My awesome outfit I wore for my Dollar Store Theme Party requiring all attire be purchased from the Dollar Store (yes, even the shoes). And the fly swatter in the background.
Traveling is something on a lot of people’s bucket lists — who wouldn’t want to see the world? It’s so glamorous … until it isn’t. From the crowds, to the boredom, to the extra fees, sometimes it can all be pretty unglamorous. Sometimes it’s actually the worst.
Early in my career I was all pumped up about traveling. Now, I’ll try to get anyone to go in my place. For me, it is part of the job and I have found there are definitely ways to improve your traveling experience. And, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on trendy accessories. Here are my Top Ten favorite travel hacks, all using items that can be found at the Dollar Store. I love the Dollar Store. I even throw a themed party at my house where everyone has to arrive in an outfit made from items at the Dollar Store. It was epically awesome. And you know how I love a good deal…
My Top Ten Travel Hacks To Get You Through The Crazy
- Fill a Ziploc bag with anti-bacterial wipes to scrub away all the germs floating around. Airports are crowded and planes have very little personal space. Having these at-hand when you travel by air means you can wipe down the seats, the TV, or your neighbor. Even better, you don’t have to worry about what the person who previously occupied your seat was doing during their 5-hour flight.
- Make your own variety snack-pack with a plastic craft supply box. I don’t know about you, but I am always hungry. I have been known to spend $100 on airport snacks because I showed up without my usual arsenal of healthy food to munch on. You can pack a variety of goodies in these craft supply boxes. Even better – the small compartment sizes keep portions under control.
- Store your flat iron in an oven mitt. Packing in a rush? Instead of waiting for your hair appliance to cool down, just pop it in an oven mitt. Your clothes remain unburned and your lipstick unmelted. And you might just make your flight on time.
- Pack your necklace inside of a straw so it doesn’t get tangled up. You carefully picked out your jewelry to go with your outfits. Don’t spend the first 40 minutes of your trip in your hotel room untangling your favorite chain. Just slide the smaller end of the necklace into the top of a straw and leave the bangle poking out of the top.
- Keep track of your earrings with a button. I love this tip because it looks cute and makes me smile. Not sure why, but it does. It also prevents you from digging around in your bag to find that missing earring or accidentally leaving a pair of earrings behind on the bedside table. If you see a button laying around in your room, you know you have a pair of earrings to look for.
- Buy socks at the Dollar Store to store stuff in. Keep your hairbrush, bottle of ibuprofen (for the headache you will probably get), or shaving gel in Dollar Store socks and then pack them inside of your shoes for space saving. Or those chocolates you brought back from Europe – what? At least I stored them in clean socks before I put them in my shoes.
- Keep your headphones and USB cords tangle-free with tiny hair clips. I try to visit the gym regularly on every business trip, so having headphones is a must. (Check out my blog about staying fit when traveling for work.) Tangled-up headphones are just annoying. And don’t rely on the cheap headphones they provide you with in hotel gyms, usually only one of the ear buds actually works. Better to bring your own, and keep them ready-to-use by coiling the cord around your hand and clipping it in place with a small hair clip.
- Wrap your shoes in shower caps to separate them from your clothes. The best part about this tip is that if you forget to pack shower caps from the Dollar Store, you can get from from the hotel for free. If you travel with many pairs of shoes (like me, and every other woman in America), you can sometimes score a bunch of free shower caps in the hotel spa.
- Store your tablet in a beanie for scratch-free quick access. Your devices stay protected, and you can keep your head warm if the weather is cooler than you expected. Plus, I just look cute in a beanie.
- Keep your rolled clothes together with hair-ties or rubber bands. This tip has a dual purpose. 1. The clothes are squeezed together tightly, which gives you more room in your suitcase. (For shoes, obviously) 2. You can color coordinate your rubber bands to organize your outfits. It’s the trifecta of expert traveling — time-saving, space-saving and inexpensive!
Traveling doesn’t have to be a nightmare. A little planning and a quick trip to the Dollar Store can save a lot of time and trouble. If you have any tips of your own to share, tweet me @jax_rosales