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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Wacky & Weird Travel Hacks That Just Might Work!

Traveling is amazing…and expensive! The cost of flights, hotels, dining out, and excursions can really add up. If you’re budget-conscious, every little bit of savings helps. We’ve discovered a few unique hacks that might help you keep cash in your pocket. At the very least, you will enjoy reading these creative ideas!

Save money on dining – right from your room!
Most of us haven’t yet discovered that hotel rooms offer opportunities to save money on dining. Did you know you could make a healthy, hot breakfast with inexpensive items purchased at the grocery store, right in your own room? Avoid the overpriced hotel restaurant or lackluster coffee shop muffins by purchasing some eggs and bacon and get cookin’! Utilizing the in-room coffee maker, place whole eggs in the carafe, fill the reservoir with enough water to cover the eggs, then run the machine. Let the eggs stand for about 15 minutes. Voila– hard boiled eggs! Prefer something toasty? You have TWO options to make a yummy grilled cheese sandwich or quesadilla. Remove the coffee pot and place bread on the burner. Add cheese, then another piece of bread, and flip your sandwich.

If your coffee pot burner isn’t large enough, you can also utilize your iron! A little pre-planning is all it takes. Pack a few sheets of foil in your luggage, and you can iron a sandwich by wrapping it in foil and pressing it with the iron.

Speaking of the iron, you can also cook bacon on it. Make sure you use plenty of foil and raise the edges so that you do not end up with a greasy mess.

If you don’t want to work so hard for your breakfast (after all, you’re on vacation!), pack a few envelopes of instant oatmeal and cook it in the aforementioned coffee pot. You can even throw in a tea bag in the pod holder section, for added flavor (we like apple cinnamon).

Conquer common, yet annoying hotel room inefficiencies
Hotel rooms often lack the kind of lighting that’s needed for a late night trip to the restroom or a not-too-bright reading lamp. But you can create your own nightlight! Just turn on the flashlight on your cell phone. Place the phone on a table, light facing up. Grab a full water bottle (make sure the outside is dry) and place it on top of the phone. Instant, glowing nightlight! Learn how to make it here.

Hotel room curtains have a habit of not quite closing completely. If you’d like to enjoy sleeping in, you can keep the curtains closed by grabbing a hanger from the closet (the kind with clips). Pull the curtains together and clip them closed with the hanger’s clips. Now you can rest peacefully without having to worry about unwelcomed morning light.

Hotel fridges are great. No more wasted restaurant leftovers or worrying about food from your grocery store run. But, what if you forgot plastic wrap, or didn’t have room in your suitcase? No problem! Most hotels provide brand new, sealed shower caps with their free toiletries. You can wrap up your leftovers or even cover a full-sized plate of food. That freebie shower cap can also provide you with an instant shoe bag, or protection for wet bathing suits!

Stash your cash
No in-room safe? No problem! You don’t have to walk around with all your cash. Containers typically utilized for other purposes can be great for hiding money. Remove the spool of dental floss from its case and place the cash inside. Other common containers also provide sneaky hiding spots. A packet of gum with a few sticks removed; an empty lip balm or deodorant container (internal plastic removed); or a shampoo bottle lid can all be utilized to hide money in your room. But the best hiding place we came across was in the back of a hairbrush! Hairbrushes with plastic backs can be separated from the bristles. Pop the bristle section away from the brush handle section, and hide your stash. No hairbrush? Peel back the innersole from your shoe and you’ve got the ideal place to hide money. But remember; don’t forget your hiding place!

Before you go
A little planning ahead can spare you some travel headaches, as well as extra room in your suitcase. Instead of packing a full container of your favorite cosmetics, you can use an inexpensive contact lens case for your favorite liquid makeup or your moisturizer. The lids stay on securely and the container takes up very little bag space. And, plastic pill cases are ideal for holding rings and earrings!

Dryer sheets take up almost no space in your bag, but they can really save you when it’s time to pack up your dirty laundry. Grab the dry cleaning bag from the hotel closet (they’re free) and use it for worn clothing. Toss in a dryer sheet to keep the clothes odor-free. Dryer sheets are also great static reducers. And, you can stick one in your pocket to ward off insects while hiking.

Chances are, you’re taking a cell phone with camera capabilities to capture every moment and take awesome selfies. But, that little camera offers much more. Take photos of all of your documents, boarding passes, and even your driver’s license, to use as a backup if something gets lost. Pictures can be viewed even if there’s no wifi, so you will be able to access them at any time.

Add a brightly colored luggage tag (or even a shower poof!) to your luggage before you take off, and take a photo of it. If your luggage is lost, this will help your luggage stand out and speed up the recovery process.

Finally, if you are frequently frustrated by the teeny drinks offered on planes, you have two options that will save you money and give you plenty of refreshment. You can pack an empty water bottle in your carry on, or, you can freeze a bottle of water before you leave for the airport. As long as the water remains solid through security, you can take it with you, since it is no longer a liquid.

What’s your favorite travel hack? Share it below! 

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