Remember this blog?? Well we’re back this week with our TOP FIVE tried and true travelhacks. Don’t leave home without ’em.

5. Ziplocs, Ziplocs, Ziplocs. Ziploc bags can be used for everything. You probably use them a lot yourself– to store food, clothes, “stuff” of all kinds. Yet, they can be UNBELIEVABLY difficult to find in some other countries, and when you’re traveling, they’re like gold. Trust me. You won’t realize how many things you can use ziploc bags for until you do, and then you’ll never leave them at home again. Store food safe from bugs, keep shampoo from leaking, use them an as container to dump water on your head in the absence of working water pressure, or do laundry in them (put a little water, a shirt, and some soap in a bag and shake it up. Just like Shake n’ Bake.). As a therapist, my favorite use of a ziploc bag is a quick and dirty assessment of single-hand or bilateral fine motor skills. You never know when they come in handy!!

4. Simplify and Safeguard your Dental Hygiene. One of the WORST things that can happen to you while traveling is forgetting to use bottled water to brush your teeth and then getting violently ill. (I’ll save you the gory details on this blog, but email me and I’ll tell you the story of the grossest thing I ever found in public plumbing in another country– never brushing my teeth out of the sink water again.) Avoid that outcome– tape your tooth brush to a bottle of water. It will save you from forgetting. And conserve your bottled water. Instead of dumping it over your brush to wet it, put toothpaste on your dry brush, stick it in your mouth, and then take a mouthful of water to brush in. Voila.

3. Pack a week a head of time. Remember all those times you’ve stayed up til 3 am running around like a crazy person packing? Don’t do that anymore. Just don’t. Except for the stuff you need on a daily basis, pack the week before. You will not believe how much calmer you feel and how much more time you will have to get things done before you go. Added bonus? you get a whole extra week to remember the things you’ve forgotten to pack instead of just the five minutes before you walk out the door.

2. The Sleeping Bag Trick. This is the one that everyone thinks is absolutely crazy until you’ve tried it. It goes like this: Bring a sleeping bag. Get on your long, international flight. get in the sleeping bag. buckle your seatbelt around it. Go to sleep. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started out a flight getting crazy eyes from everyone around me and ending it with those same people telling me how amazing of an idea it was. Sounds crazy, I know, but it’s revolutionized my travel lifestyle.  Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.

1. The List. If you don’t do anything else when you travel, do this. Make a list of everything you pack. Organize it by container, like so:

I. In Carry-On Sized Suitcase: (bonus tip– don’t ever check luggage if you can help it. cheaper, easier, and forces you to pack light.)

A. 3 shirts

B. 2 pair jeans

C. Toiletry case

1. Shampoo

2. Conditioner

….and so on and so forth. This list will change your life. Follow it every time, and you won’t forget anything. You’ll have an organized suitcase, won’t pack too much, and have a list in case you need it for insurance.

Good luck and happy travels!

Emily Boshkoff-Johnson, Research and Training Coordinatior

Tips provided by Molly Ola Pinney, CEO/Founder and seasoned world traveler


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