My travel bucket list is currently pages long.
Top of the list destinations include Greece, Fiji, London, and Ireland.
Sadly, the majority of my travel does not take me to such lavish and exciting destinations. In fact, currently, the next trip on my calendar is to Bentonville, Arkansas.
I know. Try to contain your enthusiasm. I know I’m personally finding it challenging.
With business travel at the top of my to-do list and leisure travel to non-Disney themed destinations a distant dream, finding ways to make my travel easier, cheaper, and quicker are top of my list.
Here are some of my best travel hacks for frequent travelers!
1. TSA Pre.
It makes going through security at airports a breeze. There is a fee involved (it’s not much; $85 for five years) and some time for application, but for those who travel frequently it is worth it. You can read about it here: TSA Pre application.
2. Mobile WiFi.
I use a Netgear mobile hotspot and it allows me to have wifi for all of my devices on the go. It doesn’t eat into my phone data plan or cause me to pay exorbitant overages. It’s a prepay type deal and it can even be cheaper than using hotel wifi in some locations.
3. Pack exactly how Liza says.
Light packing is a serious game changer when it comes to getting in and out of the airport effortlessly. If you can avoid checking a bag you can avoid a serious headache. I waited over an hour for my bags to come out of the carousel the last time I flew into Baltimore. There are probably people in that airport who are afraid to see me coming now. Because, AN HOUR!
Then you can fill it up when you go through security and avoid paying a gazillion dollars for that which should be free: water.
5. Be flexible with your travel days.
According to the experts in this area, booking on Wednesday and Thursday instead of any other day of the week (especially weekends) can save you some major coinage. And, be sure to check flight prices at the actual airlines as opposed to using a service like Cheap Tickets or Orbitz. Sometimes they can beat those prices.
6. Consider giving up your seat.
You know how they oversell flights and then beg for people to give up their seat in exchange for a free future flight? Doooo eeet! You may have to bum rush the kiosk to win the spot, so be on your toes and listen hard for the announcement. I’ve seen people run—full speed—to be the …er… “lucky” person kicked off the plane!
7. Develop a travel wardrobe.
Neutral colors with as much match-ability as possible will make choosing what to pack, and what to wear on your trip, easy. And layers. Create outfits with layers so you can cut down on the necessary outerwear, and can take off or put on depending on temp changes.
8. Check seatguru.com.
There are few things that can mess up a flight, like being stuck in a crap seat. I wish they had a column for, “Please don’t seat me anywhere near the guy who takes off his shoes and socks and places his naked feet on your armrest while tickling your elbow with his toe hairs,” but sadly that is something you’ll have to deal with in person.
9. For Southwest fliers, consider the Early Bird Check-In.
It’s only $12.50 one way and it can mean the difference between a hellish ride in a middle seat and the aisle seat of your dreams! For my family, it means we can actually sit together. When all five of us travel, it can be tough to get seats together if we are even in boarding group B. While we could all upgrade to priority seating, I’ve discovered that expenditure is totally not necessary.
We usually purchase the upgrade for two members of the family and then they go on and just save the seats next to them for their travel-mate (usually it’s a middle seat—anyone and everyone is avoiding them like the plague). We check-in the rest of our party as early as possible so they still get as good of a boarding space as they can, and then they join us during general boarding. This is not a Southwest sanctioned activity, so don’t tell them we told you!
10. Download the Uber app.
If you live near the airport you can dramatically save on parking by using one, and they’re a great way to get to your hotel when you land and around town while you visit. I have the app payment tied to my PayPal account and it works so seamlessly!
Here’s to happy travels!
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