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10 Super Easy Travel Tips & Hacks

We love to travel, explore our world and take family road trips.  We have taken many trips that take us all across the country from California, Montana, and Colorado to Maryland, Virginia and everywhere in between. With all 5 of us in the van and different hotel for so many days, we have found some super easy tips and hacks that you might not have thought about.  

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10 Super Easy Travel Tips & Hacks

Pack the Right Pillow cases 

Since many people like to use their own pillows even when they travel, do yourself a favor and use a colored pillow case.  Most hotels have white sheets and pillows so a contrasting color will stick out and help ensure that you don’t leave your favorite pillow behind.

Don’t Forget OdoBan

This one just makes sense.  Don’t forget to pack your favorite odor eliminator so the hotel won’t stink when people need to use the restroom.  There are many different options. You can buy products like poo-pourri that you drop in the toilet or sprays like OdoBan Air Fresheners. that neutralize the air.  

Stock up on Quarters & Laundry Detergent:

When you take an extended road trip, you have two choices when it comes to clothes.  You can pack enough clothes to last the entire trip, but that means that everyone has to pack a larger suitcase making it bulkier to carry in the hotel and makes the car more crowded. Or you can pack less and just do laundry once or twice on the trip.  We typically go with less luggage and just pack quarters and laundry detergent. It works better for us so we have more room in the van. 

Real Life Tip: We always pack a few laundry pods instead of liquid detergent so we don’t have issues with spills or messes. 

Pack a Bulk Charger 

With 5 people, we need lots of charging cords at night. With multiple phones, Kindle readers, fitness trackers and portable chargers, there are not typically enough charging stations at each hotel.  We have two multiple port chargers and we keep all the cords attached. When we get to the hotel, we pull out the two chargers and instantly we have a full charging station.

Use Small Plastic Bowls for Snacks

Packing a few small reusable bowls will help you save money and make it easier to pass our snacks in the vehicle. This allows us to pass out Goldfish, chips, Jelly Bellies or even M&M’S® chocolate candies without making messes and is cheaper because we can buy the larger packages and split them instead of buying individual packaging.

Don’t Forget the Trash Bags

Keep the vehicle clean and the trash under control by packing plastic grocery bags in your front seat. We keep a trash bag between the seats and empty it at gas stations when the bag gets full

Keep Paper Maps

Most of us rely on our GPS to help us navigate when we are on road trips, but have you have ever been out in a new state and not been able to get a signal? We have! We love our GPS unit, but we never travel through a state without first stopping at a Visitors Center to pick up a new updated map. This helps ensure that we never get lost on the backroads with no idea of how to get to the next destination.

Buy a Travel Cot

Hotels are typically designed for a family of four but we have five in our unit. We have two options. We can either reserve a suite with a pull out couch or bring along our own bedding for the fifth member. A few years ago we purchased a travel cot so we could stay in whatever lodging option is available.

Real life tip: Buy the best travel cot you can afford. They are not all made equal. Check to see how heavy the cot is since you will be toting it up to your hotel room on a regular basis. Also, check the reviews  to see if people think it is comfortable.

Travel Cots on Amazon

Travel with the Right Shoes

Each member of the family needs several pairs of shoes for long road trips. Athletic shoes for adventures, slides or flip flops for the hotel and some sort of step-up dressier shoes for museums, restaurants, and events. The key is making sure you pack shoes that are light enough and compact without giving up support and comfort.

Since many of us like simple ankle boots for winter and fall, the trick is buying the right ones that travel well. The Arcopedico shoes are comfortable and super lightweight, plus they can bend and fold to fit any pocket in your suitcase. **When you buy Arcopedico boots, I suggest you order a size up since they run a bit snug in my experience.

Arcopédico shoes feature the “barefoot” upper, a soft, non-binding design that conforms to the top of the foot to allow circulation and all-day comfort, and the patented, metal-free twin arch-support soles (made from molded polyurethane), which protect the foot arch and allow the distribution of body weight through the entire plantar surface.

Available at Arcopedico.com and Amazon

Stay Hydrated

Keep a cooler packed with water so you can stay hydrated while you travel. We always travel with two coolers on all road trips. The small one stays in the middle of the van where we can easily access drinks and the large one stays in the back of the van so we can have plenty of refills.

What are your best travel tips and hacks? Do you have anything that you have learned or discovered when you travel? I’d love to hear!


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