Swimsuits should always be packed, even for business travel. You never know when that hotel in the middle of Minnesota might have a heated indoor pool, Jacuzzi or sauna.
Make use of sample and travel-sized items found in drugstores and cosmetics counters. They take up so much less space than a full-sized product and it can be fun to try something new.
Apps and cell phones are a traveler’s best friend. Whether you need a map, directions to a restaurant or wait times at airport security or theme parks, chances are there’s an app available.
Read a bit about your destination ahead of time to get a basic feel for the geography, history and local culture of a place. Even if traveling for business, it makes the city come alive when you know a few interesting facts.
Travel “doubles” – have an extra set of all toiletry and make-up items pre-packed in a travel bag. That way, everything will be packed the morning you leave and you won’t have to worry about forgetting to throw that eyeliner, hairspray or shampoo into your bag.
White-noise machines drown out the sound of traffic, loud televisions and hallway noise in your hotel. It is an investment well spent. White-noise apps for your smart phone are also available.
Over-the-door shoe organizers are great for hanging on the hotel bathroom door to hold all your toiletries. The plastic compartments keep everything visible as well as eliminate countertop clutter.
Mobile phone cameras are great for taking a photo of where you parked your car at the airport, what your rental car looks like and where you parked it when at a large mall or tourist attraction, as well as your passport number for easy access.
Emergency contact numbers, such as credit card companies and the closest Embassy if you are traveling abroad, should be carried with you at all times, somewhere other than your luggage or wallet in case they are lost or stolen.
Neutral colors like black, brown and khaki can be mixed with colorful blouses, tops and scarves to create many looks for women travelers and reduce the amount of clothing packed.
Taxi drivers can provide a wealth of information on local attractions, restaurants and current events. Ask “if you were taking your family to a special, where would you go?”
Roll your clothing items, instead of folding, to create more space in your suitcase and less wrinkles in your clothing.
Advance packing, at least the night before for a business trip and a few days ahead for a family vacation, will ensure you don’t forget something. A travel checklist works great for this.
Volunteer in the local community. If you find yourself going to the same locations, or have an extra day during a conference, consider giving your time and experience to a worthy cause.
Eat like the locals. Support local farmers and fishermen by finding restaurants, markets, co-ops and farms that provide local, sustainable and organic products. And experience foods that you just can’t find at home.
Leave tips daily for your hotel maid. You may have a different maid each day so do not wait until the last day to leave the tip for the entire stay.
Extra Ziploc and plastic shopping bags always come in handy for packing liquid items, wet bathing suits, seashells and dirty clothes.
Reinvent plastic bill boxes and contact lens cases. Both are small, portable and close securely. Use pill boxes for jewelry and small items and contact lens cases for small amounts of liquids, such as eye make-up remover and hair gel.
Social networks can be used to get ideas and opinions on restaurants, hotels and attractions. Chances are somebody in your virtual address book of Facebook friends and Twitter followers will have been where you’re planning to go.
To receive a free copy of our ebook, 70 Secrets to Safe Travel — Because Your Life Can Change in a Heartbeat, and for more travel savvy info to help you travel smarter, safer and with more enjoyment, visit SmartWomenTravelers.com and PearlsofTravelWisdom.com.