Advertising
Advertising

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?

Advertising

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!

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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?

More by this author

most-expensive-hotels-in-the-world The 10 Most Expensive Luxury Hotels In The World 2016 inspiring-travel-bloggers-to-watch-in-2016 7 Inspiring Travel Bloggers To Help Your 2016 Dreams Come True travel-hacks-to-make-your-vacation-better 16 Travel Hacks To Make Your Vacation 16x Better dalai-lama-lessons-on-happiness 5 Lessons The Dalai Lama Taught Me About Happiness 12 Ways Travel Makes You A Better Person

Trending in Lifestyle

1 How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind 2 Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It) 3 10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today 4 Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide) 5 12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

Advertising

This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

Advertising

“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

Advertising

For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

Advertising

Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

More About Mental Strength

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Read Next