Top 20 Travel Hacks, Tips and Essentials

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Want to know the top 20 travel hacks that I use EVERY time I go travelling?

Look no further!  I’m giving away all of my tips and tricks for stress-free travelling.  Enjoy!

1. Use a Packing List

I’m a list kind-of-a-gal so this one is a must.

Use a packing list for three reasons – 

  1. So you don’t forget anything,
  2. So you don’t pack too much and
  3. Because it’ll enable you to pack much more quickly and efficiently.

I’ve attached a PDF version of the packing list that I use here so now you have no excuse!

Three notebooks stacked with two rose gold pens on top

2. Plan Your Outfits

Decide on a target number of outfits for your trip, which should be the minimum you need to get by plus one extra ‘just in case’, and then plan each of them from the clothes and shoes to the accessories.

Try to pick outfits that you can mix and match, especially accessories, and make sure that you’ve got layers to cover every eventuality.

By planning your outfits you will make it a lot easier to pick what you want to wear when you are away and you’ll also take far less with you, making the whole process easier and more efficient.

A pink lacy vest and white denim shorts laying on a bed

3. Pack Sunglasses in Shoes

Pack your sunglasses, spare glasses or breakables in a pair of trainers or boots to save them getting crushed in transit.

4. Compression Packing Cubes

Compression packing cubes are seriously a game changer.

If you have ever struggled with space in your suitcase (who hasn’t?!) you need to get your hands on some now.

Packing cubes cost around £12 from Amazon and not only do they neaten up your suitcase, making the whole packing experience much more satisfying (if you are a neat freak like me), but you will probably end up with the opposite problem where you have TOO MUCH space – a nice problem to have hey?!

Here’s a link to the packing cubes I bought.

5. Roll Your Clothes

No doubt you’ve heard this one before and I must admit, until my most recent trip I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but I can confirm that I am now officially a convert.

Not only does rolling reduce the amount of creases, when you combine rolling your clothes with using packing cubes, the amount of clothes that you can fit into a teeny tiny space is totally crazy!

In the two packing cubes shown in the top photo here, I’ve got 22 items of clothing (tops, jeans, dresses), 2 bags, 3 snack bars, 3 packets of oats and a towel.  

And that wasn’t even full.  NUTS.

Demonstrating packing cubes and how much space they save

6. Keep Your Socks Flat

Keeping your socks flat takes up far less space than rolling them as you may usually do.  Just compare the two photos above, both of which have the same number of socks in…

Enough said.

7. Jewellery Holder

I was given a jewellery holder a few years ago for my birthday and I’ve used it for almost every holiday since.  

Gone are the days of tangled necklaces, knotted bracelets and missing earrings!

If you travel a lot and tend to take a two or three sets of jewellery with you then I highly recommend getting a jewellery holder but if you don’t then the two other ways I tackle the issue of the dreaded knotted necklace are:

  1. Putting each item of jewellery in a separate sock
  2. Folding each item of jewellery in tissue paper and popping it into a small jewellery box

All of these methods work like a treat.

Here’s a link to a similar jewellery holder to the one I have.

8. Laundry Bag

No one wants their dirties mixed in with their freshly washed clothing so do yourself a favour and take a small, lightweight bag with you that you can store your laundry in whilst you are away.  

It makes it easier when you get home too as you can just chuck it straight into the washing machine.

9. Microfibre Towel

The microfibre towel is another recent revelation (along with packing cubes and jerk sauce on pizza).

Seriously.  How does a towel that is bigger than me, end up in a bag as small as this?

Blonde woman pulling the strings of a travel towel bag
A Vegan Visit

Not only does it have magical shrinking powers but it also dries at the speed of light (slight exaggeration but certainly a lot quicker than a regular towel).

Do yourself a favour; get on over to Amazon and treat yo’self!

Here’s a link to the microfibre towel that I bought.

10. Split Your Luggage

I didn’t get the nickname ‘Mrs Safe’ for no reason.

I am a notoriously chilled traveller (how could you not be when you have all of these travel hacks up your sleeve?!) but I do have a tendency to risk assess everything in my head first.

One of those things is the possibility of being left having to wear my husband’s pants should my luggage go missing therefore, to avoid this, my husband and I take one full outfit each and put it into each other’s suitcase.

That way, if one of the bags goes missing, we’ve got a clean ‘emergency’ outfit to get us through the next day whilst we sort out replacements or await delivery of our luggage.

Of course if both bags go missing we’re screwed, but hey you can’t plan for EVERY eventuality.

11. Put Valuables in Your Carry On

Mrs Safe in action again here.  

I carry all of my valuables (laptop, camera, any sentimental items) in my hand luggage, along with items that would be a nightmare to replace (e.g. certain make up or medication).  This way there is less chance of it going missing or breaking and you can keep a closer eye on it.  

Not to mention you need to keep all re-chargeable camera batteries in your hand luggage anyway.

A selection of travel items laid out on a bed ready to be packed

12. Make Up Minis

You will find that a lot of make up brands do mini or travel-sized versions of your favourite items.  I buy minis of every item that I can because, quite frankly, taking a full size foundation/bronzer/mascara with you is madness!

Not only do minis save you space but all of that saved weight adds up and will make lugging your suitcase around so much less taxing, especially when you combine it with my next tip…

13. Decant Your Toiletries

I never take full size toiletries away with me unless I intend to use them all.

I love a spreadsheet so I have a note of how much moisturiser/face oil/shampoo I need per day and I decant the amount needed for my trip into a reusable bottle.

If a spreadsheet is a step too far for you then just eyeball it and I’m sure you’ll be ok!

14. Clingfilm Your Liquids

Liquids like to explode for fun. Avoid covering your favourite dress in shampoo by popping some cling film under the lid and then screwing the cap back on as tightly as you can.

I’ve used this method many a time with any bottle of liquid that looks like it’s planning a clothing attack and it has worked a treat.

15. Waterproof Toiletry Bag

Combined with the cling film method, if you invest in a good waterproof toiletry bag you really are on to a winner on the liquid front.

I’ve purchased a great set, one of which has individual compartments inside that zip up and then it also zips around the outside – it’s like liquid fort knox.

Here’s a link to the brand of toiletry bag that I bought.

16. Mini Hair Tools

For my birthday a few years ago I asked for a travel set of hair tools and they are blinking brilliant!

Hairdryers take up a ton of space but my little beauty is around 1/4 of the size and weight of my regular hairdryer.  

It does a great job at drying my hair, has a voltage adjustor so you can use it anywhere and saves a whole heap of space and weight in my suitcase (so I can pack more snack bars…)

Here’s a link to the mini hair tools I have.

A standard hair dryer laying next to a smaller travel hair dryer
A Vegan Visit

17. Universal Adapter and a Multi Socket Plug

Like most people these days I tend to travel with rather a lot of electronic devices, all of which need charging.

If you have a travel adapter graveyard drawer at home like I do but still find yourself needing to get a new one when you’re off to a different country STOP!

A universal adapter is life changing.  Well travel-life changing anyway.

Just get yourself one of these bad boys, which also has USB chargers on it and you are set for the whole world.  Yes, this is a revelation.

Add it to a multi socket plug and you could bring your whole home entertainment centre with you if you really wanted to (although I don’t recommend that…).  Just be sure to check with your electrician first and don’t overload it with high powered items.

Here’s a link to the travel adapter and multi socket that I bought.

18. Use a Wire Bag

If tangled cables send you into a tizzy like they do me then wrap them up neatly, secure them loosely with a hairband or elastic band and pop them in a ‘wire bag’.

Neat, tidy and ready for you to use whenever you need to – ahhh, cable bliss.

A white cable held together with a hair band

19. E-Documents

The one thing almost all of us have on us at all times is our phone.  

If you are travelling with a travel agent, you may find that they have an app which is great for storing all of the necessary confirmations in one place.

Make sure you screenshot all of your travel documents and save them in a folder on your phone, even if you do have access to an app, so that they area available offline.  This way you’ve got them to hand when you arrive at your hotel at 3am in a zombie-like state to find there is no internet available.

20. Pack ‘Emergency’ Snacks

If you have any special dietary requirements then I’d recommend packing yourself some emergency snacks.  I always carry some vegan protein bars and sachets of porridge oats with me and I cannot tell you how many times they have saved me from having to starve/eat yet another portion of chips.

I hope you have found these tips useful 🙂

Don’t forget to check out the YouTube video to set you up ready for your next holiday!


Hi, I’m Tara! I’m taking you on a trip around the world in vegan cuisine and bringing the world’s most delicious dishes to your kitchen.