4 Popular Travel Hacks That You Should Never Use

Jennifer MeyerPacking ListsLeave a Comment

There are an exorbitant amount of travel hacks floating around on the internet.

Some of these travel hacks are genuinely awesome, while others are just plain bad.

Today, I'm going to share with you 4 travel hacks that won't save you time or money.

1. Packing Your Shoes in a Shower Cap

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This popular travel hack is included in most of the travel hack lists that you can currently find on the first page of Google.

At first glance, it sounds like a decent idea. After all, you don't want the dirty soles of your shoes touching all of your clean clothes.

Let's think about this for a second though.

Why This is a Bad Travel Hack

If you've ever purchased a shower cap, you've likely learned that it can be rather expensive.

Sure, there are likely super cheap ones that you can purchase, but I've never found them (I obviously don't know where to look).

If you just happen to have a shower cap lying around your house (like me!), you probably use it on occasion.

Do you really want to store your shoes in something that you put on your clean head to keep your hair from getting wet?

I sure as hell don't!

You could always clean it after you travel so that it would be usable again.

But, here's the thing, travel hacks are supposed to save you time and money, which this one definitely isn't.

First of all, you have to go purchase one if you don't have one, and secondly, you'll have to clean it when you get back if you ever intend on using it for it's intended purpose.

A Better Alternative

Place your shoes inside of a plastic bag!

Not only is this cheaper, but it's way easier too!

I know you have at least one of these around your house.

And once you're done with it (when it's all gross), drop it in the recycling bin at your grocery store when you stop by next.

It literally doesn't require any extra effort, time, or money!

Magical, huh?

The only reason that the shower cap is considered a hack is because it's unusual. If someone (like me) told you to put your shoes in a plastic bag, you'd be like, "duh!"

2. Use Straws to Carry Travel-Sized Portions of Shampoo and Conditioner

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Umm, what?

First of all, I know we all know how straws work, the have two totally open ends and are honestly rather small.

I have super long, thick hair. I'm pretty sure that a straw full of shampoo would last me one maybe two showers.

In order to seal the straw (PLASTIC STRAWS ONLY), you need to clamp down on it with pliers and hold a lighter to it so that the plastic melts.

You can watch a how to video here.

I could see certain instances where using a straw would be helpful to store certain items. However, this isn't one of them. This just seems overkill for a normal vacation, though. I mean maybe if you were camping? Maybe...

Why This is a Bad Travel Hack

I could see how this might save you a bit of money, but it's not saving you time.

If you need more than a shower's worth of shampoo, you'll need to pack multiple.

I can really see this turning into a gigantic mess.

A Better Alternative

I actually have two alternatives for you today!

1. Buy Empty, Travel-Sized containters

They're not that expensive.

They're seriously only a few dollars.

Plus, they're reusable!

I bet they'll save you money in the long run.

2. Buy Shampoo and Conditioner When You Arrive at Your Destination

This sounds silly, but I actually don't even recommend packing shampoo and conditioner if you're only packing a carry-on.

You are so limited on what you can take, that packing a more difficult to replace liquid should take priority. For example, I have finally found a product that gets rid of the frizz in my hair. You can bet your butt I'm packing that over easily replaceable shampoo!

3. Store Charging Cables in a Sunglasses Case

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This one really gets me shook.

First, in order for this to just work, you need to own a sunglasses case. Okay, I'm sure a lot of people do (I'm not one). But, you also need to not want to pack your sunglasses...

Why This is a Bad Travel Hack

This is a bad travel hack for a few different reasons.

First, I think that your sunglasses case is a much better place for your sunglasses, which will definitely need some protection.

Second, you'll need to keep your charging cables with you (in your personal item) while on the plane. That sunglasses case will be a bulky addition to your bag. And, if you're anything like me, you've already got a tablet, wallet, passport, water bottle, snacks, and other various items in the bag. Why add a bulky sunglasses case when just the regular chords would fit so much better?

I think that people think this travel hack is a good idea because it keeps their chords tangle free and all together.

What if I told you there was a cheaper and less bulky way to do that?

A Better Alternative

Fold each chord and then use twist ties (the kind you find on loaves of bread) to secure the chord. This will keep them from tangling.

Now, if you want to keep them all together, put them in a freakin' Ziploc bag. Once of these bags is way cheaper and less bulky than a sunglasses case.

Plus, when you open a Ziploc bag, I doubt all of your chords will come popping out at you.

It's really a win, win.

4. Take a Collapsible Laundry Basket

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I'm honestly a little surprised at how fired up these bad travel hacks are making me.

Seriously, a collapsible laundry basket?!

Hell, no! Don't pack one of these.

Let's talk about why.

Why This is a Bad Travel Hack

This will only separate your dirty clothes from your clean clothes while you're at your destination.

I would not pack a partially full collapsible laundry basket in my suitcase.

The thing with collapsible laundry baskets is that they have to be empty to be collapsible.

So, once it's time to leave, you need to empty your dirt clothes into your suitcase with anything clean...

What was the point of the collapsible laundry basket in the first place? To keep your hotel room clean?

I always shove my dirty clothes into the closet until I leave.

Gross? Maybe. But, it works just fine.

I guess to get around having to empty the collapsible laundry basket you could use a laundry bag instead, which is completely different by the way (it doesn't have any wire structure to it).

But, you'd need to buy one...

(My alternative is way better than a laundry bag, by the way.)

A Better Alternative

You are going to love my alternative suggestion for this one.

It's so innovative.

Use a plastic bag.

Yup, I said it!

Pack an extra plastic bag. They literally take up no space (even less than a collapsible laundry basket).

Recap

  • Don't Pack Your Shoes in a Shower Cap

    Instead, pack your shoes in a plastic bag. This will save you time (from cleaning the shower cap) and money (plastic bags are free)!

  • Don't Use Straws to Pack Shampoo and Conditioner

    In order to pack enough shampoo and conditioner, this will take you a bit of time, especially if you’re a little klutzy like me. Instead, buy travel-sized, empty bottles or just purchase shampoo and conditioner at your destination.

  • Don't Pack Your Charging Cables in a Sunglasses Case

    Sunglasses cases are way to bulky and better used to transport your sunglasses safely. Instead, use twist ties to keep chords from tangling and store the chords in a Ziploc bag to keep them together.

  • Don't Use a Collapsible Laundry Basket

    Just don’t. This isn’t actually helpful at all. Instead, pack an extra plastic bag and use that to store your dirty clothes.

I hope that you found this list incredibly helpful.

Remember, that just because someone calls something a "hack" doesn't make it one.

You'll have to think about it and decide for yourself if the tip will actually save you time and money.

If you liked this, you will love my long-haul flight course!

In the course, I teach you how to pack a carry-on!

Best part? The course is FREE!

Yep, FREE!

Go enroll!

Do you know of any other ridiculous travel hacks? Let me know in the comments below!

Don't forget to share this with your friends! They'll forever love you for sharing this with them (and I will too 😉).

Until next time,

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