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21 Life-Changing Travel Charts You Wish You Knew About Sooner

From packing hacks to flying tricks to budgeting solutions and beyond.

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1. First, pick a bag that's just right for your vacation.

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And if you have a long layover or a connecting flight in a large airport, opt for a bag with wheels. Carrying your stuff for hours just isn't fun.

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2. And don't over-pack it.

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Avoid packing heavy things that you can buy at your destination. For one, the extra weight can bump a carry-on bag into checked luggage territory. Also, it'll take up space for a few smaller things that you would get more use out of.

4. If you're backpacking, learn how to distribute your pack weight like a pro.

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Place heavy items like food, water, and cook sets closest to your back for strain-proof support.

5. Choose a seat that best fits your needs.

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If you're carrying on your luggage, opt for a seat in the back. If you get an aisle seat, mind your elbows because the food and drink cart can bump them. And if you're on a long flight and desperate for sleep, sit in a window seat as far from the bathroom as possible to avoid slamming/flushing/chatting sounds.

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7. Make sure your carry-on is just right to avoid extra fees.

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Most airlines will not let you carry on luggage that exceeds a certain weight. Weigh your luggage to make sure you don't get stuck.

8. And keep certain items out of your hand luggage to avoid a TSA field day.

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It can be easy to forget which items are banned on airplanes. For example, you can carry on tweezers but not a corkscrew. Go through this checklist so you don't end up losing your stuff to the TSA. Get more info here.

9. Try these in-flight tricks to feel refreshed when you step off the plane.

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Two words: DRINK WATER. You can still have your bloody mary (especially if you're getting it for free on an international flight), but make sure to drink water, as well.

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15. And if you're driving with a pet, remember these things:

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Keep a recent photo of your pet on your phone or camera just in case they get lost and you need to contact a local shelter.

19. If you're traveling abroad, know how tipping works at your destination.

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If someone tries to hustle you for a tip in a country where tipping is not common, don't give in unless you want to.

20. Consider couch surfing to save money.

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Some travelers SWEAR by coach surfing as way to make new friends, save money, and tap into a network of cool travelers. To find out if couch surfing is right for you, go here.

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