From going through multiple airport securities, experiencing foul weather, or struggling to get the perfect photo, I’ve developed a checklist to make my travel experiences as smooth as possible. Here’s a couple of travel hacks that I consider most useful.
1. Bring a Rain Jacket
They are super light, barely takes up any space, and can be a lifesaver against rain or wind. You never know when the weather will turn against you. It’s also usually enough to keep me warm in places where it gets chillier in the morning or evening. I prefer it over umbrellas because wearing a rain jacket is more convenient than holding an umbrella and plus, nice rain jackets make for good photos.
2. Accessorize Your Backpack with Bungee Straps & Carabiners
I built a bungee strap and clip several carabiners on my travel and day-to-day backpack so I can easily attach things to the outside of the pack for easy access or for space-saving reasons. I’ve attached jackets to my bungee strap and clipped flip flops on the carabiner while walking on the beach. These accessories are super easy to acquire – REI has nylon cords and cord locks you can buy for under $10 and a ton of places sell carabiners.
3. Bring an Empty Water Bottle
Whether it’s to avoid buying overpriced water at the airport or to stay hydrated on a hike, bringing a water bottle always come in handy. My go-to is the Hydroflask. I usually fill it up after getting through airport security or before I head out for a day trip.
4. Travel Light by Using Protective Wrap and Clothes to Pad Your Camera Gear
I don’t travel with a designated camera bag and sometimes camera cases can be bulky and inconvenient. So, I designed my own system to travel light and properly protect my gear by using protective wraps and clothes I’m bringing. Protective wraps are lightweight and offers some protection, mainly against small bumps and scratches, but it lacks sufficient padding. I layer the bottom of my backpack with a couple of tshirts as padding in addition to putting my camera in a protective wrap.
5. For Window Seat Fans, Know What Direction You’re Taking Off/Landing
Some may say I’m crazy for thinking about this, but I try to figure out which side of the plane to sit on to get the best view. I’m a window seat person so I optimize for the best views and photos ops. The take-off and landing directions vary depending on wind direction, but a little bit of research on Google Maps can easily give you a sense of where you’ll fly over so you can choose the best seat. In this case, when flying from San Francisco to Maui, I would choose a seat on the left side to see the island as I land.
I hope this helps make your next travel adventure a little more convenient! Also curious to hear what other unique travel hacks there are!