I was checking a few of my accounts online, when one of the budgeting tips popped up. Then the app proceeded to tell me I could earn points or rewards by opening a travel credit card.
But I’ve found a way to earn points without using credit. If I’m not driving to visit family, I’m hopping on a plane to see friends.
I love seeing new places and taking tons of photos. I’ve written several photography galleries of my experiences (the Twilight vacation was the best).
However, the actual “travel” part, makes everyone a little tired, annoyed and whole lot of hungry (at least for me). Here’s some tips to stay safe and keep your sanity while traveling.
1. Cross it off the night before
Between packing, making sure the car has enough gas and adjusting the thermostat, there is a loooong list of things to remember before leaving for a trip.
If you have an early morning flight or meeting, you can save yourself a major headache by completing your to-do list the night before.
Pack as much as you can, take out the trash and get cash out of the ATM, can all be done the night before. This will limit your stress and help your trip to start off on a calm note.
2. Less is more
The less you pack, the less weight you have to haul around. I’m only 5 foot 2 so I can’t physically carry a lot of bags or items. This also helps if you need to go through airport security.
Don’t wear five pounds of jewelry, belts, coats, hats, gloves, etc., because you will be wasting massive amounts of time undressing. Plus, everyone in line will hate you.
3. Carry-on only
This tip goes hand in hand with packing lightly. Airports and airlines are notorious for losing luggage, so if you can manage, only pack what will fit inside a carry-on bag.
Kerry, from Squawkfox, shares tips on how to pack for a long trip and still fit into a small bag.
It costs an extra $25-45 to check a bag and you have to stand in (another) line. You can save yourself time, money and additional headache by opting for carry-on only.
4. The earlier the better
No one can account for every emergency and traffic jam, but I sure as heck try. I get up and leave earlier than I need to, because that’s the only factor I can control.
If you know it’s an extra busy travel season, you might even need to leave super early. Airlines suggest you get to the airport 2 hours ahead of schedule, for domestic flights and 4 hours ahead for international.
I’d rather get to the airport or hotel early than to be rushing, running through the door frazzled at the end of the trip.
5. TSA is your friend, really
Okay so maybe we all hate airport security, but you should treat them with respect cause they can make your trip a nightmare pretty quickly.
Pack your liquids according to the regulations (no more than 3 ounces) and put your items in the bins as instructed. Empty your pockets too! If you aren’t sure something will go through security then DON’T PACK it.
Also, you are only allowed 2 carry-ons, a bigger item like a small suitcase, and a smaller item like a purse or laptop bag. If you bring too much they will force you to check your bag (which wastes time).
Having your items confiscated is one sure fire way to look like a complete travel noob. If you act like a pro and pack like a pro, TSA will leave you alone.
6. Slow down and be safe
People in Texas are courteous when they drive but it can lead to more harm then good. As a fellow Texan, we drive like maniacs. MANIACS I tell you! In my opinion nobody should endanger their lives to cut off a few seconds of driving time.
Becoming that crazy person on the highway or in the airport, yelling and passing people doesn’t help the situation. You will get to your destination, and since you can only go so fast, you might as well enjoy the ride.
7. Don’t pack any bullets
I was sitting in the airport waiting for the plane to start boarding, when this girl started telling me how security found a bullet in her bag.
She’s not sure how it got there, but it is Texas where everyone has their CHL (concealed handgun license) and has experience hunting.
They kept making her bag go through the check point, and calling more and more TSA agents over to check it. They eventually let her pass through, but now, she will always check her bags before entering the airport.
So, make sure you don’t have any bullets, guns, knives, or other items stashed away in your bag that will put security on alert. 😉
What are your time saving tips when traveling?