If you’re traveling to a premier vacation destination this year, odds are you’ll end up flying at some point during the trip. Booking flights and traveling by air can be difficult and frustrating, no matter if it’s your first time or you’re an experienced flyer. Consider these tips and pointers from travel experts to help you the next time you fly.
Be Consistent With How You Pack
If you frequently take vacations or travel for work, you should be consistent in how you pack. This tip comes from the CEO of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Pieter Elbers. In an interview with Business Insider, Elbers reveals that packing the same way every time helps ensure he doesn’t forget anything. It also helps him reduce the number of unnecessary items he packs.
Elbers not only packs his suitcase the same way, but he also packs in the same order each time. This way, he can easily remember if something has been left behind. It also helps him pack more quickly.
Jet Lag Can Be Beaten
Jet lag occurs when your body’s natural sleep cycle is disrupted when flying from one time zone to another. The greater the time change, the greater the chances are of you experiencing jet lag. Although it can knock even the most experienced travelers out, jet lag is most likely to conquer infrequent or first-time flyers.
Even though studies have indicated that human’s internal clock cannot adjust more than 90 minutes a day, there are some tips that can help you conquer the effects of jet lag. Research has indicated that physical activity and exposure to sunlight can help combat the effects of jet lag. Elbers recommends a morning run to help jumpstart the day.
Without taking steps to combat jet lag, you’ll find yourself sleeping the first day or two of your trip. What fun is that?
Rewards Miles Aren’t As Great As They Seem
Those that travel frequently and accumulate frequent flier miles by purchasing airfare are the ones that benefit most from rewards programs. In terms of cash for miles transactions, this is pretty much the only way you should accumulate miles. Otherwise, you’ll simply be wasting your money.
When you purchase airline miles with cash, the value is never as good as it seems. Rewards miles immediately begin to depreciate in value when you purchase them. Airlines tend to change their frequent flyer programs through “enhancements” that are marketed as customer service upgrades.
However, this simply means that the miles you purchased with cash have lost value. In a way, purchasing airline miles is the same as purchasing overpriced gift cards.
One of the most beneficial ways to take advantage of airline miles programs is through credit cards. Many airline credit cards will offer a significant bonus when opening a new card. If you plan on taking a vacation, this could be a great way to “pay” for the flight.
But be careful, because many of the bonuses stipulate that you must spend a couple thousand dollars within the first three months of opening the card. If you know you have a large purchase upcoming, and also plan on taking a vacation at some point during the next year, you are in an excellent position to take advantage of airline credit cards.
Take Advantage Of Standby
Airlines often overbook their flights. If you can afford to be flexible, you can reap the benefits. When you arrive at your gate, ask the customer service representatives if they are looking for volunteers to go on standby.
If the flight is full, going on standby means you’ll be volunteering to give up your seat. So, you should only consider this option if you do not have to be at your destination by a certain time. This tip won’t work well for those who have a connecting flight or have to be at work the next morning.
If you end up giving up your seat and volunteering to take a later flight, airlines will make it well worth your while. Some frequent airline passengers have reported receiving $1,000 vouchers simply for volunteering to take a flight an hour later! This can easily be used to pay for another trip.
Even if you do not get bumped to a later flight, some airlines will thank you for going on standby. They’ll grant you a small token of appreciation, like a $50 voucher.