Going on a vacation or business trip, whether you’re headed only a few miles north or halfway across the world, is always an exciting experience full of opportunities to see and try new things. Of course, even when you’re having the time of your life, some small thing almost always goes wrong. From stuck zippers to lost phone chargers, the best way to be truly prepared to rock your air travel is to have more than a few backup plans. If you find yourself worrying before your vacation, your path to relaxation is through. Ask yourself a few ‘what if’ questions and then build a plan and enact it so you can get back to being excited and having a great time.
How to Fix a Stuck Zipper
- sturdy safety pins
- vaseline or bar of soap
- needle nose pliers
- small sewing kit
Zippers are incredible. They provide a lock-tight and quick open-close seal for coats and bags with an efficiency and security that simply cannot be reproduced with laces or buttons. You can count on a locked zipper back staying closed unless someone literally rips the seams out to get at your change of clothes and spare phone charger. However, when a zipper gets stuck, that’s when the figurative wheels come off the wagon. Whether you’re trapped halfway out of a coat or your carryon has just stopped closing, zipper troubles are unsurprisingly pretty common in an airport.
If the zipper appears to be stuck in place, one way to free it up is with a little Vaseline. If you don’t have any on you, a bar of soap, or a tube of lip balm or chapstick will work just as well. This can be used to grease the zipper track and pull it in whichever direction it will go, preferably open. Now, to prevent the stick again, run your hand along the track and see if you can identify a single tine bent out of shape. If you have a small pair of needle-nose pliers or something similar, you might be able to bend the tine right back into place. This trick can save you an incredible amount of hassle instead of forcing you to work with broken equipment until you get home.
Carrying a small sewing kit is good for all sorts of things, and in this case, the scissors and needle & thread can help you mend frayed fabric around a zipper when it stuck. And if all else fails, pack sturdy safety pins in various sizes.
How to Protect Your Wallet
- money belt
- old wallet
- dead credit / gift / library cards
- small bills
- shoe money
One of the major risks of traveling is being somewhere unfamiliar and a likely to be targeted by anyone who preys on tourists. From airport pickpockets to muggers who might decide to accost you after an evening of exploration local immersion, it’s important to be prepared for the possibility of trouble. The first piece of advice we can give you is to split up your money. Don’t carry all your bills and cards in one place. Instead, keep a few bills tucked away in various places on your person and a few convenient tipping bills in your actual wallet. That way, if you lose the wallet or one handful of cash, you don’t lose everything.
Do Not Use in Dummy Wallet:
- old cards to current accounts
- old personal IDs
- any checks
- old receipts
Another great trick is to keep a dummy wallet to keep somewhere obvious and toss to muggers while you keep the real thing tucked safely into an inner pocket. The best way to build a convincing dummy wallet that looks real even up close is to use your previous wallet so it looks worn and used. Put a few of those fake cards that you get in the mail into the slots and a couple of small bills as part of your splitting money strategy. This way, criminals will simply think that you’re ‘small fish’ when all they get is maybe $5 in bills and change and your ‘credit cards’ don’t work to defraud.
How you travel is a personal decision and everyone is responsible for themselves in the airport, on the plane, and when having fun as a tourist at your destination. When you’re prepared for anything, you can not only improve your own travel experience, you can also be confident in your ability to lend a hand to other travelers from time to time. Whether it’s helping another traveler unstick their zipper or sewing up a fellow passenger’s ripped jacket on the plane, with the right preparation you can face every potential travel disaster with the cool aplomb of someone who already has a solution.