Travel Hacks You Should Know
You have probably seen the videos of hotel room hacks where someone makes a grilled bacon & cheese sandwich and steamed veggies using the room iron & coffee maker. I’m not going to go there with these hacks, because if everyone did them, image how gross the iron & coffee maker would be… These are a bit less messy & damaging (which can lead to extra costs on your part.)
1. Forgot your charging plug?
Nearly every TV in Branson hotels, motels, condos, & cabins have these little gems hidden in plain sight on the back. Use the USB port in the back of TVs to charge devices if you have the cords (do not get the cords from the dollar store, they will not work [learned that the hard way]), if you don’t have the cords, ask the front desk if they have some in “lost & found.” One of the most left behind items in the 21st century at a hotel is phone charging cords. In a hurry to charge your phone, switch it to airplane mode, it will charge much faster.
2. Forgot your toothpaste, hair dryer, etc:
Most hotels/resorts will have hair dryers and sundries in room which may help in not having to pack as much. We get that some folks have sensitive skin or must have a certain type of product they cannot live without. Most sundry items can be found at a dollar store or big box store in town. Speaking of sundries, have you ever been on vacation and somehow forgotten your toothbrush? Our dollar shop carries them, but what is rather amazing, they even carry electric toothbrushes. Granted this won’t be like your Bluetooth enabled, hyper-sonic, ultraviolet cleaning, 70,000 RPM dental “Dremel”, but hey it’s only $1.
3. Look Sharp by Caring for Your Clothes:
Make a padded hanger:
If you have a blouse or sweater that is delicate but needs to be hung up, take a dry, clean hand towel, fold it into thirds long ways, and drape it over the hanger like a shawl, then hang your item. No more pokeys on the shoulders.
Don’t drag out the iron & ironing board:
(You are on vacation after all.) Hang up items in the bathroom while you take a hot shower, another way to remove wrinkles from your clothes, grab a travel size clothing wrinkle release spray. Remember earlier when we were talking about what to do with a collared shirt if it get’s crumpled? Well, if you just need to flatten your collar, cuffs, or hems; use the hair straightener, quick and easy fix. Oh, make sure the flat iron is clean; you don’t want any hair product residue on them.
*More science – Watch your temperature settings: cotton=high heat; polyester blend=medium heat; silk=low heat.
Dang it, you’ve put on your favorite dark colored shirt, pants, skirt, etc. and it is somehow covered in lint (or pet hair) and you didn’t pack a lint roller. But wait, do not despair, there is a hack for that. Did you pack the tape (either duct or painters) that we discussed earlier?
If so, all is well, just take a length of tape wrapped around 2 or 3 fingers (sticky side out) and dab it over your clothes to remove that bothersome lint, fuzz, or fur.
Oh dear, you don’t have any tape? If you packed the dryer sheets we talked about previously, take one of those , dampen it a little, and give your clothes a quick rub down while blasting it with the hair dryer on cold setting (it’ll make them smell nice too).
Don’t have a dryer sheet either? OK, last ditch effort, take a clean washcloth from the bathroom, get it slightly damp (wring the heck out of it), then lightly brush the troubled area and voila.
4. Scan Your ID and Important Documents:
You have a phone with a camera, so let’s use it to obtain some peace of mind. Take a moment to snap shots of your driver’s license, passport (if needed), insurance cards (auto and medical), travel confirmations (tickets for flight, confirmation letter, etc.) and send them as an attachment to your email address, so in case the physical items get lost you can access them on your phone or on a computer. Another thought, if you take any prescription medications, take a photo of the labels in case you need a refill while on the road (because you forgot to get a refill before you left or somehow the meds disappeared.)
5. Don’t Get Declined:
Nothing like being on the road or in Branson having the best time, when suddenly, your cards stop working. Your mind starts racing. You run through a million scenarios as to why your cards are suddenly defunct. Most likely, it is because your card company is looking out for you and see that your card is being used in a way that is not your usual pattern or your usual locations. Instead of ruining the fun of vacation, and spending a lot of time on the phone trying to get your cards active again (learned this the hard way). Call them (the banks) and give them a heads up. This is also handy if you have a daily limit on dollar amount or transactions on your cards.
6. Resist the Urge to Post:
We have become a society that loves to tweet, post, snap, shout it from the mountain tops, every little aspect of our lives. Resist the Urge! Please, do not post your plans on social media or announce it all over the office, the supermarket, or post vacation photos while you are away, some unsavory people may be snooping and know you are not home and take advantage of that. Wait until the trip is done, you are back at home, and then post to your heart’s content (it might save you from those embarrassing candid shots, too).
7. Final and perhaps most important “Hack”:
Be Kind to One Another.
Vacations can be restful or stressful, but if you treat those around you with kindness and patience, the same will come back to you. Extend politeness to the servers, staff, ushers, ticket agents, and anyone else who is doing their part to make your vacation better. Perhaps that will be a topic in an upcoming survival blog.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read through this, I can only imagine what I may have left out of this list of tips & tricks, hacks & facts.
If you have anything you’d like to add, please comment below. And we would love it dearly, if you really liked it, if you would share this with your friends.