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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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