For the majority of travelers, waiting in lines, going through security and being hassled by TSA is not on their most wanted list. Flights can be expensive. The quality/cost ratio for airport food can be less than desirable and layovers can be long and tiresome.
Yet imagine a world where flights were really cheap and at times even free. A world where you actually wanted longer layovers because layovers meant you got spacious seating, fast and free internet, and unlimited food and drink. A world where you were on an exclusive list in which TSA left you alone and you never had to take off your shoes and jacket, remove your toiletries or electronics from your airline bag ever again.
Sounds like some made-up utopia, right? Think again. It is time to make this dream into a reality. These 10 tips below will forever change the way you travel.
Read on, Jet setter. Traveling is about to get a whole lot better.
1.Flight Deals are Everywhere
Flying is becoming cheaper than ever. All you need to do is be aware that there are deals out there. For example, you can sign up for Secretyflying.com and PointsGuy.com. These two sites cover many of the main deals for the day. Don’t be overzealous when you first subscribe and think there will never be another deal like this ever again; there are always deals. Otherwise you could easily book back to back trips from $218 Roundtrip from SF to New Zealand and $248 Roundtrip From SF to Aruba and then Seattle to Philippines for 3 weeks for $408. Get ready for too much travel to be your problem!
Honorable mentions: Theflightdeal.com and flytalk.com
2. Get the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card automatically gets you $300 back in annual travel credit. Here’s what you get:
—100,000 Membership Rewards points equivalent to nearly $1500 in travel credit. (Spend $4k in 3 months). You can apply online for the card until January 12, or get the card via a bank branch application before March 12, and grab the 100,000 points, the New York . After these dates the Membership rewards will be cut in half to 50,000 points ($750 in travel credit).
— $300 airline fee credit.
—3x Points on worldwide travel and dining
—50% more in Travel redemption.
—No Foreign Transaction fees. Use anywhere and get points. Yayaya!
—Global Entry $100 fee credit. Additional cardholders are also eligible for this credit. Note that additional card holders cost $75/each to get added, yet make up for it in this fee credit and the Priority pass discussed below in tip #3.
— Priority Pass Select membership lounge access. Additional cardholders are also eligible for this credit.
Basically this card is awesome and all these perks save you a bunch of time and money.
Despite the $450 annual fee, and the $150 is well reimbursed back to you in all the amazing perks seen above.
Sign up here.
** I get no affiliate commissions nor do I work for Chase. I am just passionate about Travel optimization.
3. Priority Pass—Access to Lounges Everywhere!
Layovers can be some of the most uncomfortable and miserable moments in life. Thankfully, there’s Priority Pass, which gives you access to access to over 1000 lounges worldwide.
Priority Pass allows you to have ample seating with free reliable internet while you wait for your connecting flight. Sometimes you can even get a free massage or access to a shower.
With Priority Pass, layovers are no longer dreaded but become a treat in the middle of your journey. Don’t forget that your authorized users for your Chase Reserve card get free access as well. Make sure to call Chase at 1-800-935-9935 and let them know you want to enroll.
4. Lounge Buddy App
Now that you have Lounge access you have to make sure you can find them. Sometimes priority pass lounges are a little incognito and called SEA lounge, TIE lounge or KAL and it can get confusing. This is where Lounge Buddy comes in. They show you which lounges you qualify for, ratings, locations, hours and other essential info. Download Lounge Buddy.
5. Pre-order your meal
After enjoying your free lounge food, it’s time to get your in-flight deliciousness. When you book your flight, pre-order your meal as well. There are so many dietary options you can select. Low-fat, vegetarian, lactose-free, gluten-free, and protein-free. Choose a dietary restriction and get your meal in advance. Get ready to feel like 1st class in coach.
6. Choose a seat preference
Any flight over 4 hours can be difficult and much more so if you’re in the middle seat. Don’t run that risk. Reserve a window or aisle seat in advance when you book your flight. It is worth paying extra for this convenience.
7. Sign up for Global Entry
Airport security is no one’s favorite part of travel. You will be asked to take your shoes and jackets off, expose your laptop and electronics, and separate your liquids just to put them all back again.
With Global Entry, you don’t have to do these things anymore. Global Entry is a program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. No more searching for pens to fill out those customs forms or waiting in long lines when getting back to the US. You get your own little special line to your designated kiosk and then you are free to go.
Pay with your Chase Sapphire Reserve and it automatically gets reimbursed for you and your additional card holders . Tip #2 isn’t complete without Tip #7.
8. Never bring a checked in bag
Checking in baggage can be convenient but not enough to make the possibility of lost luggage worth it. Never overpack and learn how to pack efficiently so once you’re off that plane, you’ve got everything you need with you to start your adventure.
9. Always redeem your points for your flights
It only takes 60 seconds but the rewards are high! Just sign up for your membership ID with your chosen airline and add that ID to your flights. You are now ready to start earning more points to get more flights in the future.
10. Get the Companion Pass
Companion pass basically allows you or your companion to book any southwest flight and get your companion to travel for FREE. With a little strategic planning you can get a companion of your choice for nearly two years. Jet-set to the Caribbean, Mexico or just keep it domestic. Indecisive of who to should tag along? You can change your companion three times every calendar year. Depending on when you qualify that means 6 different companions every year.
Here is How (Due to time sensitivity of offers, deals may or may not be valid.)