I have been travelling quite a bit recently and quite frankly, a lot more than when I was in my previous line of work with the government. As a management consultant, one of the perks is getting to travel to different places (sometimes those places are not places you want to travel to) but when all is said and done, you get to travel on the company dime which is great. As you travel more and more, there are certain things that you often wish you had or things that I have learned which will help make your next trip a much better experience – so here is my list of tips and tricks for frequent travelers:

Bring a water bottle

Some hotels will give you bottles of water for free and yet other places may only have a small coffee maker that can boil water. In the first case, if they give you bottles of water and water is scarce where you are (or you have to pay for it like in China), make sure that you are stowing away the bottles of water every day so that hotels are giving you new bottles of water when they come in to clean your room. It seems like the maids and house staff only replace the water bottles if they have been opened or missing. If you do not get complimentary bottles of water, you can boil water in your coffee maker and leave it overnight – in the morning, you will have cool water to drink (special thanks to my Mom for this tip who did this whenever we traveled). You can then fill your water bottle.

Another good tip: if the hotel has a gym, it will probably have a water fountain so that’s another way of getting water if the hotel does not provide complimentary water.

Bring a USB outlet

It’s likely that you have some sort of device that charges through USB (USB to Micro USB, USB to USB C, USB to Lightning, etc.) so it makes sense to have some sort of outlet charger with a USB port – stow it away in your backpack or luggage so that you always have one with you. If you don’t remember to bring that USB outlet, check the back of your TV as there are often USB ports there that can help you charge your device though in some cases, the TV will have to be on before it charges the device.

Don’t place your luggage on the floor or on couches

One time I had a big scare where I got bed bugs. The memory even makes me shudder but luckily for me, I was able to sanitize everything that I had so that I did not carry any home with me. Now when I travel, I place my luggage on luggage carriers or on hard surfaces to mitigate anything traveling with me home.

Be disciplined enough to wash your clothes in the hotel bathroom

If you are traveling for 2 weeks and want to work out every day, you just can’t carry 2 weeks worth of gym clothes with you – that just does not make sense. And paying for hotels to launder your clothes is probably a bit too expensive for you. Just take your gym clothes with you in the shower, pour a bit of shampoo inside the clothes and give it a good squeeze and rubbing – at the very least, you’ll be able to get three or four uses out of the gym clothes so that you don’t have to bring too many gym outfits.

Bring a plastic bag with you into the hotel

Maybe you ordered takeout or you went grocery shopping and have an extra plastic bag. You can use that extra plastic bag to store any garbage that you have – this helps to prevent your room from stinking up because a lot of hotels will have plastic open bins for garbage which means that if you leave something in your garbage overnight, your place could stink up. Stow it away in a bag and then throw it out when you head out in the morning.

Be weary of the hotel safe

I try not to keep anything valuable in the room but there are certainly times where you cannot avoid it. If it’s small and can be stowed away somewhere, I try to stow it in an extra pair of shoes or somewhere where it’s not obvious (e.g., passports, wallets).

Extra locks on the doors at night

Once, I went to a hotel, got my room cards and went up to my room. As I went to open the door, there appeared to be a lock that prevented the door from fully opening (the cards did unlock the doors though). I later found out that the hotel had given me a room card to a room that was already occupied so I must have scared whoever was in that room to death as I was trying to get into the room. The good thing is that I wasn’t actually able to get into the room but think about how weird it would be if I was able to. Now when I go to sleep at night, I put on all the additional locks on the doors because you never know who could get access to your room.


How about you frequent travellers out there? What kinds of things do you do to make your travel more efficient? What tips and tricks do you have at the hotels you stay at?


About the author:

Wang is a management consultant, self-published author, Distinguished Toastmaster, co-host of a podcast, Udemy teacher, former Uber driver and all around hustler. He is also obsessed about books and he reads books so that you don’t have to. Want a list of Wang’s top ten formative books in his life and career? Interested in book summaries and recommendations every month? Subscribe to Wang’s e-mail newsletter!