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For Travel, Some Hacks are Helpful

Sometimes, a small tweak can make a big difference.

Travel involves a lot of hassles, many that are unavoidable. There’s not much you can do about traffic, airline delays, bad weather or overcrowding. But you can control other elements of your trips, and practicing some smart habits in these areas can make your travel experiences much more pleasant.

If you frequently forget to pack travel essentials, tire of waiting in long security lines or struggle to get a good night’s sleep in a hotel room or on a plane, read on. These travel hacks can take a lot of pain out of your next trip. And sharing these tips and tricks with your customers will make you look like a travel genius.

Chip-Clip Curtains

When you’re trying to sleep at a hotel, there’s nothing more annoying than streetlight streaming through the window. The curtains in many hotel rooms don’t close completely, but you can solve the problem with a small plastic spring-loaded clip, the kind you might use to close a bag of chips. Keep the clip in your carry-on bag and use it to seal the gap between curtains. These would also make great giveaways for your travelers: Order a bunch with your company logo and include them in your group’s welcome materials.

Precheck Privileges

One of the best travel hacks of the past few years was created by the government agency everyone loves to hate: the Transportation Security Administration. TSA’s Precheck program allows travelers to undergo a background check and apply for a special security status that expedites the screening process significantly. Once you’re approved, you can use the quick-moving Precheck line at airport security checkpoints, and you don’t have to take off your jacket, shoes or belt to pass through metal detectors. If you frequently travel abroad, a similar program called Global Entry will allow you to bypass the customs and immigration lines when re-entering the United States.

A Bundle of Basics

Packing for a trip is always a bit of a guessing game. If you bring only a single change of clothes for each day, a sudden rainstorm or a spilled cup of coffee can wreak havoc on your wardrobe. To solve this problem without overpacking, keep a small bundle of basics tucked inside a pocket of your suitcase. Having a simple set of underwear, socks and a T-shirt on hand will prove helpful when unforeseen events make a mess of your clothes. Leave this bundle in your suitcase even after you return home so it’s ready for your next trip.

Sleep Solutions

If you travel overseas, you’re probably going to spend the occasional night on an airplane. For most people, this means trying to sleep a few hours sitting upright in an uncomfortable coach seat. And though you’ll never get a perfect night’s sleep on an overseas flight, you can improve your prospects significantly by blocking out ambient sound and light. Before you leave, visit a drugstore to buy an eye mask, ear plugs and an over-the-counter sleep aid, then put them all in a small baggie that lives permanently in your carry-on bag. Next time you fly overnight, you’ll be glad you have them.

Toiletries To Go

How many times have you accidentally left one of your most important personal care items at home? You’re most likely to forget things if you move them from your bathroom to your suitcase every time you travel. So buy a duplicate set of all your toiletries and keep them in a bag or pouch that stays in your suitcase. This may represent some upfront expense, especially if you use pricey cosmetics or hair-care products. But the investment will be worth it over time: Not only will you reduce the risk of forgetting something, but you’ll also significantly reduce your packing time.