Daily Dose of Design: 7 Pre-Travel Hacks to Make Your Next Trip Easier

Monday, July 30, 2018

7 Pre-Travel Hacks to Make Your Next Trip Easier


Planning a vacation is allll fun and games until it comes time to fine-tune the trip details and pack. UGH. There's seriously few things I dread more when it comes to traveling because there's so many variables, things that could change and be out of your control - unpacking may be the only thing I dislike more. ;) Here's some of my favorite, most used pre-travel "hacks" that'll help make everything roll as smoothly as possible.


Print out all of your reservations and tickets and keep them handy
Before you leave, get yourself a travel wallet that keeps everything organized. TOTAL life saver in so many situations. Have all of your flight info, hotel and rental car reservations, excursion confirmations and anything else you may need handy. You never know if you'll need something printed, or if your hotel will have a printer (although most do, even abroad) and it'll give you some peace of mind knowing you have everything in your hands.

Sign up for TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry well before you leave
This Pre-Check program is amazing and worth signing up for! Once you fill the paperwork out you'll have to go for a fairly quick interview to assure that you qualify for Pre-Check (a clean record and being a U.S. citizen), and upon receiving the Pre-Check status getting through TSA will be a BREEZE. It's worth it!

Global Entry is similar to Pre-Check but is for when you travel abroad. If you're a frequent international traveler, this one is worth it - it'll grant you Global Entry AND TSA Pre-Check (but not vice-versa). This is similar, and will allow you be expedited in airports. This one requires a bit of a longer in-person interview but again, is worth it if you travel a lot and are eligible! (More info on TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry HERE)

Download all of the travel and airline apps to your phone BEFORE leaving
WiFi can be spotty in the airport and especially if you're going international - download every app you may need before leaving home so you don't 1. waste your battery trying to download outside and 2. have them ready to go and use whenever you'll need them.

HERE is a full list of travel apps you need to download and have for every trip!

^From the best translator app for international travel to keeping track of your travel budget, maps for international travel and more, those apps will have you covered! One that you *need* that isn't included there is your airline(s) apps. You can easily keep track of your flight and if there's any gate or time change you may need to know about on the fly. Again, having your flight app downloaded and your flight number(s) inputted before leaving will relieve a little stress once you're in the airport. There's really not much worse than being in a busy airport and feeling flustered - and oh do I know that feeling! ;)

Take a clear picture(s) of your luggage that you're going to check
As ridiculous (and awful) as it is, airports "misplace" luggage. A LOT. I feel like we hear about it more and more lately and it's the last thing you ever want to worry about. If it does happen, you'll have to file a claim with the airport and describe your luggage, what's in it, etc. If you have a picture of your luggage, this will make the paperwork - and hopefully finding your bags - a quicker process.

To try and do everything you can to make sure that it doesn't happen, the earlier you arrive and check in to the airport and to your gate the better; everything is less busy and hectic. Another incredible tool and way for you to have some peace of mind is to get the TILE Trackers. Insert one into your checked luggage, that way you always know where it is and if the airport does "misplace" it, YOU can be the one to say you know where it is. ;)

Get the Tile Trackers here - they're a life saver for multiple things but definitely one of my favorite travel tools.

Arrange airport transportation well ahead of time
Whether you'll take an Uber/cab or have someone drop you at the airport, have it planned out and know whose taking you and what time you'll be leaving at least 5 days before your trip. There's nothing more stressful than figuring out how you'll get there last minute!

Call your phone's service provider and tell them you'll be traveling
This is really only necessary if you'll be traveling internationally, but you can find out your service's data plans, any fees for calls/messages and what to know about your service when you're not on WiFi. Most providers these days have really simple, easy-to-use international plans with very few changes you have to make, but even then you should let them know to put it on your account that you'll be out of the country from X-date to Y-date.

Consider getting a travel insurance plan
While this is probably something you overlook often, it's a necessary cost ESPECIALLY if you're going somewhere far or on a long trip. Again, this applies more so to an international trip than domestic travel, and it can be hard to spend the money on a plan that you likely/might not even need or use, but it's so much better to have the policy in place and not need it, than need it and not have it.

It'll cover any God-forbid medical expenses, trip delays, missed flight connections, rental car trouble, lost luggage, etc. It can be pricey, but again is worth it for a long trip or if you'll be somewhere far away. The good news is, a lot of credit cards these days have travel insurance perks - I know that the Chase Sapphire cards have the best travel insurance perks, but a lot of other cards do as well so it's worth looking to see if any of your cards offer it, or if you can open an account with one that does.


At the end of the day, traveling is the very best thing you could ever do or spend money on - don't let any snags come your way and be as prepared as possible pre-vacay! ;)
XOXO -A

44 comments:

  1. These are awesome tips.I never thought to take pictures of the luggage I check, but it makes total sense! Thanks for sharing all of these. Hope you have a fabulous week!

    XOXO
    mQs
    www.shorelifeofm.blogspot.com

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  2. I love your baggage tips. I never thought of using a tile tracker, that's a game changer! I'll have to do that next time I travel!!

    XOXO
    Cathy

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  3. I have been meaning to sign up for TSA pre check and have YET to get around to it! love the reminder!

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  4. One of the things I find the most stressful about trips is the getting everything ready part. I always get really bent out of shape trying to make sure I have it all and your travel tips will be a lifesaver for me. Great post!

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  5. Always so smart to be prepared with travel!! I have more trips on deck for 2019 so I've been considering gett pre-check this winter.

    xoxo A
    www.southernbelleintraining.com

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  6. Such great tips! TSA Pre-check and Global Entry are the best! Oh and one too many times I've forgotten to downloan an app I would need (like a lounge app that grants me access to free food and drinks) and end up wasting time and missing out.

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  7. Global Entry is EVERYTHING!! I love having it. I also make copies of all of my ID's and put them in all of my bags - just in case! You never know what might happen.

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  8. Definitely saving this post!! SO many great tips that I didn't even think about!

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  9. These are all AMAZING tips! And most are suggestions I woud have never thought of! I pinned for later! :)

    Kendra B
    www.helga-marie.com

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  10. Great tips!!! Travel insurance is SOOOOOOO important!!!! I'm fortunate in that my medical insurance extends for international travel; however, many travelers don't have similar coverage.

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  11. How far in advance do you need to sign up for TSA pre-check? I really should do that! My next trip is in 10 days, so it might be too late for that, but I should do it so I have it for next time!

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  12. I like these pre travel hacks! I don't have any fun (or not fun ha) trips planned anytime soon which is sad, so I'll have to save this for the future!

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  13. Great tips! Fun fact about TSA Pre-check: Even if you don't sign up for it, if you're traveling with someone who is, they give it to you for free sometimes! It happened to me when I was coming home from California. My boyfriend had pre-check and I didn't sign up for it but they let me through the pre-check line anyway!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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  14. I will have to try the Gobal Entry when I am traveling and keep in mind to take photo of my luggage in case it gets lost. Never thought of that before! Thank you for these tips❤️

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  15. I have TSA and Global Entry -- love it! Totally worth it when you travel internationally. Also, I forgot to tell my phone provider I was traveling last month and had a slight issue with roaming for a day. Luckily, I got them on the phone and got it all sorted. Great tips!

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  16. Ahh this was crazy to be reading this today - I leave for 3 weeks in Croatia in the AM! These tips are perfect - Im off to take photos of my luggage!
    Lee | LegalLee Blonde

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  17. Great tips! Some of them I already do, but some I hadn't thought of before. Thank you for sharing your experience!

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  18. So much yes to this! I'm printing this out when I get to work tomorrow and saving it for my upcoming business travel. And thank you for the reminder to sign up for TSA Pre-Check!

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  19. Um, I seriously need to print this out. So helpful!

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  20. These are such great tips! I totally need to keep them in mind for my upcoming trips.

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  21. We have been thinking about getting TSA pre-check! This post is the extra push I needed to get the ball rolling.

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  22. These are awesome travel hacks!! I've caught a major travel bug, and need to bookmark this for later!

    Kileen
    cute & little

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  23. That TSA pre-check sound quite interesting, but since I'm not an US citizen it out of discussion. Although I'm quite against printing when things can be exclusively digital, plane tickets are kind of must.

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  24. How convenient; we're going on our first proper holiday on September 1. Although it's only a national holiday, it still is on the other side of the country and I'm allllll about being prepared. These are fantastic tips! :) x

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  25. i wouldn't recommend getting pre-check just before you're about to travel because it is a process and does take time, i'd recommend getting it earlier rather than later, especially if you know you'll be traveling a lot ahead of time! :)

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  26. omg how smart - i wouldn't have thought of tile trackers! i love that!

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  27. Great idea to slip a tile in your luggage! I have an extra one lying around so I will definitely be doing this!

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  28. I ALWAYS forget to download apps beforehand and then struggle in the airport (or on the plane, whoops) trying to hustle to get things ready to go - must download ahead of time fosho!!

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  29. I signed up for TSA Pre Check and it has been a lifesaver for me! Especially when I'm running late for flights.

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  30. Next time we travel I plan to do the TSA precheck because I refuse to go through that security check line ever again lol

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  31. So many great tips!! It's rare that I fly but I just flew twice this month with my toddler and even simple things like having all my documents printed and in its own folder helped me so much!

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  32. I never thought about using the tile trackers for my luggage, that's so smart! These are all such great tips!

    xo
    Sami
    The Classic Brunette

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  33. You're making me wish I traveled more often! Sure, there's stress in vacations as well as relaxation, but if we all were to follow these tips, things would be a lot easier and much more fun! I can't wait to get going and take advantage of your suggestions!

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  34. I LOVE TSA pre-check! I don't have it all the time yet, but I get it (complimentary) here and there and scream out in joy eaach time I do!

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  35. I'm sending this to my husband. I always tell him to do all these things when we travel! I like being super organized.

    Greta

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  36. These are such great travel tips! I need to look into TSA Pre-check. I just always forget about it until I'm at the airport!

    Molly // Miss Molly Moon

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  37. Great tips, girl!! Every time I travel I kick myself for not doing the TSA pre check. Next time I am for sure!

    - Mary

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  38. These are all such great tips! TSA Precheck is one of the best things I have ever done. I just got my parents to get it too!
    xo Jessica
    www.whatsfordinneresq.com

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  39. GREAT idea to take a photo of your luggage, I've never thought of that before! Also downloading all the apps-- I was so annoyed on my last Delta flight that I had deleted the in-flight entertainment app from my iPad recently and the onboard wifi was so bad I couldn't download it and watch anything. ANNOYING!!

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  40. I'd love to do the TSA Pre-check! It seems like such a time saver!

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  41. Great list! I get paranoid my luggage will be lost, so I try to do carry-on in most cases. And yes, having those travel apps loaded before hand is sooo helpful. I made that mistake once. Thank you for sharing.

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  42. These are really good tips! I have never thought of taking a picture of my luggage before. That is something I am going to start doing.

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  43. these are some really handy tips that i will have to keep in mind for my next big trip this fall! thanks for sharing!

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  44. Wow such great travel tips! Thanks so much for sharing my love! xo, Suzanne

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