Traveling has gotten a bad rap for being one huge hassle. From long lines, extra fees, and delays, the process can be quite overwhelming, but with these following simple tips and trips from frequent travelers and industry experts, air travel can be simpler and much less stressful.
1. Sign up for global entry and TSA PreCheck programs.
Though you must pay a fee to get reap the benefits, these easy entry programs are worth the costs–$100 for Global Entry and $85 for TSA PreCheck—especially for frequent fliers.
“Global Entry is a must for anyone who travels internationally and includes TSA PreCheck or your domestic flights,” one frequent traveler, Lee Huffman, said. “Because you are what’s known as a Trusted Traveler, you can skip security lines at the airport and don’t have to take off your shoes or remove your 3-1-1 liquids bag.”
2. Enroll in airline rewards programs.
These programs benefit anyone who travels, even if it’s just a few times a year. Racking up miles or points can allow you to book low-cost or free travel in the future, and they could even be transferrable to other airlines.
“You can often fly on partner airlines using your airline’s miles,” Huffman said. “In some cases, using Airline A’s miles to fly on partner Airline B requires less miles than if you used Airline B’s miles for the same flight.”
3. Utilize Airport Lounges.
There are a variety of ways to gain entry to airport lounges, the most common being through credit card companies and airline loyalty programs. Lounges are a great way to relax and unwind before your flight and often also offer complimentary snacks and beverages. Check with your credit card company or airline rewards program to see if you are eligible.
4. Pack an empty water bottle.
You can save both time and money by packing empty water bottle and filling it up at a water fountain after you’ve gone through security.
5. Clear your cookies when searching for a flight.
Travel booking sites often increase prices for flights the more you visit the site. Because internet browsers track your activity, many travel experts suggest clearing your cookies or using a private browser before you book a flight to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
6. Try to gate-check your luggage.
As more and more airlines begin charging travelers to check baggage, one way to avoid fees and escape the hassle of carry-on luggage, is to check a small bag at the gate. Most airlines won’t charge you to do so, but it is always a good idea to check ahead.
7. Save money by flying on Tuesday.
Tuesdays mean the best travel deals, especially during peak travel weeks, like those during the holiday season. To save even more money, avoid peak hours by traveling early in the morning or late at night.
8. Select your luggage carefully.
Bags with four wheels instead of two help you keep your bag clean, because you can push it in front of you, instead of dragging it behind you. You can also navigate much tighter spaces with four wheels.
9. Download your airline’s app.
This tip helps you save time, stress, and trees. With airline apps, you often get real time updates on flight delays and changes, and paperless boarding means less trash to worry about later.
10. Look for airport deals.
Airport shops have a reputation of being much more expensive than ordinary stores, but in some cases, you can actually save money by shopping in the airport. Compare prices online and check state tax laws before traveling, so you know whether or not you can score a good deal at whichever airport you’ll be visiting.
11. Sit close to the aisle.
Aisle seats are exposed to less cold air from the outside and give you easy access to the restroom.
12. Follow airports and airlines on social media.
Many travelers have used promo codes, discounts, and insider travel tips from airports’ and airlines’ social media accounts to save money and reduce travel stress.
13. Know your airport’s code.
Know the three letters that represent your destination airport. Some cities have multiple airports, and it will be important to know which you are flying into incase of delays, emergencies, or lost luggage.
14. Sign up for a rewards credit card.
If you tend to fly with a particular airline, signing up for their credit card could mean generous sign-up bonuses and travel perks.
“If you have great credit and do not have any spending problems, you can sign up for credit cards to earn hundreds of thousands of frequent flyer miles, so your upcoming trips are all free or heavily discounted,” said Eric Rosenberg, founder of Personal Profitability.
15. Don’t wrap gifts.
During the holidays, TSA and airport staff members are on high alert, and it isn’t uncommon for gifts to be unwrapped as they travel through security. Save yourself time and stress by packing gifts in gift bags and wrapping them later.
16. Volunteer to be bumped.
When flights are overbooked, airlines reward travelers for volunteering to be bumped to a later flight. In some cases, these last minute offers are worth more than the original flight you booked.
17. Mix and match flights.
You often get a better deal on travel by booking two one-way tickets, instead of one round-trip ticket. This way, you can purchase tickets from different airlines and score the best possible deal for your travel dates.
18. Bring copies of important paperwork.
Traveling means a lot of paperwork, especially for international trips. The more paperwork you have, the easier it is to lose some of it in the process. Pack copies of your most important documents to have on hand in case of emergency.
19. Pack extra plastic bags.
Sealable plastic bags are great to have on hand, especially for toiletries. These bags get dirty and can tear or break. If they do, you’ll be happy to have spares in your bag.
20. Keep your laptop accessible.
Unless you go through PreCheck, you will be asked to remove your laptop and larger electronics from your bag. Keep these items in an easy-to-access pocket so you aren’t digging around for them in the security line.
21. Search for free WiFi.
Keep from eating up all your mobile data by using airport WiFi. If the airport doesn’t offer free WiFi check at its shops and restaurants.
22. Bring a portable charger.
Charging stations are some of the most crowded spots in the airport. Bring a portable charger to keep your phone or any other necessary electronic fully charged before takeoff.
23. Use the My TSA App.
This app offers answers to frequently asked travel questions and addresses what you can and cannot bring on flights. The app also allows users to check on cancellations, delays, and wait times.
The best way to avoid stress and save time at the airport, is to allow travel experts arrange your trip details for you. Gateway VIP Services leads the industry in providing elite, stress-free travel services. To learn more about Gateway’s services or to book your VIP travel experience, visit gatewayvipservices.com today! For more travel tips, [Click Here].
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