A few weeks back, we asked our readers, “What’s your go-to travel hack?”
And like the legion of frequent-flying, ginger-ale-slurping professionals they are, they did not disappoint.
We received well over 250 replies from readers across the country, each one varying in tactics and believability.
After combing through the replies, weighing the options, asking the experts, and sipping one(-ish) Mountain Dews… the results are finally here.
Presenting the 13 best travel hacks from the most jetlagged minds in The Hustle community:
“I always put a cotton ball (or two) in my suitcase with a couple of drops of my favorite smelling essential oil so my clothes don’t smell stuffy when I get where I’m going :)”
This is a much better idea than the Royal Pine Car-Freshener we use.
“Assigned a middle airplane seat? This one won’t always work, but wait to be the last person to board the plane. If the flight isn’t full, walk on and look for any spots that are more ideal. Sit there like you own it. Instant upgrade.”
Joan, you’re a boss. May you never sit in the properly assigned seat.
“I put all my shirts in the suitcase still on the hanger – makes it really easy once making it to my final destination.”
Because everyone knows: Hotel is just 3 letters away from “home.”
“My wife and I backpacked around the world for 2 years and one of our best hacks was to open a separate travel no ATM fee checking account. This allowed us to keep our travel money separate in case one of our debit cards got compromised/stolen we wouldn’t get cleaned out. (We only funneled money into the travel account as needed)”
Shawn’s middle name also happens to be “Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket.”
“It may sound simple, but I always travel with a small power strip.”
“He who hath the power strip, hath the power.” – Ancient Greek Proverb
“Bum bag, fanny pack, waist bag, whatever you want to call it. I’m very happy they’re slightly more acceptable now. Easy access to the passport, plane ticket, phone, and Kindle.”
Yes Laura, bum bag is the correct terminology. We would also accept belt buddy, happy sack, and front trunk.
“Pack your pairs of socks by inserting them in the soles of your shoes or boots!”
Hands down, this was the most common (and useful) hack. We are a nation of sock stuffers.
“When booking two seats on a plane with three-seat rows, always book the window and aisle of an open row. The middle seat will be one of the last seats filled, making it likely that you and your travel partner will get some extra wiggle room. “
Writer here: I’ve personally witnessed this hack. It’s great if the couple moves, but if you get stuck between two newlyweds sharing a single plate of airport falafel at 30,000 ft, it’s a living hell, Micheal. A living HELL.
“Long haul – use hospital compression socks. Better than travel socks IMHO for stopping DVT and swelling ankles.”
On the flipside, your neighbor will spend the whole flight wondering if you just escaped from the hospital.
“Pick a 3 colour palette for your trip – keeps items interchangeable and coordinated.”
“Does black, black, and black count?” – Everyone from San Francisco and New York
“Quit coffee two weeks before international travel to reduce jet lag by 80%.”
LOL, Samuel, you’re funny. You know what else reduces jet lag? Fifteen cups of coffee.
Consolidate to flying on one airline. Getting even the lowest level of status makes a world of difference in the experience and once you’re there you accrue miles at a faster rate toward award travel as well as toward the next tier.
Which is exactly why we only fly private-chartered Gulfstream 650’s.
“The best travel hack for sure is the use of packing cubes. They act as drawers within your suitcase/backpack that easily separate your undies and tour socks from your pants and your tops etc.”
And as an added bonus, your suitcase also becomes an impromptu game of Tetris.