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5 Not-So Common Travel Tips That Will Make Any Trip Better

I am well aware that there are people out there who travel on a more regular basis than I do. And they probably have a million and five tips that blow these out of the water, but these are great ones to get you started.

If you travel infrequently, or it’s been awhile since your last trip, these might be things that haven’t crossed your mind – but I promise, they will make your life a little easier.


1. Pack Light & Do Not Check That Bag (at least not on the “going” end of the trip).

I have taken trips where I’ve packed every piece of clothing I could possibly need, and every single time I’ve ended up with half a suitcase full of stuff I never wore. Pack the essentials. Undergarments, jeans, tops, ONE dress or skirt, a couple of comfortable pairs of shoes, a swimsuit (because you really never know), a sweater – all essential. But don’t pack eight swimsuits. Or 20 tops. You will never wear them all. Oh, and make sure your clothes actually fit before you go. If you take something that is a little tight thinking you will make it work – it won’t. Don’t bring it.

I purposely only carry a suitcase that will absolutely always fit in the overhead compartment. No lost baggage = no lost time or money. There have been times that I’m at the end of the boarding list and they’ve had to take my bag and put it below – and that is fine too. Because you know they are doing it right then. It’s not going through with a million other bags that are going to a million destinations – it’s going right into your plane.

2. Save Room for a Collapsible Bag That You CAN Check On the Return.

I can’t remember where I got this idea from – it was not mine – but it’s genius. I have a bag that zips down to a decently small size, and I pack it at the very bottom of my suitcase. It takes up next to no room. But when it’s time to come home, I pull that bad boy out and load it up with clothes. I put all my super special souvenirs and things I don’t want to get lost in my main bag, and relegate anything that I don’t care if it gets lost or not into the extra bag. That way, all my precious stuff gets home with me. Honestly, so far, I haven’t ever lost the checked back either, but on the return trip it doesn’t really matter anyway. You will be home and if you’ve lost something, it can be easily replaced or patiently awaited.

3. Spring for business class. 

Sometimes it’s not feasible. But if it is, do it. There is just enough extra space in business class to keep your sanity, especially if it’s on a long flight. Every flight that I’ve said, “Nah, I’m good” when asked if I want to upgrade, I have regretted it. Especially that eight hour flight from Frankfurt to Detroit that was on the tightest Lufthansa flight I’ve ever seen. The seats were inexplicable close and nearly every seat on the plane was taken. I got stuck behind a woman who had not showered recently and decided to lean her seat back for the entire flight. She was so close to me I could smell her greasy hair. I’ve got serious “personal bubble” issues and this woman was violating them. It was a nightmare.

Don’t even ask me about the time I was stuck on the very last row of the plane. Completely full flight. No extra seats. And a recliner in front of me with no where to go. For six hours. It’s a wonder I came out of that one alive.

4. Pack Snacks But Not Stinky Snacks

The fact of the matter is, airlines are not doling out the snacks like they used to. Even on long flights. So, you’d better pack your own. Nuts, bite-sized crackers, dried fruit – easy, no mess stuff. But this is a situation where you need to remember that you are going to be trapped in a big metal tube with a large number of people and none of you can get out.

Seriously, just be nice to the people around you. Don’t pack anything that smells. Or has orange powder all over it. We are all a little selfish and jerky sometimes, but there is nothing worse than being stuck next to someone who ends up with atrocious breath or orange fingers because they ate some nasty something.

5. Shower Before You Travel. Wear Deoderant. Skip the Perfume.

I cannot stress this one enough. I know that we all want to be comfortable when we are traveling. We all just want to wear yoga pants and a big comfy sweater. Absolutely fine. But shower before you show up. Please. Put on your deodorant (preferably a kind that works well). And for goodness sake, no perfume.  I mean this with every fiber of my being.

I was on a flight from Dallas to Detroit – not too long, but 4+ hours. I had gotten bumped to 1st class and I was super geeked. And then an elderly lady who may or may not have showered sat in front of me. I’m not sure because she had put an entire bottle of perfume on her person. It may have been just because she liked it. Or maybe it was because she didn’t shower and she was trying to cover that up. I’m not sure. But it was so bad that I had to point my air vent things towards her to push the smell away from me. If it had been a longer flight, it would have been almost as bad as the Lufthansa incident from #2.


What are your best travel tips? I’m always on the lookout for super easy but super smart ways to make my trips more enjoyable. Give me your best!



  1. Amy Phil says:

    Thanks for your travel tips.I think the best tips is take the drug om the bag!

  2. Helene says:

    Packing a collapsible bag that you can check is such a great idea! I’ll definitely keep that one in mind

  3. I love your tips. I can confidently say I practice them all. My fav. though is #4 (Pack Snacks But Not Stinky Snacks) – I can’t stand food smells (except chocolate) in confided spaces.


  4. Jennifer says:

    Packing snacks is a great idea! I don’t fly a lot and didn’t realize they don’t offer snacks like they used to on flights.

  5. Megan says:

    I love your writing style and your tips were both humorous and helpful! I love the stinky snacks tip which I think can easily be applied to hostel travel as well! While staying at a hostel in Canada, a guest cooked fish one night that stunk up the entire first floor! I’ll definitely be keeping that in mind next time I jump on a plane. Thanks for the tips!

  6. These are such great travel tips! Thanks for sharing 🙂 xo, Suzanne~

  7. Julie says:

    Love the idea about packing an extra bag! And I can definitely second your suggestion about not checking s bag – I have never once missed standing around the baggage carousel, trying to figure out which black suitcase is mine. 😉

  8. Nice practical tips you got here. Super true on personal hygiene tip. People should always consider those that they’re going to sit with. As it may cause discomfort… The extra bag tip can be helpful too! 😉

  9. Lucy says:

    Love these common sense travel tips! It is amazing how many people do not have basic hygiene! You did make me laugh to myself!

  10. Alaine says:

    Oh the hygiene of some people! I’m always showering before Long haul flights as a ritual. Something about cleansing everything before being stuck in a seat for many hours… I just wish others thought the same too. Maybe airports should all have shower facilities.

  11. I recently realized how much time and money traveling with just a carry-on saves!! If I can make it happen that is the way I always go! I also love your no perfume tip! lol Thanks for sharing!! XO

  12. Thena says:

    Yes, I always shower right before I leave to travel! It makes such a huge difference!!

  13. Salome says:

    what an amazing tips dear , I always try to pack light and it really work for me I’ve become very ,,smart” during packing haha . I hope a lot of people take into consideration ,,not to wear a lot of parfume.

  14. Miranda says:

    Most of our travels are road trips but I can def agree with these tips. I wish everyone would follow the no strong smells rule! Ha!

  15. Jamie says:

    Your writing style is so fun – I felt like you were sharing these tips with me in person. I agree that spending a bit extra to at least fly in business class is so worth it! And yes, snacks for the flights these days are a must.

  16. Kelly says:

    These are some great tips! I always travel with a carry on bag, there’s no need to check a bag! I like traveling light so I can get around the airport faster.

  17. Tavana says:

    One thing that I have not done, yet, is travel 1st/business class. But, it’s on my list to do. Thanks for sharing. I need to work harder at that.

  18. Sue says:

    These are some great tips! I am always trying to pack light and it works for me pretty well. Hygiene is important so showering before a flight is important.

  19. Great Tips! I hate checking bags and try to avoid it at all costs – literally! But oh that shower one – I can’t tell you the stories I have about the scents I’ve smelled on flights… goodness! So yes, please please people take the shower and skip the perfume!

  20. Chiera says:

    Omg people who get on planes covered in perfume or aftershave are the bane of my existence. I get migraines so easily from strong smells so when I am sat next to someone wearing any for 8+ hours it is absolutely hell. (This also goes for smelly foods. Keep your tuna sandwiches at home people!)

  21. I love the idea of only bringing a carry on! I try to pack as light as possible but am often guilty of packing 8 swimsuites haha! Next trip I will try to lighten my load for easier travels.

  22. Oyinkan says:

    A comparable bag makes so much sense. I do that sometimes b/c I never know how much I’ll shop lol

  23. Amy Dong says:

    I totally appreciate these travel tips, as I travel often with 3 kids in tow – ranging from little to not-so-little! We have definitely learned to pack plenty of snacks, but no super smelly snacks for sure 🙂 And collapsible bag, yes! We do that so we can bring back stuff from our trip on way back!

  24. Great tips for traveling. I have used business class when using Amtrak. Cool tip on the shower and deodorant. I just saw some bags that you could collapse. I follow a famous person on snap chat and she folds all her jewelry in a pillow case – has done videos showing this and that way she has her own pillow case to sleep on and her jewelry is not a tangled mess.

  25. These are great tips! I especially love the one about packing an extra bag you can check for the flight home to make room for the special stuff you don’t want damaged or lost.

  26. Isabelle says:

    Agreed on not checking in a bag! It’s a waste of time and money.

  27. Elizabeth O says:

    These are such great travel tips. I really love the idea of pack light, and It’s really work. Take a shower before travel is so important.

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