Frequent Flyer – 5 Hacks Everyone Who Travels Frequently Should Know About
Most travel hacking articles tend to focus on ways to save money and keep yourself and your luggage safe – both noble pursuits. By contrast, this list is all about secrets that allow you to breeze through the boring, stressful, and uncomfortable aspects of travel like a star.
1. Start stress-free
The last thing you need as you settle into your seat is to be struck by doubt as to whether you locked the back door. You’re sure you did, but you can’t remember actually doing it. Though it’s too late to check, that won’t stop your mind from latching onto the uncertainty, taking up mental bandwidth that could be better spent enjoying your holiday. The best way to prevent this is to boost the intelligence of your home by upgrading to smart door locks. This also cuts out the possibility of losing your keys while you’re away as these locks are opened via code or the proximity of your smartphone.
2. Breeze through airport security like a VIP
This is the holy grail of travel hacks: a way to avoid the massive lines and unnecessary hassle of security checks. At a cost of $85 to $100 and a bit of (admittedly frustrating) paperwork, you can buy yourself five years of pre-approval from US Customs and Border Protection. If you have no criminal convictions, you shouldn’t have any issues acquiring a TSA PreCheck (which covers you for domestic travel) and a Global Entry pass (which covers your international trips).
For frequent flyers, the cost is definitely worth it as it allows you to keep your clothes and bags intact as you breeze by security. For regular international travelers, your return to the US will also have none of the lengthy customs checks.
3. Arm yourself with apps
In the digital age, no matter what you need, there’s always an app for it. One of the most practical ways you can entertain yourself at the airport while waiting for a flight is to research useful apps available at your destination.
For example, adventurous souls will be thrilled to learn that there’s a Nepalese app called Tootle that allows you to order a scooter or motorbike to take you wherever you want to go. Your driver will weave through traffic, getting you to your destination in a third of the time of a taxi, at a fraction of the cost. Beware, though, you will spend much of your time barreling towards oncoming traffic and jumping sidewalks, so this app may not be for everyone! If you do take the plunge, you might want to ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance in place. Just sayin’.
Regardless of how risk-loving or risk-averse you are, there will always be brilliant apps to help you at your destination.
4. Become a wifi fiend
On that note, by now you’re surely aware that you can take advantage of free wifi in airports, cafés, restaurants, and hotels the world over. Some cities, like Barcelona, even have free wifi in parks and public spaces. For all those in-between times, there’s a better option than doing without or paying exorbitant roaming fees. You can invest in a wireless hotspot that works on flights and will allow you to make free international calls via the internet. These services charge a daily fee for unlimited data, meaning you only pay when you need to use it.
With these five tricks up your sleeve, you’ll be kicking back in cushy comfort and leaving the stress to those less prepared.