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17 Incredible Solo Travel Hacks

17 Incredible Solo Travel Hacks

Contents

Written by Drew Binsky

When it comes to traveling, strategy is key! The better prepared you are, the smoother your trip will go. Today we’re going to discuss 17 incredible travel hacks; whether you’re an experienced traveler or a novice planning your first big trip, you’re sure to find something on this list you never considered before.

1. Roll your clothes

This simple step will save you so much room in your luggage! Take your shirts, pants, underclothes, and even bulkier things like sweatshirts, and roll them as tight as you can before piling them into your suitcase. You’ll be surprised just how much you can fit when you pack this way, and your clothes will likely be less wrinkled than if you folded them.

2. Try Packing Cubes

Try stacking those tight rolls into some packing cubes! You can either use small cubes to pack individual outfits (making getting dressed in the morning a breeze), or you can use bigger cubes and sort by type (shorts, shirts, etc.) These compression cubes are highly recommended and could help you save even more space!

GoPro HERO10 Black

  • More Power. More Clarity - More Stability. Revolutionary Processor: Faster. Smoother. Better. The powerful new GP2 engine changes the game—snappy performance, responsive touch controls and double the frame rate for amazingly smooth footage. Designed specifically for the demanding nature of the GoPro, the GP2 “system on a chip” is by far our fastest ever.
  • MORE STABILITY - Groundbreaking HyperSmooth 4.0 is our most advanced stabilization ever. 8X SLO-MO. - HERO10 Black captures up to 240 frames per second for astonishing 8x slo-mo. MORE ACCELERATION. - Record mesmerizing time-lapse videos with LIVEBURST - Record 1.5 seconds before and after your shot. Find the best pic or share it as a short video.
  • KEY SPECIFICATIONS - SCREEN SIZE - 23MP GP2 Chip with Improved Performance - 5.3K60/4K120/2.7K240 Video, 23MP Photos - New Front Display/Rear Touchscreen - Cloud Connected, 1080p Live Streaming - Enhanced Low-Light Performance - HyperSmooth 4.0 Image Stabilization - 33' Waterproof without a Housing - Time-Lapse & Night-Lapse, 8x Slo-Mo - Built-In Flip-Out 2-Prong Mount - 1720mAh Capacity Battery
  • Night-Lapse Video - In-Camera Horizon Leveling; Live View Front Display & Intuitive Rear Touchscreen; Webcam Mode & 1080p HD Live Streaming. Standard, Activity, Cinematic, Slo-Mo & Custom Presets; Voice Control; Portrait Orientation; RAW Photo Mode; Built-In Mounting
  • Bundle Includes – 1 x GoPro HERO10 Black - Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD and Touch Rear Screens, 5.3K HD Video, 23MP Photos, 1080p Live Streaming, Stabilization | 1 x Compatible Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery | 1 x Extreme Pro 64gb microSDXC Card | 1 x 6AVE Electronics TM Microfiber Cloth
  • Details

Osprey Porter 46 Travel Backpack

  • Meets carry-on size - restrictions for most domestic airlines - Dimensions 21.5h x 14w x 9d IN.
  • U-zip - zip access to main compartment with lockable zippers on main and laptop compartments - 46L total volume
  • Shoulder straps - and hipbelt can be tucked away when the bag is checked
  • Protected rear - panel zip laptop sleeve and front panel vertical zippered pocket for books or other documents
  • Tuckaway web loops - to attach a shoulder strap (sold separately)
  • StraightJacket compression - straps compress the bag to a smaller size when it isn’t full
  • Dual internal zippered - organization side pockets and front panel organization with zippered pocket and key clip
  • Reinforced cord loops - to attach an Osprey Daylite daypack (sold separately)
  • Details

Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones for Apple devices - Black (Wired 3.5mm)

  • Apple compatible devices - Applies to: QC 25 noise cancelling headphones Apple devices The remote and mic are compatible with the following Apple devices: iPhone 3GS or later iPad iPod touch 2nd generation or later iPod classic 120GB, 160GB iPod nano 4th generation or later
  • Deep, powerful sound - for the music you love
  • Lightweight, comfortable around - ear fit you can wear all day long
  • Control your music - and calls on Apple devices with inline mic/remote
  • Details

3. Pack Layers, Not Bulk

Another hack in the packing department is to plan to wear layers. Unless you’re headed to Siberia, you probably don’t actually need a big puffy jacket. Try layering a shirt, sweatshirt, and windbreaker to keep warm without having to wrestle a winter jacket into your luggage.

4. Stuff Your Carry-on

If you have both checked bags and carry-ons, make sure you take advantage of all the space! If you’re worried your checked bag is over a weight limit, put heavier things into your carry-on bag to avoid charges. You can also transport more fragile souvenirs this way, especially if you use a hard-sided carry-on like this Samsonite option!

Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage

  • Carry-On meets these airlines' size restrictions: United, American, Delta, Southwest, Allegiant
  • 20" SPINNER LUGGAGE maximizes your packing power and meets most carry-on size restrictions
  • PACKING Dimensions: 20.0" x 13.5" x 9.5", OVERALL Dimensions: 23.0" x 14.5" x 9.5", Weight: 6.7 lbs.
  • 10 YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY: Samsonite products are rigorously tested to ensure our products meet stringent standards.
  • FOUR, MULTI-DIRECTIONAL SPINNER WHEELS - For effortless mobility, re-engineered lightweight
  • Details

5. Keep Extra Essentials With You

You never know what will happen to your checked luggage, especially on long travel days when you have multiple flight transfers. It’s good to get in the habit of keeping a spare set of clothes (as well as a few small toiletries) in your backpack or “day bag,” just in case your luggage gets lost or delayed.

6. Download Google Translate

You never know what will happen to your checked luggage, especially on long travel days when you have multiple flight transfers. It’s good to get in the habit of keeping a spare set of clothes (as well as a few small toiletries) in your backpack or “day bag,” just in case your luggage gets lost or delayed.

7. Bring a Pillowcase

Not a pillow, just the case. Why? Pillows take up lots of room, but an empty pillowcase can become an emergency pillow with just a few pieces of clothing from your suitcase. The pillowcase can also work as a stuff sack or even a makeshift laundry bag.

8. Change Currency at Your Bank

This is one of the more well-known travel hacks because airport currency exchanges are known for having astronomically high rates. Take the time to change your money ahead of time at your local bank, if you can. Otherwise, try and wait and find a bank or currency exchange outside of the airport to get a better rate. Make sure to get yourself a bank account that offers free ATM withdrawals. I use Capital One.

9. Pack Some Laundry Soap

Whether you use a laundry soap bar like Febreze Fabric Refresher or a detergent specifically designed for traveling like Febreze To-Go Fabric Refresher, you’ll definitely want to have something on hand. Many times when traveling internationally, you won’t have access to a washing machine, so you’ll want to be prepared to wash your clothes in the sink.

Sea to Summit Ultra-SIL Stuff Sack 3-Piece Set (2.5L, 4L, and 6.5L Ultralight Stuff Sacks)

  • Set of three ultralight - water-resistant stuff sacks for organizing gear and clothing in a backpack or bag, for any outdoor or travel adventure
  • Manufactured - from lightweight 30D Ultra-Sil Cordura nylon; slippery finish makes it easy to slide bags into tight spaces for better packing
  • Drawcord top opening - with durable pull tab for quick and easy access to bag contents
  • Round base - has a reinforced webbing pull handle for easy carry; stress points are bartacked and seams are double stitched for durability
  • Includes three stuff sacks - 2.5 liter (open dimensions: 4 x 10 inches, weight: 0.5 ounces), 4 liter (open dimensions: 5 x 12 inches, weight: 0.5 ounces), 6.5 liter (open dimensions: 6.5 x 13 inches, weight: 0.6 ounces)
  • Details

LaCie Rugged USB-C 4TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD, Drop Shock Dust Rain Resistant Shuttle Drive

  • Compatible with PC & Mac Quickly and easily connect to the latest Windows and Mac computers with Rugged’s reversible USB-C cable, or legacy computers using the included USB 3.0 adapter
  • Fast USB-C Enjoy fast USB-C 5Gb/s file transfers, backups, and image browsing
  • Protection Confidently tackle any terrain with drop, crush, and rain resistance
  • All-terrain use Shock, drops up to 4 feet, dust and water resistant for all-terrain use
  • Privacy Password protection built in
  • Details

OlimpiaFit Quick Dry Towel - 3 Size Pack of Lightweight Microfiber Travel Towels w/ Bag - Fast Drying Towel Set for Camping, Beach, Gym, Backpacking, Sports, Yoga & Swim Use

  • COMPACT DESIGN - This sports towel set is packable for the gym, beach, and anywhere else you need them. They can easily be condensed in size 4x smaller than a camping towel of the same size.
  • FAST DRYING - Made with fibers that are much thinner than a standard microfiber towel, our quick dry towels have 4x as much surface area, allowing them to absorb more water and dry up to 3x as fast.
  • MULTIPURPOSE - Each set includes 3 lightweight travel towels in the sizes 50"x30", 30"x15", and 15"x15". Use them as swim towels to dry off, gym towels during a workout, or small beach towels on vacation.
  • HIGH QUALITY - Every microfiber travel towel is made with premium material that shares the same smooth qualities as satin. They're also super absorbent, odor-resistant, and won't smell after drying.
  • SOFT - If you're looking for a packable beach towel or swim towel, give this one a go! It has a slip-resistant surface and extra plush microfiber that is oh-so-gentle on your face, body, and skin.
  • Details

10. Consider These Line Skipping Hacks

  • TSA Precheck allows you to get into a dedicated line at US airports, usually much quicker than the regular security line. ($85 for five years.)
  • Global Entry is a program that expedites your reentry into the US through customs. This program includes TSA Precheck and may be the best bang for your buck. ($100 for five years.)
  • Clear is a company operating in major US airports that checks you in using biometrics, then skips you straight to the front of the security line. ($179 each year.)

    Certain travel rewards credit cards even offer these as complimentary benefits as part of membership.

11. Pack Some Dryer Sheets

“Wait, I thought you just said I probably wouldn’t have a dryer?” While you may not have access to a dryer on your trip, dryer sheets are always a good idea. They help keep your luggage smelling fresh and clean, and you can even toss one in your dirty laundry bag to keep it from stinking.

12. If You Need WiFi, Find a Restaurant or Coffee Shop

Often, you will find spots where you have to pay for WiFi in airports. Before you do that, try finding a restaurant or coffee shop in the airport that has free WiFi—I promise you, there more than likely is one.

  • Touch VPN with safe and limitless online within just 3 steps, within 3 minutes. No technical knowledge is required. VPN is available for all devices.
  • ZenMate VPN with safe and limitless online within just 3 steps, within 3 minutes. No technical knowledge is required. VPN is available for all devices.

13. Stuff Your Shoes

All that space inside your shoes is wasted when you’re packing a bag! Try stuffing your shoes with socks, underwear, t-shirts, or even small toiletries; this will help you maximize your packing space!

14. Bring a Shower Cap

This is one of my favorite travel hacks of all time! There’s nothing worse than having your dirty, dusty, grimy shoes next to your toothbrush or clean clothes. A shower cap makes a great shoe cover so you can keep everything sanitary. (If I stay in hotels with free shower caps, I always snag them for this trick!)

15. Compression Socks for Long Flights

If you’ve ever flown on a long international flight, you’ve probably experienced the swollen feet and ankles that often accompany long air travel days. One remedy for this is to wear compression socks on the plane! This will keep the blood flow in your legs moving better, even when you’re sitting still.

16. Bring an Empty Water Bottle

This is great for international or domestic flights—no more buying $5 bottles of water at the airport! Bring an empty reusable water bottle, and then refill it once you’ve gone through security. Whether you use a simple Nalgene like this one or a lightweight, collapsable collapsible water bottle, bringing your own is good for your wallet and good for the environment!

Sony a7R III A Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera with FE 20mm f/1.8 G Full-Frame Lens and Accessory Bundle (6 Items)

  • Sony Alpha a7 III - 24MP UHD 4K Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only) - AC-UUD12 AC Adapter - ALC-B1EM Body Cap - Accessory Shoe Cap - Eyepiece Cup - Micro-USB Cable - NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery (2280mAh) - Shoulder Strap - Sony 1 Year Limited Warranty - Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS E-Mount Lens
  • Newly Developed - Full-frame 24.2MP Back-Illuminated Exmor R CMOS Image Sensor with Evolved Image Processing
  • Wide ISO range - of 100 - 51200 (expandable to ISO 50 - 204800 for still images) and 15-Stop Dynamic Range at low sensitivities
  • World Class AF system - featuring 693 phase-detection AF points covering 93% of image area, 425 contrast AF points and fast and reliable Eye AF
  • Continuous Shooting - at up to 10 fps with either Mechanical Shutter or Silent Shooting and full Auto Focus/Auto Exposure tracking
  • Details

2021 Apple MacBook Pro (14-inch, Apple M1 Max chip with 10‑core CPU and 32‑core GPU, 64GB RAM, 1TB SSD) - Space Gray - Z15H00109

  • 10-core - CPU, 32-core GPU
  • 64GB - Memory
  • 1TB - Storage
  • Details

TEVA Men's Hurricane Xlt2 Sandals with EVA Foam Midsole and Rugged Durabrasion Rubber Outsole

  • Quick-dry webbing - made from recycled plastic using traceable, verifiable REPREVE polyester yarn by Unifi supports your foot and stands up to abuse
  • Injection-molded strap - ends for quick and easy grip and adjustability, Easy hook-and-loop closure comes on and off quickly and gets the fit just right
  • Robust EVA footbed - for enhanced comfort built for all-day wear
  • Nylon shank - stabilizes and supports your foot on uneven terrain
  • Best for - day hikes, light hikes
  • Details

17. Carry Copies of Your Documents

This one is super important because you never know what will happen when you’re traveling. I always take a couple of photocopies of my passport, visas, itinerary, credit cards, other forms of ID, etc., and stick them in all my bags. This way, if (God forbid!) I lose my passport, my phone dies, or I get pickpocketed, I still have a way to try to prove who I am or figure out where I am going.

Conclusion

These are just a few of my favorite travel hacks. What are your favorite travel hacks? Is there anything you think I missed? Let me know!

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Everything I Recommended

Sony a7R III A Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera with FE 20mm f/1.8 G Full-Frame Lens and Accessory Bundle (6 Items)

Sony Alpha a7 III - 24MP UHD 4K Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only) - AC-UUD12 AC Adapter - ALC-B1EM Body Cap - Accessory Shoe Cap - Eyepiece Cup - Micro-USB Cable - NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery (2280mAh) - Shoulder Strap - Sony 1 Year Limited Warranty - Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS E-Mount Lens
Newly Developed - Full-frame 24.2MP Back-Illuminated Exmor R CMOS Image Sensor with Evolved Image Processing
Wide ISO range - of 100 - 51200 (expandable to ISO 50 - 204800 for still images) and 15-Stop Dynamic Range at low sensitivities
World Class AF system - featuring 693 phase-detection AF points covering 93% of image area, 425 contrast AF points and fast and reliable Eye AF
Continuous Shooting - at up to 10 fps with either Mechanical Shutter or Silent Shooting and full Auto Focus/Auto Exposure tracking
Details

2021 Apple MacBook Pro (14-inch, Apple M1 Max chip with 10‑core CPU and 32‑core GPU, 64GB RAM, 1TB SSD) - Space Gray - Z15H00109

10-core - CPU, 32-core GPU
64GB - Memory
1TB - Storage
Details

TEVA Men's Hurricane Xlt2 Sandals with EVA Foam Midsole and Rugged Durabrasion Rubber Outsole

Quick-dry webbing - made from recycled plastic using traceable, verifiable REPREVE polyester yarn by Unifi supports your foot and stands up to abuse
Injection-molded strap - ends for quick and easy grip and adjustability, Easy hook-and-loop closure comes on and off quickly and gets the fit just right
Robust EVA footbed - for enhanced comfort built for all-day wear
Nylon shank - stabilizes and supports your foot on uneven terrain
Best for - day hikes, light hikes
Details

Sea to Summit Ultra-SIL Stuff Sack 3-Piece Set (2.5L, 4L, and 6.5L Ultralight Stuff Sacks)

Set of three ultralight - water-resistant stuff sacks for organizing gear and clothing in a backpack or bag, for any outdoor or travel adventure
Manufactured - from lightweight 30D Ultra-Sil Cordura nylon; slippery finish makes it easy to slide bags into tight spaces for better packing
Drawcord top opening - with durable pull tab for quick and easy access to bag contents
Round base - has a reinforced webbing pull handle for easy carry; stress points are bartacked and seams are double stitched for durability
Includes three stuff sacks - 2.5 liter (open dimensions: 4 x 10 inches, weight: 0.5 ounces), 4 liter (open dimensions: 5 x 12 inches, weight: 0.5 ounces), 6.5 liter (open dimensions: 6.5 x 13 inches, weight: 0.6 ounces)
Details

LaCie Rugged USB-C 4TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD, Drop Shock Dust Rain Resistant Shuttle Drive

Compatible with PC & Mac Quickly and easily connect to the latest Windows and Mac computers with Rugged’s reversible USB-C cable, or legacy computers using the included USB 3.0 adapter
Fast USB-C Enjoy fast USB-C 5Gb/s file transfers, backups, and image browsing
Protection Confidently tackle any terrain with drop, crush, and rain resistance
All-terrain use Shock, drops up to 4 feet, dust and water resistant for all-terrain use
Privacy Password protection built in
Details

OlimpiaFit Quick Dry Towel - 3 Size Pack of Lightweight Microfiber Travel Towels w/ Bag - Fast Drying Towel Set for Camping, Beach, Gym, Backpacking, Sports, Yoga & Swim Use

COMPACT DESIGN - This sports towel set is packable for the gym, beach, and anywhere else you need them. They can easily be condensed in size 4x smaller than a camping towel of the same size.
FAST DRYING - Made with fibers that are much thinner than a standard microfiber towel, our quick dry towels have 4x as much surface area, allowing them to absorb more water and dry up to 3x as fast.
MULTIPURPOSE - Each set includes 3 lightweight travel towels in the sizes 50"x30", 30"x15", and 15"x15". Use them as swim towels to dry off, gym towels during a workout, or small beach towels on vacation.
HIGH QUALITY - Every microfiber travel towel is made with premium material that shares the same smooth qualities as satin. They're also super absorbent, odor-resistant, and won't smell after drying.
SOFT - If you're looking for a packable beach towel or swim towel, give this one a go! It has a slip-resistant surface and extra plush microfiber that is oh-so-gentle on your face, body, and skin.
Details

GoPro HERO10 Black

More Power. More Clarity - More Stability. Revolutionary Processor: Faster. Smoother. Better. The powerful new GP2 engine changes the game—snappy performance, responsive touch controls and double the frame rate for amazingly smooth footage. Designed specifically for the demanding nature of the GoPro, the GP2 “system on a chip” is by far our fastest ever.
MORE STABILITY - Groundbreaking HyperSmooth 4.0 is our most advanced stabilization ever. 8X SLO-MO. - HERO10 Black captures up to 240 frames per second for astonishing 8x slo-mo. MORE ACCELERATION. - Record mesmerizing time-lapse videos with LIVEBURST - Record 1.5 seconds before and after your shot. Find the best pic or share it as a short video.
KEY SPECIFICATIONS - SCREEN SIZE - 23MP GP2 Chip with Improved Performance - 5.3K60/4K120/2.7K240 Video, 23MP Photos - New Front Display/Rear Touchscreen - Cloud Connected, 1080p Live Streaming - Enhanced Low-Light Performance - HyperSmooth 4.0 Image Stabilization - 33' Waterproof without a Housing - Time-Lapse & Night-Lapse, 8x Slo-Mo - Built-In Flip-Out 2-Prong Mount - 1720mAh Capacity Battery
Night-Lapse Video - In-Camera Horizon Leveling; Live View Front Display & Intuitive Rear Touchscreen; Webcam Mode & 1080p HD Live Streaming. Standard, Activity, Cinematic, Slo-Mo & Custom Presets; Voice Control; Portrait Orientation; RAW Photo Mode; Built-In Mounting
Bundle Includes – 1 x GoPro HERO10 Black - Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD and Touch Rear Screens, 5.3K HD Video, 23MP Photos, 1080p Live Streaming, Stabilization | 1 x Compatible Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery | 1 x Extreme Pro 64gb microSDXC Card | 1 x 6AVE Electronics TM Microfiber Cloth
Details

Osprey Porter 46 Travel Backpack

Meets carry-on size - restrictions for most domestic airlines - Dimensions 21.5h x 14w x 9d IN.
U-zip - zip access to main compartment with lockable zippers on main and laptop compartments - 46L total volume
Shoulder straps - and hipbelt can be tucked away when the bag is checked
Protected rear - panel zip laptop sleeve and front panel vertical zippered pocket for books or other documents
Tuckaway web loops - to attach a shoulder strap (sold separately)
StraightJacket compression - straps compress the bag to a smaller size when it isn’t full
Dual internal zippered - organization side pockets and front panel organization with zippered pocket and key clip
Reinforced cord loops - to attach an Osprey Daylite daypack (sold separately)
Details

Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones for Apple devices - Black (Wired 3.5mm)

Apple compatible devices - Applies to: QC 25 noise cancelling headphones Apple devices The remote and mic are compatible with the following Apple devices: iPhone 3GS or later iPad iPod touch 2nd generation or later iPod classic 120GB, 160GB iPod nano 4th generation or later
Deep, powerful sound - for the music you love
Lightweight, comfortable around - ear fit you can wear all day long
Control your music - and calls on Apple devices with inline mic/remote
Details

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Drew Binsky has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Drew Binsky and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Editorial Disclosure

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Editorial Disclosure

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.