When travel is just an annual indulgence for you or something you do even less frequently, you’re better off relying on the convenience of package holidays, the step-by-step process of the airport, and so on. When you’re something of a savvier traveler that has made a hobby, or even a lifestyle out of it, the processes that were once helpful can become a hindrance. So, here, we’re going to look at the habits that can save you time, save you money, and even help you get a little bit more out of your trip.
Keep an eye out for your next opportunity
Sometimes, your trip isn’t something that you meticulously plan out for months on end. Rather, sometimes, you just want to get up and go and you’re not overly concerned with where you end up. Rather than going to travel package providers, which can charge you an arm and a leg in fees, turn to the internet. Flight comparison sites and tools like Google Trips can help you find the hottest deals on offer from any airline at the moment, as well as which hotels in the area are also offering discounts. If you’re open to last-minute flights, then affording multiple trips a year isn’t all that expensive after all.
Don’t join the herd
On your first trip to the airport, the process of checking in, going through security, and so on can be comforting. They’re big places, and those processes provide some guidance and give you a step-by-step guide to follow in order to get your flight. However, after only a few trips it becomes more of a drag than anything. Most airlines offer pre-booking and check-ins that allow you to skip the front desk if you go through it online. Nowadays, TSA pre-checks even allow you to skip much of the security process, taking you back to a time when airport security was a lot more convenient. You can shave half-an-hour or more off the time it takes you to get into the actual departures lounge this way.
Skip the flight stress
The rigmarole of arriving at the airport isn’t the only stressful thing about it. If you’ve traveled a lot then you have experienced a delayed, cancelled, or altered flight at some point or another. Often, you’re only informed of it by the time you arrive at the airport. However, nowadays there are flight tracking apps with benefits like telling you where, exactly, your plane is, and alerting you to any changes in your flight plans as soon as they’re made clear. This way, you can avoid arriving at the airport and having to wait for hours longer than expected because you only learned of a delay after you went through the check-in process.
Know your airport
If you travel from the same airport frequently, there’s a good chance you already know where your preferred coffee shops, restaurants, and all the conveniences on offer are. However, if you don’t know the airport, you can waste a lot of the time between your arrival and your departure exploring it, looking for that one shop you need or the one restaurant you would actually like to try out. Airports have maps but they’re not often easy to read for those visiting them for the first time. However, travel apps like Kayak now include the feature of airport guides, helping you find exactly what you need in the majority of major airports around the world. Knowing where you’re going can make the wait for your flight a lot more pleasant, especially if you want to take advantage of some duty-free shopping.
Get a little more back from your travel
If you travel often, then you likely spend quite a lot of money on your vacations. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, you can budget however you like. But, you could be missing the opportunity to get some rewards if you’re not using travel credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Travel cards offer all kinds of points that can help you save on airline flights, car rental services, and even many of the stores, cafes, and restaurants in airports. What’s more, they offer financial protection against delays, cancellations, and such. Credit cards can offer more than just convenient access to extra funds. They can genuinely secure your finances while you’re traveling.
Pack like a pro
Whether you’re trying to make sure that you have some room for the shopping you want to do in your destination, or you simply want to ensure you leave nothing behind, learning a few pro packing methods is going to make travel a lot more convenient. First of all, find a checklist to help you learn what to pack based on destination, activities you plan on enjoying, and so on. Then, learn what you should separate between your carry-on bags and your luggage. After that, make more room in your bags with vacuum packing gadgets that can compress the clothes by sucking out the empty air trapped between them. You’ll ensure you always have what you need on hand, as well as space for extra gadgets or shopping.
Don’t forget your memories
That’s a silly concept, but the truth is that the “high” of traveling can put you in such an emotionally powerful state that your actual memories of the events can subside a lot sooner than you think. Nowadays, there are all kinds of high-def travel cameras that can easily fit in your pocket, making it a lot easier and more convenient than using your phone’s tiny camera. Don’t rely on pictures alone, however. It’s been shown that focusing too much on photos can make you more likely to actually feel like you’re not getting the whole experience, personally. Photo when you have the leisure, but consider writing a travel journal so you’re not always behind the lens.
With new apps and offers coming up all the time, it pays to pay attention to travel tip blogs and some of the largest service providers. The opportunistic traveler can find all sorts of ways to make their lifestyle a little easier.