Travel Hacking Tips: 13 Travel Bloggers reveal their MacGyver tricks

13 Travel hacking, tips, travel hacking tips, travel tips by travel experts

13 Travel Hacking Tips by Travel Bloggers

There’s a travel MacGyver in every one of us.

Often, it emerges during  times, when the adventure and unpredictability of travel, serves up a dose of “the unexpected”.  As travelers, limited to the mundane contents of our backpack, some tight situations call for quick thinking, resourcefulness and ingenuity. Born out of necessity and travel survival, the solutions we arrive at can also feel like “the best of the worst” workarounds.

It’s when your slipper thong snaps in the middle of a Mumbai street and you only have a safety-pin in your backpack to hold it together, until you return to your guesthouse ( FYI… I wouldn’t recommend it!). Or when you’re returning to your hillside guesthouse during a Nepalese blackout and all you have is the small penlight your parents got from a health fair day for senior citizens. …And it’s when you have a leaky air-conditioner dripping over your bed, during the sweat of summer and the only thing that manages to stop the drip, is a handy tampon.

As the smartest dumb (or “unconventional”) idea, these oddly, witty hacks keep our travel plans in tact and prove, where there’s a will, there’s most certainly a way!

13 Travel Hacking Tips by Travel Bloggers

I put a shout out to the travel blogging community for travel hacking tips.  There was some confusion about what I was asking for. I had to decline some tips, because okay, …some were just too “smart”. I’m not averse to smart travel tips, but as a traveler of “imperfect solo adventures”, I’ve found not every situation in travel can be perfectly or neatly-wrapped. Travel can occasionally catch you with your pants down, push you to work with flawed situations and test your ability to find workaround solutions. The best solution doesn’t always feel like a very bright one; ironically though, they perfect MacGyver hacks for the situation. Enjoy!

 

I used dental floss to slice cheese.”   –  Talon Windwalker, 1Dad1Kid.com

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”  I have a long, thin scarf I’ve had numerous uses for.  Aside from the obvious uses (scarf, turban, headband, etc.) I also used it as a towel when I lost mine, as a belt when mine broke, a way to carry a bunch of food when I didn’t have a bag, and as a way to lash things together.  It’s one of my favorite travel accessories! ”  –  Nathan Anderson, Open Road Before Me

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“My favorite travel hack is a sarong. It’s multi-purpose! You can use it as a blanket, bed cover, towel, scarf, head cover, hippie bag (just tie the edges and sling it on your shoulder!) and something to lie on when you’re at the beach. I love it! I’m sure there are a dozen other ways to use a sarong, but that’s how I use it mostly.”    –  DJ Yabis,  DreamEuroTrip

dj yabis, dreameurotrip dj yabis, travel bloggers for europe

13 Travel Hacking Tips : DJ Yabis shows us how to hack a sarong

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“I have an aversion to taking utensils on camping trips. Or anything really that isn’t necessary (mostly to cut down on the weight). Over the years I have become good with chopsticks and when I’m roughing it in the wild I tend to eat any food with sticks collected from the ground. My handy Swiss Army helps both for creating this simple stick utensil and with the actual eating.”   –  David Thompson,   Dave’s Travel Corner

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“I used a gallon ziploc bag once as a camera hoodie–but that wasn’t a spontaneous creative hack on my part, it was something I’d read about online and decided I was just cheap enough to try (instead of buying a real camera hoodie).  It worked, but it was a PITA. I never did it again.”  –  Gray Cargill, Solo Friendly.

travel hacks by solofriendly

!3 Travel Hacking Tips: Gray Cargill shows us how a plastic bag is perfect raingear for equipment

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“Either I travel super light and therefore I leave my towel behind or I don’t want to carry a wet towel with me that will become a stinky item if I won’t be reaching my destination soon enough. Using bed sheets at hostels as a shower towel, on the day I am leaving the premises, has proven to be a great resource so far!  – Inma Gregorio, A World to Travel.

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” When I travel I use to take my laptop on a postcard envelope. Those ones with bubbles. They not only offer the same or even better protection than those fancy sponge protectors, but also discourage stealing. Also they’re extremely cheap and offer ultra light weight.”  –  Nelson Mochilero,  Mochileros.org

nelson mochileros, cheap laptop case

13 Travel Hacking Tips: Nelson Mochileros transforms an envelope into a budget case and anti-theft disguise

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“We are duct tape fanatics. My husband duct taped both his shoe and his pants. And my waterproof bag and bicycle handlebars…” –  Nancy Sathre-Vogel, Family on Bikes.

family on bikes, ways to use duct tape, family travel bloggers

Family on Bikes’ Ways to use Duct Tape: Patching torn pants

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” I  leave the plastic ring attached to the price tag on my swimsuit when I rip off the price tag because then I can attach the key to my swimsuit.  I also use guyline thread meant for tents for a travel clothes line.
”  –  Kate Voyage‬ ,  RTW Travel Guide

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“I once realized I had no spatula for a beach BBQ. In fact, I had nothing, but a tiny keychain pocket knife. Used the knife to cut both ends off a beer can, then flattened that into an aluminum sheet, bending it over a piece of driftwood to give it a handle. Voila, spatula. ”    –  Mike McColl, Ethical Traveler

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“I was walking down a boardwalk to take a ride on the Skimmer Salt Marsh Safari in Cape May, New Jersey.  The wind was blowing and threatening to take my straw hat with it.  I got tired of holding it on and didn’t like that my hand was getting extra sun exposure, so my brain went into overdrive.  I removed my neck scarf and tied it on over the hat and under my chin.  I looked kind of silly, as the picture shows, but it did the job. ”    –  Carole Terwilliger Meyers,  Travels with Carole 

How would you use a scarf?

13 Travel Hacking Tips: Caroline Terwilliger Meyers show us how you can use a scarf fashionably & sensibly.

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“On a recent hike in Big Bend National Park in Texas, I tragically left my wide-brimmed Tilley hat in my car at the airport. This was a big mistake as I was hiking over 18 miles across the Chihuahuan Desert with very little shade. Fortunately, I did have a baseball cap, duct tape, and a dish towel. With these three accoutrements, I was able to create this concoction to protect my neck and ears from the hot desert sun.”    –  Ted Nelson, Traveling Ted

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 I know its not allowed to wash clothes in hotels, but I wash them anyway in the toilet using plastic bags, if there’s no pail/bucket. You fill the plastic bags with water from the faucet and  soak your clothes,. Then put soap powder. This is pplicable if there’s no sink or if there is no water stopper in the sink.”    –  Grasya Bangoy, Grasya on the Road

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Have a hack you want to share? Leave it below and I’ll include yours in a follow-up post.

 

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34 Comments. Leave new

Great tips. I love this one with a postcard envelope. I am going to show your article to my dad. He is traveling a lot and he will find your tip for an envelope very useful. Thank you! Greets!

Reply

Great tips! I’d love to try Nelson’s too. I wonder if I can find something big enough for my 14′ laptop.

Reply

[…] Find a way to make it look a little trashy and personalized. That way, it’s easily identifiable and not an item thieves will target to resell.  I occasionally do intentionally add stickers or mark things up in ways that make thieves know straight off that reselling it will be hard. One of my latest techniques for disguising my laptop was a hacking tip that Peruvian traveller, Nelson Mochilero of Mochileros.org contributed to a travel hacking post I did. […]

Reply

This list is genius and very useful!
From now on there will be a ziploc bag in my camera bag – genius!

I use old stockings as “ropes” when I want to secure things to my bicycle rack (especially when my bungee cord is m.i.a.) and a wet sock over a water bottle keeps the water colder for longer.

Reply
    Avatar
    Christine Kaaloa
    September 27, 2014 10:45 am

    @Anje: Cool travel hacks! Love the old stocking idea and I suppose you can ultimately find more purposes for that one. Also, the wet sock idea is brilliant- hope you mean a clean one though. 😉

    Reply

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