09/19/2014 08:56 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Travel Hacks from a Savvy Traveller

What are common items that savvy travelers bring with them that less-savvy ones don't?: originally appeared on Quora: The best answer to any question. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and get insider knowledge. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.


Answer by Daniel Da Vinci

Looking at my half packed suitcase as I write this and I might be repeating others but here are my tips for 'savvy' travelling. Scroll down for bonus travel tips (that I will enforce as mandatory shortly after I take over the world - right after ending world hunger, poverty and implement a system of universal access to education for all)


  1. 10 or so snap lock bags (sandwich sized) - really really handy for keeping things dry or dust/sand free like your phone, passport etc, separate your cash currencies.
  2. Fake wallet with small amount of currency/expired credit card - Put this in one of the obvious pockets in your day pack. Thieves targeting you will hopefully find it thinking they hit pay dirt and then stop rummaging
  3. Digital copies of your itinerary and passport stored on a cloud service like drop box. If you lose them physically you can retrieve them and it saves lugging around printed copies of them.


  1. Universal power adapter
  2. Noise cancelling headphones and a two pronged plane adapter. Seriously great investment. I will often have them on without any music going just to mute out the background noises from the plane or while reading at busy pool sides with kids screeching and running around.
  3. Kindle - forget books. Heavy and easy to forget them on the plane.
  4. PLAN your wifi and mobile connections. Not technically something you pack and yes, lots of destinations have frequently accessible wifi hotspots but some destinations surprisingly do not. (i.e. Japan). You don't want to be roaming while you are there.

Basic Medicals

  1. Ibuprofen
  2. Imodium - particularly if you are going to a developing country and are the adventurous type with food.
  3. Bandaids, disinfectant and sunscreen.
  4. Berocca tablets for recovering from long nights.
  5. Chap stick and moisturizer for dry climates and long flights.


  1. As much non-iron items as possible. You can roll them up tight to pack and you don't want to be bothered with ironing while away on the crappy hotel ironing board and pressing services cost a fortune.
  2. Pack your old clothes from home. You can kick about the hotel in these and donate them to a local charity before you leave vs. taking them home saving you luggage space (extra space to bring back your shopping).

What you DON'T NEED

  1. Printed copies of anything (go digital/cloud)
  2. Point and shoot camera or cheap SLR cameras. they are just a burden and don't add a lot of value. Learn the basics of framing and lighting and just use your phone! The burdensome 'good' SLR's are allowed for enthusiast photographers
  3. Aircraft pillows - really? You can't sleep without it? I'd rather be a bit tired for a day than lug one around with me on holiday.
  4. More than two pairs of shoes. Depending on the trip purpose one pair of casual and comfortable and flip flops are all that's required.
  5. Travel magazines/books etc. It's all online now.
  6. Excessive currency - ATM's and credit cards are prolific in all but the most remote destinations.

BONUS Flying tips

  1. While waiting to pass security checks prepare for when you get to the check point. Remove your watch, coins and wallet, belt and put into in your carry on bag ahead of time rather than waiting till you are at the check point and consequently holding up the line doing something you could easily have done 5minutes ago. Laptop and shoes off then then you are passing through without a hitch.
  2. Unless you are on a cheap ass 'no allocated seating' flight, you don't need to push and shove to 'get on first'. They won't leave without you, chill and wait for your rows to be called.
  3. After the plane lands you don't need to jump up and push people around to try get your luggage from the overhead compartment as if the plane is about to be flushed with nerve gas leaving the un-prepared stragglers to die a horrid death. Relax! We are all keen to get off the plane but the shaving 30 seconds from getting off the plane is really worth the hassle? Chill, stay seated and wait for the gap in human traffic. Or if you are on the aisle seat be polite and offer to help others around you with retrieving their luggage if it's within reach.
  4. While waiting for luggage don't be an ass! Stand behind the yellow line. If we all do that it's easy to reach in and grab your suitcase without needing to elbow anyone in the way.
  5. Not many people know this but it's not actually compulsory to put your seat back as far as it will go the very moment the light dings and plane has levelled at altitude. Try be considerate and only recline it when you actually really need to - and crazy as it seems maybe not ALL the way back? Crazy talk I know, but let's work together to end this tragedy of the commons.

Good luck.

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