Traveling for the holiday season?
We thought so. Guess who else will be, too?! Annoying armrest hoggers, loud cell phone talkers, and that guy who only eats tuna on international flights.
Since we can’t control the actions of others -- especially that screaming baby that seems to follow you your entire trip -- we’ve partnered with Marriott Hotels to make your travel experience a little more tolerable.
We got seven travel experts to spill their favorite hacks and must-have gadgets on-the-go to make your next trip an easier one.
Harness Solar Power!
Sure, that power cord you packed is useful...if you have an outlet to plug it into. If your travel plans include something a little more out-of-the-box (or, in this case, hotel room), Ashish Sanghrajka, president of Big Five Tours & Expeditions and an avid worldwide traveler, suggests investing in a solar-powered charger. That way, you can charge your electronics anywhere your adventures take you.
TSA-i-fy Your Toiletries
The last thing you need during a stressful trip is to get searched by TSA for something silly -- like a full-size bottle of shampoo accidentally left in your carry on. Christina Saull, who travels frequently for work and blogs about it on MyViewFromTheMiddleSeat.com, recommends using a contacts case to store small (read: TSA-friendly) amounts of essentials, like moisturizer and hair gel.
DIY Bubble Wrap
Wrapping wine (or other valuables), in diapers, is a clever hack Mara Solomon, founder and director of Italian travel company Homebase Abroad, uses when packing. Her reasoning behind the odd gesture? No one will want to go near them (or develop sticky fingers) when checking your luggage!
Pack A Portable Steamer
No need to scour Yelp reviews for a good dry cleaner in whatever city you’re visiting. Instead, travel writer Lara Grant recommends packing a portable steamer: “They’re lightweight, easy to use and will save you when your skirt or slacks are wrinkled.”
Travel blogger Anna Rice is on a mission to visit as many countries as possible, even if it means fitting in trips every weekend, on holidays, and with just two weeks worth of vacation. To stay comfortable during transit, she recommends a simple, DIY trick: “I like to roll up a sweater and place it under my lower back for support when I’m traveling, so that I don’t end up sore when I arrive at my destination.” Another bonus? Taking that sweater out leaves extra room in your suitcase!
Use Internet Wizardry
Solomon has been in the travel business for over 20 years -- so she knows a thing or two about finding a good deal. She suggests clearing your browser history and disabling cookies while researching flights online to find the cheapest options. “You’re more likely to get a lower fare since airlines can save your search history and raise rates for flights that you’ve looked at before,” she explains.
Pack Dryer Sheets
No, not for doing laundry. Taylor L. Cole, a travel expert for Hotels.com, advises packing a few dryer sheets amongst your clothes to keep them appearing freshly washed. You may have suffered through an overnight layover, but your business associates don’t need to know -- or smell -- that.
Download A Portable Printer
Johnny Jet, travel expert behind Johnny Jet’s Travel News, Tips and Stories newsletter and website, visits over 20 countries a year. So you can imagine his frustration with emails that come in while he’s on the road, requesting a printed, signed and scanned document be returned ASAP. The quick fix? SignEasy.
“This easy-to-use app allows you to digitally sign documents anywhere in the world straight from your mobile device in lickity-split time,” Jet says. “You’ll save time, money and paper.”
Pack Inner Peace
It’s hard to achieve zen on a stressful business trip, but it’s not impossible. Solomon refuses to leave home without her yoga mat -- whether she’s leaving for an overnight trip or for weeks at a time. She even recommends Downward-Facing Dog and Warrior One, Two and Three as layover-friendly poses.
Got an item you can’t travel without, or a hack that makes your trip better? Leave it in the comments.