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Top 15 International Travel Hacks

Updated: Nov 11, 2022

With all of the nerves and excitement of travel there are so may things that people forget to do! – Here is everything you should do before your next adventure.

Even with my frequent travels, I still sometimes forget things and I always kick myself later! Hopefully with these International Travel tips, you can create a happy, smooth vacation.

Everyone is afraid of things going wrong. Losing your passport, Missing your flight, forgetting your ID or just not being prepared in general. Keeping up to date on the latest travel hacks can be an easy way to avoid some of these mishaps.

Here are 15 things that everyone should be doing before you leave, at the airport, and when you arrive at your destination.

Looking for something specific?

Things to do before you leave

Things to do when you get to the airport

Things to do when you arrive at your destination


Things to do before you leave

A lot of times people get so caught up in the stress of the future, they forget about what they should be doing in the moment. Stop, take a breath and remember to do these 5 things before you leave on an international trip.

#1 Make a copy of all of your important documents

One of my biggest fears is losing my ID or Passport while I'm on vacation. One of the easiest ways to ensure you wont get suck in a foreign country if this happens is to make copies of your important documents. Print a physical paper copy of your passport, ID, and flight details. Make sure you put these papers in your wallet or purse. Lastly take a picture on your phone of each of these things. I don't know a single person that doesn't have their phone on them 90% of the time. People are more likely to remember their phone than to remember a passport or paperwork.

#2 Solid everything

Nobody wants to be stopped at airport security for having to many liquid products in their bag. There are a few simple tricks to help avoid this. Most people, at least girls, always want to pack their favorite shampoo and conditioner but the bottles are always to big to go on the plane. Now, some will say just to buy some travel size containers, but for anyone with long hair like me, you know that small container of shampoo is not going to last very long. Recently I've started buying Shampoo and Conditioner bars and it is a total game changer! I originally started buying them just for my travels, but I got addicted and use them all the time now!

#3 Use packing cubes

I don't know about you but I've always been an over packer. I bring way to much stuff and I never end up using half of it. The night before leaving I am always sitting on my suitcase trying to zip it shut. Finally before my last trip I bought some packing cubes and let me tell you, GAME CHANGER! I can still pack all of my unnecessary items but not have to worry about breaking the zipper on my suitcase. Not only does it save space but it is an easy way to keep your things organized.

#4 Buy a portable charger

One of the most annoying things about traveling is having a low battery on your phone or earbuds without having a place to plug them in! Let me tell you, having your phone die on the plane makes for a LONG flight. This can also be a problem on so many other occasions, not just your flight days. There has been multiple times in my travels when I am out exploring and my phone dies. This was a huge problem for me because I kept all of my important phone numbers and hotel addresses in my phone. I had to scramble to find a way back to my resort. An easy way to avoid all of this frustration is to invest in a portable charger. I can definitely say that my portable charger has saved my ass on multiple occasions.

#5 Give your bank and credit card companies a heads up

No one ever wants to be left without a credit card on vacation. I learned the hard way that you should always call your bank before traveling to let them know where your card is going to be used. Some banks will flag your account if you start making purchases in different states or countries. The last thing you want is to try and buy something in another country and have your card be declined. To ensure this doesn't happen, be sure to give your bank a heads up!


Things to do when you get to the airport

Getting to the airport can be a stressful time. Thinking back making sure you didn't forget anything, getting through security, and even finding your gate. There are a few things that can make all of this less stressful.

#1 Bring your own water bottle

No one wants to spend $6 on a small water in the airport. Now obviously you can't bring a drink through security, but you can bring an empty water bottle and fill it up after you get through. This is such a money saver! I cannot tell you how many times I've forgotten my water bottle and kicked myself when I got to the airport.

#2 Bring snacks!

Everyone knows that airport food is EXPENSIVE but lets face it, the stress of waiting around for your flight can make you hungry. I always pack a few different snacks in my bag so that I have options to pick from throughout the trip. Even with a short flight I always bring a lot of snacks with me! You never know if your flight is going to be delayed or if you are going to get stuck on the tarmac. Talking from personal experience, NEVER count on your flight being on time or being able to get off the plane as soon as you land. Always bring snacks!

#3 Keep items you will need within reach

There are several things that you always want to keep within reach when traveling. Don't be the person that is constantly getting up to scramble through their bags to find something. When you are traveling internationally you always want to have a pen easily available so that you can fill out the customs paperwork on the plane. Personally, I always keep these things in a small bag under my seat because I know that I will want them during the flight.

  • Snacks

  • Pen

  • Laptop/phone or book

  • Portable charger and cords

  • Earbuds

  • Passport

#4 Take a picture of your parking space

After a long trip out of the country you don't want to spend an hour trying to remember where you parked your car. If you cant get someone to drop you off at the airport, I highly recommend taking a picture of where you parked. You should also take pictures of your car incase you find any damage when you return.

#5 Use a bright colored luggage tag or ribbon to easily identify your bags

Being in a new place is stressful enough without having to make sure you pull the right luggage off of the carrousel. You aren't the only one that has a black suitcase and the last thing you would want is to grab the wrong bag. Its so simple to tie a bright ribbon on the handle of your suitcase so that you easily know exactly which bags are yours.


Things to do when you arrive at your destination

#1 Split up your money

How terrible would it be if you had all of your money in your wallet and it got lost or stolen. What would you do after that? You should always split up your cash into several different places so that in case of an emergency you aren't completely helpless. The absolute last thing that you would want, would to be stuck in a foreign country with absolutely no money!

#2 Download Google Translate to help with language barriers

Before I learned some Spanish, I relied 100% on google translate when I went to Mexico. Most of the resorts that I have been to in Mexico, the employees speak a decent amount of English which makes things a lot easier. But if you ever go outside your resort not as many people speak English. This can be difficult and dangerous for many reasons. It is important to know what people are asking you before you try to respond. Most peoples first instinct when they don't understand something is to smile and nod, but you have no idea what you are agreeing to. This applies to anywhere in the world not just Mexico. Besides safety, it just makes your vacation so much easier.

#3 Easily share photos with friends and family

Why does it have to be so hard for everyone to share their pictures at the end of a trip? My family has always had such a hard time sharing their photos with everyone when we get home. Until I had a lightbulb moment about starting a shared album before your trip starts. This way everyone can add their photos to the album, making it easily accessible to everyone in it.

#4 Make a note in your phone of important phone numbers and Addresses

Its Scary enough being in a new town, not knowing where you are. Like I said before you should always make a note of all the important phone numbers and addresses you might need in order to get back to your resort. Now I also said you should get a portable charger incase your phone dies. What next? On your way out of the hotel, swipe a business card off of the front desk that way you don't have to rely on having your phone handy. You can also write any additional numbers on the back of the card.

#5 Take a free tour of the area when you arrive

When you get to a new place, you don't want to look like a completely clueless tourist. A simple way to get familiar with the area is to take a free tour around town the day that you arrive. This will get you oriented with where you are and how to get back to your hotel if you leave.


The next time you are planning a vacation come back to these international travel tips so you can have a smoother, less stressful vacation.

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