14 Travel Hacks from Road Warriors


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14 Travel Hacks from Road Warriors | thegoodstuff

Travel sounds fun, but after days, weeks, or even months on the road, business travelers will tell you, it’s the small details that make a big difference as to whether you have a good trip, or a bad trip. Whether you’re traveling for work for the first time, a seasoned jetsetter, or simply someone that’s traveling for fun, here are some top travel hacks that will ensure you’re smooth sailing (or flying, or driving) on your next trip.

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1) Book smarter

Travel gurus will tell you that airlines and travel sites roll out all kinds of tricks to squeeze extra dollars from your pockets, starting at the booking stage. First, when you’re ready to book, clear your browser history or open an ‘incognito’ window. Travel sites use cookies that keep tabs on what destinations you’re looking into. Anticipating your interest, they’ll often jack up the prices the more often you visit the site. But if you appear as a new visitor, you might save on your bookings. You might also want to skip selecting your seats when booking your flight – unless you want to sit with someone specific. The best seats (those that often have a fee attached to them) usually aren’t pre-booked, and you could land yourself in one of them for free the day you check in.

2) Invest in packing cubes

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One of the most obvious rules for efficient travel is to stick to a carry-on sized bag whenever you can. This means being diligent about keeping your luggage neat and organized. Packing cubes are an excellent solution to prevent overpacking and the dreaded effects of rifling through your entire bag to find that particular pair of socks you want to wear. Available in a range of sizes, pack like items together in a single cube. Then, just search for the cube you want – it’s way easier to navigate your bag and keep things tidy.

3) Always pack a snack!

24/7 Marketplace at Hyatt Place in Omaha

Plane delays are inevitable, not to mention construction, rush hour traffic jams, and other roadblocks (real or otherwise) that delay you from getting to your destination. Expert travelers will tell you that a couple of protein bars tucked into your carry-on are a handy insurance policy that doesn’t take up much space. If you’re looking for something heartier upon checking in at 2 in the morning, stay at a hotel like Hyatt Place, which has a 24/7 marketplace and menu so you can enjoy a hot, fresh meal no matter what time zone you’re in.

4) Bring (or stash) backups

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You never know when Wifi won’t be available or when you might be a victim of theft while traveling. Paper backups of your essential documents are a must-have to protect yourself and have peace-of-mind. Print duplicates of your trip itineraries, driver’s license, health information, credit cards, and passport. You can leave a set with someone you trust back at home – as long as you have their phone number and they’re reliable, you should be able to access this essential information while on the move. You may also want to bring a set of backups with you. Stash them in your hotel safe and always be aware of their location when traveling.

5) Create a mix and match travel wardrobe

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Complimentary laundry facilities available at Hyatt House 

The secret to not overpacking? Choose items that can be mixed and matched in as many combinations as possible. Don’t be afraid to be creative too – a sweater can be layered over a dress to turn it into a skirt, or a dress can be tucked into a skirt to become a top. Don’t be afraid of a minimal wardrobe. If you accidentally spill something on the trousers you were planning to wear tomorrow, Hyatt House hotels offer guest laundry facilities for DIY care or same-day dry cleaning.

6) Jet lag is a real thing – prepare to deal with it

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The second you step onto a plane, change your watch to the time zone you’re heading for, and treat that as the time you’re living in. Even if it’s lunchtime when you depart, when it’s bedtime at your destination, act like it’s that time! This means using every sleep-inducing thing at your disposable. Pack an eye mask, ear plugs, noise-canceling headphones, and perhaps a pillow or blanket if they’ll help you get comfortable. Many seasoned travelers also rely on supplements like melatonin to help their body get those warm, fuzzy, drowsy feelings.

7) Out of space? Borrow it!

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If you’re trying to stick to a certain suitcase size, then you probably won’t have room for everything. Your favorite styling tool or yoga mat will likely have to stay at home…but that doesn’t mean you can’t still use them while traveling! Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels offer an extensive borrowing program that loans out all of your creature comforts, including cables for your technology or even a humidifier to get your room just the way you like it. It can also be a handy way to circumvent TSA’s 3-1-1 liquids rule; no more buying pricey micro versions of your favorite hairspray or styling gel – just borrow some!

8) Get some apps (before you depart!)

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Visiting a new city or country can be a recipe for disaster if you’re unfamiliar with it. Before you depart, track down some handy travel apps that can make your journey more effortless. Gate Guru is great if you’re traversing a busy airport with a short connection time – it’ll help you navigate with ease. Maps.Me lets you download interactive apps and then use them offline, making it a must-have when wifi is in short supply and data charges are extravagant. If you’re traveling for work, the Smart Receipts app can help you keep business expenses straight. Finally, TripIt can collate all of your confirmation emails to form one trip itinerary that helps you know where to go – and when.

9) Go for a lightweight laptop

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Full access business center in the Salt Lake City Hyatt House

Your technology is one of the quickest ways to weigh down your bags. Save yourself from cramped shoulders – Gene Marks, a business owner, keynote speaker, and Inc.com columnist, recommends not going heavier than 3.5 pounds. You’ll still be able to do all the essentials while on the road, but if you really want a bigger monitor or printing capabilities, don’t sweat it! Hotels like Hyatt House offer a 24/7 business center with computer workstations, USB ports, and free web and printer access, making it snap to do everything from printing boarding passes for the next leg of your journey to blogging about your trip.

10) Always carry a spare battery

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USB charging stations at airports are more and more commonplace – but it’s still a gamble that you’ll actually be able to find an open slot to power your devices. Add potential travel delays and your phone, MP3 player, or tablet could quickly become nothing more than a dead piece of metal. Invest in a travel battery – they can cost as little as $10 and can charge up a phone multiple times, in as quickly as 30 minutes. When in doubt, you can also check with your hotel front desk – Hyatt Place’s ever-helpful Gallery Hosts have been known to track down tech gadgets for short-term loans. If you’re out for the day and want to ensure you’re charged up, they may be able to lend you a portable charger so you can stay connected. In a foreign country? They can also lend you an adapter kit if you forgot to bring one yourself.

11) Stick to one airline (if you can)

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Airlines like to reward customer loyalty by assigning ‘elite’ status to frequent flyers. If you are making your own bookings, find an airline you like and try to book with them as often as possible (provided their itineraries and prices work with your budget). This type of loyalty program can result in valuable and time-saving upgrades, like getting to board first, free first class tickets, or being bumped to the top of the standby list.

12) BYOB on board

Happy Hour at the Hyatt House Anaheim

Skip pricey airline drinks – if you find a cocktail settles your nerves in the air, you can bring your own alcohol. As long as you stick to the liquid restrictions (under 3.4 oz), TSA doesn’t actually care what type of liquids you’re toting, although you may want to double check your airline’s policy on personal alcohol supplies. Still in the mood to loosen up while out of town? Select Hyatt House hotels offer a complimentary evening social from 5:30 – 7 p.m. that allow you to meet fellow travelers, find out where to go around town, and enjoy refreshments.

13) Sign up for TSA Pre✓®

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Want to save serious time (and hassle) in the security lines? For $85, you can get a five-year membership to this pre-screening security service that allows you to typically go through a shorter line. Even if a separate line isn’t available, TSA Pre✓® members don’t have to take off their shoes, belts, or light jackets, or separate their liquids and laptops. 97% of TSA Pre✓® make it through security in five minutes or less – meaning less stress as you breeze through the airport to your gate.

14) Stay entertained and stream your favorite content – for free!

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If you were in the middle of binge-watching a show before your trip, you can still watch it on the road. Bring your Roku or Chromecast device and plug it into the back of your hotel room’s TV to stream all that content and avoid pay-per-view fees. Hyatt House hotels actually come with Plug-N-Play TV adaptors that make it a snap to watch your current obsession.


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