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Published on May 26, 2022

Top 10 Travel Hacks You Need to Know for Your Post-Pandemic Trip

Save Time, Money, and Sanity During Your Upcoming Travel

Traveller with bags packed

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Many of us have deferred travel over the past two years, leading to surging demand for flights, hotels, and tours as we emerge from the pandemic. Now is the perfect time to optimize your travel game with a few travel hacks!

The Citizen Upgrade team travels frequently for work and pleasure, and several of our contributors have spent years living abroad as expats / digital nomads. Here, we share ten of our top travel hacks. Bon voyage!

Clean Your Home Before You Travel: Before you depart on your voyage, spend some time cleaning and organizing your home to prepare for your (eventual) return. Do the dishes and put them away, make your bed with a clean set of sheets, and take the trash out. You’ll be grateful when you return home to a clean home! [Travel Hack Credit: @Sarah4Terra on Twitter]

Pack Light and Smart: If you can minimize the things that you take with you, you’ll face less hassles at check in, lower baggage fees, and increased mobility along your journey. Packing cubes can help you organize your bag and force you to choose your items carefully. [Travel Hack Credit: The Wealth Toolkit, Udeogu Umeka, Samantha Scott]

The only exceptions we make to the rule above is to pack a full sized computer charger (including the extension cord that comes with Mac charger), a travel medical kit, and an emergency go bag when on an extended trip. The go-bag doubles as a day pack, the med kit is helpful in case of emergencies, and the full length charging cable is worth it when working while in transit.

Download Apps: There are several smartphone applications that are helpful while traveling. The Maps.me app, for example, allows you to download maps for your destination(s) in advance of your travel so that you can access them offline while on the go. We’ve covered this topic extensively in the past, so check out the article below for more.

Diversify Your Accommodation: If you’re staying in one place for more than a day or two, consider alternatives to standard hotel rooms. AirBnB’s or serviced apartments allow you to blend in to local communities, and often have amenities you won’t find in a hotel like a kitchen and washing machine. [Travel Hack Credit: Fire and Wilde]

Global Entry with TSA Pre-Check: These US Government programs allow for expedited passage through security and immigration lines when traveling within or arriving to the United States. The entire process takes a few months between the application and interview, but is well worth it!

Get a Travel Rewards Credit Card: Consider getting a credit card from your favorite airline or choose another option that offers travel benefits (e.g. the Chase Sapphire preferred or reserve cards). These cards offer a range of benefits that could include free checked bags, extra points, airport lounge access, car rental insurance, and trip interruption insurance. Be sure to read the fine print on each of the offered benefits to make the best use of them. In 2021 alone, the Chase Sapphire care benefits provided me with over $3,000 in refunds related to canceled trips, inclement weather delays, and car rental damage!

Pack a Neck pillow and Empty Water Bottle: The neck pillow always seemed like an unnecessary luxury to me and in conflict with tip number two above on packing light. On longer flights however, a foam neck pillow makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep in a cramped economy class seat. Hydration is also key on long flights breathing in dry cabin air. With an empty water bottle you can fill up after airport security and stay hydrated throughout your journey.

Unpack Immediately: When you get home after a long journey, unpack your laundry right away and place it in your washing machine. If you have the time and energy, you can even run the machine. Now you can enjoy your nice clean home and freshly made bed (see tip number 1)!

Car Rental Hacks: Rent your car using a travel credit card to benefit from the supplemental insurance. When you pick up your car, take photos of the vehicle from every angle. I made good use of these tips during a recent trip to Iceland since my photo revealed pre-existing damage to one door, and the supplemental insurance covered the rest of the new damage related to a wind-related incident. [Travel Hack Credit: LifeHacker]

Use a Travel Planning Spreadsheet: Get organized before you travel by collecting your travel itinerary, emergency contact numbers, and other relevant information in a spreadsheet (google sheets will allow remote access). If you’d like to start with a template to prompt you for the information you’ll need, join our mailing list to gain access to a google sheet we’ve designed exclusively for our subscribers!

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