Tag Archives: Travel Tips

How to Score Free Food, Drinks, and Amenities at Hotels 

It’s easy to assume most everything you find in a hotel comes at a price—especially if you’ve been burned after raiding the minibar in a desperate state of hanger.

Read more…

Request a Duplicate Passport If You Travel Internationally Often

Request a Duplicate Passport If You Travel Internationally Often

If you want to see the world, you need a passport. If you want to see the world with a little more security and ease, you could use a duplicate passport.

About.com’s Travel Insurance site points out three reasons you might want to apply for a duplicate passport. These include traveling internationally while you’re applying for a visa in another country (since you’d have to submit your passport book for visa processing) and avoid questioning from Customs when you’re travelling between politically sensitive countries.

For most travelers, the biggest benefit of having a duplicate passport is so you can keep traveling even if your other passport is lost or stolen:

One common fear of frequent travelers is having a passport lost or stolen abroad. While applying for an emergency passport replacement is possible, the process can be difficult and unpleasant to begin with. Furthermore, an emergency passport is only valid to return to a home country – requiring the traveler to apply for a new passport prior to their next travel.

By holding a second passport book, travelers can maintain their international travel plans even if a passport is lost or stolen abroad. Through holding a duplicate passport, travelers will still need to report their passport as lost or stolen to local authorities and the State Department, but can still travel while they wait for a permanent replacement to arrive.

So if you’re planning a multi-country trip, you can consider a duplicate passport a kind of travel insurance.

Three Good Reasons to Request a Duplicate Passport | About.com


PSA: There’s a Secret Button to Raise the Armrest of an Aisle Seat on an Airplane

PSA: There's a Secret Button to Raise the Armrest of an Aisle Seat on an Airplane

The armrest of the aisle seat might seem like it can’t be raised, but appearances can be deceiving. Many aisle seats have a hidden button or lever that will let you raise the armrest.

This tip comes to us via Reddit user Goat_Porker, who says this can come in handy if you want to spread out more, although some flight attendants might tell you to lower it back. Broken Secrets’ Chad Upton also adds this will also make it easier to get out of the seat:

a few years ago, I saw a person in the row ahead of me raise the aisle armrest. That was a game changer for me. No more ducking! Simply raise the armrest, then stand up while you slide off your seat into the aisle.

There are a few planes that do not have movable aisle armrests. However, most of them have a small lever or button on the underside of the armrest, near the hinge. Pushing or sliding this lever will release the hinge lock, allowing you to raise the armrest.

So maybe you can be a bit more comfortable on your next cramped flight.

The Hidden Lever to Raise Airplane Armrests | Broken Secrets

You know how all the other armrests can be raised except for the one next to the aisle? | Reddit

Photo by theogeo.


Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

The whole point of a vacation is to relax and relieve stress, but all too often, you need a vacation after your vacation to recover from your time off. Here are ten tips to make your vacation the stress-buster it really should be.

10. Know Why Vacations Are So Stressful

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

If you only take a vacation once in a while, it puts a lot of pressure on that time period for everything to be perfect. Try taking breaks every quarter or twice a year and keep your vacation itinerary flexible so you don’t end up stressing out on your vacation.

9. Take a 10-Day Vacation

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

A three-day getaway is nice and a week-long one is quite common, but 10 could be the magic vacation number. You’ve got enough time to travel to where you’re going, maybe with multiple stops, and you’re away long enough that you’re forced to off-load your duties at work.

8. Travel with Your Kids While Keeping Everyone Happy (Somehow)

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Traveling with kids adds unique challenges, especially when you have to schedule around nap and feeding times. Don’t let having young kids (or kids of any age) keep you from traveling, though. All you need is some extra planning and preparation for a smooth trip. Even flying with kids doesn’t have to be a nightmare, especially if you travel on a kid-friendly airline.

7. Let Someone Else Plan Your Trip

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Most of us go the DIY route when booking our trips, but a travel agent can save you time and stress when you have a complex vacation planned, such as traveling with a group or you have health issues that need to be accommodated. You can also save a lot of money by using a travel agent if you’re planning an international trip.

6. Head to an Underrated Vacation Destination

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

If you like crowds and long lines, visit a popular destination in prime tourist season. Otherwise, you might enjoy your vacation more if you head somewhere less popular, like one of these suggestions from Lifehacker readers, or take a staycation. Similarly, the summer might not be the best time for a vacation, depending on where you go. (I’m looking at you, Disney World!)

5. Streamline Your Vacation Planning

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Sometimes vacations are stressful just because you have to make a ton of decisions and coordinate with other people. We’re fans of TripIt for automatically organizing our travel plans in one place, but there are lots of other travel planning apps that can simplify your plans. You can plan a trip itinerary using your own custom Google Map or this simple spreadsheet too.

4. Set Guidelines When Traveling with a Group of Friends

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Traveling with friends is a lot of fun, but it can also drive you crazy, since you’ll be together constantly and probably won’t agree on everything all the time. Keep your cool by making sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to accommodations and planned activities.

3. Work on Vacation (Without Going Crazy)

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Sometimes you have to take work with you on vacation, it can’t be helped. If that’s the case, try setting aside small blocks of time that you’ll use to catch up on work and save the rest of the time for enjoying your vacation.

2. But Don’t Let Work Ruin Your Vacation Time

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

If you don’t really have to work while on vacation, though, don’t. You can force yourself not to get sucked into work mode with a vacation email address. Schedule your vacation well in advance and block those dates as “out of office” so you avoid having regular work conflicting with your vacation desires. If the thought of going back to work stresses you out while you’re on vacation (or before you leave), plan to hit the ground running when you return with a few simple tricks like cleaning your home and desk before you leave and starting your day a little earlier so you have some alone time.

1. Take a Vacation, Already

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Taking a vacation shouldn’t make you feel guilty. Too many of us don’t use our vacation time, perhaps thinking that we look like we’re harder workers when we don’t go on vacation. That’s silly. Go relax. Here’s our start-to-finish guide to a perfect, stress-free vacation.

Photo by Transia Design (Shutterstock).


Lifehacker’s Weekend Roundup gathers our best guides, explainers, and other posts on a certain subject so you can tackle big projects with ease. For more, check out our Weekend Roundup and Top 10 tags.

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

The whole point of a vacation is to relax and relieve stress, but all too often, you need a vacation after your vacation to recover from your time off. Here are ten tips to make your vacation the stress-buster it really should be.

10. Know Why Vacations Are So Stressful

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

If you only take a vacation once in a while, it puts a lot of pressure on that time period for everything to be perfect. Try taking breaks every quarter or twice a year and keep your vacation itinerary flexible so you don’t end up stressing out on your vacation.

9. Take a 10-Day Vacation

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

A three-day getaway is nice and a week-long one is quite common, but 10 could be the magic vacation number. You’ve got enough time to travel to where you’re going, maybe with multiple stops, and you’re away long enough that you’re forced to off-load your duties at work.

8. Travel with Your Kids While Keeping Everyone Happy (Somehow)

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Traveling with kids adds unique challenges, especially when you have to schedule around nap and feeding times. Don’t let having young kids (or kids of any age) keep you from traveling, though. All you need is some extra planning and preparation for a smooth trip. Even flying with kids doesn’t have to be a nightmare, especially if you travel on a kid-friendly airline.

7. Let Someone Else Plan Your Trip

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Most of us go the DIY route when booking our trips, but a travel agent can save you time and stress when you have a complex vacation planned, such as traveling with a group or you have health issues that need to be accommodated. You can also save a lot of money by using a travel agent if you’re planning an international trip.

6. Head to an Underrated Vacation Destination

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

If you like crowds and long lines, visit a popular destination in prime tourist season. Otherwise, you might enjoy your vacation more if you head somewhere less popular, like one of these suggestions from Lifehacker readers, or take a staycation. Similarly, the summer might not be the best time for a vacation, depending on where you go. (I’m looking at you, Disney World!)

5. Streamline Your Vacation Planning

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Sometimes vacations are stressful just because you have to make a ton of decisions and coordinate with other people. We’re fans of TripIt for automatically organizing our travel plans in one place, but there are lots of other travel planning apps that can simplify your plans. You can plan a trip itinerary using your own custom Google Map or this simple spreadsheet too.

4. Set Guidelines When Traveling with a Group of Friends

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Traveling with friends is a lot of fun, but it can also drive you crazy, since you’ll be together constantly and probably won’t agree on everything all the time. Keep your cool by making sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to accommodations and planned activities.

3. Work on Vacation (Without Going Crazy)

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Sometimes you have to take work with you on vacation, it can’t be helped. If that’s the case, try setting aside small blocks of time that you’ll use to catch up on work and save the rest of the time for enjoying your vacation.

2. But Don’t Let Work Ruin Your Vacation Time

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

If you don’t really have to work while on vacation, though, don’t. You can force yourself not to get sucked into work mode with a vacation email address. Schedule your vacation well in advance and block those dates as “out of office” so you avoid having regular work conflicting with your vacation desires. If the thought of going back to work stresses you out while you’re on vacation (or before you leave), plan to hit the ground running when you return with a few simple tricks like cleaning your home and desk before you leave and starting your day a little earlier so you have some alone time.

1. Take a Vacation, Already

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Taking a vacation shouldn’t make you feel guilty. Too many of us don’t use our vacation time, perhaps thinking that we look like we’re harder workers when we don’t go on vacation. That’s silly. Go relax. Here’s our start-to-finish guide to a perfect, stress-free vacation.

Photo by Transia Design (Shutterstock).


Lifehacker’s Weekend Roundup gathers our best guides, explainers, and other posts on a certain subject so you can tackle big projects with ease. For more, check out our Weekend Roundup and Top 10 tags.

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

The whole point of a vacation is to relax and relieve stress, but all too often, you need a vacation after your vacation to recover from your time off. Here are ten tips to make your vacation the stress-buster it really should be.

10. Know Why Vacations Are So Stressful

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

If you only take a vacation once in a while, it puts a lot of pressure on that time period for everything to be perfect. Try taking breaks every quarter or twice a year and keep your vacation itinerary flexible so you don’t end up stressing out on your vacation.

9. Take a 10-Day Vacation

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

A three-day getaway is nice and a week-long one is quite common, but 10 could be the magic vacation number. You’ve got enough time to travel to where you’re going, maybe with multiple stops, and you’re away long enough that you’re forced to off-load your duties at work.

8. Travel with Your Kids While Keeping Everyone Happy (Somehow)

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Traveling with kids adds unique challenges, especially when you have to schedule around nap and feeding times. Don’t let having young kids (or kids of any age) keep you from traveling, though. All you need is some extra planning and preparation for a smooth trip. Even flying with kids doesn’t have to be a nightmare, especially if you travel on a kid-friendly airline.

7. Let Someone Else Plan Your Trip

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Most of us go the DIY route when booking our trips, but a travel agent can save you time and stress when you have a complex vacation planned, such as traveling with a group or you have health issues that need to be accommodated. You can also save a lot of money by using a travel agent if you’re planning an international trip.

6. Head to an Underrated Vacation Destination

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

If you like crowds and long lines, visit a popular destination in prime tourist season. Otherwise, you might enjoy your vacation more if you head somewhere less popular, like one of these suggestions from Lifehacker readers, or take a staycation. Similarly, the summer might not be the best time for a vacation, depending on where you go. (I’m looking at you, Disney World!)

5. Streamline Your Vacation Planning

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Sometimes vacations are stressful just because you have to make a ton of decisions and coordinate with other people. We’re fans of TripIt for automatically organizing our travel plans in one place, but there are lots of other travel planning apps that can simplify your plans. You can plan a trip itinerary using your own custom Google Map or this simple spreadsheet too.

4. Set Guidelines When Traveling with a Group of Friends

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Traveling with friends is a lot of fun, but it can also drive you crazy, since you’ll be together constantly and probably won’t agree on everything all the time. Keep your cool by making sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to accommodations and planned activities.

3. Work on Vacation (Without Going Crazy)

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Sometimes you have to take work with you on vacation, it can’t be helped. If that’s the case, try setting aside small blocks of time that you’ll use to catch up on work and save the rest of the time for enjoying your vacation.

2. But Don’t Let Work Ruin Your Vacation Time

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

If you don’t really have to work while on vacation, though, don’t. You can force yourself not to get sucked into work mode with a vacation email address. Schedule your vacation well in advance and block those dates as “out of office” so you avoid having regular work conflicting with your vacation desires. If the thought of going back to work stresses you out while you’re on vacation (or before you leave), plan to hit the ground running when you return with a few simple tricks like cleaning your home and desk before you leave and starting your day a little earlier so you have some alone time.

1. Take a Vacation, Already

Top 10 Tips for Having a Perfect, Stress-Free Vacation

Taking a vacation shouldn’t make you feel guilty. Too many of us don’t use our vacation time, perhaps thinking that we look like we’re harder workers when we don’t go on vacation. That’s silly. Go relax. Here’s our start-to-finish guide to a perfect, stress-free vacation.

Photo by Transia Design (Shutterstock).


Lifehacker’s Weekend Roundup gathers our best guides, explainers, and other posts on a certain subject so you can tackle big projects with ease. For more, check out our Weekend Roundup and Top 10 tags.

If Your Flight Is Overbooked, Don’t Volunteer to Get Bumped

Flights are overbooked all the time. If you’re going to be bumped, don’t volunteer to take the airline’s compensation—whether they offer cash or a voucher. Instead, be one of those passengers involuntarily denied boarding and receive much more in compensation.

Read more…

Use Food Photos When Traveling Abroad to Communicate Your Allergies

Use Food Photos When Traveling Abroad to Communicate Your Allergies

When traveling to countries that speak a different language than you, it can be hard to tell restaurants about your food allergies. Pictures can help you overcome that language barrier so you stay safe.

Amazon sells allergy translation cards like the one above for several languages. The Y Travel blog also suggests having photos of things on your phone or printed out. Naturally, this would work with things other than food allergies, such as signs of places you need to get to. Although there are other ways to get by in a foreign country when you don’t speak the language, photos are universal and convey your needs quickly.

4 Tips for Overcoming Language Barriers as a Solo Traveler | Y Travel

Why You May Want to Reconsider Using Wheeled Luggage When You Travel

Why You May Want to Reconsider Using Wheeled Luggage When You Travel

Wheeled luggage makes it much easier to transport more when we travel, but that also might be one of the best reasons to avoid it. The more you feel like you can take with you, the more unnecessary things you’ll end up dragging along.

If you think about the trips in your past, you can probably remember a few times when you didn’t even use half of the things you brought. What seems like planning ahead at the time of packing just becomes hindering weight later on. On her blog, Jan Chipchase suggests that wheeled luggage can have a psychological effect on you:

Wheeled luggage leads us astray. During packing wheels promise weightlessness, which then leads to luggage filled to capacity, and heavier items being packed. While we’re still at home, in our idealised, airport-smooth-surface view of the world this isn’t a problem, but in the real world it rapidly shapes what the journey can become: from airport escalators that don’t work; to hitching a ride on the back of a motorbike; to, at the last minute, enjoying a nearby mountain range for the weekend.

If you’re certain of almost every facet of your trip—like visiting family for the holidays—packing more may not be a hindrance. When you’re travel plans are less concrete, however, you want to be adaptable. Chipchase calls wheeled luggage the “loan-sharks of weight and space,” so it’s best to try and not put yourself in debt to useless things. Only take what you need, leave room for the interesting things you might find, and pack as efficiently as possible. The journey is what’s important, not the stuff you take with you.

The Psychology of Packing | Jan Chipchase

Photo by Strange Luke.

Roomer Travel Lets You Sell Your Non-Refundable Hotel Reservations

Sometimes, when you buy a hotel reservation in advance, the reservation isn’t refundable. Plans change and if you can’t keep your commitment, Roomer is a marketplace that lets you sell that reservation instead of losing your entire investment.

If a hotel has a cancellation fee, you can usually get out of it by changing the date of your stay or calling the hotel and pleading your case. If you bought travel insurance, you can make a claim against it too.

Once you know you can’t keep the reservation, go over to Roomer and post the details about where and when you’ll be staying. Then set your own price. They recommend selling at a 50-75% discount. Roomer doesn’t charge a fee for posting your reservation. If someone buys your reservation, Roomer pays you direct.

If you’re looking to score a cheap hotel room at a popular destination, Roomer also lets you book hotel rooms through them. They don’t charge a fee for this service.

Roomer Travel