You don’t have to be an a “million mile flyer” to be savvy about your travels or take advantage of points and perks. With a few simple life hacks coupled with routine discipline you can get the return you deserve for all those clocked miles. To start experiencing great flights from here on out, let’s talk travel hacking.
- Check your wallet for the cards you already have. Maybe you’re not completely clear on what you’re currently working with, but the first step is figuring it out. You might be pleasantly surprised! For instance, American Express has amazing perks tailored specifically towards business travelers. If exclusive lounge access and discount hotel rooms is your thing, make sure you know your options. Those amenities could very well become a regular routine!
- Take full ownership of your points. According to travel hacker, The Points Guy (a.k.a. Brain Kelly), every business traveler should have complete rights to their points. It shouldn’t matter whether you charge though a corporate card or a personal one. You’re the one flying, and will continue to do so down the line so it’s only fair. Most companies are completely on board with this philosophy.
- BYOB on another level. Airports may restrict allowable liquid amounts, but they don’t pinpoint what they can or can’t be (aside from the really bad stuff). If it’s less than 3.4 oz., it flies, so why not bring a mini bottle for a DIY cocktail? Beats the price of a 7.00 drink and you’ll probably get at least a drink and a half out of it.
- Check into your hotel later than usual. If you haven’t quite made it to the elite leagues, try showing up late on purpose. According to Matthew Kepnes, author of “How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter,” most hotel upgrades go to the extraordinary folks early on. Grab dinner, show up past eight, be nice and ask what’s available. You can even give them a little “sob” story if you genuinely have one. The key is not directly asking for the upgrade but letting them offer. Both sides win!
- Try sticking to carry-on. I know this is easier said than done (especially for the ladies), but try your best to minimize checking your baggage. The Hartmann Roll-Aboard comes highly recommended from Quora traveler, Jeffery Davis. It fits nicely into the overhead bin, and it’s reliably sturdy. Imagine a world without waiting for luggage, being first in line at customs, and never loosing a bag again. On a repetitive basis, this couldn’t certainty turn anyone into a believer.
- There’s no right or wrong way to pack your bag, but a few things hold true. By all means, roll or fold your clothes however you’d like. Women and men’s clothes require different maintenance. Just promise you won’t show up wrinkled to a meeting because some crazy travel blog suggested not-so-great, iron-free tips (ahem). One thing you always want to do is pack a few comfy clothes. You don’t want to be stuck in a suit seven days a week and the same goes for dresses. If you’re headed somewhere that’s colder, wear the heavy jacket on the flight. This frees up tons of space, and it serves as a blanket too!
- Arrange your connectivity before you go. Data rates are notorious anywhere outside your home country, so be mindful of those costs prior to take off. Rent or purchase a mobile hotspot if you can beforehand, you’ll be much better off, especially when it’s required of you to check email regularly. If you frequently travel to multiple international destinations, a global mobile solution will probably be your best bet.
Hope those help! Now hack wisely fellow travelers.