Let’s face it, travelling can sometimes feel like the most stressful thing in the world. Between packing to avoid hitting the baggage allowance to looking for the perfect accommodation that’s within proximity to everything a city has to offer, sometimes the added stress makes you question why you even chose to go on vacation.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
We don’t mean to blow our own horns, but there’s no better source for travel hacks and tips than a bunch of journalists who travel often for work — and enjoying every bit of it. We find fool-proof ways to make the best of our trips, and then we write about it.
When we’re not jet-setting off to Los Angeles (on United Airlines’ inaugural flight, at that), we’re trying out the new Business Class on Japan Airlines, wandering around Paris’ bohemian enclave, or shopping at Seoul’s best concept stores. And as busy professionals, we hate not maximising our time — so we definitely know a thing or two about travelling smart.
We took it upon ourselves to compile some of our best travel hacks that have served us well over our many trips — and that would hopefully be helpful to you, too.
From in-flight masking (so you’ll arrive at your destination looking fresh) to saving space in your luggage for your shopping in Tokyo or Bangkok, check out these travel hacks that will help you jet set like a pro.
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“In-flight skincare is not something you can neglect. The high altitude and recycled, dry air leads to parched skin, dullness and the worst: pressure zits. Always try to go on a flight bare-faced, and adopt a quick in-flight skincare routine packed with occlusives. Think heavy moisturisers, Vaseline, and face masks. Leave the face mask on for half an hour, if possible, and do one for every eight hours you’re onboard. On top of that, drink lots of water.” — Beatrice Bowers
“While sometimes you just want to take full advantage of in-flight dining, at times it’s best not to. When onboard, you should avoid all sodas, juices and alcohol — as they can be extremely dehydrating. Additionally, alcohol will also mess with your kidneys’ ability to intake fluids and disrupt your sleep cycles.” — Shatricia Nair
“Having multiple documents with you is never fun. I usually consolidate everything I need, such as my credit card information, passport, confirmation emails and travel itinerary, on an app such as Trip It. It’s incredibly handy, as you no longer have to rummage through your bag for a print-out of your hotel reservation when checking in — it’s all right there. It’s also great to have a back-up of all your important documents stored digitally just in case things go awry.” — Josiah Neo
“The smartest way to pack for work trips is to take along neutral pieces that will go with everything. Think black, white and grey — which are my go-to colours. That way, you can get away with rotating between the pieces that you brought along with you and still look chic.” — Luann Alphonso
“Compression storage bags make all the difference and can save up a lot of space in your luggage, as compared to just folding or rolling them. It provides another layer of protection for your clothes, too.” — Bianca Husodo
“If your aim is to breeze through immigration, never wear lace shoes, sneakers or boots, as you may be required to take them off — which would be such a hassle. Slip-on loafers are your best bet, and they’re more comfortable, too.” — Luann Alphonso
“When you’re booking accommodation, search up the location tag on Instagram instead of just looking at official photos on the hotel site. I find this useful especially since you want an actual look at how rooms look like (i.e., a deluxe room versus a superior room). Photos on Instagram are uploaded by the community, after all — so it gives an actual representation of the resort or hotel.” – Azimin Saini
“I make it a point to always get local recommendations whenever I’m discovering a new city. They know the destination like the palm of their hand, anyway. It’s easy to be caught up in the “tourist bubble” and go to places found in guidebooks or other’s travellers’ recommendations, so make a point to talk to bartenders, the hotel concierge, or even shop-owners.” — Dewi Nurjuwita