While by far the most convenient way to travel, flying does not come cheap! While airfare is the most obvious culprit here, other little expenses sneak in (taxi rides, baggage fees, airport parking) to make traveling rather expensive. Here’s how it usually works
Option A: You fly in comfort by shelling out the moolah.
Option B: You save dollars but give up on the comforts.
We present to you – secret Option C: Fly comfortably, for fewer dollars!
Sounds like a pipe dream? You can make it happen if you follow a few simple tips and tricks. Whether you’re a solo traveler or a family looking to vacation abroad, these travel hacks can help you win at air travel and make all your travel dreams come true!
Get bumped to first class.
Wondered what happens in the mysterious realm of first class? Are you thinking of VIP treatment, plenty of legroom, exotic food, and expensive drinks? Here’s how you can get bumped to first-class and find out for yourself.
- Ask, and ye shall receive – Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. Arrive early before the agents get swamped by the masses and ask politely if an upgrade is possible.
- Choose your flight wisely – Book your ticket on busy flights (ones that are likely to get overbooked) and be prepared to give up your seat. Good Samaritans are more likely to get bumped to first-class!
- Dress well and be polite – Yes, good ole’ grandma’s advice can get you a first-class seat! The check-in desk agents and flight attendants have stressful jobs, and a kind, well-dressed person is more likely to earn their goodwill and bump up to first-class!
Live the lounge life
Nothing seems more tempting than an airport lounge as you wait interminably to board your flight. Airport lounges are the travel refuge boasting comforts such as free Wi-Fi, drinks, snacks, and glossy magazines. Here are the travel hacks on how you can get access to luxurious lounges without being a frequent flier or flying first class.
- Check if your credit card offers airport lounge privileges. Cards like the Platinum Card or Centurion Card from American Express allow you access to the Amex Centurion Lounge network.
- If you’re someone who travels a lot, it might be worthwhile to invest Diners Club card to access hundreds of lounges worldwide for an annual fee of $95. Priority Pass also offers access to more than 1,300 airport lounges worldwide for $429.
- Buy your way in for a day with the pay-per-use option. Quite a few lounges nowadays allow you access for a price (as low as $25), even if you aren’t flying with that airline.
Lose baggage fees (and not baggage!)
Saving on baggage fees is very important if you are traveling with children or a large group. With baggage charges ranging anywhere from $15 to $50, you don’t want to run the risk of paying hefty fees. With a little smart travel planning, you can get your bags to your destination without paying any extra fees. These travel hacks can help!
- The easiest and most obvious way to not pay excess baggage fees is to travel light by packing only what you need – nothing more, nothing less.
- You can reduce weight further by using luggage made of lightweight materials like ballistic nylon and polycarbonate luggage.
- Cram quite a bit into your carry-on by using vacuum bags that can squeeze more into less space.
- Bonus tip – wear heavy apparel like coats and boots instead of packing them.
Score the cheapest airfares possible
Airfares are the biggest expense when planning your travels. With countless search engines and ever-changing costs, the odds of finding cheap airfares can be forbidding. Here are some travel hacks that will save you time, stress, and, most importantly, dollars when you book your next flight.
- Split ticketing can save you a lot of money than round trips airfares, especially for international travels.
- Don’t shy away from booking connecting flights. They are a great way to save on airfares, and airlines usually have low prices for flights with long layovers, making it easy to get really low airfares.
- If you have a flexible schedule, don’t stick to a particular date. Look at different flight dates and times until you spot a really cheap option.
Get your loyalty to pay off
Time to cash in on all that loyalty, y’all! While you plan a trip, you need to check all your points and miles to knock off pretty decent sums from your expenditure. Make sure your miles are added after each trip you take and that you pay credit card bills on time and in full, and you can make good on all that loyalty.
- Make sure you know your credit card rewards program like the back of your hand. This will help you learn when and where to use your credit card to maximize your rewards.
- Several airline and travel cards have lucrative welcome bonuses after spending a certain amount of money in the first few months after opening your account — cash in on these.
- Look into the partner programs your airline or credit card offers. Points and miles can only be redeemed for the services provided by the airline/company offering it. Usually, they are part of a network of alliances that offer a wide range of awards.
Bonus Travel Hacks
- Airport parking lots are expensive; book your parking at offsite lots to reduce travel expenses. You’ll find that offsite IAD Airport parking and DCA Airport parking lots far cheaper than onsite lots.
- Consider renting a car at your destination from reliable car rental companies like Sixt save on local transportation costs.
- Choose to travel off-season, and you can get your hands on much lower airfares and cheaper accommodation costs.