As someone who has traveled all over the world and spent many hours and days of my life in airports, I know a thing or two about travel. I have learned through my own experiences some can't beat travel hacks for saving time and money while booking flights and navigating your way through airports.
My first tip starts before you even book a flight.
Travel Hack #1 Clear your CACHE/Web Data/ Internet History
This is referring to your internet browser, so unless you book all your travel through an over the phone travel agent this is for you. As most of us these days are searching somewhere between 3 and 10 websites for the best flight times, prices and availability clearing your internet cookies and web data is extremely important. When you search for a flight/hotel/etc. your internet browser stores the information you search. This means that if over a week or a day if you search multiple times for the same thing the history of this pattern is saved in your browser. That data is used by the websites you are going on to and can increase the prices that you are seeing by sometimes over $100.
To avoid this make sure you clear your cookies, cache & web data every time you do another search.
A second option is to use a private browser, which prevents your data from being shared.
Instructions on how to clear your cache.
Travel Hack #2 - Check In Early
The best way to get good seats, a good spot in the boarding line and even an upgrade is often in when you check -in for your flight. If you aren't an elite flier for your trip then this is the best way to get any perks or upgrades for your flight. Most airlines allow you to check in 24 hours before your flight. The closer you are to 24 hours the better, especially if you are flying on an airline like Spirit, Southwest or Wow Airlines that assign seats and boarding line space at check in.
Travel Hack #3 Pack everything in Carry On Size Luggage
This hack isn't for everyone and I don't use it every time I fly but if you can manage it it can save you time and money. If you are flying on an airline where bags aren't free, I recommend trying to fit all your items into a carry on size bag. When you get to the airport you can skip the baggage drop line and head straight to the gate. Ask for your bag to be checked onto the flight once you get to the gate. Most of the flights these days are asking customers to check their bags at the gate anyways and this way you avoid paying the baggage fee and breezed though check in too.
Travel Hack #4 Flying Stand By
There have been so many times when I wanted to get home earlier, shorten a connection or go somewhere else entirely then what my purchased ticket had said. Almost every airline will allow you to jump onto another flight if it is the same day as the one scheduled. Most of the time this costs nothing, and if there are seats available they will just issue you a new ticket. In order for this to work you have to already be checked in and at the airport.
Connections: Have you ever flown somewhere only to be stuck on a layover for hours. This same tip works for connections too. Whenever I have a layover the first thing I do when I land is check the departures board. If I see a flight that is prior to mine that is going to where I need to go I head straight to that gate and see if there are seats available. Ask to fly stand-by if there are, and hopefully you get home earlier than you thought. (Works best with no checked bags)
Travel Hack #5 - International Sim Card
Traveling International and worried about not being connected. You shouldn't be. Most large airports around the world have cell phone kiosks inside. If you are traveling abroad or even to Mexico or Canada there are lots of places to buy prepaid SIM cards. Most phones these days will allow you to put in a new SIM card as long as your phone is unlocked. You can go to the site Unlock My Phone to get assistance if it is not. Depending on the country you can usually get about 10gb of data for about $50. Giving you access to Google Maps, Instagram, Facebook, iMessage and all your other favorite apps.
Just don't forget a paper clip and plastic baggy to keep your American SIM safe.
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