8 Traveling Hacks for Traveling Outside of the United States

International travel is so much fun, but it can also be difficult. From long flights where you get limited sleep and eat mostly bread, reheated pasta and canned fruit from a little tray, international trips can take their toll on your mind and body.

But here are a few travel hacks (from packing your suitcase, to quick ways to save after you actually arrive) that will help you keep your sanity while you’re out on your next adventure.

  1. Pack your socks inside your shoes. Use the shoes you’re packing as handy storage places for small items and save on space.
  2. Call your credit card company ahead of time. Let them know you’ll be out of the area, so you can avoid any downtime or the inability to use your card. It’s also important to try to get some cash in that country’s currency, in case this does happen. That way, while everything is getting worked out, you’ll still be able to enjoy lunch or a few drinks.
  3. Roll your clothes. Yes, there is a certain way to rolling shirts, pants and jackets, to ensure that your items don’t wrinkle — and also to keep it so you can actually shut your suitcase before takeoff.
  4. Depending on where you’re headed, bring a water bottle so you can fill up at airports and save on buying and carrying plastic bottles of water.
  5. Buy snacks and beverages at grocery stores during your trip, not at the hotel gift shop. You know how water is usually $3–6 at the airport? Save big by going to the store when you arrive in a new country. Buying bottles from the neighborhood store will definitely save. (I did this while in Florence, Italy. There was a tiny neighborhood convenience store right next to my hotel. Instead of going to a chain grocery store, I chose to buy bottles at the smaller store and reaped a small financial benefit).
  6. Collect travel and sample-size items at every hotel or inn. Even if you don’t think you’re going to use that shea almond honey lotion on your current trip, it might come in handy when you get a sunburn on your next one and you’re looking for something to help.
  7. Pack ear plugs. Okay, these sound lame, but they have great use on a flight (especially if a baby is crying or someone is having a lengthy conversation about a subject that doesn’t interest you). They are also good if you happen to be staying at a hotel on a weekend night and people are partying all hours of the night.
  8. Get YouRoam! YouRoam allows you to accept calls to your original number without any roaming charges. Download the YouRoam app on Google Play or on the Apple App store and use your phone number to create your account so you will never have to remember a password or username. This way, when you call your friends through YouRoam, they will see your regular caller ID and won’t avoid your calls.
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