With the warmer weather and the summer season upon us, that can only mean one thing… vacation! Like most Americans, you’re probably planning your big escape over one of the big three weekends (Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day). While it’s a great way to enjoy a quick trip without using any vacation days, it can also be a bit–or in some cases a lot–more expensive and definitely more congested. So, if you can only get away during the long summer holiday weekends, here are 10 tips to help make your travel a little less stressful.

Early Birds Get the Most out of Their Vacation

Waking up early on vacation

Whether it means arriving at the airport for your flight earlier than usual or hitting the road before the sun comes up, chances are you’ll want to give yourself some much-needed extra time when traveling over the holiday. While travel during Christmas and Thanksgiving might be a nightmare, many top cities throughout the U.S. also see a significant increase in traffic during the summer months at airports and highways. So be prepared!

Pick Up a City Pass

Not only does picking up a city pass help save you some extra green in your wallet, but it also can save you valuable time at certain city attractions that are popular with tourists. That’s because instead of waiting at numerous ticket booths in long lines, your pass provides you access to various attractions. Some even offer V.I.P. aisles that are much shorter than normal lines.

Travel Light

Pack light

Warmer weather means lighter clothing. So if possible, try to pack all your items into one simple carry-on bag. Not only will you avoid pesky airline baggage fees, but you will also not have to lug around cumbersome bags through the airport and to and from your hotel.

Buy Travel Protection

Life can throw you a curveball without notice. And before you know it, you can’t make your trip due to an emergency. So if you’re planning an expensive getaway for the holiday weekend, make sure you protect your investment by picking up some travel protection. Ask a lot of questions and read the terms and conditions carefully before purchasing anything.

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Pick an Affordable Destination

Budget travel

As travelers, we all want to visit the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, and other amazing sights on our ventures. But if you’re trying to book a long holiday weekend on a budget, chances are you won’t be able to do those destinations justice in such a short amount of time. Plus, visiting those sites is going to be much more expensive during holiday breaks. Look into budget-friendly locales that are offering deeply discounted hotel deals and cheap airfare. Destinations that are often budget-friendly and fun to visit include Mexico, Las Vegas, Boston, and Chicago.

Invest in Travel Gadgets


Connected travel is here to stay. You might as well lean into this trend and invest in your own personal travel gadgets. If you like to stay connected even when traveling to remote places, you would be wise to purchase a portable power bank. This will ensure that you have a backup source of power if you cannot find anywhere to charge your devices.

You may also find a portable Wi-Fi hotspot a handy gadget if you’re traveling internationally. Other good gadgets to add to your list include a pair of noise-cancelling headphones or a power plug adaptor. The right tools will help you make the most of your trip.

Download Road Trip Apps

Woman using phone

Along with the latest in travel gadgets, targeted road trip apps can make summer travel an easier experience. These apps will save you money while also cutting down on the time that you spend struggling with traffic. For example, an app like Waze will deliver real-time traffic information as well as the best routes to save time. There are also apps that will provide the least expensive options for filling up your gas tank.

You can also lean on these apps to find the best attractions, the most highly rated restaurants, and more. You may have to play around with a few types of apps to find the ones that best suit your travel preferences and needs.

Pick Up an Any-Temperature Shirt

Shirt shopping

While you may enjoy the endless sun on a summer trip, you also run the risk of having to deal with miserable weather conditions. You can make the experience more pleasant by choosing an any-temperature shirt that’s designed to adjust to the varying conditions that you may encounter. Whether you’re shivering inside a cold restaurant that’s pumping the air conditioning or sweltering out in the middle of the golf course, an all-temperature shirt will keep you comfortable by cooling you off when it’s too hot or warming you up when you feel chilled.

Add Some Dryer Sheets to Your Suitcase

Dryer sheets

There’s almost no limit to the number of benefits that a simple dryer sheet will add to your travel adventure. Slip a few sheets into your suitcase to ensure that your clothes stay fresh for the duration of your trip. These sheets can also be used to deodorize sweaty shoes or to freshen up the bedding in your hotel room. Dealing with deodorant marks on a black shirt? Rub a dryer sheet over the mark to instantly remove the stain.

Savvy travelers also use dryer sheets to debug a vehicle window on long road trips. Or, swipe a dryer sheet over a sandy baby bottom to remove the sticky sand after a day at the beach. Dryer sheets also make great kindling when you’re trying to start a bonfire.

Scan Your Passport, ID, and Itinerary and Email Them to Yourself

Scanning file

Every traveler’s nightmare is losing a passport, I.D., or any other important travel document. You can avoid this potential headache by scanning these documents and emailing yourself a copy before you take off on your trip. Having copies of these documents in your inbox will make it easier to replace them if you lose them. It’s also a good idea to have a record of your credit card numbers in case you lose your wallet. Even if you don’t lose any of your papers, an electronic copy makes it more convenient to access this information when on the go.

Do you have any summer travel tips and hacks that you like to use? Tell us in the comments section below!

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