Best Life Hacks

Protect charging cable from cable breakage

You can use a ballpoint pen spiral to protect sensitive charging cables from cable breakage (title photo). Anyone who travels a lot or rolls up their charger cables often knows what I’m talking about. Average lifetime (at least for me): 1 year and the cable always breaks at the transition from the cable to the end piece, where the charging cable is almost always exposed to strong bending. Especially annoying is a cable break at the MacBook power supply, which costs 79,- € (hab´ just had to order one again). A nearly free piece of wire from your ballpoint pen creates remedy. You’ll need some skill to attach it: Pull the wire a little apart at one end and wrap (not twist) the wire around the cable.

Fix the shirt collar with the belt rolled up

I hate ironing like the plague. I wish I had known this trick when I often had to travel on business. A curled belt, placed inside the shirt collar, provides a stable fixation of the collar, especially in the collar height. The collar is then no longer squeezed together by the weight of the shirt and removed from its shape!

Book an entire row of seats on the plane

One of the most ingenious Life Hacks for travelers at all, especially for tall people who basically travel with their knees pressed into the seat (which is not the case with me, as you can see) or to prevent pre-programmed back pain on long-haul flights. If you travel in pairs, it is best to book a window seat and an aisle seat in the same row. You will then have a real chance of leaving the centre seat free, so that you can take the whole row of seats to make yourself “really comfortable”. If a single traveler crosses your plan, it’s probably a damn backpacker. Ask him nicely if you can change seats so you can sit together again, he won’t mind. However, in 50% of cases, especially if the plane is not fully booked, the strategy works.

3 pack hacks to double your backpack volume

Whether you want to travel light and just take a small bag with you or always pack too much and need more space in a 200 litre suitcase, rolling clothes has long since proven to be one of the most space-saving packing methods among travelers. In order to get some extra volume, it is also worth filling the cavity in shoes, e.g. with socks (from the widespread recommendation to also stuff my underwear there, I don’t think much of it for hygiene reasons, but that’s probably a matter of taste).

Another method of packing to save space is the proven Ziploc freezer bag packing method. Press all the air out of the bag after you’ve stowed your clothes in it. So you can make a few centimetres good in a limited suitcase or backpack.

Reclaim bank charges for withdrawing money abroad

Anyone who still pays bank charges for withdrawing money abroad obviously “didn’t hear the bang”. Various providers have been offering completely free credit cards for a long time, with which there are no fees for withdrawing money from foreign ATMs. If you still want to remain loyal to your bank, you can buy a second card from one of these institutions – just for travelling. What many travellers don’t notice: In some countries, fees are still charged by the local bank, but your bank is not to blame for this. Send your bank an email and ask them to refund the fees. I don’t know if this works for every bank, at least my bank will refund the fees without complaining.

Charging electronic devices on the television set

If you forgot your charger at home or if you don’t want it for space reasons, just pack the connecting cable with the USB end piece. You can charge your iPhone, iPad, iPod and other easy devices via the USB port of a TV. In hotels anyway and even in hostels there are now modern televisions with USB slots, at least in the common rooms.

Become the Starbucks Hero with a multiple socket strip

If you are more introverted and always lack the right words to contact other travelers, I have a golden Life Hack for you here. WIFI is everywhere, only sockets are missing in every Starbucks or Coffee Bean worldwide – “First come, first served, first served”. And so you regularly see desperately looking looks from backpackers who urgently need to charge their phone or lap-top. However, you block the only or one of the few sockets in the café (preferably in a strategic location where there’s a seat next to you). If someone approaches you looking for a socket outlet, unpack your 10-pin socket strip cool and offer a slot for charging. Astonished looks and a relaxed conversation are guaranteed! In addition, the multiple socket strip is of course also suitable if you yourself travel around the world like a walking electronics store and basically have to charge 5-6 devices simultaneously with the fence post.

Speed fold your T-shirt

This absolutely crazy trick to fold your T-shirt in a flash will amaze even your mother. With three handles the T-shirt will fold itself. Just enter it on youtube.

Water and sand protection for your iPhone

There are Ziploc bags that are exactly the size of an iPhone. On the beach, in the torrential tropical rain or under other uncomfortable external circumstances, your iPhone gets the optimal protection. Best of all, you can still use the device and operate the touch screen. If you have really good Ziplock bags, you can even use your iPhone as an underwater camera, but I don’t want to recommend this at this point, unless you can test the waterproofness of the bags beforehand with a (very good!) friend’s mobile phone.

Waterless tooth brushing

It’s a pretty funny idea I’ve just heard of myself for the first time. Ok, I admit this may not be the most refreshing way to clean your teeth, but there are situations and countries where the water from the tap is not drinkable or you just need a “refreshment” during a trekking tour. Dry a few drops of toothpaste for a few days. Then cover them with baking powder and put them in a Ziplock bag. With the dried toothpaste drops you can now clean your teeth easily and without water and toothbrush on the way at least superficially and do not have to wait until the next accommodation. My drops are drying and I will tell you this weekend on Facebook if this LIFE HACK is humbug or not to be surpassed in genius.

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