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10 Small Travel Hacks for 10 Big Travel Pains

Some travel problems, like extreme weather, overbooked flights, or coughing or snoring co-passengers we can’t do much but whine about, but thankfully, there are some travel nuisances we can avoid.

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PROBLEM: I Don’t Want to Carry a Bulky Water Bottle So I’m Always Parched

You can wrap yourself in cashmere, slather yourself in the most luxurious facial treatments, and mist yourself with rose water while in transit but it’s all just lipstick on a pig (a dried out pig at that) if you don’t also stay hydrated. Dehydration causes headaches, dry skin, itchy eyes, and fatigue, and it amplifies feelings of jet lag once you land. Also, being in a low-humidity environment (i.e., an airplane cabin) can make you more susceptible to respiratory viruses like colds, especially if your fluid intake involves further-dehydrating caffeine and alcohol.

SOLUTION: Hydaway Bottle

Skip the bulky bottle and keep a collapsible, pocket-size Hydaway bottle in your bag and you’ll never go thirsty, wherever you are or however strict those security checks are. It packs completely flat and unfolds to a solid water bottle made from food-grade silicone.
Tip: Drink a cup of water for every hour you’re inflight to stay hydrated, and even more if you also have caffeine or alcohol.

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PROBLEM: I Don’t Look Like a Supermodel When I Deplane

We’ve all seen the glamor shots of celebrities walking through airports, glowing with rest, relaxation, and the joys of air travel, while the only “glow” we experience is from the high salt and sugar content in the in-flight meal we should have resisted. Sure, celebs often fly private and they have stylists to prep them for airport paparazzi but it would all be smoke and mirrors if they weren’t also eating smart en route.

SOLUTION: Kalumi Beauty Food Bars

Founded by models (AKA people who need to be beautiful for a living) who found it hard to stick to a healthy eating plan on the go, Kalumi Collagen Protein Bars are made from quality active ingredients that work together to deliver a potent beauty-boosting and high protein snack. They’re filling, guilt-free, and when consumed regularly will maintain hair, skin, and nails. Each bar contains a full serving (12 grams) of marine collagen, a skin hydrator that contains amino acids and helps create a radiant, youthful appearance.

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PROBLEM: Excess Baggage Fees Hurt My Heart/Wallet

Show me someone who says they don’t hold their breath at check-in as their bags are weighed and I will show you a liar (or I guess, someone who owns a luggage scale?)! Like us, you might start off your trip with the right weight and the noblest of not-shopping intentions, but one Sol Alpaca sale sign later and you are struggling to zip your case and sweating that internal flight from Lima to Cusco.

SOLUTION: Balanzza’s Mini-Luggage Scale

Balanzza’s mini digital luggage scale allows you to spot-check your baggage weight as you travel/accumulate souvenirs. Just attach the strap to your bag handle, lift the bag, and within seconds you will know your bag’s weight. The scale is tiny, can be recharged via USB, and you can easily switch from kilos to pounds when traveling so you don’t have to do the math.

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PROBLEM: Travel Is a Pain in the Neck

Like our unending quest to find the perfect pair of butt-lifting jeans, and that fits-all-occasions little black dress, we are always searching for the perfect travel pillow. Most designs don’t position your neck in a natural way, so that you are either not supported or too supported and you end up using them as a back or elbow support instead.

SOLUTION: Trtl Travel Pillow

More a neck wrap than a classic travel pillow, the Trtl Travel Pillow is made from machine-washable, super-soft fleece, with a lightweight neck brace that sits snugly on your shoulder to support your neck. Just set it under your chin, wrap the scarf around your neck, fasten the velcro, and sleep happily—and comfortably—ever after to your destination. You have to love that it’s half the size of a u-shaped pillow and packs light.

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PROBLEM: Travel Is a Pain in the Back!

Hauling heavy luggage, sitting in a cramped or uncomfortable position, and just general inactivity for long periods of time can give even the healthiest person stiff muscles and an achy back. For someone with existing back or hip problems, it’s enough to put you off traveling altogether.

SOLUTION: BetterBack

BetterBack is a well-made, highly-portable/packable, memory-foam back support with knee pads on loops that slip over your knees to enforce proper posture and ease back pain wherever you are, be it at your desk, on an airplane, or a long train ride. Even if you don’t have back pain, wearing it for just 15 minutes a day can retrain your default posture.

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PROBLEM: Wandering Passport

Some people can never find their passport. In fact, those people’s passports even go missing right in their own house. Then, when those unlucky travelers leave the house, they lose it all over again. It’s a fun way to travel.

SOLUTION: Search Passport Holder

Herschel Supply’s Search passport sleeve features Tile technology, a compact Bluetooth tracker, which allows you to track it if ever misplaced. The leather holder also has a pen loop, and multiple slots and sleeves for boarding passes and tags. Bonus features include peace of mind and less time ransacking, more time packing!

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PROBLEM: Ew! I Read That My Travel Toothbrush Is a Bacteria Magnet!

A few things to think about before you stuff that wet travel toothbrush into its grimy holder before your early-morning flight: germs grow faster in enclosed moist areas, illness germs can linger on a toothbrush long after you recover, and … never mind, we’ll spare you stats about fecal matter and toothbrushes.

SOLUTION: Dr. Plotka’s Mouth Watchers Toothbrushes

Dr. Plotka’s Mouth Watcher toothbrushes have antimicrobial bristles which are infused with silver technology to eliminate 99% of the bacteria that grows on bristles between use. Also, the bristles are dual layered so they reach deep into grooves and pockets in teeth and gums for a better brushing-meets-flossing experience. The folding travel style is comparable in price to the flimsy (and germy!) drugstore version you’ve had in your travel bathroom bag for the past six months, but with antimicrobial bristles. Run, don’t walk, to replace it!

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PROBLEM: I’m on a Family Vacation and I Might Harm My In-Laws!

Traveling with extended family can be hard. You’re out of your usual routine; they’re out of their minds. You can’t get near a gym; they can’t understand personal space. You need to hit something.

SOLUTION: Quiet Punch

Some might suggest that you direct your aggression to calming endeavors like yoga or meditation, but there are times when you just can’t beat punching something. Hard. Quiet Punch is a portable boxing set-up that easily mounts in any doorway with lightweight tension rods, allowing you to take your boxing workout and stress-outlet on the road with you. An included phone clip enables you to attach your mobile device to the Quiet Punch unit so you can follow the online workout routines.

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PROBLEM: I’ve Run out of Knickers!

Maybe your checked bag is still circling the globe and you’re living out of your carry-on, or you spilled coffee on that white blouse you were planning to wear with two different outfits on your trip, or maybe you just need to wash your lucky socks.

SOLUTION: Soak Wash Sachets

Soak’s eco-friendly laundry care is a gentle, no-rinse formulation perfect for hand-washing anything you need on the go from swimwear, lingerie, and sweaters to handmade items and baby clothes. You can buy travel-sized sets which include laundry soap, hand cream, and ironing spray, or flight-friendly laundry sachets, which are easy to stash in your bathroom bag so you always have detergent in a pinch.

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Even if you make it to your destination on time, there’s always a chance that your baggage won’t. Lost, damaged, or delayed luggage is one of the most common travel complaints and it doesn’t help that airline customer service, across the board, seems to be trained to not tell you anything about the location of your bag so that you are stuck in lost-luggage-limbo (and yesterday’s socks) until it shows up … or doesn’t.


SOLUTION: Luggage Leash

Crowd-based Bluetooth GPS tracking devices are your backup plan when the airline’s computerized baggage tracking system and your old-school leather name tag fail you. If your luggage is lost or stolen, Luggage Leash helps you to locate and recover it. If your stolen item comes within 65 feet of another Leash It user, it will be tracked within the system. Just hide the small tracker anywhere in your luggage, download the app and use it to keep tabs on your stuff.

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