Summer is almost upon us, which means it’s time to vacation. Nearly 85% of adult Americans said they intend to travel this summer, a number that surpasses the high of pre-pandemic 2019. Here are a few tips to make your trip go more smoothly.
Consider taking carry-on only. This saves time on both ends — no check-in lines and no waiting for your bag — but also, following the Southwest debacle last year, who wants to risk losing their luggage? Remember, using carry-on luggage means you will have to use travel-sized containers for your liquids, like shampoo and lotion.
Packing cubes. Don’t underestimate how helpful they can be. Using them will allow you to stay organized and make better use of your space (especially important if you follow our first tip). And they aren’t just for clothes; there are special packing cubes for shoes, electronics and toiletries. Make sure you bring an extra cube for dirty laundry. When you are packing, make a list and don’t forget the basics: a hat, water-resistant jacket or mini umbrella, sunblock and mosquito repellent.
Make sure you have a portable charger. You don’t want to deal with a phone that’s on 5% battery when you’re trying to look at a map or call an Uber in an unfamiliar city. And make sure it’s fully charged! We like the Anker PowerCore Solar 20000; it’s a bit heavy but can keep your phone charged for days and also works for laptops.
Travel insurance. If you’re going out of the country, check to see if you’re still covered under your primary insurance. If you’re not, consider purchasing travel insurance through a company like World Nomads or SafetyWing. It tends to cost less than $100/ week, and covers a variety of things like emergency evacuation, baggage loss and theft, depending on which plan you choose. Speaking of health, it’s also good to have a mini first aid kit on hand for inevitable bumps and scrapes.
Stay fit. Between skipping workouts and constantly eating out, travel can be … rough on the body. Some few easy-to-pack items that will help you workout from anywhere include ultra lightweight and foldable yoga mat, workout sliders, resistance bands and this suspension trainer kit.
Pack a travel towel. You never know when it will come in handy; at the beach, as a picnic blanket or even a makeshift window shade.
Consider how you will access cash. While credit cards can be used to make the majority of purchases (depending on where you are), it’s always good to have cash on hand. You want to avoid the fees that come with exchanging currency and most debit cards. The gold standard for travelers is a Charles Schwab debit card, which offers unlimited ATM fee rebates. This means the card itself doesn’t charge a fee, and additionally reimburses the fee of whatever bank or establishment’s ATM you use.
Credit cards. It goes without saying that you should be using a card that doesn’t have foreign transaction fees, but if you’re in the market for a new card, consider one that also has travel perks, like Chase Sapphire Reward, which offers a big sign up bonus, reimburses $300 in travel each year as well and Global Entry, trip cancellation insurance, airport lounge access and more.
A copy of your passport. It’s not recommended to have your actual passport on you while you’re out and about. Having some additional easy-to-access photos of it on your phone is smart too. Entertainment. Don’t forget to download your favorite TV shows, books and podcasts pre-flight. If you’re traveling with a companion or children, consider a headphone splitter. And of course, bring plenty of snacks.
Where are you planning to travel this summer? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.