Don’t insult your intelligence with travel hacks like “bring an empty water bottle” or “pack light”, here is a list of tricks and tips that will help frequent fliers to avoid the hassles of traveling a lot.
Top Travel Hacks: Book Two One-Way Tickets
Sometimes booking two one-way flights and flying two different airlines is cheaper than booking a round trip. In addition to this, it may get you better departure and arrival times. Some sites, that help you book flights, may do this for you, but you should ensure that you do your homework and constantly check the airline websites yourself for the best deals.
If Possible, Book Non-US Flights
Foreign flights have better amenities than their counterparts from US-even in economy where they provide you with pillows, blankets and even full cans of soda.
Understand Code Shares
It is important that you know how flight partnerships work before you buy a ticket on a partner airline.
Some partners offer the same mileage; whereas others offer you less. Others calculate KM’s based on how much you have paid for the tickets, instead of the distance flown.
Ensure that you check this when looking for cheap international flights.
Book an Economy Flight With a B or Y Booking Code
Requesting an upgrade when booking should get your ticket marked with a B or Y booking code, simply means that the flier is looking for an upgrade.
In short, should there be an open seat(s) in a higher class from what you have booked, you will get an upgrade. If you travel frequently then these travel hacks will work for you.
Something called “dynamic pricing” means that refreshing a window won’t get you cheap airline tickets, but it will actually make the prices go up, based on demand.
While many people go about this by using incognito windows, the safest bet is clearing cookies.
You Only Have a 24-Hour Window to Get Your Refund
Even non-refundable airlines have a 24-hour window that allows to cancel them without paying a fee. In short, what you need is to pull the trigger and book that flight, then keep tracking it for a few more days to see if the better rates will come up, in which case you can cancel youe ticket and rebook.
You can also put your ticket on hold on certain carriers which have free 24 hour hold services. It is important that you do a thorough research on this.
Fly on Boeing 767
Boeing 767 is one of the best flights you can fly on.
This is because the aircraft has few of the dreaded middles seats, compared to other planes.
If you can’t book a Boeing 767, you should checkout guides on how to get the best seat on a flight.
We have something special for you. We’ve prepared a great infographic that will show you exactly how to get cheap flights! Do NOT miss it!
You can also checkout seatguru.com to see up-to-date seating charts for single flights, which gives you insights on whether a seat is too close to a bathroom, or whether a row doesn’t recline, or whether there is an extra legroom.
Download the Airline’s App
Most airlines, even cheap air flights, have invested significant money into developing applications that provide you with updates on delays and gate changes, so that you can hit up one of the Xpress Spas without missing important information. In addition to this, the app has enabled paperless boarding at many airports.
Get a Go-Bag of Your Favorite Items
Don’t waste your time packing and unpacking your toiletries time and again, ensure that you keep a go-bag of your favorite lotion or any other item at the ready.
This way, you don’t need to worry about what you need or get mixed up at the last minute.
It is important to order samples of your favorite products from online stores for free travel size toiletries.
Keep Extra Chargers and Cables
Instead of moving around your house pulling vales out of outlets, keep a small water resistant bag of batteries, electronics, and chargers, and never think about then ever again.
Carry a Squishy Carry-On
It is important that you have a malleable bag that can be easily smushed into the overhead bin. It’s less likely to be taken from you when you get to the gate. You can also use the “perfect” carry-on that will be allowed by the airline
Use Air Compression Plastic Bags to Squeeze Air Out of Your Cloths
This is one of our favourite travel hacks. One of the most convenient ways is packing is rolling cloths rather that folding them. This will maximize space and reduce wrinkling. Use a space-compressible plastic bag to push out the excess air of the clothes for more space. If you don’t like the idea of rolling clothes, then packing them in a dry-cleaner plastic or in a tissue paper should help to reduce the wrinkles.
One of the most convenient ways is packing is rolling cloths rather that folding them.
Pack Clothes in the Same Family of Color
Ensure that you pack cloths that have one color scheme, preferably black. This way, all your cloths will match and you won’t really need to worry about putting together your outfits. In addition to this, dark colors don’t show stains.
Pack Heavy Items at the Bottom
Putting heavy items at the bottom of your bag, near the wheels of the suitcase, ensures that the bag is well balanced.
You don’t need to carry a bag that keeps tipping over, as you rush to the gate.
Add Free Stopovers
You can add free stopovers to a flight you have paid for already. Some airlines, though you need to check first, offer free stopovers, mostly in their hub cities, which means that you can see extra cities without purchasing extra tickets.
This is great if you are doing on a business trip, which has been paid by the company.
This is one of those travel hacks that will only work for you if you want to see more of the world, not if you want to get to your destination sooner!
Volunteer to Get Some Extra Cash
If the flight is overbooked and you don’t have any pressing plans, you can volunteer to get some extra money.
With that said and done, you should be smart and negotiate your compensation.
Ask for money or ensure that airline vouchers don’t have many blackout dates and stipulations that would make it impossible to redeem them.
This is one of those travel hacks that requires a bit of planning… You should also ensure that, even if you are the first one to volunteer, you will get the same amount of cash as the last one to do so, since compensation increases as the flight gets more desperate for travelers to give up seat.
For this reason, it is important that you double check to ensure that you don’t get stranded or on standby on your next flight.
Check Your Credit Card to See if You Are Entitled for Perks
Well, you may be entitled for perks without knowing. From hotel upgrades to covering insurance when ranking a car and accessing airline lounges, most credit cards you may have come with special freebies and advantages.
Get Elite Status
If you are a frequent traveler and have most of the other travel hacks in your arsenal, then getting on a loyalty program is important.
The basic trick to fast tracking the process is collecting KM’s of less known partner airlines that may actually give you elite status for lesser KM’s covered.
Save Money on Communication
Both roaming charges and in-flight internet fees are exorbitant for people, who want to travel cheaply. You can bypass them by simply getting a subscription to a Wi-Fi hot spot provider, Boingo. If you have an American Express Platinum Card, you can get free Boingo subscription.
Eat Right to Minimize Jet Lag
Travel hacks from the expert recommend that you avoid caffeine, as it dehydrates you and worsen the jet lag. It is also important that you eat meals when they are served at your destination, as this helps to adjust circadian rhythm. Remember that what you eat matters a lot, because heavily processed foods, like those served on planes, are known to dehydrate the body; therefore, the best thing to do is to skip a meal or eat healthy snacks or foods that have a lot of protein.
Some tips on eating on the flight
- Eat meals at the time they are served at your destination place
- Avoid caffeine
- Eat food rich in protein
- Avoid dehydration
- Remember that what you eat matters
Bonus Travel Hacks: Make Free Calls Abroad
You can make free calls with Google Voice, Whatsapp or Skype. What you need is Wi-Fi or a localdata package, so buy a SIM or, even better, rely on free wifi in hotels and restaurants.
If you’re looking for more travel hacks, we’ve got you covered with cheap flights (just sign up for our newsletter), the best holiday destinations, cheap holidays, how to travel cheap around the world and tips on booking a last minute holiday.
Thinking about using these tips to travel but don’t know where to go yet? Check out our 125 Facts on South Africa to see why you should be heading there soon!