Why do you need a Zip Lock Plastic Bag when you travel? Coming soon!
Ultimate Travel Hacks
The Ultimate Travel Hacks
Here's our list of the greatest and most useful travel hacks on the planet.
We've been gathering our travel hacks for years, and have our favourites.
Here's a list of our Top Travel Hacks for Family Travel
You'll find more at the bottom of the page. Read and try for yourself at your leisure!
1. Zip Lock Bags
These reusable plastic zip lock bags are life-savers, and just about the only plastic thing we'd recommend as we are on a mission to reduce our use of plastic.
Zip lock bags can be used to:
- store your toothpaste and toothbrush to stop paste escaping all over your clothes
- separate your money stores so you can keep your spending money away from your daily money, as well as keep a spare stash in a secret pocket in your coat for emergencies
- carry snacks, and keep half-eaten snacks from the bin.
- store my pen collection. I always need a pen to write my travel diary notes, but when I need one, I can never find it. Stashing extras in a zip lock bag in the front of my daypack has solved this problem.
- keep tissues and band aids close to hand
- compress your clothes for the suitcase - on the go
- Government regulations restrict the amount of liquids, aerosols and gels you can take on board international flights, and containers can't be more than 100ml in size. You've got to put those containers into a sealed see-thru zip lock bag too.
A Zip Lock plastic bag can be used creatively in so many ways that I wrote a story about it.
2. Packing Cubes
Packing cubes (also called packing cells) changed our lives. They are the single most useful travel accessory we've ever come across. I will NEVER travel without them ever again.
Our packing cubes come from Kathmandu. We bought two packs on sale - 3 for the price of 1 - with one large, one medium, and one small. These sales happen frequently, so hold out if you can.
Our packing cubes have a mesh-top, so they are breathable. This is vital. The zips are also super strong. Another essential feature of a good quality packing cube.
We use the large size for our clothes.
Both boys have a packing cube each for their clothes. One packing cube fits ALL the clothes for a Winter trip, including thermal underwear, chunky socks, and multiple pairs of trousers and warm jackets. I pack both their underwear and singlets into a separate medium-sized packing cube. This is shared between the boys.
On most trips, my clothes fit into one large packing cube too, so long as they are rolled. When we travel in winter, and need a few extra bulky layers, I put these extras into a medium packing cube.
I use one small packing cube for my underwear, singlets and bras, and another to store the first aid supplies.
We use any leftover packing cubes for extras:
- to contain our dirty laundry
- to keep all our souvenir purchases together
- to keep all our itineraries and brochures, ticket stubs etc in one place so they don't get lost
Packing cubes rule our world. We adore them.
READ MORE: All the tips to plan family travel with ease!
3. Saving Money for Travel
A lot of people tell me they can't travel because they can't afford it.
Bah humbug to that. I have travelled, with and without kids, on a budget all my life, with the odd extravagance thrown in for good measure.
Saving for travel is about making different choices, and different priorities. If you want to travel, you need to put it at the top of your list of goals.
- Pick a destination
- Do some research
- Book flights on sale
- Book your accommodation way in advance for the cheapest rate, and
- Make sure your passport is current.
Here's my story on how to save money for travel - the very techniques we use to save up and go, over and over and over again.
4. Travelling Safely with Kids
- Travel in the morning when the kids are happy and fresh. It's also safer to arrive at your destination when it's still light outside. I'm not keen on arriving in a new place after dark ever.
- Buy them a bright red or light blue jacket if you travel in winter. It's much easier to spot a lost child when they stand out from the crowd in black.
- Wear brightly coloured shoes. If you are in a playground or somewhere with lots of kids, look down. It's so easy to spot your kids bright red converse boot footwear amongst a crowd of brown boots. This works both ways. Kids can spot your bright shoes too.
5. Purchasing Discount Attractions Tickets
6. Keep your luggage safe from thieves
- Make it too visible for them to steal. Buy bright colourful luggage instead of standard black. (Check our tips on the best luggage to buy here)
- If you do love to buy black luggage, tie a bright colourful scarf or thick ribbon to the handle to help you identify it in a hurry so you can beat the crowd to customs!
- Add luggage tags with your details - name, phone number, web address, FB messenger or What'sApp contact - in black permanent marker. These luggage tags are cool.
- Put your business card inside the front pocket too. This will help staff identify you and contact you quickly in the case of a mix up, or lost baggage.
- Use a standalone TSA lock on your case if you don't have one built in.
- Pack your own bags.
- Buy a suitcase cover. I adore these Headcase Suitcase covers. They tickle my funny bone!
- Pack your valuables into your carry-on luggage. We keep our ipads, computers, camera gear, passports, flight tickets, attraction tickets, and itineraries safely stored in my day pack. (I have this one. It has a padded pocket for my mac. We've been using it for years, and it looks as good as new.)
- Take out comprehensive travel insurance that also covers lost luggage. Just in case. We wrote a comparison chart for travel insurance products. Check it out.
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