Mother’s Day is coming up, fam — May 13th to be exact. And this year, like every year, there are innumerable reasons to celebrate the women who birthed us, raised us, and otherwise mothered us, helping us to become the fierce and fearless ladies we are. Among the lesser-recognized things many of us learned from our moms? Travel hacks. Let’s be real: Without high-quality travel hacks, globetrotting (or just getting to the beach on the weekend) wouldn’t be nearly as fun or easy as it is. And so many of us have our moms to thank.
In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked nine women to share the best travel hacks they’ve learned from their moms — and they delivered.
From tips for packing better to what to do if you lose the keys to your luggage lock, your travels are about to get a lot smoother. So bust out a notebook, or just the notes app on your phone, and pay attention.
This saves tons of room in a carry-on.
“My mom taught me the travel packing hack that I now teach everyone I come in contact with: use contact lens cases to store small amounts of beauty products, like eye cream, night cream, or serums. These are the products you don’t need a ton of, so just a few squirts of the product in a contact lens case is all you need. I don’t check bags, so this saves tons of room in a carry-on.”
— Patrice J. Williams
Put your best sad lip out and cry!
“Always steal the mini shampoo bottles, lotions, soaps, etc. from hotel rooms, they can come in handy for future trips! Pick out your outfits before and roll them together to save space in your luggage. Always pack several pairs of undergarments in your carry-on, just in case your luggage is lost. And my personal favorite, if you are ever about to miss your flight or need to get through security really fast, put your best sad lip out and cry!”
— Tiffany Trilli
Make room for souvenirs.
“Bring underwear that’s inches from death and throw it away as you go to make room in your suitcase for souvenirs.”
— Kirsten Schofield
Deter customs/TSA people from rifling through your stuff.
“My mom would put underwear and bras on top of her stuff so as to deter customs/TSA people from rifling through her things.”
— Pow Belgado
Tie a colorful ribbon on your luggage.
“My mom was a travel agent and told me to tie a colorful ribbon on the outside of my luggage because so many suitcases look alike and I don’t want to end up with someone else’s dirty underwear.”
— Jill Layton
Protect your breakables.
“Always carry newspaper and spare plastic or cloth bags. They come in handy to store wet/dirty clothes and clean spillages, or just to pack something breakable.”
— Joanna Lobo
If the water is iffy…
“In places where the water is iffy: Cook it, peel it, or forget it.”
— Adrienne Bernhard
Lost luggage lock? No problem!
“Not sure this would work today with the fancy luggage locks, but I was traveling with a friend in college who locked her luggage and then lost the key once we got to our destination. My mom brilliantly suggested to go the gift shop and buy a new one — the new key will work in the old lock ’cause they’re pretty much all the same.”
— Shelley Lynn
Always pack a lemon.
“She always carried a lemon with her. Its uses were endless: disinfectant, stain remover, car sickness cure, palate cleaner, dry salad remedy, great for the nails, hair, and skin! We didn’t leave home without one.”
— Susy Michelle Alferez