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TRAVEL
Opinion
Text in which the author defends ideas and reaches conclusions based on his / her interpretation of facts and data

Tips to be a smart traveler: Wrinkle-free clothes and approved luggage locks

How can you make a trip easier regardless of the destination? Technology-assisted garments that prevent bad odors and applications to avoid currency exchange are just some tips

Viajero inteligente
Twee Muizen

My 15 years as a travel journalist have allowed me to discover strategies, accessories and applications that have made my adventures more comfortable. For example, the day I found a brand of clothing made with fabric that does not retain odors, I learned the benefit of not overpacking. Here are my six favorite tips to make traveling an easier experience.

Clothing with technology

The ideal travel clothing offers three essential features: water resistance, odor control and versatility. Fabrics that keep bad odors at bay are essential for long journeys, while versatile garments, such as long pants that convert into shorts, allow you to adapt to various situations without carrying excessive luggage.

There are brands specialized in this type of clothing, such as The North Face, Salomon and Columbia, but my favorite is Sepiia, a Madrid-based casual clothing brand that I discovered in Spain. The fabric of its garments incioporates technology so that the fabric does not wrinkle, does not stain (not even from sweat), dries quickly and neutralizes odors. In addition, its materials are recycled and recyclable. On my 10-day trip through the Amazon I left with only two of their shirts and two t-shirts.

Currency management

Unfavorable exchange rates can become a nightmare. Prepaid online banking cards are the answer. There are options like Revolut, which allows you to top up your balance or exchange money at inter-bank rates, generally much more favorable than rates offered to the general public. Digital banks like N26 are also viable because they have applications that let you send, receive and request money immediately, just with the recipient’s number.

Optimize luggage space

Space in your suitcase is a valuable resource that should be used to the maximum. Organizers are a good ally to reduce the volume of clothing and accessories. The most effective ones meet certain characteristics: lightness, water resistance, size versatility. There are brands that are highly rated by travelers such as Eono, the Amazon brand, which offers organizers of different sizes with bags for shoes, underwear, dirty clothes and a set of toiletries. The Travel Dude sets also stand out, as they compress the content to half the size, are waterproof and breathable.

The advanced version of this life hack is to use vacuum packaging bags that compress to more than half their volume. On Amazon Basics there is a list of brands such as Cozy Essential, which includes roll-up compression bags with zipper closure, or the Ziploc brand, which has bags that do not require a pump and seal airtight.

Security for belongings

TSA locks are a smart choice because they are approved by the United States Transportation Security Agency (TSA). They open and close using a code, and their design allows agents to carry out routine checks without damaging the luggage. Also consider carrying locking safety ropes or straps to keep bags and backpacks protected in busy areas or while traveling on public transportation. My trick is to attach belongings such as cameras or cell phones to some part of my body, and if I am in public places I secure my backpack, suitcase or larger objects to a fixed place close to me.

Loyalty programs

Don’t underestimate the potential of credit cards and loyalty programs. Using accumulated points to pay for accommodation, flights or other activities can result in substantial savings. In addition, you should explore the additional benefits they offer, such as access to VIP lounges at airports, monthly purchases without interest in foreign currency, protection against loss and delay of luggage or two for one on flights, among others.

Simplified navigation with Google

Google has become my faithful travel companion, especially Google Maps, an essential tool that offers precise directions and advanced navigation options to reach the destination on foot, by car or using public transportation. In addition, it makes it easy to create personalized lists with places of interest, recommended restaurants and planned activities. This greatly simplifies the organization of itineraries and ensures that you don’t miss out on any hidden gems. One of my most used tricks is to create lists of restaurants or local places in this application based on recommendations from specialized blogs, travel vloggers and, of course, my own experience. This way I always have an icon on the map that shows me the closest place to eat something delicious and similar to what I’m looking for. Here is my public list of places to eat in Paris.

In short, traveling the world in a more comfortable and intelligent way is the result of knowing and putting into practice tricks that will make your next journey easier and flow better. Long live traveling comfort!

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