If you’re a frequent traveler, it’s likely that you’ve learned a few hacks that can make your travel experience more efficient, cost effective, and comfortable. Since the more you know, the better your experience will be, we’ve compiled 20 of the best traveling hacks for serious travelers in one blog post.
Booking and Packing
#1. Whenever you know about a trip in advance, sign up for alerts on fares to your destination a few months before you plan to fly so that you can track the fares as they rise or fall.
#2. Always enable private browsing when booking flights and hotels online as travel sites often track your visits and can raise the price for return visitors.
#3. Try to book flights that are early in the day as they’re more likely to depart on time. As the day progresses, challenges in departures cause delays that mount up, which means that flights scheduled later in the day get pushed back.
#4. When you’re packing, place a dryer sheet in your suitcase to keep your clothes smelling fresh and to reduce static.
#5. Another packing hack is to use tissue paper between folds and items to reduce wrinkling when your packing folded clothes.
#6. If it’s not business attire, save space by rolling clothes instead of folding.
#7. You can also put underwear and socks in shoes to save space.
#8. A rolled belt placed in the collar of shirts keeps them looking crisp.
Before and at the Airport
#9. Experienced travelers always sign up for TSA Pre-check for domestic flights and Global Entry when returning from international travel. Although it takes some effort to get pre-approved, it saves valuable time on travel days.
#10. It’s always best to travel light and avoid checking a bag whenever possible to avoid the extra costs and delays. This also opens options for getting another flight when yours is cancelled.
#11. Also, keep an empty water bottle in your carry-on or purse so that when you’re through security checkpoints, you can just fill up at a restaurant or drinking fountain. Once on-board, drink water from your freshly filled bottle or from the bottled water served in flight. Always avoid the water in the restrooms or the airplane’s tap.
#12. Have family or friends pick you up at Departures rather than Arrivals to avoid the no-stopping rule at Arrivals in most airports. If your airport has a cell phone lot (no charge), the person picking you up can wait until you’re out on the curb and ready for immediate pick-up. If you hang out at the Departures curb, the airport police are usually a bit more accommodating.
#13. If you forget your wall plug, you can charge devices through the USB slot on a TV.
Travel Hacking via Frequent Flyer Miles
#14. Frequent travelers can sign up for travel rewards credit cards to quickly boost mileage count.
#15. Points cards also come with huge sign-up bonuses that can be transferred or redeemed with reward flights on your favorite airlines.
#16. If you do a lot of shopping online, start using shopping portals that can be accessed through major airlines or credit card gateways. This way you can earn miles for every dollar spent shopping through these portals.
#17. Using hotel loyalty programs allows you to earn free nights at hotels that you frequent.
#18. Every major airline has a dining program where you earn miles for every dollar you spend at participating restaurants. Many even offer a sign up bonus for this free service. Just link your credit or debit card (any card is fine) and swipe it at the restaurant. These miles will automatically post to your frequent flyer account at a later date.
#19. Airlines always have partnerships with car rental companies, so if you plan on renting one you can usually get free miles by renting from the rental company aligned with the airline.
#20. Last but not least, an informed flyer is an efficient and moneysaving flyer, so always frequent online forums such as FlyerTalk to stay on top of deals, and mileage runs. This is a great place to ask questions of frequent flyers and find out about more travel hacks.