Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission at no extra cost if you purchase through a link.
Do you have any upcoming travel plans? If so, then you should check these travel hacks. These are hacks that I’ve learned after traveling for more than 15 years and from other fellow pro travelers. I hope these travel hacks come in handy on your next vacation or trip!
1. Book An Early Morning Flight
You’ll have to wake up earlier, but morning flights are less likely to experience delays. An early morning flight also means you’ll have a better chance of rescheduling to the next flight if it gets canceled.
2. Compare Flight Prices
Google Flights is a great website to compare flight prices for your next trip. You can easily see which airlines have the best deals and find the best flight times.
Plus, you can set up flight alerts to ensure you get the best flight deal possible. Here are some extra tips when it comes to purchasing airline tickets.
Calculate Total Price for Budget Airlines
If you want to save money on your trip, consider budget airlines. However, be aware that these airlines may be more expensive if you factor in luggage fees. For example, one budget airline charges $25 for the first bag and $50 for the second bag.
So, if you’re planning to bring more than one suitcase, it’s worth shopping around and comparing the total prices. You may find that a traditional airline is cheaper in the end.
Buy Refundable Tickets
If you’re planning a trip, you might want to purchase a refundable airline ticket instead of a nonrefundable ticket. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that you can always get your money back if something goes wrong.
3. Choose The Best Seat
Seatguru is an excellent resource for choosing the best seat on an airplane. The website has detailed information about every plane model, including which seats have the best and worst legroom, recline, and views.
Checking Seatguru can help you choose the best seat for your needs and avoid uncomfortable situations during your flight.
4. Book The Aisle And Window Seats
Are you traveling with another person? Book the aisle and window seat! People often avoid booking a seat in the middle (unless it’s a full flight).
5. Create A Frequent Flyer Account
Do you like to fly with a specific airline? Sign up for a frequent flyer account to earn miles and other perks. Not only do you get perks like priority boarding, but you can also earn miles that can be redeemed for upgrades or other rewards. Additional bonuses may include the usage of airport lounges or free check-in baggage.
6. Subscribe To The Airline Mailing List
If you have an airline that you frequently fly with, sign up for their newsletter.
By subscribing to the list, you’ll be notified of flight deals, discounts, and special offers available only to mailing list subscribers.
7. Use Cashback Service/Extension when Booking
When booking your vacation, it’s vital to use every possible tool to save money. One simple and easy way to do that is by using a cashback service. Cashback services can save you significant money on your trip by giving you a percentage of your purchase price back.
My favorite Cashback website is Rakuten Rebates. I’ve been using Rakuten Rebates for quite a while now, and I have to say that I’m thrilled with the results.
I’ve managed to save quite a bit of money not only on my travel purchases but for most of my online shopping by using Rakuten Rebates, and I would recommend it to anyone.
The process is really simple – all you need to do is sign up and download the Rakuten Rebates extension. It’s effortless to do, and you can save a lot of money in the process. I highly recommend giving it a try! The best part is that it’s free! You can download it from the link below to earn a free $10 welcome bonus.Join Rakuten now and earn a $10 welcome bonus!
8. Book in Advance
Plan and book your travel as far in advance as possible. The earlier you book, the more likely you will get a good deal.
Compare prices between different travel websites. Sometimes, it’s worth booking through a third-party site to get a better deal and save money.
9. Use VPN to Find Cheap Flights!
VPNs can help you find cheap flights in a few different ways. They can help you hide your identity and location. This is important as airlines often tailor prices based on location and personal data.
VPNs can also change your virtual location so you can find the cheapest rates. I like to set the server location to the destination country or the home country of the airline company.
And finally, VPNs encrypt your online traffic so no one can see what you’re doing. This helps stop airlines from targeting you with higher prices because of your past browsing history.
I was struggling to find a good, reliable VPN service that worked with all my devices. I needed one that would keep my data safe while traveling, but I also didn’t want to spend much money on it. After doing some research, I found NordVPN.
It’s affordable, has excellent reviews, and works with all my devices. I haven’t had any problems using them. I’m so glad I chose NordVPN, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a VPN service.
NordVPN has a 30-day-money-back guarantee, so you can always try it out and see if it works for you!
10. Use AirHelp When Your Flight Is Delayed Or Canceled
Need to file a claim for flight delays or flight cancellations? AirHelp are experts when it comes to air passenger rights. They will help make the claiming process a breeze.
Yes, they charge a fee if you get paid, but it’s worth it. I’ve tried claiming by myself once, which was so stressful and time-consuming! My friend used AirHelp when their flight was canceled and got total compensation! I wish I had known about AirHelp earlier.
11. Inform Your Credit Card Company Before Traveling
Make sure to inform your credit card company that you’ll be traveling to prevent having your card declined. Notify them, especially if you don’t travel often.
12. Use A Travel-Friendly Credit Card (No Foreign Transaction Fees & Added Perks)
If you travel often, I would recommend getting a travel credit card. These cards can cut costs on your vacation. You might even be able to go on a free vacation for your future trips using points.
Here are some things to look for when choosing a travel credit card:
No Foreign Transaction Fee
Ensure the card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, so you don’t have to pay an additional fee when making a purchase overseas. These fees can add up quickly if you’re traveling abroad.
Choose a card that offers rewards that match your spending habits, such as airline miles or hotel points.
Statement credit for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or CLEAR
Some credit cards will offer you a statement credit covering these programs.
A good sign-up bonus. Look for a card with a good bonus, such as 50,000 points or miles.
Some cards provide added benefits like travel insurance or rental car protection.
Most credit cards offer a travel insurance that can cover you in the event of canceled flights, lost luggage, and other travel mishaps. However, each card’s coverage varies, so check the terms and conditions before you book your trip.
Airport Lounge Access/Priority Pass
The benefits of using airport lounges are many. They include private areas to relax in, free food and drinks, and often WiFi and other amenities. Lounges can provide a much-needed respite from the busy airport environment. They can also be a great place to work or get some rest before a flight.
13. Purchase Travel Insurance
When something unexpected happens, having travel insurance will give you peace of mind.
I always purchase them for my trips. I’ve used it a few times, and it’s been a lifesaver.
I once had to use it because my flight was canceled, and I needed to be refunded for my tickets. Without the insurance, I would have been out a lot of money. I also used it when I had to cancel my trip at the last minute. It’s saved me a lot of money in the past, so I always recommend that others do the same.
I recommend purchasing from Travelinsurance.com. This website helps you look for insurance to fit your specific needs and compare various insurance company policies side by side.
Note: Some credit card perks cover travel protections such as trip delay or lost baggage but most often do not cover medical insurance. Check what kind of insurance your credit card offers before purchasing one.
Add “Cancel For Any Reason” Policy
When it comes to canceling your trip for any reason, travel insurance can be a lifesaver. Some insurers offer a “cancel for any reason” option, which will reimburse you for part of your total travel costs if you have to cancel your trip last minute.
This can be a great option if you’re worried about unforeseen events ruining your travel plans. Most insurers reimburse 75% of the total trip cost!
However, not all policies offer this option, and reimbursement rates will differ for each insurance. So, if this is important to you, be sure to check and make your policy includes it. And, if it doesn’t, you may want to consider looking for a policy that does.
14. Check If The City You’re Traveling To Has A City Travel Card/Pass
A city pass will help you save money on activities/attractions. City cards/passes are a great option if you plan on visiting several attractions. Some city passes allow you to skip queues, saving you time.
You can search and buy city passes from Get Your Guide or Viator.
15. Purchase Skip-The-Line Entry Tickets Beforehand For Popular Attractions
Save time by purchasing skip-the-line tickets for attractions. I recommend checking if there are any skip-the-line tickets for attractions you want to go to.
I like buying tickets directly through the attraction’s official website or third-party sites such as Get Your Guide and Viator (a TripAdvisor Company).
The thing I like about Get Your Guide and Viator is that they have so many options you can choose from. For example, you can purchase the entry ticket or add a guided tour (both include the skip-the-line perk).
16. Use Travel Compression Packing Cubes
Does your airline only allow carry-on luggage? Are you an over-packer? These travel compression packing cubes are such a lifesaver! You’ll save so much space using these for packing clothes.
I love these compression packing cubes from Aceton because you can separate your clean and dirty laundry into different compartments!
Packing cubes are also helpful in keeping your luggage clean from unexpected liquid spillage inside the bags. I’ve had my lotion spill everywhere in my luggage and was so thankful I used these!
17. Use Press’n Seal To Store Jewelry
Have you ever opened your jewelry case only to discover that all your necklaces are tangled? To avoid this, I use Press’n Seal to pack! I’ve used regular plastic wrap, but my accessories kept slipping out.
Note: You can also use a straw to keep your necklace from tangling!
18. Use a Shower Cap or Plastic Bag to Pack Shoes
You don’t need to buy travel shoe cases. Just place your shoes in a shower cap or a plastic bag to pack. Not only does this keep them together, but it also prevents other items in your luggage from getting dirty.
19. Use Oven Mitts To Store Warm Hair Iron
Don’t have a hair iron case but want to use it before your flight? Use an oven mitt to store your hot hair tools. Padded oven mitts will also prevent your hair tools from getting damaged.
20. Pack A Pillowcase
Pillowcases are great for those that don’t like to use airplane or hotel pillows. Just stuff your clothes or puffy jacket inside.
I know some people stuff clothes into their empty pillowcases to avoid paying for extra baggage fees!
21. Place An AirTag Inside Your Luggage
AirTags are a fantastic way to track your bags. I don’t know about you, but I get a little nervous checking in my luggage. I’ve had my luggage misplaced in the past, and it took a long time for the airline to find my bag. Apparently, my bag went to a different airport.
AirTags now offer me peace of mind knowing I can locate my bag if it somehow gets misplaced.
22. Pack A Portable Battery Charger
A portable battery charger is a must-have, especially when you’re traveling. You’ll probably use your phone for your airline e-ticket, map, and more!
A portable charger is handy when you need to charge your phone on the go. Some airlines don’t have a phone charger port on their aircraft.
23. Bring An Extension Cable/Power Strip
Pack a power strip if you’re bringing multiple electronics. Some hotel rooms won’t have enough power outlets for all of your electronics! A power strip/extension cable allows you to plug many gadgets into a single socket.
24. Pack An Empty Water Bottle
You can purchase bottled water after airport security, but they’re costly! Fill up your water bottle at a water fountain. Don’t overpay for water.
25. Pack Some Clothes/Underwear On Your Carry-On Bag
I like to pack extra clothes/underwear just in case my check-in luggage gets lost. You never know what can happen, so it’s best to be prepared.
26. Purchase A Travel Anti-Theft Bag
I’ve had my wallet stolen while traveling. It was the worst experience ever. Having to notify the bank, call credit card companies, and so on. Needless to say, my whole trip ended in disaster.
To prevent this, I decided to invest in an anti-theft backpack. Most anti-theft bags will have slash guards and RFID protection.
Pacsafe and Travelon are two brands that I recommend that sell anti-theft bags.
27. Bring A USB-A Cable
Most airplanes/hotel rooms don’t have USB-C ports. Don’t forget to pack a USB-A cable if you have a newer iPhone.
28. Pack Your Liquids In A Ziploc Bag
You can easily switch out your bag with Ziploc bags if spillage occurs. It also makes TSA security checks easier!
29. Pack Washing Detergent
I like to pack a travel-sized bottle of washing detergent if I need to hand wash dirty items. It’s handy at times when you accidentally spill something on your clothes.
30. Pack A Dryer Sheet Inside Your Luggage
Dryer sheets will help eliminate odors and help keep your clothes smelling fresh and clean throughout your trip. I like to pack some extra dryer sheets in a Ziploc bag so that I can replace them once they lose effect.
31. Make Your Check-In Luggage Stand Out
Suitcases can look similar. I’ve had someone accidentally take my luggage because we had the same exact bag!
Some easy ways to make your luggage stand out are by wrapping ribbons around the handle or sticking caution tape on the back of your bag.
32. Don’t Completely Fill Out Your Luggage Tag
Only write your phone number/email address and name. Robbers will know you’re not home just by looking at the tag.
Also, pick a luggage tag with a flap to hide sensitive information.
33. Mark Your Bag Fragile
Ask for a “fragile” sticker when checking in your bag at the airline counter. Although it’s not 100% guaranteed, baggage with a fragile sticker tends to come out faster at the baggage claim carousel.
34. Go To The Left For Airport Security
People tend to head toward the right. Some say it’s because most of the world’s population is right-handed. Either way, head to the security lane on the left, which tends to be less crowded!
35. Skip The Long Traditional Airport Security Line
If you’re like most people, you hate waiting in long airport security lines. And if you’re traveling during busy times, you may find yourself waiting for hours. There are many ways to get through airport security more quickly. The three ways to cut wait times are:
Enroll in TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or CLEAR.
Note: TSA PreCheck is included for NEXUS (entry into the U.S. from Canada) and Sentri (entry into the U.S. from Canada and Mexico) members
Reserve a spot in the airport security line for free
The airport security line reservation service allows you to reserve a spot in the security line to bypass the wait.
To use the service, go to the airport’s website and select the “reserve a spot” link. You’ll be able to choose the date and time of your flight. Then, enter your name and contact information, and you’re all set!
Note: This service is only available for select airports. Check to see which airports offer reservations.
Purchase an upgraded ticket or earn elite status for an airline
If you have an upgraded ticket or elite status with an airline, you may be able to get through airport security faster by using a priority lane. Check to see if the airline you’re traveling with offers this service!
36. Order A Special Meal If You Have Any Specific Dietary Needs
Do you have any dietary requirements? Request a special meal before your flight. Most airlines provide special meals such as vegan, gluten-free, etc.
Go to your airline reservation page or contact your airline to request your special meal.
37. Wear Compression Socks For Long-Haul Flights
Ever had your legs swelled up after a long-haul flight? Wear compression socks to prevent this. Compression socks promote blood circulation, preventing blood clots as well!
Note: For long flights, stretch your legs and walk up and down the aisle a few times!
38. Get A Bluetooth Adapter
Want to use your AirPods or Bluetooth headphones to watch airline entertainment? Rather than buying new headphones, get a Bluetooth adapter! Just plug the adapter into the audio jack. I love using AirFly adapters because I don’t have to worry about my headphone wires getting tangled.
Another great thing about AirFly is that you can share audio for up to 2 headphones which are great for kids when you only have one iPad or entertainment device.
39. Download Movies Offline For A Personal Airline Entertainment
Most airlines will have aircraft entertainment available, but choices can be minimal. Download your favorite TV shows or movies offline before your flight. Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney Plus, and Hulu are some streaming services that allow you to download for offline views.
40. Use A Flight Phone Mount
No inflight entertainment on your aircraft or want to watch movies/TV from your phone? This flight phone mount will attach almost anywhere. You can watch entertainment without having to hold your phone the whole time.
41. Pack An Electrolyte Drink Mix
Electrolyte drink mixes are great to keep you hydrated on the plane without needing to drink multiple glasses of water. Of course, you can buy Gatorade or Vitamin Water at the shops outside the gates, but you’ll save much more money with these!
42. Bring Blankets For Long Flights
A long flight can be a very uncomfortable experience, especially if you don’t have a blanket to keep you warm. It can get freezing inside the aircraft. Bringing your blanket is a great way to ensure you’re comfortable during your flight.
Not only will it keep you warm, but it can also provide some additional comfort and support. Some flights may not give out blankets, so it’s good to have one, just in case.
43. Wear Glasses For Long Flights
If you usually wear contact lenses, wear glasses for long flights. The dry air can cause eye irritation.
If you want to wear contact lenses, pack eye drops to avoid dry eyes and irritation.
44. Invest In A Pair Of Noise-Canceling Headphones
A noise-canceling headphone will help shut out aircraft noise and help you relax. These headphones also allow you to hear sounds clearer without increasing volume.
45. Pack Baby Wipes For Long-Haul Flights
One of the best things about baby wipes is that they’re incredibly versatile. They can be used to clean everything from your hands and face to dirty surfaces and even clothes. This makes them a must-have when traveling, especially when you’re not sure what kind of cleaning supplies are available in the area you’re visiting. Baby wipes are also an excellent way to freshen up quickly, especially after a long flight.
46. Use A Sheet Mask For Long Flights
Skincare is a must for long flights. The low humidity on the aircraft can cause dry skin. Avoid “airplane skin” by using sheet masks! Make sure to sanitize your hand and remove makeup with makeup wipes before using a sheet mask.
Tip: If you don’t want others to see you wear a facial mask, wear a hoodie! People will think that you’re sleeping.
47. Invest In An Air Pillow
An air pillow can help you sleep better on flights. I’ve tried a lot of travel pillows, and my favorites are the Cabeau Evolution S3 Travel Pillow and Inflatable Neck Air Pillow by Kimiandy.
However, not one size fits all. Try around some air pillows to find the one that’s best for you!
48. Bring Your Eye Mask
Eyemasks will help you get good sleep when traveling. I usually don’t wear eye masks at home, but I always pack one on my trip.
My favorite is the MZOO Sleep Eye Mask. They’re so soft and don’t press up on my eyes.
49. Minimize Jet Lag
You can do a few things to help minimize jet lag on your next plane trip.
First, avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine before and during the flight. Both of these substances can make it more difficult to sleep and adjust to new time zones.
Also, try to get some rest before your flight. If possible, slowly adjust your sleep time to the time zone of the destination you’ll be traveling to.
Finally, when you get to your destination, spend some time outside in the daylight. This will help your body adjust more quickly to the new time zone.
50. Take Advantage of Long Layovers
There are many benefits of having a long layover. For one, you can explore the city you are in and see all it offers.
Additionally, you can save money by not having to book a hotel room. I sometimes purposefully choose flights with 15+ hour layovers to explore the city.
51. Screenshot The Address Of Where You’re Staying
Most customs forms will ask you to write the address of where you will stay. Take a screenshot of the hotel’s/vacation rental address you’ll be staying at before your flight.
52. Keep A Pen In Your Bag!
Have a pen ready if you need to fill out papers on the airplane (such as customs). Some airlines don’t hand out pens. Flight attendants will ask you to borrow from another passenger.
53. Email A Photocopy Of Your Passport
It’s best to have a photocopy of your passport in case it gets lost or stolen. You can keep a photocopy with you, but it becomes pointless if your entire bag/wallet gets stolen. Password-protect the file before emailing for extra protection!
54. Use Mobile Passport Control(MPC) For Customs
Did you know that you can avoid long lines for U.S. customs? Some airports and seaports will have an MPC lane where you can skip the APC kiosk!
Download the Mobile Passport Control app and submit your passport and customs information, and you’ll be good to go. This service is free!
Note: This service is only available for U.S. citizens and Canadian B1/B2 visitors at select airports and seaports.
55. Avoid Hotels Near City Center
Booking hotels away from the city center can often lead to significant savings. Additionally, opting for a hotel located further away from the hustle and bustle of the city can often provide a more peaceful and relaxing stay.
56. Consider Hotels That Offer Free Meals
If you want to cut down on meal expenses, consider booking a room/hotel that offers free meals, such as complimentary breakfast.
57. Book a Vacation Package
When you book a vacation package, you get access to discounts and deals you can’t get when you book everything separately.
Vacation packages are also convenient because all of your travel arrangements are taken care of for you. This means that you don’t have to worry about booking flights, hotels, or car rentals separately. I recommend booking vacation packages from Costco Travel (if you’re a Costco member) and Expedia!
58. Book A Vacation Rental For A Local Experience
A vacation rental can make you feel like you’re at a second home. Use vacation rental booking sites such as Vrbo.
I just returned from a trip to Orlando and used Vrbo to book my vacation rental. I got to compare prices and options for different types of properties, and I was able to book the perfect place for my family. We had a great time, and it was so much cheaper than staying in a hotel.
Looking for a high-quality vacation rental? Book with Plum Guide. Plum Guide reviews each and every home and only lists properties that pass its rigorous test. You’ll never have to worry about quality with Plum Guide, which can be essential when choosing a vacation rental.
59. Look for Hotel Rooms/Vacation Rentals with a Kitchen
When traveling, especially on a budget, find a room with a kitchen. A kitchen in your room can save you money on food costs since you can cook some of your own meals.
It also gives you more control over your diet and what you eat. If you’re traveling with children, having a kitchen can also be a bonus since it allows you to prepare snacks and meals.
60. Ask For An Upgrade At Hotels
Depending on the room availability, you may be able to get an upgrade on your room. Make sure to join their loyalty/membership program before your trip.
61. Use The TV To Charge Your Electronics
Forgot your wall charger for your phone? Not enough power outlets? Charge your electronics using the TV. Most TVs will have a USB port on the back. Plug in your device and start charging.
62. Don’t Exchange Money At The Airport
Avoid exchanging at the airport if possible. Often times they charge a high transaction fee! Go to a local bank or ATM for the best exchange rates.
63. Use Public Transport
Using public transportation such as buses and trains will help save you money on transportation fees when traveling.
Some countries will have transport passes or multi-ride train tickets, allowing unlimited rides. Search “travel pass” + the country you plan on visiting.
Note: This travel hack will depend on the public safety level of the country you’re visiting. Check the travel advisory for the country you plan to visit.
64. Download Google Maps Offline
Google Maps are great for navigating. Save an offline map of the location you intend to visit. This will help you browse the map without an internet connection, saving your phone data and battery life.
An easy way to download Google Maps offline is to type “ok map” into the search box and hit enter. It will ask if you want to download the map. If it looks ok, press download, and it’ll automatically start downloading.
65. Download Languages On Google Translate App
Google Translate is a must-have if you’re traveling to a non-English-speaking country. Yes, I know the translations are not 100% perfect, but it has helped me on several occasions! Make sure to download languages to your device. This allows you to use the app without an internet connection.
66. Buy Food and Souvenirs From The Local Grocery Store
Are you looking for a way to cut meal expenses on your trip? Try going to the local grocery store. You might even find great souvenirs at the grocery store!
67. Use Foursquare And GoWifi App To Access Free WiFi
Need a WiFi connection? Foursquare City Guide and GoWifi (iOS) app will help you find any shared WiFi around your location and find WiFi passwords/login information so you can connect.
Note: Always be careful when using public or free WiFi! I always avoid logging into emails or bank accounts and use a VPN when browsing the internet.
68. Use VPN When Connecting To Public WiFi
This doesn’t just apply to traveling, but I highly recommend using a VPN when connecting to public WiFi. A VPN will encrypt your data, which helps keep your information private.
As mentioned in an earlier travel hack, I’ve been using NordVPN for years and haven’t had any problems.
69. Get A Portable Global Hotspot For WiFi
A portable WiFi hotspot is a must-have when traveling. Some cities won’t have much public WiFi readily available.
Additionally, international data roaming can get expensive. I remember traveling using the international roaming service only to be surprised by a massive bill from my cell company. After that incident, I looked for personal hotspot devices I could easily carry with me and found Solis. What I like about Solis is that there’s no contract or sim needed. You create an account, select a data plan before traveling, and you’re ready to go.
70. Search on Social Media for Itinerary Inspiration
When planning a trip, it can be helpful to look for inspiration online. Social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest can be excellent sources for finding ideas for things to do and see on your trip. You can search by location or topic to find posts from other travelers that might include travel ideas you hadn’t thought of.
Those were 50+ travel hacks to help make your next trip even better. I hope you found these travel hacks helpful. Check the related posts below for more travel tips! And don’t forget to save/share this post!