best travel tips

29 of the best travel tips to help you vacation like the pros

My family travels. A lot.

These are the best travel tips I have discovered so far:

NEVER use a hotel room safe
Believe it or not, the secret 4-digit pin number of most hotel safes is all ones or all zeros.

(And most on the hotel staff knows this.)

Avoid storing valuables in hotel safes – it is not safe at all. Better option: ask to use the safe near the hotel’s front desk.

Use this clever emergency power adaptor

travel tips TV USB


Charge your mobile devices through the USB port on a TV.

Pack smart
LifeBuzz offers these nifty tips:

Save space by rolling clothes instead of folding:


travel tips wrap headphones binder clip


Keep hair clips handy in Tic Tac containers:


hair clips tick tac containers original


Use belts to line collars to keep them crispy:


travel tips belt line collars


Use a pen spring to protect chargers from bending and breaking:


pen spring protect chargers


Attach a binder clip to the head of shaving razors to protecting them while traveling:


binder clip shaving razors


Wrap headphones around a binder clip to prevent them from tangling:


travel tips wrap headphones binder clip


Organize your jewelry in pill containers:


organize jewelry pill containers


Store chargers and cables in glass cases:


store charger cables glass case


Store underwear and socks in your shoes to save space:


store underwear socks shoes


Exchange your cash at a casino
According to Seth Rogin, you may get a better exchange rate at a casino than at the change shop. Why? Because casinos want to lure international players into their house. (Just make sure you make it out with the money you exchanged.)

Even better, use ATMs to get local currency. ATMs always dispense local currency. So use your debit or credit card and get your money there.


Pin your location
When you are in a new city and need to remember where you parked, drop a pin on Google maps. (Or take a picture of the parking space with your phone.)


Enable private browsing
Turn off your internet software’s tracking cookies…

Travel sites often watches your visits. And they might raise the price because you have visited before.

Click here for instructions to browse privately in Safari…
Click here for instructions to browse privately in Firefox…
Click here for instructions to browse privately in Chrome…


Avoid credit card shutoffs abroad
Warn your credit card company of your travel plans. This helps triggering a suspicious activity flag on your accounts.


Setup an email alert stream
Open a new gmail account. Then signup for email alerts of your favorite travel sites and blogs.

In just a glance of your email inbox, you see all the best deals before they are published to the public.


Exploit city tourism bureaus
Visitor centers are a consistent source of insider information.

Even better, they offer exclusive benefits such as free parking passes, free maps and the best discounts.

(The best part is they offer free use of their bathrooms.)

Use your favorite search engine to find any location’s visitor center – here is a sample search:

Miami official tourism


Take advantage of your local library
Libraries loan out free passes to many area events.


Get the best hotel room with one simple phone call
Each hotel checks their bookings in the morning and pre-assigns its rooms.

The best rooms go to the top-tier elites of the hotel’s loyalty program.

With that said, front-desk staff can override these assignments.

Call the hotel on the morning of arrival. Request a room that is available for early checkin. Also, ask for your preferred bed configuration. And request a quiet room away from elevators.

Once the front desk agrees to your requests, have them place a “do not move” note in your reservation. (This way, only a manager can move your from that room.).

The worst rooms are often assigned to 3rd-party reservation systems like Expedia. Or, it could be randomly aassigned using the hotel’s auto-assign program each morning.



Get surprise fees waived
Most front-desk clerks tend to offer freebies to those surprised about paying for surprises.

For example, resort fees (which can add up to 30% to a total hotel bill) comes as a surprise to many.


Reward great service
Most hotel staff earn cash rewards when you use social media to praise them.

For example, Hyatt hotels delivers a $25 bonus for specific employee mentions online.

For example, you might post on TripAdvisor (the Yelp of the hotel world), “Scott G. gave us the best service, etc.”. Let Scott know about it during your stay. He will be VERY happy (and will probably become your friend for life).

You might consider tipping the front desk agent, because it isn’t expected.

Front desk agents have the power in choosing what room you are going to get and whether you can get a late checkout.

Simply say, “thank you for your help” and lay down your tip on the front desk upon checking in.


Get the inside scoop
Of course review site like offer feedback about a particular hotel, restaurant, etc.

But there’s a well-hidden source of reviews that are not displayed. According to Adam Tanner of Forbes Magazine, 1 out of every 4 reviews are hidden.

To see them, zoom down to the bottom of any Yelp page and click on the link:

“Other reviews that are not currently recommended”

Often times, these reviews are more trusted than publicly-displayed reviews.


Offer to pay for upgrades
People working in the travel industry are often hounded by freebie seekers…

Instead, be different and offer to pay for stuff.

Try asking, “How much extra would it cost to upgrade to a suite?” Often, this gets answered with a brief pause, and then “nothing, we’ll move you”.


Skip the taxi
Ride sharing services like is quickly hurting the taxi-service monopoly.

Uber is an app-based transportation network and taxi company.

Instead of riding in a dirty and smelly taxi, Uber uses the internet to match drivers with customers.

In just one click, an Uber driver arrives at your exactly location (via GPS) within just a few minutes.

Since there is no cash involved (Uber takes payment via your credit card), it adds a bit of safety to your traveling.

Sara Silverstein of Business Insider analyzed the cost of Uber vs. taxis. And in almost every case, Uber was less expensive.

If Uber is not available in your area, these tips show you how to hail a cab like the pros do.


Join loyalty programs
Simply showing your support of a brand often gets you better prices, better service and no-cost upgrades.


Visit business hotels on the weekend
Traveling for leisure? If so, book a hotel room that normally caters to businesspeople. A Friday thru Sunday stay often gets you a third off the regular selling price.


Get free Wifi (even when it is not free)
Once you check in, log into the hotels wifi system in the lobby.

Often times, this gets you a free 60-minute session.

In most cases, you can then visit your room and continue getting free Wifi for the remaining time.


Pick the best room in a hotel
Select a room located between the 4th and 6th floor.

Avoid rooms above the sixth floor – the greatest height that fire-department ladders can reach.

Guest rooms that are as close to the elevators are usually the safest.

Hotels with interior hallways tend to be generally safer. Avoid hotels on the ground floor that have doors and windows that open to the outside.

Avoid noisy spots such as elevators and vending areas.


Shave time off the check-in process
According to Jacob Tomsky, your driver’s license and credit card is all that is needed to start the check-in process. (Leave the paperwork at home. It is not needed.)


The #1 tip to fight jet lag
Controlling light exposure is the key. If it’s daytime, wherever you land, do not go to your hotel room and close the shades for a quick nap. Get out and soak up the sun for a bit.


Take this TSA airport shortcut
Christopher Elliot (of suggests using the government’s Pre-Check program to avoid long lines at the airport.

Pre-Check offers an appealing shortcut past the often long airport security lines.

After you pay an enrollment fee and submit to a background check and interview, the TSA promises to treat you like a VIP. You willll be sent to a preferred line, where you can leave your shoes, light outerwear and belt on, leave your laptop in its case and keep your bag of liquids and gels in your carry-on.

The $85 enrollment fee includes a background check. So if you are concerned about privacy, Pre-Check might not be for you.

Read more about TSA Pre-Check here…


Use this app for the best last-minute hotel deals hand selects hotels at great prices and delivers them directly to your mobile phone.

Backup your ID
Take a picture of your passport, ID and itinerary and email it to yourself in case of loss or theft.

Also, scan the front and back of your credit cards. If any of these get stolen, you have everything you need to cancel your cards.

Video tape the contents of your luggage with your phone and send a copy to a backup service like Dropbox. If the airline loses your luggage, you want this to prove its value.

Create a pet identification tag for your luggage at one of those vending machines found at pet stores… attach this with a ring (or chain) that requires more than manual force to remove.


Get your luggage faster
Mark your baggage as fragile. When you do, your luggage is kept at the top of the pile so it is first to on the luggage carousel.


Skip the bathroom lines on a plane
When you are about to land and the seatbelt light comes on, sprint for the bathroom. You still have about 15 minutes of leeway until you truly have to return to your seat.


Travel with the ultimate bag
According to Matt Might, Red Oxx manufactures the best travel bag ever…

It is rugged, light, easy to carry and soft-bodied for squishing into tight overhead bins.

travel tips Red Oxx Airboss


Durability and efficiency is optimized because of their zipper types and pockets.

Published by

Markus Allen

Family man. Truth seeker. Life hacker... more about me here...


Enjoy this post? Spread the word - share it:
share this articletweet this articlegoogle plusemail this to your friend

Feedback | Tell Markus you like this daily blog...


Click here to see my entire archive of daily blog posts...