Summer is possibly the only time during the year when the family can get together for a vacation – you’re off work, and the school days have dwindled down. With three months of clear sailing, a family escape is almost obligatory. However, as you are well aware; this often comes with new stresses and concerns; which is why we’ve got your back with the following stress-reducing travel hacks for your summer adventures.
1. Use Packing Cubes
With suitcase limits and carry-on luggage rules, you’ve pretty much got to be an expert to get everything you need for your vacation. Packing cubes cut down drastically on the stress of finding enough room to arrange everything. As people who’ve used can attest – packing cubes are a game-changer. Get several of them, and you’ll see why they’re so great.
I love the colors and price of these packing cubes on Amazon:
2. Skip Out On Packing Toiletries
While this one isn’t exactly a no-brainer; trust us – it can go a long way towards making things less stressful. Fact is, every summer vacation we’ve ever been on has seen to it that soap, toothpaste, shower gel, and related accessories were in plentiful supply at the hotel and shops scattered about. And they are not even expensive! This alone saves you plenty of packing space.
3. Have a Scale In Your House
Trust us; having a luggage scale reduces stress significantly. Before we got one, there was almost always the last minute biting of fingernails as the airport luggage inspectors measured the bags on the scale, only to see that they were too heavy by 5 pounds or so. By weighing them reliably before you leave the house, you can avoid this altogether.
I have never used the digital luggage scales because I’m afraid of batteries dying, but here are a couple of digital and non-digital options from Amazon:
4. Secure Your Computing Devices
If you cannot neglect work entirely while on vacation, then bring your laptop along and make sure you’ve got a hard-shell carry-on container for it. Avoid the messenger bag; just in case you have to store your computer in the overhead compartment where people’s suitcases may sit on top of your delicate device. Some cases are specially-made for laptops; check Amazon or eBay for them.
5. Save One Compartment for Food and Liquids
This isn’t quite the no-brainer that it at first seems; however, packing all food together is especially important if you’ve got children along for the ride. Having easy access to snacks on demand can save a lot of irritation and impatience from sullying the summer vacation. Additionally, even for non-edible liquids like your lotion, eye contact solution or face wash in one compartment is a stress-reliever. The last thing you want to do is forget these things in the big luggage that’s not accessible once the plane takes off.
6. Have Heavy Clothing? – Wear It Aboard
Packing that single jacket can add a lot of bulk to your luggage; if it’s clothing, then why not simply wear it aboard? After all, airplanes tend to be air-conditioned – or, at least, not especially warm at high altitude – so it can serve as a makeshift blanket once you reach the tens-of-thousands of feet range. This goes for everyone in the family.
7. Bringing a Camera? Have a Separate Bag
Your vacation camera should always be considered carry-on luggage, and you should not keep it with your laptop. The small backpack that stays on your lap during the flight is your best bet; this way, you never miss an opportunity to take pictures of the family the minute you step off the plane. Let’s make those memories!
Here are some designer camera bags that are on my wish list:
8. Get Your Finances In Order Before You Leave
Primarily, this means making sure that your credit card company (or bank if you stick with debit alone) are aware you’ll be away and potentially making some big or frequent purchases. This is especially important if you’re going overseas since there are often different rules for national vs. international purchases.
9. Save A Few Bucks on Liquids
Ever since the liquid restrictions in airport luggage, airlines have made a bit of money from charging $5 for a small bottle of water past the security checkpoints. To avoid this, bring empty bottles for everyone and fill them with water after you pass the checkpoint.
10. Ticket Buying Hack
Another travel hack involves buying your ticket: engage private browsing to stop travel sites from increasing the price of your tickets based on them tracking your search history. You can save dozens of dollars with this method; it all adds up when taking a family on vacation. To do this, simply open an “incognito window” before beginning your ticket search.
Hopefully, these ten tips help relieve stress that often goes with summer vacations. You should be spending the bulk of the year looking forward to this moment – and once you get there, the last thing you need are added concerns to spoil the good cheer.