, damp, and utterly exciting!
            2. Go on a hot air balloon ride. Because the basket is relatively small, this can be a romantic and deeply personal – and yet thrilling –
              experience.
              • Try sky diving. If you and you S.O. are real thrill-seekers, sky diving can really push you to the edge!
              • Explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving. This may take you far away from where you normally live and work, which is an added bonus.
              • Experience white water rafting.
              • Drive or hike to the highest spot nearby for a new view of the world. America has tons of beautiful mountains where challenging hikes (or drives) can deliver breathtaking views.
              • Take a craft or cooking class. Up your craft skills or food  making skills, and enjoy something new!
                • Take a wine and painting class today. These classes are easily found these days and even a beginning painter can create a nice painting. Challenging but relaxing, fun, and you get to go home with some artwork!
                • Learn to salsa dance. Dancing is a fantastic way to actively get closer and coordinate physically with one another.
                  • Visit a nearby festival you’ve always wanted to go to. Have fun and let go with fellow audience-members!
                  • Spend the day at an amusement park together. Laugh and carry on like teenagers.
                  • Meet new people! At a restaurant, concert, or class, make it a point to meet new friends. Striking up conversation with someone you don’t know – but with whom you have shared interests – can be an adventurous and rewarding experience.

                  Whether your budget is big or small, and whether you have a little or a ton of time together, focus on each other. There are tons of options, in terms of location, level of physical activity, and cost. You can make the day special in a way that’s right for you!

                  Featured photo credit: Photo by Taylor L. Spurgeon on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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