12 Travel Tips to Make Your Trip Less of a Nightmare


Traveling over the holidays? Have a big vacation planned in the new year? Our guest blogger, Fred Perrotta knows a thing or two about travel: after all, his company—Tortuga Backpacks—makes some of the best travel backpacks on earth. So listen and learn how to make your trip easier, safer, and more comfortable.


We’d all like to be well-traveled men of the world. Here’s the problem: going places is a beautiful, enriching experience; traveling is a horrible nightmare. Thanks, TSA!

Instead of giving in and becoming a hermit, fight back. Make travel enjoyable again with these 12 travel hacking items, from apps to clothes to gear.

1. CLEARcard

How CLEARcard works
The worst part of travel happens before you even leave the ground: airport security.

What better way to start your trip than by disrobing and getting marched through a full body scanner?

Coming to our collective rescue is CLEAR. Signing up for a biometric CLEARcard will give you access to a separate security line that you can breeze through in 5 minutes.

Although it’s only available at 5 airports now, Clear has plans to expand and has the endorsement of professional lifehacker Tim Ferriss. If you frequently fly into or out of any of CLEAR’s charter airports, check it out.

Price: $179/year

2. TripIt

Stop shuffling papers (what year is it, anyway?) and start managing your trips from your smartphone.

The free version of the TripIt app will aggregate your flight and hotel reservations and add them to your calendar program of choice. Just forward your confirmation email to TripIt, and it will take care of the rest.

Upgrading to TripIt Pro will alert you to changes in your itinerary and price drops which may make you eligible for a refund.

Price: Free to $49/year

3. GridIt

Like any 21st century man on the move, you probably have pockets full of gadgets, especially when you travel.

Grab a simple GridIt to organize all of your gear in one place without having to memorize which stuff is in which pocket.

Price: $14.99

4. MiFi

With all those gadgets, you’ll need constant internet access. Depending on your destination and accommodations, this might not be easy.

If you need a flexible solution, try XCom Global’s MiFi hotspot, which provides international travelers with a flat rate data plan that works in 175 countries.

Never get caught without your precious internet again.

Price: From $14.95/day

5. Eyemask

I Sleep with Strangers eyemask from Flight001

Sleeping on a plane is nearly impossible, even on long haul or redeye flights.

Give yourself a fighting chance with an eyemask. The “I Sleep With Strangers” eyemask from Flight001 is a great way to block out light and provide a (not very) subtle invitation to the Mile High Club.

Price: $22

6. Ostrich Pillow

Ostrich Pillow at work

If that cheap inflatable neck pillow isn’t comfortable enough, there is another option, if you don’t mind looking completely ridiculous.

The Ostrich Pillow makes the world your bed. When you aren’t traveling, stash it in your desk at work for some afternoon “thinking time.”

Price: $97

7. GoToob

Now that you’ve upgraded your grooming regimen, you have all kinds of tubes and bottles of “product” to bring on your trip. Like Skin Grit, for example.

If any of them are over 3 ounces, you’ll have to check your bag. Checking bags is for suckers.

Instead, squeeze your fancy creams into a TSA-compliant 3 ounce GoToob bottle. Now you can stay rakishly handsome, even when you’re away from home.

Price: $25.95

8. Packing Folders

For business trips, you’ll need to bring dress clothes. Storing them in a packing folder will keep them organized and wrinkle free in your bag.

Price: $24 to $32

9. P^cubed Travel Pants

If you’re worried about security, lock down your pockets with Pick-Pocket Proof Pants.

Wear them because you don’t want to have to show off your karate skills on an unsuspecting street thief.

Price: From $99.95

10. Clever Travel Companion Underwear

For an added layer of security, stash your valuables in your underwear. Clever Travel Companion underwear include two zippered pockets for your passport or credit cards.

While you may be protected from pickpockets, you’ll still be susceptible to beautiful spies who can seduce you out of your pants. Definitely worth the risk.

Price: $24.90

11. Passport Wallet

Tanner Goods leather travel wallet

Real men need real wallets. Made of leather. Without velcro.

A well-made leather wallet can be helpful for storing boarding passes, a passport, and money when traveling.

This passport wallet from Tanner Goods is handmade in the USA, simple, and elegant.

Price: $95

12. Vagabonding

When travel becomes drudgery, read Rolf Potts’ classic book, Vagabonding.

Vagabonding is part inspiration, part advice on how to travel whenever and however you want. You don’t need to be fabulously rich or retired to see the world. Anyone can do it with Potts’ advice.

Price: $10.20

Now you’re prepared to be travel as smoothly as Clooney in Up in the Air. All that’s left is to decide where you’ll go.

How else do you make travel tolerable?



About Fred Perrotta
Fred Perrotta is the co-founder of Tortuga Backpacks, the makers of the ultimate travel backpack. The Tortuga lets jetsetters bring everything they need without checking a bag. Learn more at TortugaBackpacks.com

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Tags: advice, gear, packing, travel, travel safety, vacation

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