Airport Secrets Only Insiders Know
Airports often mean long lines, big crowds and headaches for travelers. Frequent travelers and insiders know the secrets to traveling and avoiding the headaches most normal travelers experience. If you want to travel like the pros, here are 20 airport secrets and travel tips from the insiders.
- Global Entry and TSA PreCheck Are Totally Worth It
You could be one of the many travelers dealing with long waits to get through security, or take a tip from insiders by taking advantage of Global Entry and TSA Pre Check for faster screening. 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.
- Sign Up for Airline Rewards Programs
Even if you don’t fly often, you could benefit from signing up for airline rewards programs. After just a few flights, you might have enough miles or points to get them redeemed for free or low-cost travel. You might not even have to use the same airline to redeem your miles.
- Don’t Check Your Bags
Pack like a pro and only take carry-on bags when you travel. Checking your bags can mean waiting in lines, and there’s a risk of having your luggage get lost or even stolen. By carrying on your bags, you save time and ensure your stuff arrives with you.
- Some Airport Lounges Are Available to Certain Credit Card Holders
Airport lounges aren’t just for the rich and famous. Many credit cards and airline loyalty programs provide free or discounted access to airport lounges. You can relax in a lounge and avoid the hustle and bustle, and enjoy complimentary beverages and snacks. Call your credit card company ahead of time to see if you’re eligible.
- Pack Only What You Need
Ask yourself if you really need everything. When packing, think about exactly what situation you’ll want a certain item of clothing, that why you can avoid bring things you won’t need and save space.
- Fly Off-Season for the Best Deals
Airport insiders know that traveling off-season is where the best deals are. Typically, traveling at off-peak times — for example, during rainy season — for your intended destination can save you money. Ask a Travel Team Agent to see when the low season is for what destination you want to go to.
- Pack an Empty Water Bottle
We have all stood in line, chugging our water before it is thrown out by the TSA. Instead of paying $5 for a water bottle at the food court, pack an empty water bottle to get your water fix. Airports have water fountains where you can fill up and hydrate before your journey — for free.
- Clear Your Cookies Before You Book a Flight
If you’ve ever searched for a flight and then, not even an hour later, you go to book and the price has increased — blame your internet cookies. Internet browsers track your activity online and some booking sites might increase the price depending on demand. By clearing your cookies or using a private browser when booking a flight might help you get a lower price.
- Bring Your Own Headphones
Not all airlines offer headphones for free. In order to save money and keep yourself entertained during a long flight, pack your own headphones. Bonus perk: You’ll look busy and avoid any unwanted conversations with people in your row.
- Avoid Baggage Fees by Gate-Checking Your Bags
Baggage fees are the norm these days— charging $25 or more for your checked bags. One way to try and avoid baggage fees is by checking your bags at the gate, though check ahead of time to make sure the airline doesn’t charge for gate-checking, too.
Many airlines ask for volunteers to check their bags as there’s simply not enough room in the plane for everyone’s baggage. This tactic is an insider loophole that could potentially get your bags checked for free.
- Fly on a Tuesday for the Best Deals
The weekend is prime travel time for many, which equals higher prices and large crowds. For the best travel deals, fly on a Tuesday instead. For an even better deal, consider flying at non-peak times — such as early morning or a red-eye flight.
- Four Wheels Are Better Than Two
A suitcase with four wheels can be better than two. Avoid dragging your bag and push it in front of you. This way, you can navigate tight spaces and have more control over your bag, making it easier to travel and get through the airport.
- Download Your Airline’s App
By downloading your airline’s app you can usually enjoy paperless boarding and get real-time updates about any flight delays, changes or updates. Having a mobile boarding pass can help you save time — and some trees.
- Wear Slip-On Shoes
Make your life a little easier and wear slip-on shoes. Slip-on, slip-off. This simple travel hack can keep the line moving and make going through security a little less painful.
- Pack Your Own Food
Instead of paying high prices at the airport, pack your own food instead. Think sandwiches, fruit, crackers and granola bars — check with the TSA first to make sure your menu follows security guidelines. This travel tip can help you save money and your appetite.
- Spend Money to Save Money
Airport shops tend to raise prices on items, but not always. Some areas, like Portland, Ore., forbid shops to charge more for goods and services. In addition, some states, like Oregon, have no sales tax. If you’re thinking of shopping at the airport, compare prices online and check tax laws before you travel.
- Pick an Aisle Seat
Brrrrr. Opt for an aisle seat to stay warm. Bonus: You won’t have to climb over anyone to go to the bathroom.
- Bring the Sanitizer
Be sure to bring hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes to kill germs and avoid illness. One area not to miss: Your tray table. Tray tables might not be cleaned between flights, so sanitize your tray before you use it.
- Know Your Airport Code
Before arriving at the airport, know your airport code — the three letters that refer to your destination, such as LAX. Some cities have multiple airports and your luggage tags can get mixed up if you’re not sure where you’re headed.
- Get Social
One of the best travel tips for saving money is to get social. Follow various airlines, airports and airline booking sites on social media, like Twitter and Facebook, to get promo codes, discounts and insider tips. Follow the Travel Team on Facebook to get all the latest travel tips, trends and deals visit out facebook page here
Ready to plan your dream vacation?