Frequent travelers are smart travelers—they know how to make jet-setting easier and hassle-free. Whether it’s knowing how to bypass TSA and customs quicker, battling jet lag or getting a free hotel upgrade, globetrotters know the ins and outs of being on the road and in the air.
After speaking to expert travelers, here are several strategies they recommend that can help other frequent flyers survive this type of lifestyle.
Sign Up for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck
If you’re on a plane several times a year, and you hate waiting in those long lines at customs and/or airport security (where you find yourself packing and unpacking not only your suitcase but also yourself), then we recommend signing up for Global Entry (for those who often fly internationally), and TSA PreCheck.
Global Entry allows you to fly right through customs when you come back into the U.S. Rather than waiting in line, you check yourself in via an automated kiosk. Meanwhile, TSA PreCheck allows you to quickly pass through airport security without having to take anything off or take items out of your bag(s). The cost of signing up for Global Entry is US$100, which is valid for five years (if you have a Platinum AMEX, it’s $0). By signing up for Global Entry, you are automatically eligible for TSA PreCheck, for free.
If you don’t fly internationally often, then you can opt to sign up for TSA PreCheck alone for US$85, which is valid for five years. If you ask us, it’s better to just pay the additional $15 and get both. Because who knows, you may find yourself heading on a few international trips within the next five years, and that extra time saved can make all the difference!
Understand Non-Stop vs. Direct Flights
At times, non-stop and direct flights are misunderstood as being one and the same, but they are completely different. A direct flight may still stop, but rather than switching planes like you would on a layover, you would just stay seated on the plane. On the other hand, a non-stop flight doesn’t stop at all until it reaches its final destination. As such, frequent travelers recommend that it’s best to choose non-stop rather than direct to save you time—those extra 2 or maybe even 3 hours of free time will be well worth it!
Tennis Balls Are Life-Savers
Traveling often means that soreness and stiffness come hand-in-hand. Sitting for several hours in an airplane seat is not ideal, so to combat tension and possible pain, bring a few tennis balls on the plane with you. Best way to use them is by rolling them under your feet and your thighs to keep stiffness at bay.
Find the Right Jet Lag Cure that’s Best for You
Traveling, regardless if it’s across the country or across the world, can take a toll on your mind and body. That’s why it’s important to find the right cure for jet lag—everyone is different and what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. For the best tips, check out our blog on How to beat jet lag when traveling domestically or internationally.
Ask for a Hotel Room Upgrade
When business is slow, the concierge is known to upgrade guests to better rooms for free as long as they ask the front desk politely (and as long as there are not many other people around).
Before asking, double check to make sure that the hotel is, in fact, not full. You can either call and ask beforehand or check online on the hotel’s website to see how many rooms are still available.
If you’re a frequent flyer with tips that you can share with us (and everyone else), please comment below! We would love to hear what secrets you’ve learned while on the road and in the air.