You need these 12 top travel tips

Heading away for the holidays?  Not dreaming of a tropical island but actually going there?

Here are my best tips to reduce travel stress and maximise holiday enjoyment.


1. Pack light
Always remember you may have to carry your bags up stairs or lift them into buses, so you should be able to do this with ease.

2. No tears
Only travel with jewellery that you won't be upset if you lose. Travelling is not the time to show off your wealth - it just makes you a target.  If it would break your heart to lose it, leave it at home.

3. Rolling along
Treat yourself to some new suitcases with four rollers on the bottom.  It's so much easier to move these along you will be glad you spent the money. They also have combination locks built into the suitcase which can be opened by customs with a special key keeping your contents safer. Inexpensive sets of two start at $100.

4. Power up
If you travel with several items that constantly need charging - phone, camera, laptop - plug all chargers into a power board and put one adaptor on the cord.  You are much less likely to forget a big board than a single charger and there's less set up time.  Another solution is to buy an adapter with built in USB slots and charge your gadgets directly from there. Because charging my phone, camera, earphones, iPad and more is vital to my work, I take a couple of different methods with me. This helps when the power points in the room are wonky and won't hold the plug. I always throw one of those multi-adapters in as well, just in case.

5. Zip it
Use separate bags for like items within your suitcase, putting underwear or shoes etc, together. Makes it easier to find what you want and keeps your suitcase neat. If you really want to be organised, label them.

6. Wrinkle free
Learn some good folding or rolling techniques to reduce wrinkles in your clothes when you arrive.  A quick fix if there's no iron in the room is to use a blow dryer on your clothes. The heat will make the fibres relax.

7. Hand luggage essentials
A long, wide scarf or a travel poncho is a great addition to your hand luggage.  It can get quite cold on the plane.  Also include a neck pillow to make sleeping easier and an eye mask and ear plugs.  Noise cancelling earphones have saved my sanity on many flights.  They can even block out a screaming child. These will really help you find happy moments on a long flight.


8. Empty is good
When you are travelling internationally take an empty water bottle with you past the airport scanners. Often there water fountains where you can refill before you get onto the plane or even water dispensers on the flight. 

9.Declare or beware
Keep all items that you need to declare - food or wood - all together in an easily accessible part of your suitcase so they are easy to show customs officers. The declare line is often shorter anyhow and you'll get through quicker.

10. Grab extra forms
When leaving Australia take a few extra departure forms for your next trips.  Fill the form in before you leave for the airport and save yourself some time and stress.

In your room

11. Lock it up
Keep your suitcase locked when you are not in your room and reduce the temptation to cleaning staff. New suitcases with built in locks make this easy.

12. Money wise
In many countries is is easy to get money from an ATM when travelling.  The airport is a good place to change a few dollars first up. Be aware of transactions fees which apply to each
purchase.  A cash card is a good way to avoid individual transaction charges but do remember to change you money between currencies before you need it. It's a good idea to have multiple money sources so if one doesn't work then you still have options.

Do you have some travel tips you'd like to share? Please leave them in the comments section below.

Kerry Heaney