6 Travel Hacks: Saving Time, Space, and Money
When volunteering abroad, preparing for travel and the travel itself can be two of the biggest hurdles to overcome. Here at Volunteer Card, we want your trip to go as smoothly as you do. That’s why we compiled these travel hacks to make your next flight a breeze:
1. Luggage roll-ups
Finding your packing list is larger than your suitcase? Well, you can use your luggage space more efficiently and prevent annoying wrinkles by rolling your clothes rather than folding them. Here’s how:
We suggest lining the bottom of your suitcase with rolled shirts and laying longer items, such as jeans and dresses, across the layer of shirts. Let the waistlines meet in the middle of the bag, letting the pant legs hang over the suitcase’s edges. Stack another layer of rolled clothes and wrap it up with the ends of your longer items. Top the cake with shoes, and you’ll be set to fly!
Check out this infographic with more detailed instructions on rolling your clothes.
2. Sweet-smelling attire
Have you ever unpacked your suitcase only to whiff the stench of stuffy clothes? We have an easy fix, and you can find the solution in your laundry room–dryer sheets.
Place a dryer sheet (or a few) inside your suitcase. If you opt for the rolling method, you can squeeze a few sheets between layers to optimize the aroma. But be cautious about how many you add; you don’t want to scare off your fellow volunteers by smelling like a walking laundromat!
Bonus: Dryer sheets work for more than just their fragrance. Check out these other 10 uses for dryer sheets while on the go!
3. Strut your clunkers
People rarely travel with one pair of shoes, and packing them is a hassle. To save suitcase space, sport your heaviest footwear for the flight. It might not be the most fashionable option, but the airport has runways for planes, not people.
Bonus: If your bulkiest shoes are slip-ons, zipping through airport security will be a breeze! If not, make sure you step aside to lace them up so you don’t clog the line.
4. Wearable wallet
Wearing a jacket or zip-up sweatshirt in the airport comes with several advantages besides keeping you warm in the drafty terminals. For one, donning your outerwear, rather than packing it, saves on luggage space. It also acts as convenient storage for your important traveling items.
Sticking your phone, passport, and other necessities in your coat pockets not only provides protection and quick access; it also makes airport security a breeze. Rather than dumping your loose valuables in a bin for all to see, simply slip off your jacket, place it in a bin, walk through the scanner, and continue toward your terminal without scrambling to collect your cluttered assortment.
5. Bargain munchies
We know liquids are a no-go on the plane, but did you know you can bring your own snacks? Forego the expensive airport prices and stuff some granola bars in your carryon or grab a bag of pretzels before leaving your house. When the tummy grumbles hit you and your team while waiting to board, everyone will be thankful you brought a little something to nibble on.
Check out this list on airport security approved foods for more snacking ideas!
You can also save money on beverages by packing a reusable water bottle. Make sure the container is empty before going through any TSA checkpoint. Otherwise, you won’t make it very far. Once you’re past security, you can fill up at any water fountain to stay hydrated during your travels.
6. Night flights
Flying through the night has many advantages. For one, less people book red-eye flights. This means less crowded airports, faster check-ins, and plenty of open seats aboard your plane. With fewer flyers, you can forego the airport rush and anticipate kicking back for some z’s during your flight. You and your fellow volunteers will appreciate the rest before kicking off your humanitarian efforts.
Bonus: If you’re traveling through several time zones, arriving at your destination in the morning helps combat jet lag!