(BPT) - Holiday travel can be an exciting experience, but one that's often plagued with frustration and exhaustion. What if you forget where you parked? What happens when you can't plug in all your gear and it dies? What if you get stuck at airport security and miss your flight?
While there is no surefire trick for seamless travel, there are some things you can do to help prevent problems and eliminate stress. Consider these five smart strategies — including one great gift idea — to upgrade your travel game:
Your smartphone's camera is for more than just selfies. It can be a wonderful way to document often-forgotten information so you can proactively save yourself a big headache. For example, take pics of your itinerary so if internet is down, you still have access to the information directly on your phone. Get in the habit of taking pictures of your parking spots and hotel rooms as well so that if you forget this information, you have a picture to quickly remind you.
Seasoned travelers tend to stick to carry-on luggage when flying to skip checking bags and therefore save time. When packing a carry-on, bring the necessities and maximize versatile clothing that can be used in more than one way. While the choice is yours, many travelers swear by the rolling method for packing clothing rather than folding to save space and prevent wrinkles. Finally, if you're staying at a place for more than a few days, plan on using the hotel's dry-cleaning service, which is likely still cheaper than paying for a checked bag to bring more clothing.
Today's family travel utilizes lots of technology that needs to be plugged in or charged. When you're stuck in an airport or hotel, there might just be one plug, which is extremely limiting. Grab a gadget that solves this dilemma: the Anker PowerPort Strip PD 2 Mini. This palm-sized portable power strip has two AC outlets, two USB-A charging ports and one high-speed USB-C Power Delivery port for phones, tablets and more. Featuring a compact square design, it has a slimmer plug than other power strips for maximum space-saving while traveling, plus it's compatible with different voltage standards, so it can be used internationally with no worries. For more information, visit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WLBZFDH.
Sail through airports
Frequent flyers know that airports can be congested and slow even when you least expect them to be. If you fly often domestically, consider investing in TSA Precheck to keep you flowing through checkpoints with ease. It costs $85 but is good for five years so many travelers find it worthwhile. If you travel internationally, invest in Global Entry, which provides similar benefits plus expedited processing at Customs and Border Protection for $100.
Not only does loyalty to certain brands help you rack up membership points, it reduces stress because you know what to expect. You'll generally understand the process for getting what you need after you arrive at your destination. So try to fly, rent a car and book accommodations from the same companies as much as possible.