Smart Airport Tricks for Those on a Budget

Airports are notoriously busy places with people shuffling to move from point A to point B. While we enjoy traveling and seeing new places, it’s no secret that things sometimes go wrong when flying. But did you know you can make your journey easier with some unknown airport hacks?

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You’ll be surprised that some airlines, such as Southwest, might help you out more than you think. On the other hand, adding something extra to your luggage might be the difference between a horrible flight and a pleasant one. Fasten your seatbelts as we look through these incredibly helpful tips.

There Are Better Flight Deals on Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Listen up before booking your flight tickets. According to a survey conducted by CheapAir, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days to book plane tickets. On average, you’ll save $73 per ticket when you book flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Thursdays and Fridays are the least expensive days to travel.

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The worst day to get tickets and travel was reported to be Sunday since flying before the work week starts is much more expensive. The cheapest months to fly, according to CheapAir, are January and February, whereas the summer months frequently result in higher ticket rates.

Have a Portable Weight Checker

Finding out your luggage weighs more than it should is the most frustrating thing. You can usually tell your baggage will be close to the limit when wheeling it into the airport. And it can be a nightmare when you are a few pounds over.

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Besides being charged $1,000 extra, you’ll then be required to remove items until you reach the weight limit. There’s a solution. Why not buy a portable weight checker to save yourself the trouble? Always check your bag before leaving home to be sure it’s within the limit.

Your Headphones Might Save You up to $5

We strongly advise bringing headphones to the airport for many reasons. Not only will this save you money when you want to watch an in-flight movie, but they will also be more comfortable and less likely to suddenly fall out of your ears.

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Although it is commendable of airlines like American Airlines to offer them, they aren’t exactly the best quality. You would be better off sticking with yours than taking a chance and buying a set of theirs if you want to genuinely relax and enjoy the entertainment without being bothered.

Check In a Day Before Your Flight

Online check-in wasn’t even available some years ago. But nowadays, practically every modern airline offers this option as standard, thanks to technological advancements. You can check in online 24 hours before your flight. Now, you can say goodbye to the pricey last-minute cab trips to the airport.

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With your electronic boarding pass already printed, you can pass through security without having to wait in line for someone to do it for you. A time-saver! There are many benefits to the internet, but this is undoubtedly one of the best. A modern marvel, really.

It’s Not Advisable to Fly on the Eve of Popular Holidays

This goes without saying. Most people fly on the eve of major holidays like Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or the Fourth of July. They want to visit their families before the holiday begins. This means you’re likely to have a full airport if you also choose to fly on such days.

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APRFinder claims that December 23–26, November 25 (the eve of Thanksgiving), July 3, May 22, and September 4 are the worst days to travel. If you’re planning a trip and don’t want to deal with expensive tickets and aggravation at the airport, don’t make travel arrangements during those times.

Avoid Turbulence by Booking an Early Morning Flight

Besides getting our flights postponed, one other horrible part of flying is turbulence. Nobody wants a white-knuckle ride that goes on for hours. Some people even buy expensive medication to get them through the bumpy ride. It’s usually unavoidable, but there are a few tips to prevent bumpy flights.

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Statistically, most turbulence usually happens in the afternoon. So, if you want a smoother ride, book an early morning or late-night flight. While this won’t completely eliminate the chances of it happening, it’ll still reduce the odds, so you can watch your downloaded Netflix series in peace.

Look Out for Free WiFi

While we love exploring different countries, not knowing whether you can get a decent WiFi connection without it costing you a fortune is one of the biggest drawbacks. So, what happens when you need to check your email or make a quick call while on the move?

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Well, look out for free WiFi at the airport. Most of them have it, including the restaurants in the building. If it’s not on the walls, you may consider asking around to see if you need to access it with a code. Save yourself the stress and data charges.

Always Bring a Portable Charger

We all love our devices, so keeping them charged is often a priority. Traveling without your phone is not only annoying but can also be unsafe. While airports have several charging points, the chances of sitting next to one are unlikely. You don’t have to rely on luck.

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Just bring a portable charger. That way, you can easily charge your phone when it’s running out of power. Don’t forget to turn your phone off or put it in airplane mode after takeoff. If not, it will continue scanning for a network, which drains the battery faster.

Use the Left Security Checkpoint to Get Through Faster

Standing in a security line for hours on end can be agonizing, and there may be a solution to forever relieve this burden. When you reach security, turn left and proceed to the checkpoint that is farthest from you on that side rather than automatically turning right.

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This is based on simple logic. Since most people use their right hand, they approach the right checkpoint. Going left allows you to play the system and possibly speed up the process. You won’t necessarily save money with this hack, but you will gain valuable time! Time is money, people!

Your Confidence Might Get You an Upgrade

Most people are polite and would never consciously ask for anything for free, but sometimes, that could be limiting. This is a dog-eat-dog world, and if you have to announce you’re celebrating a special day to get special treatment, do it. You only need to be confident.

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Some airlines, such as United Airlines, are known to give their passengers free upgrades whenever they can. The purpose is to ensure the experience is as memorable as possible. This doesn’t always work, but you’ve got nothing to lose if you ask! So, why not go for it?

How to Get the Best Seats on the Plane

It can be difficult to know whether your seat will be comfortable because different airlines have different aircraft and seat arrangements. SeatGuru can help in this case. You can use it to look up reviews of your seat to decide whether you made the right choice.

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It’s something that has helped numerous tired travelers in the past. Don’t forget to return the favor when you get off the plane by leaving a review for your seat. You never know; it might really make a difference to the next person who boards the flight!

Travel With an Empty Water Bottle

People buying snacks while they wait for flights is one of the main ways airports generate revenue. Don’t buy a water bottle every time you check in if you don’t have to. Bring an empty water bottle with you, and once you pass security, fill it up.

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You can get as much water as you want this way without having to pay outrageous prices. It’s a tiny hack that probably saves you only a dollar, but over time, it will help your budget by preventing a lot of heartaches. It’s a smart one.

Confirm the Restaurants That Are at the Airport to Stay Organized

It’s easy to get carried away with the adventure of flying and decide you’ll just eat dinner at the airport. However, not every airport has a wide selection of eateries and shops. Fast food businesses usually dominate the area, which might result in lower-quality meals.

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It’s also more often a waste of money. So, check ahead before you leave rather than settling for something unhealthy. Knowing what’s available will give you more time to prepare and evaluate your menu alternatives rather than arriving flustered and panic buying something you don’t want.

Choose a Red-Eye Flight

Not everyone likes red-eye flights. Most of us would prefer to be asleep in a warm bed than on an airplane at night, but if you hate busy airports and prefer a tranquil experience, book a flight that takes off late at night and lands early the next morning.

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Just read your Amazon Kindle, take a nap, and you’ll wake up at your destination. Although it’s not for everyone, try choosing the red-eye flight if you value peace and quiet. You’ll be astonished by the difference it brings to your flight, and it doesn’t cost anything extra.

Check Your Flight’s Status Before Heading to the Airport

A great journey is often marked by arriving at the airport with ample time to spare, but sometimes, you get there only to face a significant delay. Before going to the airport, you should verify the status of your flight rather than assuming that everything is on track.

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That way, you won’t have to wait around in uncomfortable chairs if your flight is delayed by five hours. You can take some time to thoroughly check your bags while unwinding a little before locking up and leaving your house. We have a feeling some parents won’t like this one.

Keep the Hotel Toiletries

We love checking into a hotel for many reasons. Heavy blackout drapes, plush pillows, and room service. We really like the collection of toiletries that are often available in the restroom. Even if you didn’t intend to use them on that trip, they are yours to keep, so take them.

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By keeping the toiletries from places like Hilton, you’ll save yourself a fairly good amount of money that would have gone into buying travel-sized items on subsequent journeys. So, instead of going to the store whenever you want to travel, you can grab a couple from your collection.

Don’t You Fancy the VIP Airport Lounge?

People who fly regularly are more likely to get perks. Airlines naturally want to keep you in the air, which explains why many of them offer frequent flyer miles. These are occasionally redeemable for access to VIP lounges. VIP airport lounges often have plush seats, complimentary drinks, and entertainment.

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Don’t you fancy that? In some airports, you can enter these lounges even if you don’t have frequent flyer miles. The price of a day pass at the lounge can vary depending on where you are. Although it is expensive (around $50), it will significantly improve your airport experience.

Don’t Wait in Line While Trying to Rebook a Flight

Everybody rushes to the desk to try to rebook when a flight is canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. Everybody is so focused on getting where they need to go that it feels like the best thing to do at the time. Instead of joining the crowd, turn to your phone!

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Calling the airline is better. The representative on the other end has the same skills as the one at the airport, so they can handle your issue immediately. That way, you’ll skip the long lines. You’ll also have enough time to talk to the rep about your financial options.

Wear Your Extra Luggage

Nobody wants to pay additional fees to check an extra bag, especially when we’ve only got a few essentials inside. Instead of giving in, this tip will help you save some money. Wear your bulkiest clothing to the airport if you can. We know this sounds uncomfortable.

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But you can always take them off immediately after you pass security. This works just as well if you’re only taking hand luggage but are worried about the weight. Just wear the jacket while going through security and tuck it later into your luggage. It’s a no-brainer!

Ensure Your Laptop Is Easily Accessible

This one might be a popular tip everyone is already familiar with. How many of us have loaded our laptops in our carry-on bags only to struggle to get them out mid-flight? If you have a case, you’ll only need to dive in and pull your laptop out.

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No more rummaging and struggling. Thankfully, laptop cases aren’t expensive, either. Some even go as low as $10 on Amazon. Given how much more organized you’ll feel while traveling, it’s a small purchase that will save you lots of time. So, why not do yourself a favor?

Take a Picture of Your Parking Space, and You Won’t Forget Where You Parked

The saying that the best things in life are free especially rings true with this tip. Even in the best cases, finding parking at an airport can be challenging. Finding a spot can be hard, but if you do, don’t just park your car there and leave.

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If you want to know where you parked when you return, simply take a photo of the space. Even though you think you will remember, by the time your trip is over, you may still forget. Having visual proof will make it easier to find the spot.

A Nap Is Important, Even at the Airport

It might be difficult to remain calm when a flight is delayed, but taking a nap is the best thing you can do. It’s not always easy to sleep on rough chairs, but some airports do have sleeping pods you may rent. One of them is Heathrow in London.

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You can rent a pod for four hours for about $60. You also get showers and towels. By taking a nap, you’ll stop yourself from getting cranky, and it will undoubtedly improve the quality of your airport experience. Nobody likes waiting when they’re tired.

Wrap Your Luggage to Identify It Easily

You don’t want to spend a long time at baggage claim playing spot the bag after you’ve just spent the last 10 hours on a flight and are ready to crash at your hotel. The process is made even more difficult if you have a generic black bag.

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There is a simple trick you can use to speed up the process. Attach a scarf, tie, or other pieces of fabric to the handle in a distinctive color. Before you know it, you’ll find your luggage and be in a cab to your destination.

Get Quicker Entry by Signing up for TSA Precheck

It’s not fun to get stuck in a long line before you’re allowed to enter a country. But really, there’s nothing we can do but stand there and wait for our turn. What if we told you there is a way to speed things up?

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It costs a little bit of money, though. You can apply for TSA Precheck or Global Entry if you meet the requirements and don’t mind spending about $100. Essentially, this means you can bypass past the long lines and get to where you’re going a lot faster.

The MyTSA App Helps You Find Wait Times

Most people hope for the best upon arriving at the airport and checking the security wait times. If there’s a long line, then you’re in for a wait. However, if the line isn’t long, you want to get there so you get through quickly. But there’s a smarter way.

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Install the TSA app if you want to be better prepared for security lines. The American Council for Technology even rated it as the “Best Government Mobile App.” The app allows you to see wait times, traveler tips and warnings, and relevant news updates. What’s more? It’s free!

Pack Electronic Devices and Liquids on Top of Your Bag

TSA has a zillion laws about what you can and cannot bring on an airplane, and even when you are authorized to bring something, it must still be checked. There’s no way around it; that’s just the way it is. So, save yourself some trouble.

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Keep your electronics and liquids close to the top of your carry-on. They’ll be easily accessible when you need to remove them to pass through security. You won’t have to go through your bag, holding up everyone behind you. The best part is it won’t cost you a dime.

Take a Picture of Your Checked Luggage

When it comes to luggage, many people out there have similar bags. However, there are simple tips that you can do to ensure your suitcase is more identifiable so you can easily spot it at the baggage claim. Just take a quick picture of it before checking it.

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This means you can easily refer to the picture while you’re at the baggage claim, so you’re sure you’re picking up the right one. You may think you know your luggage, but how can you be sure? Someone may have picked out the exact same suitcase at Target. Better safe than sorry!

Board the Flight with Frozen Liquids

Liquids are prohibited on airplanes, and only smaller quantities are permitted. If you desperately want to bring a drink on the plane but don’t want to buy one, you can always freeze your bottle of water first. But don’t forget it has to be completely frozen during the checks.

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Even if your Pepsi bottle is just a bit defrosted, it won’t be allowed. So, if you have a long trip ahead of you, this hack might be for you. If you really want to be shrewd with every cent, this could save you a dollar.

Hold Off Listening to Your Music While You Wait

It can be tempting to put on your headphones and turn up the music at the airport. Otherwise, you’ll be forced to endure the sounds of babies crying, TSA announcements, and families arguing. However, there are advantages to not listening to music while in the airport.

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Airlines occasionally make significant announcements. For instance, they might announce a voucher over the loudspeaker for those who consent to board the next flight (a common occurrence if a flight is oversold). Other significant announcements you might miss if you’re listening to music instead include transit warnings and flight delays.

Come Along with Your Spare Ziploc Bags

It might not occur to you to get a pack of Ziploc bags when you are preparing for a trip. Having said that, packing them in your suitcase is an excellent idea for several reasons. Even if you have all of your liquids packed …

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… you could still need to make a last-minute purchase at the airport. However, if you’re going to a beach, putting your device inside a transparent bag can protect it while you use it. If you don’t already have some, you can buy them for a reasonable price at places like Walmart.

You Don’t Need to Rush to Board

Some people are always in a rush to board. Even though seats are already aligned in most airplanes, these people will still push and shove to get a seat. This flying tip is more of a piece of advice than a hack. You don’t need to rush. There’s no fire.

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The plane isn’t going anywhere, and it’s going to the same place, so just walk over and enjoy yourself. You should only rush to an airport if you’re already late for your flight. That’s when you shouldn’t think twice before sprinting. Otherwise, just chill out and take your time.

Pack Your Essentials in Your Carry-On

This tip has been around since airlines started losing their passengers’ luggage. This includes valuables, daily meds, phone chargers, necessary documents, underwear, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. So, if the airline loses your bag and you have to track it down, you’ll still have your essentials.

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This is one crucial hack for people who rely on daily medication. By keeping your meds in the carry-on, you won’t disrupt your medical routine while you go through the tedious process of finding your lost luggage. You also won’t have to buy new meds while you’re at it.

Bring a Power Strip Along

Finding an outlet in the airport might be challenging. Even if you do find one, there’s usually only one outlet available. You can charge your phone, laptop, AirPods, iPad, and other devices at the airport if you have a power strip. The person next to you might even benefit!

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If the power strip is not battery-operated, it shouldn’t cause you too much trouble, especially when walking through security. Even if you are stopped, there won’t be any problems; there will only be a brief pause as they remove it from your bag and inspect it.

Use the Website to Rent a Car Instead of Waiting in Line

You’ll usually need to rent a car when you arrive in a new city. While the airplane gets you to your destination, you still need to move around. The car rental usually has a long line, so why not book a car on their website instead?

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Not only will you have better availability, but you might also get a discount if you prepay. You also won’t have to wait. Additionally, when making an online booking, you can verify that the car meets your price range and requirements, especially if you need more space.

Choose the Front Seats

Where to sit on the plane is a dilemma. The best seats on the plane, according to SmarterTravel, are those near the front. Studies have shown that choosing a seat that’s near the front is better, especially for people who are sensitive to flying or usually get sick on flights.

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The exit rows and window seats are some of the other high points. If you want to get off the plane fast, you might want to get an aisle seat toward the front. You’ll forego the window seat, but you’ll exit the aircraft as soon as possible.

Invest in a Laptop Stand and Work On-The-Go

Many people work while they are on an airplane or at the airport. After all, your vacation doesn’t necessarily begin the moment you leave, and you still have responsibilities. If you’re one of those people who likes to recline their seat when flying (why?), invest in a laptop stand.

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Typically, you can find these on Amazon for $20–$30. It’ll be worth it. These laptop stands provide a platform for you to rest your laptop on when working while lying back. Before you lean back, make sure to ask the passenger behind you whether they mind.

Print the Airport Map and Your Boarding Pass

Before you even go to the airport, it’s a good idea to download and print your boarding pass and the airport map. This can help you save time and keep you organized. For airlines like Southwest, checking in early might get you a better boarding position.

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You can bypass the kiosk line at the airport and head straight to baggage claim. If you are flying into a busy airport like LAX or ATL, which TravelTrivia listed as two of the world’s most confusing airports, printing out the airport map is also a smart idea.

Switch to Glasses Instead of Contacts

Those of us who wear contact lenses have probably heard stories about how dangerous it is to fly while wearing them. Usually, wearing contacts while flying dries them out, irritating your eyes. This happens due to the reduction in atmospheric pressure, oxygen content, and humidity at 30,000 feet.

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It damages your contacts and dries out your eyes. Switch to glasses if you don’t want to keep reapplying contact-safe eye drops. Your contact lens solution should probably be packed in your suitcase rather than your carry-on. In contrast, your lenses may (and ought to) be in your carry-on.

Airport Lounges Have All-Day Passes

Most of us just arrive at the airport, pass through security, and board our flight. Buying an airport lounge pass could be a fantastic idea if you have to stay a bit longer at the airport before boarding your flight. Airport lounges have existed for at least 70 years.

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And they cost around $40-$50 per person, while some places may charge as low as $20-25. They’re super comfy with couches, plush chairs, TVs, showers, and fast WiFi. You can book these lounges through third parties such as LoungeBuddy or directly through the airline.

Wear Your Shoes with Socks

We’ve all seen the memes and pictures making fun of those who take their shoes off on the airplane, exposing their bare feet. And deservedly so. You should never expose your bare feet on an airplane. But you don’t have to have your shoes on throughout the flights.

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Especially if it’s a flight of eight hours or more. Wearing socks ensures you can take your shoes off during long-haul flights. Everyone else will most likely be doing this, so don’t worry; you won’t be the odd man out. Just don’t do anything crazy like putting your feet up.

Start Emptying Your Pockets Once You’re in the Security Line

TSA agents get irritated when passengers don’t empty their pockets before getting into the security line. It’s a key checkpoint mistake that you should not make. You should not have anything in your pockets if you want to go through the security scanners, and everyone should know this already.

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The agents will yell this at you, but some people still don’t listen. The scanner’s alert system can be activated with even a bit of lint. Although you won’t get into trouble, stepping out of line will be a bother, and the TSA will undoubtedly be upset that you disobeyed.

Wear Compression Socks for More Than 5 Hours to Relieve Jet Lag

Even if you’re healthy with no blood circulation issues, you can still benefit from this hack. Jet lag is frustrating and can be extremely tiring, as if you’re coming down with the flu. So, instead of medication, use compression socks to stop blood from pooling in your feet.

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The ideal tightness is around 30 and 40 mmHg (extra firm). This trick is crucial for long trips because the chance of getting a blood clot while flying rises with the flight time. You should still take precautions against swelling or anything much worse, like deep vein thrombosis.

Have Wet Wipes and Hand Sanitizer with You

Being in such close proximity to so many people on a plane, which is essentially a floating tin can, increases the likelihood of catching a bug. Most airplane seats are dirty. Make sure you pack wet wipes and a bottle of hand sanitizer to be on the safe side.

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You also won’t need to buy them at the airport. Use them whenever possible to try to ward off the germs. Additionally, after a lengthy flight, wet wipes will help you feel rejuvenated. Even if you can’t take a shower right away, you can at least clean yourself up.

Boarding Last Can Cut Your Wait Time by 20 Minutes

We got this idea from a travel hack guru, The Points Guy, who claims that boarding last on a plane isn’t always a bad thing. And we’re inclined to agree. We recommend that you only use this hack if the airline already has assigned seating.

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Otherwise, you may find yourself on the seat next to the toilets at the back. TPG claims that boarding last means less congestion at the gates and on the jet bridge. You also reduce the time you spend on the airplane, which is a lifesaver for people who dread traveling.

Travel With a Lot of Snacks

Snacks are expensive at the airport. You can end up paying three times as much for snacks and drinks than you normally would due to the absurd markup. Since their business operating costs are higher, airports charge more. This makes the food prices outrageously high. So, what should you do?

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Simple. Take your snacks along with you to the airport like it’s a movie theater. You can take solid food items with you in your carry-on. These items can pass through the scanners, though you may need to remove them from your carry-on bag. But who cares?

Stand Close to the Business Class Check-in

If you don’t fancy boarding last, then you should consider boarding near the front by standing close to the business class check-in area. Even though you’ll be booted if you’re not in business class, being nearby will place you in a good place to board the plane.

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According to Thrifty Traveler, if you’re traveling long-haul flights, you might as well splash out and choose the business class. The food is decent, there is more room, and the seats are comfy. Why endure 10 or more hours of misery when you can pay extra to travel in comfort?

The Seat Next to the Emergency Exit Has More Legroom and Reclining Space

If you’re tall or don’t like sitting next to babies while flying, consider choosing the exit row seat. These seats have more legroom, meaning you can stretch. This is quite valuable, especially on a long-haul flight. The second exit-seat row is the best for legroom and incline.

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No kids are allowed there, so your flight will be quieter. All you need to do is be ready to help if the unexpected occurs. The flight attendant will typically ask you to verbally respond “Yes” when asked if you are prepared to handle exit-row duties for safety concerns.

Shrink-Wrap Your Baggage to Minimize Dents and Scratches

Luggage & Suitcase estimates that 22 million pieces of luggage were handled improperly in 2017. They were returned to their owner in a damaged, battered, and generally less-than-ideal condition. Nobody wants that. So, shrink-wrap your luggage to prevent any scratches or dents when you get to the baggage claim.

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It’ll pass through the scanner. If shrink-wrapping your baggage involves too much work, think about getting a real cover. A Yotako transparent PVC suitcase cover costs $16.99 on Amazon. To maintain your suitcase looking perfect, you should spend the extra $10–$20 on a suitcase cover.

Roll Back Your Device Time for More Airport WiFi

Many airports have complimentary WiFi with no passwords. Unfortunately, some of them place time caps on the WiFi. And once you reach the time cap, you’ll either go through the long reboot process or pay more to stay connected to the internet. But there’s a hack that can help.

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You can get past this issue by rolling back your device’s time. The airport’s WiFi time gauge often uses your device’s time gauge. So, if you roll back the time on your device back, it might make the WiFi continue without shutting you off. It’s worth a try!

Avoid Data Theft and Charge Your Power Bank Instead of Your Phone

The usage of USB charging in airports has drawn some severe warnings from law enforcement agencies, such as the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. According to the LADA, beware of using USB charging stations in public places like hotels and airports as they may “contain dangerous malware.”

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What do you do if you don’t want your phone to run out of power? It’s simple; buy a portable power bank before traveling and charge it instead of your phone. They only cost around $15-$25 on Amazon. Charging this at the airport doesn’t have any data theft risk.

Don’t Drink Alcohol Before Your Flight

The quickest way to pass the time on a flight is undoubtedly to get drunk, but regrettably, we have to warn against doing so. Alcohol can cause dehydration, so avoid drinking before your flight, particularly if it’s a lengthy one. It’ll do you a world of good.

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Alcohol acts as a diuretic, causing your body to eliminate fluids from the blood more quickly. You might not get enough water on the flight after drinking alcohol which could result in dehydration. And you don’t want a headache, extreme thirst, confusion, and a dry mouth when you land.

You Can Have Alcohol Under 30z

If you just can’t help it, then you may be able to bring alcohol bottles below three ounces. The TSA doesn’t allow liquid containers over 3 ounces. Small liquor bottles are sold in virtually every store and can be packaged in a specific way that complies with TSA regulations.

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Your mini bottles must be packed in a standalone, one-quart plastic bag. There must be a zip-top on the bag. Your alcohol intake is limited to the amount that will fit inside the zip-lock bag since you can only bring one of these bags. It’s also cheaper than in-flight alcohol.

Come Along with Gum if Traveling With Kids

Kids can be annoying, but they may have a good reason to cry on flights. They’re more prone than adults to ear problems caused by plane takeoff and landing pressure changes. While the pain goes away after some minutes, it is still quite uncomfortable.

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Don’t even think about flying with a kid who has an ear infection or a cold. The solution is to bring hard candy or sugar-free gum. If the child is old enough, have them suck on the candy or chew the gum during takeoff and landing to unplug their ears.

Lose the Belt While Dressing for the Airport

Getting to your destination with the most minimal hassle possible is the goal of the airport experience. If you want to improve your chances of a stress-free journey, wear a belt-free outfit. It’ll save you time when passing through security, and TSA requires you to remove them anyway.

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It’s not a good look if you’re fumbling with your belt when you could just skip wearing it in the first place. TSA banned belts because the buckles usually set off the metal detectors. While a plastic belt won’t set them off, TSA will still ask that you remove it.

Put Your Jewelry in a Ziplock Bag

On its website, the TSA strongly advises that you keep your jewelry in your carry-on bag while you travel. While it is allowed in either bag, carrying it in your carry-on bag ensures you don’t lose it, especially if the jewelry is sentimental or valuable.

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You don’t want to lose your valuables! Keep each piece of jewelry in a one-quart, transparent, ziplock bag to make it easier for the TSA agents to scan it. You can ask an agent to scan you privately if you’re worried about other passengers seeing you.

Catch a Cab from Departures, Not Arrivals

The LA Times reports that traffic on departures (people flying out) is 80% faster than arrivals (people flying in). This is particularly true for popular airports like LAX and JFK. So, go to the departures if you’re catching a cab home.

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Why? For one, people trying to leave the baggage claim with their luggage block traffic. In contrast, if you’re on the departure side, the driver pushes your bags out of the cab while it’s rolling. Hailing a cab is easy here, but you need to be fast about it.

Buy a Universal Adapter and Plug in Your Device Anywhere

You never know the kind of plug you’ll find at the airport. It could either be a two or three-prong plug. It could also be a USB port that you’ve been warned not to use because you might get hacked. Or it could be something totally different.

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You can cut through the guessing game by getting a universal adapter. No matter where you are or the plug at the airport, you can still charge your phone, computer, tablet, or any other device. A universal adapter costs only about $10-$15 on Amazon.

Slap a Fragile Sticker on Your Luggage to Get Special Treatment

We’re not guaranteeing that this will work every time because baggage handlers may not notice the sticker. Even if they do, they probably won’t care and just throw your luggage around anyway. But for the benefits that could come, it’s worth a try. Stick a “FRAGILE” sticker on your luggage.

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Baggage check usually provides this in a kiosk close to the counter, and you can ask for one if you can’t find it. This technically means your luggage must be loaded last and removed first. Baggage handlers should treat it gently so you don’t have to buy a new case.

The Farthest Security Line Is Usually the Shortest

There are many travel guides and websites dedicated to helping you find the shortest security line. It almost seems like there’s a mathematical formula, but no one wants to experience that sinking feeling when you find a sea of people in the security section. It’s overwhelming and disheartening.

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According to PopSugar, the farthest security line, especially at the far left, is often the shortest. There’s a simple reason – most people are right-handed, and they won’t look that far, either. So, they’ll typically prefer the right. Go down the farthest security line, and it could be shorter.

Ensure Your Checked Baggage Can Withstand a Six-Foot Fall

We’ve mentioned that you can shrink-wrap your baggage or attach a “FRAGILE” sticker to it to prevent it from getting damaged. But if that doesn’t work for you, there’s another way you can prevent dents. It’s more straightforward – buy a super durable suitcase that can withstand hits.

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If your baggage can withstand a six-foot fall, it’s good to go. While these types of luggage are pricey, they’re worth it in the long run because your belongings will be protected. Pelican Elite Luggage is the most durable, according to Expert World Travel.

Wrap and Cushion Breakable Items with Clothes and Socks

If you realize you have no packing material on the morning you’re due to travel, there may be a solution. This is even more important for people who travel with breakable items and don’t have Styrofoam to cushion them. You know your luggage will be thrown around.

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Simply protect the valuable and breakable items with your clothes and socks. For instance, if you’re traveling with a small glass trinket that can’t go in your carry-on, put it in a sock. Next, wrap the sock in your T-shirts and any other piece of clothing for better protection.

Put Checked Liquids in More Than One Plastic Bag to Avoid Leaks

If you’re checking liquids such as makeup foundation and mouthwash, you don’t want them to leak. Unfortunately, this can happen, especially when your baggage is thrown about. It can be annoying to open your suitcase and realize you have to rewash your clothes. So, how do you prevent this?

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To avoid leakage, put checked liquids in more than one plastic bag. You can also place a small Ziploc bag over the bottle’s lid and wrap a hair tie on the lid’s base. This will seal it off before you place the whole bottle into a bigger Ziploc, almost gallon-size.

Bring Two Wallets: One for Money and the Other for Credit Cards and IDs

When you think about what’s in your wallet, it probably contains cash, credit or debit cards, ID, and other important documents. Now imagine your wallet goes missing. That means you’ll also lose everything at once. Such a loss is painful, but it’ll be more excruciating if you’re on a trip.

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The solution is to have two wallets with separate contents. This is based on the logic that even if one gets lost, you won’t lose everything. Of course, losing either one of your cards/ID or cash can be painful, but it’s better than losing them all.

Distribute Your Cash in Different Places

Allianz Travel Insurance suggested this idea for people who are traveling with lots of cash on them, probably to exchange it. However minor their threat may seem, pickpockets, bag slashers, and unscrupulous bag handlers remain a threat you should look out for. Thankfully, this tip can protect you from them.

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If you have a lot of cash on you while traveling, hide it in different places. Not only should you hide it in different places in your carry-on bag, but also on your person. Even if the thieves steal some of your cash, they won’t get it all.

Don’t Tell Anyone About Your Free Upgrade

Free upgrades are wonderful, whether they’re in the form of business class or better hotel rooms. You can enjoy free upgrades in different ways, such as joining the airline’s frequent flyer club, checking in early, booking with a seasoned travel agent, or agreeing to get taken off an overbooked flight.

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Alternatively, you can also ask at the ticket counter. At worst, they’ll say no. However, once you score a free upgrade, don’t tell anyone. If too many people learn about these freebies, the airline is less likely to give them out in the future.

Find All the Airport’s Amenities on the FLIO App

For an app with almost a 5-star rating on the Apple Store, you can be sure to get a “flight companion” as it is described. It is one of the most-used airport apps. FLIO helps you to navigate flights while generating income for its partner retailers, airlines, and brands.

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You can use the app to track flights, check your flight status, and see airport discounts and amenities. You’ll be the first to learn about changes in boarding times, gates, delays, and baggage claims. Luckily, the app is also available to Android users. So, get ahead of everyone else!

TripAdvisor and Yelp! Have Airport Restaurants’ WiFI Passwords

Most airports now provide free WiFi, although with a sign-in screen and an agreement you must consent to. However, some are still behind. But if you don’t have spare change to pay for WiFi, you can beat the system by checking TripAdvisor and Yelp for nearby restaurants’ passwords.

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Most airport restaurants are chain establishments. Yelp or TripAdvisor usually have passwords to these chain restaurants. You can also Google it. This will help you use the WiFi without having to pay a dime. Just ensure you’re close enough to the restaurant so you’re in range.

Let Your Bank Know You’re Traveling

This has probably happened to virtually every traveler. Even if you’re only a few miles outside of your city, some banks quickly lock your card in suspicion of fraud. While we appreciate this, it’s not always necessary. Just because you changed your location doesn’t mean someone stole your card.

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That’s why you should call your bank before traveling to avoid a locked card. Inform them you’re traveling, and they shouldn’t lock your card if there’s a transaction in a different location. If the card does get stolen, you can still call the bank immediately to cancel it.

Don’t Exchange All Your Home Currency

Exchanging currency is an important part of traveling, but you shouldn’t exchange all of your currency. It’s a good idea to leave a small amount in your home currency just in case of emergencies. Also, you won’t have to re-change your money back if you don’t spend it all abroad.

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According to Investopedia, you should avoid currency exchange shops and airport kiosks because they have high fees and bad rates. ATMs and local banks usually have the fairest rates. Your local bank may also refund any fees you incur while using a foreign ATM. You should confirm this first.