Time-tested tips for a less tense trip.
Instead of insulting your intelligence with hacks like "bring an empty water bottle" or "pack earplugs," we've put together a list of our team's go-to travel tips that will help even the most seasoned wayfarer avoid the inevitable pitfalls of leaving home.
Clear your cookies before booking a flight.
Ticket prices change based on demand. Which means if you've been searching for tickets and then checking back a few days later to see if the price has gone down, you may be driving the price up for yourself. While some like to get around this by using "private browsing" windows, clearing your search history and cookies is your best bet.
Book two one-way flights. Often, flying two different airlines and booking two one-way tickets is actually cheaper than booking round-trip. And by mixing and matching, you have better choices for arrival and departure times. Some flight-booking sites, such as Kayak, already do this for you, but always do your homework and check the airline websites yourself.
Choose your plane wisely. Foreign carriers typically have better amenities than American ones—even in economy, where they often provide you with hot towels and pillows. If you're deciding between similar flights and one that is on a Boeing 767, take that one, as the aircraft has fewer of the dreaded middle seats than other planes.
Maximize space in your suitcase (and minimize wrinkles at your destination) by rolling clothes instead of folding.
Keep your suitcase smelling fresh at the end of your trip by tossing a hotel bar of soap in with your dirty laundry.
Store power cords and chargers in a small zippered bag (like this one from Topo Designs) or an old sunglasses case to keep them accessible and from knotting up inside your carry-on.
Don't pay for hotel WiFi if you don't need to. Find the WiFi passwords for local joints near you by checking comments on FourSquare or Yelp.
Wear your heaviest shoes on the plane as well as your heaviest coat. You'll save room and keep your luggage light. Plus, that coat doubles as a blanket or pillow in pinch.
Use belts to line your shirt collars to keep them crisp. Maintain your shoe's shape by stuffing them with socks or underwear.
Wrap headphones around a binder clip to prevent them from tangling. You can also clip them onto your bag's strap for easy access.