If you joined us last week, you know that this month we’re talking all things travel! If you missed it, check out 2018 Travel Trends: Around The World And Back! Now that you have your exciting destination in mind, you have to put your travel plans together. There are millions of websites designed to make things easy for you…! Did you catch that? The “millions” part? Well, that’s what ends up making it the exact OPPOSITE of easy! There are just too darn many options to choose from! A quick price comparison of accommodations while watching reruns of Gilmore Girls and suddenly you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of hotel room investigation, looking at hundreds of photos, reading reviews, second guessing your destination all together, only to realize it’s 2 a.m. and you have to get up for work in 4 hours! It’s the worst! And, I know you know what I’m talkin’ about! So we’ve put together 15 Trip Planning Hacks to help you save – not just money, but your precious time too.
1. Best Time/Day To Book Flights
Okay, full disclaimer first, a lot of these hacks are from 1000LifeHacks, which as you probably already know, is a compilation of acquired wisdom from around the globe. Of the hacks I’ve used over the years, I’ve found them to be totally awesome tips that have made my life easier and prove their weight in… I don’t know… avocados! All of this is to say… pleeeazz keep in mind that these are “general rules” and not hard and fast “absolutes” for every situation every day of the freakin’ year! Capiche?!
On average, airline tickets are the cheapest when booked exactly 54 days before your flight. Also, tickets tend to cost less when purchased in the middle of the night.
2. Best Way To Buy Airline Tickets Online
Search airline sites using your browser’s incognito mode to get the lowest price. Also, be ready to pull the trigger! Prices go up if you visit a site several times.
3. Using Airport Wi-Fi
Luckily, most airports offer free wi-fi nowadays. For those that don’t, try typing ‘?.jpg’ at the end of any URL to bypass the pay window. While we’re on the subject of free wi-fi, please use good judgment when using public wi-fi, people! Your passwords are NOT secure on public systems and there are jerks out there just waiting for you to do some online banking or shopping while you’re waiting for your flight so that they can gain access to your credit card numbers and accounts! Do you really want to be in a foreign country and have to cancel your credit cards because you’ve been hacked?! It sucks, but it’s real. So make sure you use protection!
4. Speak The Language
At least try! You can learn Spanish, French, Italian, German and Portuguese for FREE using duolingo.com. Being able to say ‘please, thank you, and where is… fill in the blank’ goes a long way when you’re in a country not your own.
5. Sign Up For Credit Cards With Benefits
Like friends with benefits… without the awkwardness! For better or for worse, you already own some. But do you know all of the benefits you get? If you haven’t acquainted yourself with the dreadfully long, set in unreadably small font ‘Terms and Conditions’ of your existing credit cards, check out your account benefits online to see if your credit card offers travel discounts, travel insurance, lost baggage reimbursements, airline lounge privileges, hotel discounts, and car rental bargains. Most of them offer something that will help you out with your travel plans.
If the cards already in your wallet don’t offer squat, consider signing up for ones that offer airline mileage and the above-mentioned benefits! Even if the cards charge an annual fee, the amount of money you’ll save on just one vacation will more than make up for it! Looking for more benefits that will make you smile? Then, check out our Party Tips Guide! It’s free and it’s awesome!
6. Cram All Of Your Crap Into One Small Roller Bag!
Look, you’re not Rose boarding the Titanic! Stop bringing those jumbo suitcases that are the size of steamer trunks! You can fit 2-weeks worth of shoes and clothing into small carry-on size luggage IF you pack correctly. Besides, with all of the baggage fees airlines charge nowadays, stowing your belongings in the overhead saves you money! AND… there’s no way of it getting lost during one of your layovers! Check out the video below to learn how to be a better packer!
7. Spend Less On Gas
I was going to make a burrito joke, but I’ll refrain! If you’re taking a road trip this summer, you’re going to have to fill up the tank a number of times. FuelMyRoute.com tells you the lowest possible gas prices along your route. Handy!
8. Find The Best Stuff To See Along The Way
When you’re on the road, you’ve probably already used Google or apps on your phone to find a nearby restaurant, gas station, or coffee shop. The Along The Way App (available on iTunes and Google Play) goes one step further. It shows you cool stuff you might want to see along the way to your destination, not just what’s around your current location. And it works anyplace in the world. Whether it’s a landmark or attraction, a place to grab some grub, or somewhere you can let the dog out of the car to play, the Along The Way App can take you there.
9. Natural Bug Repellent For Outdoor Adventures
Bugs like sucking your blood! (So do vampires.) Know what they don’t like? (The bugs, not the vampires.) Vitamin B! If you plan on spending time in the outdoors this summer, start taking Vitamin B supplements. It makes you smell weird to the little pests so they leave you alone.
10. Protect Your Phone At The Beach
This is an easy one. Bring a plastic sandwich bag! I told you I was going to help you save! And now we’re saving the life of your phone! Not only will you still be able to see the screen and use the touchpad, you’ll protect your device from water and sand.
11. Download Entertainment For Your Journey
We’re gonna talk binge-worthy shows to watch on your next flight next week, but in the meantime, here are some secret Netflix codes that unlock hidden categories you might not have known!
12. Have A Scan Of Your Passport In Your Inbox
In the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad event that you lose your passport, or your purse is stolen while traveling, scan your passport before you leave and send that JPEG or PDF image of the passport to your email so that you have a picture of yourself and the passport number in case you have to go to the embassy. This is better than photocopying, because with a paper copy, you run the risk of losing that too!
13. Avoid The Stink!
As the trip wears on, there’s a good chance you’ll be mixing your dirty laundry into the suitcase with your clean clothes. To prevent the clean stuff from getting stinky (Ewww!) pack a few lavender dryer sheets in your suitcase to absorb the offensive odiferousness! (is that even a word?! I dunno!)
14. Tag Along With A Virtual Tour Guide
Field Trip is an app that not only provides historical information about places and landmarks around the world, it makes destination suggestions and offers trivia about your surroundings based on your GPS location.
15. Stay Charged Wherever You Go
Yeah, coffee will do ya! But I’m talking about how to keep your electronic devices charged while you’re traveling. The NIFTY mobile charger gives you 300 minutes of extra battery life and can accommodate two devices at at time (phone, camera, laptop, tablet). Don’t forget the power adaptors! Staples and Office Depot have 5-in-one kits for less than $20, which include outlet adaptors for almost every country worldwide.
Next week we’ll be sharing binge-worthy shows for your summer air travel! If you’re looking for adventure closer to home, why not host a party?! We’ve got all the entertaining ideas you could ever wish for. Check out our Super Secret Party Tips Guide – it’s FREE!
And, if you liked this week’s article, might we suggest…