Air TravelFlying TipsPlanningflight hacks

Traveling is a headache with how many things you need to keep track of. Thankfully, we have found 9 essential flight hacks that will help get rid of some additional stress and make your flight much smoother. 

1. Use the 24-hour Rule

The U.S. Department of Transportation has a required rule that all airlines must adhere to and that is the 24-hour rule. The 24-hour rule simply states that all airlines have to hold a reservation for 24 hours without payment and must give a full refund for canceled flights in the first 24 hours. 

Flight prices are ever-changing. You wait even an extra hour or two to book and the price can double. It makes it difficult to get the best deals, especially when you are trying to figure out what time and dates would work best. 

These are the times to take advantage of the 24-hour rule. If you are scrolling through flights and find an amazing price, snatch it up quickly. You will then have 24 hours to verify you can make it work. If you can’t, you will get a full refund with no problems. 

2.  Use SeatGuru to See Your Seat Map

When you are looking for which seat you should book, the seat maps the airlines provide are often unhelpful. They will show you where the seat is, but not which seats are the best. You want to know if there are seats with extra legroom, which seats have windows, which ones are closest to the bathroom, if you have someone seated next to you, and so on. 

Websites like SeatGuru help answer all of those questions. With SeatGuru, you can get a detailed seat map of your flight so you can take advantage of the best seats at the best prices. 

3. Use Incognito Mode

People often don’t realize that airline websites and even third-party websites are tracking your every move. Each time you click on the website or app, they track it. They track how many times you click in, what flights you are looking at as well as the days and times. 

While that may seem normal, the bad thing about them tracking this data is that they will then take advantage by jacking up the prices with each new click. They want to get as much money out of you as possible. 

The best solution to this is to put your device into incognito mode. Incognito mode stops the website from tracking your data and saving it to take advantage of you. Find the tickets you want and buy them all while in this mode allows you to get the best deals possible. 

4. Ship Your Luggage

Having a free checked bag or even a free carry-on is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Baggage fees have become so high that they are the majority of the cost of a ticket. People need their things to travel and packing light only goes so far. 

Because of this, shipping services have started to pop up that specialize in shipping luggage. To help you avoid fees, shipping services like LugLess take all of the stress away. Prices start at just $19 and their services are verified by both FedEx and UPS. 

5. Take Pictures of All Important Documents

Keeping copies of important documents in general is a smart idea. Important documents include your birth certificate, social security card, ID, passport, and ticket. If you ever lose or misplace them, having proof of ID is important. Even more so if you are traveling abroad. 

Specifically, you want copies on your phone or accessible via the cloud. Also, keep printed copies in your home. For both of these copies, make sure someone you trust has access to them in case they need to send or fax you a copy in case of emergency.

Not only is it good for emergencies, it can help save space. Having to keep track of so many things is stressful. By having copies on your phone, they are all easily accessible and ready for use, especially your plane ticket. For more information on airport check-in using your phone, check out our article here

6. Use Websites Like Fly.com and SkyScanner.com to Find the Best Deals

Hunting down cheap flight tickets through different official websites is hard. Comparing prices can quickly get frustrating and prices continue to go up the more you look at them. Sometimes, even third-party sites like Expedia will overcharge you if you aren’t a member of their program.

Free sites like Fly.com and Skyscanner.com are often the way to go because of this. They quickly compare hundreds of different flights to find you the best deals including layovers. They not only compare flight prices, but also bag prices, flight times, and more. 

Searching through different sites to find these prices is your best bet, but even with these sites, there are also certain times you should be looking for flights to get the best deals. Check out our article on when to find cheap flights for more specific tips on that. 

7. Plan Your Trip Through TripIt

Planning a trip is a lot of stress and a bunch of things to keep track of. You have to go through multiple websites and apps, it quickly becomes overwhelming. If you go through third-party sites, they will often overcharge you to make a quick buck off of your travel plans. Thankfully, there are apps out there that aren’t there to take advantage of you. 

Apps like TripIt help organize your travel plans in one place, so you don’t have to try and find all of the important addresses and emails at the last minute. Simply book everything on your own, then send all of the information to TripIt and they will organize it for you. It keeps all of your plans in one place without having to pay additional fees for a third-party website to do it all for you. 

8. Use LoungeBuddy

Relaxing before and after flights is a must. Especially if you have long layovers or long flights ahead of you. Many airports have lounges for this specific purpose, but it is hard to know which ones you can access and how. 

Applications like LoungeBuddy help eliminate some of that confusion and stress. LoungeBuddy gives you access to a list of any and all lounges at any given airport. The list includes which ones are free and which ones require certain memberships as well as reviews and pictures. 

You can also purchase a LoungeBuddy pass which will allow you to purchase temporary access to different exclusive lounges. If you have an American Express credit card, you will even get a free allotment on LoungeBuddy. Make sure to take advantage of this app to get as much relaxation time while at the airport as you can. 

9. Don’t Book All Passengers at the Same Time 

If you are traveling with a large group of people, you want your group to stay together on the flight. Because of this, it seems like the easiest solution is to just purchase all of your tickets all at once. However, there are downsides to doing this. 

Oftentimes, you will be overcharged for tickets if you purchase them all at once as group prices are jacked up. Instead, your best bet is to purchase tickets either individually or in smaller groups if your group is big. This ensures you all get the best deals possible, even if you have to sit separately.

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