airports http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10086/all en-US 23 Travel Hacks That Will Save Time, Money, and Your Sanity http://www.wisebread.com/23-travel-hacks-that-will-save-time-money-and-your-sanity <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/23-travel-hacks-that-will-save-time-money-and-your-sanity" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-phone-call-airport-Dollarphotoclub_68549683.jpg" alt="woman phone call airport" title="woman phone call airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes it seems like you need a vacation from your vacation. Although you usually associate traveling with relaxation, there are some aspects that can definitely stress you out. Luckily, we've complied some awesome travel hacks of our own and <a href="http://www.quora.com/Travel-Hacks/What-are-the-best-travel-hacks">from Quora</a> that will help make your trip more smooth.</p> <p>RELATED:<span class="title-text"> <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/moms/Car-Hacks-Kids-35505804#photo-35505804">11 Tricks for a Hassle-Free, Mess-Free Road Trip</a></span></p> <p>1. <strong>Delete people from your photos</strong>. Upset that you can't get a good shot because of all the tourists milling around in the background? According to <a href="http://www.quora.com/Sameer-Gupta">Sameer Gupta</a>, there's a <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/LifeProTips/comments/1hivuk/lpt_remove_tourists_from_your_travel_photos/">lifeprotip</a> that gets rid of people in your photos. &quot;Put your camera on a tripod; Take about 15 pictures about every 10 seconds; open them all in Photoshop from File-&gt;Scripts-&gt;Statistics; choose median.&quot;</p> <p>2. <strong>Empty water bottle</strong>. Since you can't bring water bottles through security, bring an empty one to fill up when you're in the airport.</p> <p>3. <strong>Sleep tight</strong>. Bring eye masks and ear plugs with you so you'll be able to get a good night's rest on the plane and your lodgings.</p> <p>4. <strong>Clothes that dry quickly</strong>. Bring clothes that dry quickly so you'll be able to wash them at the end of the day and wear them again the next. This cuts down on the amount of clothing you bring with you.</p> <p>5. <strong>Book the aisle and window</strong>. If you're traveling with someone and your flight has rows of three seats, book the aisle and window seat and leave the middle seat empty. It's likely to remain empty if the flight is not full, because people usually choose the window and aisle seat. And if someone does pick that seat, they'll be willing to switch with one of you.</p> <p>6. <strong>Google maps</strong>. Use the hidden offline maps feature of Google maps to access it without an international plan. <a href="http://www.quora.com/Kartik-Ayyar">Kartik Ayyar</a> explains, &quot;You can use this feature by simply zooming to a map area you want offline in the maps app and typing &quot;OK maps&quot; into the search box, and then this data will be available even when you don't have data connectivity&hellip; Works in both the iOS and Android apps. I also suggest 'starring' places of interest since you can't search or route when offline.&quot; And as for routes, &quot;take screenshots of searches when you are online&hellip; and use them as guides.&quot;</p> <p>7. <strong>Be one of the first people to board in your seating group</strong>. It's good to get in line and board as early as possible so there's enough overhead space for you to slip your luggage in. If you board too late, your luggage might have to go in cargo, which means it'll take longer for you to get off the plan than if you stored your luggage in the overhead bin.</p> <p>8. <strong>Pay-as-you-go cell phone plans</strong>. Bring an unlocked phone on your travels, and sign up for a pay-as-you-go plan.</p> <p>9. <strong>Use a phrase book</strong>. You don't have to become fluent in another language, but carrying a phrase book around and knowing the basics will help you get around better in a country where English isn't the first language.</p> <p>10. <strong>Go to the airport early</strong>. Arrive early, so you don't have to make a mad dash against time to make your flight. Unforeseen incidents can happen along the way (traffic, forgotten identification, etc.), so it's best go have a time buffer.</p> <p>11. <strong>Keep a copy of your passport online</strong>. Keep a copy of your passport in your email inbox, so you can print it out if you ever lose your passport. This will help expedite the process of getting a replacement.</p> <p>12. <strong>Rent houses or apartments</strong>. Check out the rental rates of houses or apartments in the area on sites like Airbnb, Homeaway, and VRBO while you're checking out hotels. Chances are, you'll get a better rate and some cool perks.</p> <p>13. <strong>Check out Charles Schwab High Yield Checking accounts</strong>. According to <a href="http://www.quora.com/Brian-Tse">Brian Tse</a>, you should get a <a href="http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/banking_lending/checking_account">Charles Schwab High Yield Checking account</a> when traveling internationally &quot;because it refunds every single ATM fee worldwide, requires no minimum balance, and has no monthly service fee.&quot;</p> <p>14. <strong>Money belt</strong>. Use a money belt, or sew a pocket in the inside of your clothes when traveling in places where there are lots of theft.</p> <p>15. <strong>Split your cash stash</strong>. Put cash in various places, such as your wallet, pocket, shoes, and your luggage.</p> <p>16. <strong>Ask your hotel for a charger</strong>. Hotels usually have a stash of forgotten chargers left behind by hotel guests that you can borrow.</p> <p>17. <strong>Bring an external battery for your cell phone</strong>. Walking around all day can make your phone quickly drain, especially if you're relying on it to be your GPS. Get an external battery or a car charger if you're taking a road trip.</p> <p>18. <strong>Hotel upgrade</strong>. Ask for a free upgrade at the hotel when you're checking in, because it doesn't hurt to ask, and you may actually get one for free.</p> <p>19. <strong>Bring plastic bags</strong>. Pack plastic bags so you can use them to throw your dirty clothes in and other items you want separated from the rest of your belongings in your luggage.</p> <p>20. <strong>Power strip</strong>. Bring a power strip for your electronics, so you will only need one or two local adaptors. But make sure it's one that supports 240V.</p> <p>21. <strong>Try calling the hotel</strong>. Try calling the hotel directly to see if there are better deals.</p> <p>22. <strong>Bring your ATM card</strong>. Get cash from your ATM when traveling, because in most places, you'll get better rates. Check to see if this is true in the country you're traveling to.</p> <p>23. <strong>Check the crime rates of the area you're going to</strong>. Just so you know what you're getting into, check the crime rates of the area you're staying in. The low prices might not be worth the stress of staying in an area where you're afraid for your safety.</p> <p>Here are <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Save-Travel-24627929">39 tips that will help you save</a> on travel!</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Take the hassle out of travel with this collection of nifty road trip shortcuts. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img style="height:95px; width:300px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Save-Money-Travel-36092909">Need Quick Cash For a Trip? 11 Easy Ways to Save</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Annoying-Things-About-Air-Travel-35643339#photo-35643339">The 20 Most Annoying Things About Airplane Travel</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Adventurecom-Travel-Video-Ad-36296718">This Travel Video Will Have You Jumping on a Plane in 2015</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-travel-hacks-that-will-save-time-money-and-your-sanity">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight">23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-airline-travel-sucks-and-what-you-can-do-to-make-it-better">5 Ways Airline Travel Sucks — and What You Can Do to Make It Better</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-get-more-legroom-on-your-next-flight-for-free">5 Ways to Get More Legroom on Your Next Flight — for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheaper-ways-to-travel-around-the-world">15 Cheaper Ways to Travel Around the World</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Travel airlines airports road trips travel hacks Wed, 31 Dec 2014 10:00:12 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1272039 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways Airline Travel Sucks — and What You Can Do to Make It Better http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-airline-travel-sucks-and-what-you-can-do-to-make-it-better <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-airline-travel-sucks-and-what-you-can-do-to-make-it-better" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/flight-delay-499437107-small.jpg" alt="flight delay" title="flight delay" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Call it the week that airline travelers couldn't take it anymore. Three different <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/another-passenger-fight-over-reclining-seats-has-caused-a-flight-to-be-diverted-2014-9">flights were diverted</a> so passengers could be removed, all of them squabbling over one issue: Reclining seat backs.</p> <p>In one case, a traveler <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-knee-defender-passenger-20140904-story.html">used a Knee Defender</a> device to prevent the seat in front of him from reclining. In all the cases, the real issue was that flyers are now packed so close together in coach airplane seats that they can't help invading one another's space.</p> <p>&quot;Travelers aren't sardines. There's a line there of comfort and the quality of experience,&quot; Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx told <a href="http://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2014-09-16/dot-chief-speaks-out-on-knee-defender-controversy">Condé Nast Traveler</a> in an interview after the rash of in-flight meltdowns. &quot;My hope is that the industry sees these incidents as a message from consumers that maybe they are getting a little close to that line.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-scariest-things-probably-coming-to-air-travel?ref=seealso">The 8 Scariest Things Possibly Coming to Air Travel</a>)</p> <p>Legroom isn't the only issue bugging us in the air these days. Overall, airlines garner <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-06-18/business/ct-biz-0618-airlines-satisfaction-20130618_1_southwest-airlines-customer-satisfaction-jeff-smisek">worse customer satisfaction scores</a> than almost any industry. How far we have come since jet setters made selections from cheese carts and wandered freely through <a href="http://www.messynessychic.com/2014/03/13/lets-reminisce-airplanes-piano-bars-cocktail-lounges-pubs-restaurants/">lounges with live music</a>?</p> <p>Like flight delays, this list could go on forever, so we've kept it to the top five things that suck about flying.</p> <h2>1. You Can't Move Your Legs</h2> <p>It's not just the Knee Defender users who noticed.</p> <p>A standard coach seat has always been too narrow for most people to sit comfortably, with 17 to 19 inches between armrests. But as airlines have pushed to add revenue, they have moved the rows closer and closer together, so that now there is only <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/30/travel/airline-seats/">31 to 35 inches</a> from one seat to the one behind it. Not only does this cause reclining seats to bash into knees, but it makes it nearly impossible for a window seat passenger to get up and use the restroom without sticking her butt in the face of the middle and aisle-seat passengers.</p> <p>Many international flights now have an <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304384104579141941949066648">extra seat squeezed into each row</a>, too. Too-narrow seats force passengers to let their arms dangle into the aisle, where they get clobbered by the drink cart and by other passengers hauling bags and car seats.</p> <h3>What You Can Do About It</h3> <p>It's pretty clear at this point that Knee Defenders aren't the way to go, and besides, most airlines ban the devices. All you can really do is pony up for an extra legroom section like <a href="http://www.united.com/CMS/en-US/products/travelproducts/Pages/EconomyPlus.aspx?utm_source=google&amp;utm_medium=cpc&amp;utm_campaign=business_pillar&amp;utm_term=extra_legroom&amp;gclid=CKif5_L47cACFUMYfgodYSMALA&amp;gclsrc=ds&amp;dclid=CLCo9PL47cACFTDPRAodRm4Anw">United's Economy Plus</a>, finagle an <a href="http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/blog/8067465/how-to-get-exit-row-seats-chart/">exit row seat</a>, or at least try for the aisle so you can throw your legs out there (watch out for the beverage cart).</p> <p>Also, consider leaving your own seat upright to avoid contributing to the discomfort of others. A recent survey revealed that if you recline your seat, <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2757312/Which-passengers-make-flight-hell-Seat-recliners-taken-spot-new-survey-smelly-passengers-soared-second.html">other passengers hate you</a>.</p> <h2>2. You Can't Get Anything to Eat</h2> <p>Once upon a time, your wish was your flight attendant's command.</p> <p>&quot;People were given pillows, blankets, magazines, playing cards, pens and a hot meal, wine, top-shelf liquor &mdash; and that was just in economy,&quot; former Pan American World Airways flight attendant <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Weekend/airline-decline-flying-high-reached-lows/story?id=9832262">Anne Sweeney told ABC</a>.</p> <p>Nowadays, many airlines &mdash; AirTran, Southwest, Spirit &mdash; have no meals on board, while others &mdash; JetBlue, American &mdash; <a href="http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/air-travel/a-guide-to-airline-meals-and-snacks">sell boxed meals</a>. Most international travelers still get a hot meal, at least &mdash; probably to avoid violating any international treaties on torture of prisoners.</p> <h3>What You Can Do About It</h3> <p>Not much, except carry a meal onboard.</p> <h2>3. You Can't Find Room for Your Bag</h2> <p>Spud Hilton, travel editor of The San Francisco Chronicle, kicked off a carry-on controversy when he created the the <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/travel/2014/06/23/carry-on-hall-of-shame/">Carry-on Hall of Shame</a> to highlight passengers trying to haul larger-than-regulation bags onto planes.</p> <p>They don't want to pay to check the larger bags &mdash; and who would? But Hilton says these passengers aren't just cheating the airline, they're cheating you.</p> <p>&quot;The increasingly aggressive disregard for the size standards &mdash; which has led to flight delays, a much longer boarding process, abusive passengers, and increased theft from gate-checked bags &mdash; also is disregard for everyone else on the plane,&quot; Hilton wrote on his blog.</p> <h3>What You Can Do About It</h3> <p>Call out overhead bin hogs. If you don't have the nerve to tap someone on the shoulder to inform them that their suitcase doesn't qualify as a carry-on, you can snap their picture and <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/travel/2014/06/05/time-to-smack-down-carry-on-offenders/#24011101=0">upload it to Twitter or Instagram</a> with the hashtag #CarryonShame. The publicity could push the airlines to start enforcing their own rules.</p> <h2>4. You Can't Get Away From People Like This</h2> <p>Remember when people used to dress up to fly? Or at least get dressed?</p> <p>Passenger Shaming, on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/PassengerShaming/photos_stream">Facebook</a> and <a href="http://instagram.com/passengershaming">Instagram</a>, posts photos of <a href="http://instagram.com/p/tBfOEfS6lk/?modal=true">shirtless</a> and <a href="http://instagram.com/p/tAjeJtS6po/?modal=true">barefooted</a> passengers, people <a href="http://instagram.com/p/tF5GMDy6jf/?modal=true">making out in their seats</a>, and even a kid <a href="http://instagram.com/p/s_ik5_S6pw/?modal=true">using a potty chair</a> in the aisle. Even <a href="https://twitter.com/Donald_Driver80/status/512666823523696640">Superbowl champions in first class</a> can't always avoid other passengers behaving badly. Then there's the auditory pollution from passengers who play movies with no headphones, and the air pollution from those who douse themselves in cologne.</p> <h3>What You Can Do About It</h3> <p>Bring a <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/travel/ridiculous-travel-accesories-that-will-c1409151932617.html">curtain to shield your eyes</a>? Take a sedative and try to sleep through the indignity? Play Bozo Bingo? Whatever gets you through the flight.</p> <h2>5. You Can't Get There on Time</h2> <p>2013 was the <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304347904579308640380117768">worst year for flight reliability</a> in the past five, with only 78% of flights arriving on time, according to FlightStats, Inc.</p> <p>The most miserable delays are tarmac delays, when passengers are stuck in planes on runways for hours without going anywhere. Tarmac delays have gotten so bad that the government stepped in to assert passengers' right not to be held hostage on runways, but they still happen. In fact, last year <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2013/10/25/dot-hits-united-with-record-fine-for-long-tarmac-delays/3188127/">United had to pay $1.1 million</a> in fines for 13 times it left passengers stranded in their seats for more than three hours &mdash; including two planes where the toilets weren't working.</p> <h3>What You Can Do About It</h3> <p>Fortunately there are strategies for <a href="http://www.parksleepfly.com/blog/how-to-avoid-flight-delays/">avoiding flight delays</a>. Fly nonstop, fly early in the day, and don't connect in Denver in the wintertime. If you have a choice, some <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-best-airports-for-avoiding-flight-delays">airports have fewer delays</a> than others.</p> <p>This list could go on and on.</p> <p>Poor customer service, lost luggage, germy tray tables, out-of-control children, turbulence, security lines &mdash; what's not to hate about air travel these days? While there is not much we can do about many of these discomforts, we actually have a ton of power over the flight experience &mdash; of other people. Be the change you want to see in the air. Be polite. Help parents of small children. Don't leave your gum in the seatback pocket. Thank the flight attendant. Flush. Don't block the aisle. And for goodness sake, keep your shirt on.</p> <p><em>What's your worst in-flight experience? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-airline-travel-sucks-and-what-you-can-do-to-make-it-better">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-travel-hacks-that-will-save-time-money-and-your-sanity">23 Travel Hacks That Will Save Time, Money, and Your Sanity</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-the-major-airlines-determine-when-and-how-you-board">Here&#039;s How the Major Airlines Determine When and How You Board</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-on-amtrak">Travel on Amtrak</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel air travel airlines airplanes airports Wed, 01 Oct 2014 15:00:07 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1224393 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-sleeping-airport-78770981-small.jpg" alt="businessman sleeping airport" title="businessman sleeping airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you want to save money on drinks and baggage fees, skip airport lineups, get good prices on flights, keep the kids amused, and stay safe when arriving in airports at unwieldy hours? Then read on, because I've rounded up 10 professional travelers and invited them to share their <em>best</em> airport hacks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster?ref=seealso">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</a>).</p> <h2>1. Apply for Global Entry</h2> <p>U.S. Citizens can clear customs quickly with <a href="http://www.cbp.gov/global-entry/about">Global Entry</a>. (Citizens of Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and other countries have <a href="http://www.cbp.gov/global-entry/other-programs">similar pre-screening programs</a> that work in tandem with Global Entry). Application involves a rigorous background check and interview, but once you're a member you can clear customs in a jiffy, and also take advantage of special security lines and procedures.</p> <p>Lisa Ellen Niver of <a href="http://www.wesaidgotravel.com/">We Said Go Travel</a> is a global citizen who has traveled to over 100 countries on six continents. After traveling with her parents and experiencing the benefits of Global Entry, she lodged her own application. &quot;After you apply and have your interview, you no longer have to stand in long security lines. You are whisked ahead with no need to remove shoes or take computers out of cases. It makes travel seem almost civilized again!&quot;</p> <h2>2. Bring Your Own Liquor</h2> <p>Are you taking a domestic flight (and/or flying a budget airline) and want to have a drink but don't want to pay the airline's prices for liquor? Carry on a mini bottle of your favorite libation and mix it with the free soft drink, says Tamara Elliott, who offers savvy practical travel advice on <a href="http://www.globeguide.ca/">Globe Guide</a>. &quot;This works well since mix (Coke, juice, etc) is already included on-board &mdash; plus, the TSA doesn't have restrictions about what liquids you can bring, just how big they are.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Hitchhike Into the First Class Lounge</h2> <p>Turner Wright of <a href="http://www.onceatraveler.com/">Once A Traveler</a>, who has lived in Japan, South Korea, Peru, Thailand, and New Zealand, has an unconventional method for accessing first class lounges:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">Some first class lounges allow you to bring in a guest for free, so as long as you're not too smelly and relatively personable, just hang out at the entrance and ask someone if he or she wouldn't mind signing you in (including a sob story about how you've been cooped up for 30 hours and/or missing your family wouldn't hurt).</p> <h2>4. Pay for the First Class Lounge</h2> <p>If schmoozing into the first class lounge doesn't work (or isn't your style), you can often buy a pass. It usually costs $30-$50 and gives you access to all the lounge amenities such as comfortable seating, free food and drinks (including alcohol), Internet, and sometimes even showers and quiet rooms for sleeping. If you have hours to kill before your flight or between flights, this can be money well spent.</p> <h2>5. Wear Your Extra Luggage</h2> <p>Benny Lewis as been on the road for over 11 years and was named National Geographic's Traveler of the Year in 2013. He travels with everything he owns (including books!), and flies budget airlines with over 80 pounds of gear without paying for it. His secret? He <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-creative-ways-to-avoid-airline-fees-like-wearable-suitcases">wears his luggage</a> with the unfashionable but arguably practical <a href="http://www.jaktogo.com/">Jaktogo</a>. &quot;It's not a great fashion statement, and uncomfortable to wear while you do it, but that's only necessary while you [check in and] board the plane (since that's the only time your number of bags are truly checked). The rest of the time, you can walk around the terminal and even go through security with it in its extra bag folded up mode.&quot; (Benny himself a polyglot who teaches people to become <a href="http://www.fluentin3months.com/">Fluent in 3 Months</a> with a variety of tools including a free crash course.)</p> <h2>6. Fly Red-Eye</h2> <p>Matt Stabile, founder and Editor-in-Chief of <a href="http://www.theexpeditioner.com/">TheExpeditioner.com</a> and <a href="http://www.expeditionersafaris.com/">ExpeditionerSafaris.com</a> says the best way to avoid the hassle of getting through airports is to choose red-eye (overnight) flights, especially if it's a long flight. &quot;If you book a flight that leaves past, say, 10:00pm, you'll avoid rush hour traffic on the way to the airport, lines at check-in are going to be minimal, security will take a fraction of what it takes earlier in the day, and once you settle in for the flight, you can simply go to sleep and wake up at your destination.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Get Help Booking Flights</h2> <p>If flying red-eye doesn't appeal, Benny Lewis also recommends using <a href="http://www.flightfox.com/">Flight Fox</a> to book flights; he says they can often find a convenient travel time for the same cost as a red-eye flight.</p> <h2>8. Ask for Assistance</h2> <p>Airports usually involve lots of walking and standing in line, which not everybody can manage. If you or somebody you're traveling with has trouble getting around (due to age or injury), don't let pride get in the way; ask for assistance.</p> <p>Jeanne Dee of <a href="http://www.soultravelers3.com/">SoulTravelers3</a> discovered this life-saver while suffering serious medical challenges and traveling with her family. &quot;Airlines can help you with wheelchair assistance, making the whole process doable for someone with health challenges, and they escort the whole family through security and customs and such.&quot; Jeanne and her multi-award-winning digital nomadic family of three have been on the road non-stop for almost nine years, visiting 47 countries on five continents for $23/day per person.</p> <p>Although wheelchair assistance shouldn't be taken advantage of, it's a huge time-saver if you have a tight connection and are unable to move quickly. I discovered this myself after suffering a near-fatal accident and traveling to the States for medical attention. I would never have made the connection in my condition without being skirted through the airport's &quot;secret passages&quot; and ushered through special lineups. (Bonus: Your travel companions are escorted through with you!)</p> <h2>9. Eat at the Airport</h2> <p>Tiffany and Chris Soukup of <a href="http://www.vagabondway.net/">VagabondWay.net</a> have been traveling and working around the world for the last 10 years. They've learned through experience that eating a solid meal at the airport can actually be cost-effective, and arriving well-fed helps battle <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-naturally-reset-your-sleep-cycle-overnight">jet lag</a> and even helps you make better (money-saving) decisions. Tiffany uses some hacks to make it cost-effective and fun. &quot;I can't say the airport is my favorite place to eat, but I look forward to walking around to find where I'll dine. [Also], look ahead to know what restaurants are at the airport and see if you can get coupons.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Family Travel Hack: Entertain the Kids Without Gadgets</h2> <p>Rachel and Greg Denning of <a href="http://www.discovershareinspire.com/">DiscoverShareInspire.com</a> have been traveling since 2007 with their five (now six) children. They know better than any parents how hard it is to keep kids entertained during long hours of waiting in airports, and they say using less technology (tablets, smartphones, etc) creates better travelers.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">The mind-numbing, easy entertainment of many [tablet/smartphone] games can lead to boredom, because children get accustomed to being passively entertained, instead of actively entertaining themselves. Reading books, talking, singing, playing games (cards, iSpy, etc.) can hold their attention and lead to bonding and personal interaction, which makes travel more enjoyable for parents and children alike.</p> <p>She adds, however, that if your kids are already addicted to technology, going cold turkey in an airport isn't wise; best to start &quot;weaning&quot; them several weeks before traveling. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-digital-detox-how-and-why-to-do-it?ref=seealso">The Digital Detox &ndash; How and Why to Do It</a>).</p> <h2>11. Jump the Line (and Other Perks) With Frequent Flyer Status</h2> <p>&quot;The Guy&quot; dubs his website <a href="http://www.flightsandfrustration.com/">Flights and Frustration</a> for good reason; he has been traveling internationally with his work nearly every month for over 14 years. He has found a way to use business class and priority lineups even if he's flying economy. It's all about achieving elite status with frequent flyer miles. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles?ref=seealso">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a>).</p> <p>&quot;A prime example is my KLM Flying Blue card. With higher status I can use my economy ticket and still go to the business class check-in queue.&quot; For those with miles but no status, try asking for a points-upgrade. &quot;Inquire at check-in (or even before you go to the airport) to see if you can redeem points to upgrade your ticket to business class. Then it is queue jumping and luxury travel all the way.&quot;</p> <p>Having status with one airline can give you access to perks on all airlines in the alliance. &quot;I collect frequent flyer points on my Singapore Kris Flyer card for Star Alliance flights. I held a Gold Status with this Kris Flyer card whilst checking in for a domestic flight in the US with United. Due to my frequent flyer status with Star Alliance, they waived the baggage fee.&quot;</p> <h2>12. Go Through Priority Lines Anyway</h2> <p>Turner Wright (of <a href="http://www.onceatraveler.com/">Once A Traveler</a>) doesn't even bother flashing a frequent flyer mile status card to jump the line. &quot;Depending on the rush, I find it pretty ridiculous to cue up in one security line when there's an empty one for first class or priority passengers. Usually I just walk up and ask if I can go through, assuming they don't just wave me in. The same goes for lines at immigration and customs.&quot;</p> <h2>13. Flash Your Travel Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p>Even if you don't have super-elite frequent flyer mile status, you can flash a travel rewards credit card to gain lounge access. Stephanie Zito has been to over 115 countries living and working on the road for the last 20+ years. In addition to her humanitarian work and <a href="http://www.wanderingforgood.com/">Wandering For Good</a>, she's also the managing editor of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-travel-hacking-cartel-fly-around-the-world-for-almost-free">Travel Hacking Cartel</a> and a travel-hacker extraordinaire.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">If you live and work on the road and take advantage of lounges for showers, meals, Wi-Fi, and free drinks, it's worth carrying a card that&nbsp;gets you Priority Pass which allows you to access more than 600 lounges around the world. If you just need a pass or two, many co-branded airline credit cards offer one or two lounge passes a year as a sign-up bonus.</p> <h2>14. Catch a Rest in the Chapel (and a Shower Nearby)</h2> <p>If you've got a long layover or delayed flight and need some peace and quiet, look for the airport chapel. It can be a great place to catch a catnap, meditate, or simply enjoy a cell-phone free environment. Stephanie Zito also says it might lead you to a shower in certain parts of the world: &quot;If you're traveling through the middle east, there is almost always a public shower room somewhere in the airport &mdash; you just have to find it. The trick is to locate the prayer area. The showers will always be nearby.&quot;</p> <h2>15. Sleep in the Airport</h2> <p>Wade Shepard has been traveling since 1999 as founding editor of <a href="http://www.vagabondjourney.com/">Vagabond Journey</a>, and he has a formula for sleeping in airports. &quot;I usually sleep in the airport when I have an early morning flight leaving between 3 a.m. and 9 a.m. or when I land between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. It's free, relatively secure, and cuts out the hassle of taking [costly] late night transportation and checking in/out of a hotel at an hour when humans are better off tucked away in bed.&quot; He even argues that it's safer to sleep in the airport than to navigate a foreign city late at night, where you might be more of a target.</p> <p>He consults <a href="http://www.sleepinginairports.net/">SleepingInAirports.net</a> to find the best places to sleep, and likes to be out of the way but still around other people (who are preferably sleeping) so there is security in numbers. As for his luggage, he secures it: &quot;I either lock my bag to the chair I'm sleeping in or I tie it my wrist &mdash; so if someone was to try to snatch it I'd wake up.&quot;</p> <p>Wade even does this with his wife and child in tow. &quot;Having three people to fend for makes the money saved even greater! I also found it works better just to let my daughter stay up late, go crazy in the airport, then crash on the plane rather than waking her up in the middle of the night and moving her out [of a hotel].&quot;</p> <p>For more from frequent travelers, check out these 25 other fantastic travel tips and secrets: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers">25 Secrets From the World's Most Frugal Frequent Travelers</a>.</p> <p><em>Do you have any reliable airport hacks? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sleeping-in-airports-for-the-stranded-and-frugal-minded">Sleeping In Airports For The Stranded And Frugal Minded</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-airline-travel-sucks-and-what-you-can-do-to-make-it-better">5 Ways Airline Travel Sucks — and What You Can Do to Make It Better</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clipped-wings-can-consumers-fix-air-travel">Clipped Wings: Can Consumers Fix Air Travel?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel air travel airport secrets airports credit cards frugal travel travel secrets Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:06:06 +0000 Nora Dunn 1185372 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Through the Airport Faster http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/arptfast-78777813.jpg" alt="airport" title="airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes, the time and process of just getting to &mdash; and through &mdash; the airport makes flying an agonizing experience. It doesn't have to be! Use these tips to get through the airport faster and join the ranks of savvy frequent flyers.</p> <p>I recently a completed a three-week, eight-country <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2013/10/8-countries-3-weeks-2-hours-sleep-globaltravelernora/">whirlwind trip</a> through Europe. By using these tips, flying was a breeze &mdash; surprisingly so at times. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Before Check-In</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/arptfast-100612849-ggnoads.jpg" style="line-height: 1.6em; opacity: 0.9; width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Preparation is key to getting through the airport faster. Here's your checklist.</p> <p><strong>Book Friendly Connections</strong></p> <p>If you miss your connection due to a delayed initial flight, you won't be getting through any airports quickly. Give yourself the best chances of having smooth connections by allowing at least 90 minutes between international flights. In cases of smaller airports or easy domestic flights, you can get away with 60 minutes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-flight-delays-like-a-pro">What to Do When Your Flight is Delayed</a>)</p> <p><strong>Check In Online</strong></p> <p>You can usually check in online up to 24 hours before the flight; check in as early as possible for the best choice of seats (see below). Don't worry about printing your boarding pass if you don't have easy access to a printer; you can pick up your boarding pass at the airport, and in some cases a bar code on your smartphone will suffice.</p> <p><strong>Pick Your Seat Wisely</strong></p> <p>Checking in online usually allows you to choose or change your seat. Keep <a href="http://www.seatguru.com/">SeatGuru</a> open on another tab, so you can look at their seating plans for your flight showing the best and worst seats. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a>)</p> <p>In choosing your seat, the closer to the front of the plane you can sit, the faster you'll get through the airport on the other side. This is paramount!</p> <p><strong>Go With Carry-On Only</strong></p> <p>This is another crucial element to getting through the airport quickly. You'll contend with having to lug around your bags after check-in, but you save time having to line up to check your bag, and more time yet when you cruise out of the airport on the other side while people are still waiting for their checked bags. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vacation-hack-7-tips-for-single-bag-travel">7 Tips for Single Bag Travel</a>)</p> <p>Traveling with carry-on only isn't that difficult. I can easily travel with this <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-flying-easy-the-ultimate-carry-on-packing-list">carry-on packing list</a> for up to (and beyond) three months at a time in varying climates.</p> <p><strong>For Checked Bags: Pack Your Liquids</strong></p> <p>If you must check a bag, then put all your liquids and toiletries in the checked bag. Not having liquids in your carry-ons increases your chances of getting through security quicker. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-minimize-baggage-fees-when-flying">5 Ways to Minimize Baggage Fees</a>)</p> <p><strong>For Carry-On: Bag Liquids and Keep Ready</strong></p> <p>It's always best to seal liquids in a bag to prevent &quot;shampoo disasters&quot; on arrival. With carry-on luggage, seal your liquids in a quart-sized or liter-sized bag, and leave it at the top of your case. (You'll see why when clearing security).</p> <p><strong>Wear the Right Shoes</strong></p> <p>Easily removable shoes make the security process much smoother. They also give you more freedom to get comfortable on long flights.</p> <p><strong>Skip the Belt, Keep Pockets Empty</strong></p> <p>These are just more things to remove and replace while shuffling your belongings on and off conveyor belts at security. Save yourself the hassle.</p> <p><strong>Bring a Pen</strong></p> <p>You just never know when you need a pen. For international travel, you'll need one to fill out departure/arrival cards and other miscellaneous tasks; don't get stuck waiting to borrow somebody else's pen.</p> <h2>When You Arrive at the Airport</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/arptfast-dv2073065-ggnoads.jpg" style="line-height: 1.6em; opacity: 0.9; width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Depending on where in the world I am, I tend to arrive at the airport about 90 minutes in advance of the flight (for easy domestic flights I might reduce that to 60 minutes). Although this may be longer than necessary to get in and out as quickly as possible, it allows time for things to go wrong &mdash; as they often can &mdash; with unpredictable problems or delays.</p> <p><strong>Keep Your Passport Handy</strong></p> <p>Dorky as it may sound, I keep my passport and boarding pass in a small pouch hanging around my neck from the time I check in until I've cleared customs and immigration at my destination. It's always close at hand, in one place, and it's easily accessible to flash or reference my passport and boarding pass &mdash; as is required a few times throughout the process.</p> <p><strong>Head for the Kiosk</strong></p> <p>Print out your boarding pass at a self-service kiosk to avoid the check-in line. This is especially handy if you're traveling with carry-on bags only.</p> <p><strong>Check-In Line Options</strong></p> <p>If you're checking luggage: Print out your boarding pass at the kiosk, and head for the baggage drop-off line, which is usually shorter and moves quicker.</p> <p>If you must line up for whatever reason: Hopefully you're a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">frequent flyer mile superstar</a> and you're flying in business class or with membership privileges, so you can use the special reserved lines. If not, allow extra time for this process.</p> <p><strong>Go Straight for Security</strong></p> <p>Don't dally between checking in and clearing security. If there's a delay or problem (which hopefully there won't be if you follow the tips below), you want to allow time for it without missing your flight.</p> <h2>Getting Through Security</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/arptfast-76750680-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>If you've used this checklist thus far, your security line experience should be a relative breeze. Make it even quicker with these tricks.</p> <p><strong>Get Behind Business Travelers</strong></p> <p>Business travelers are usually frequent flyers who know how to not only choose fast lines, but how to move through them quickly: win win.</p> <p><strong>Look for Lone Agents</strong></p> <p>According to <a href="http://lifehacker.com/choose-the-airport-security-line-based-on-the-number-of-1449986614">Lifehacker</a>, if there are two agents standing at the x-ray monitor, one is usually a trainee, which means the line will move slower. Lone agents manning the monitors will usually keep the process moving.</p> <p><strong>Have Everything Ready</strong></p> <p>Pack all electronics (laptops, e-readers, etc), so they can be taken out and put in the security trays. The same applies to your liquids (the ones you made easily accessible while packing, as per above). Scarves, jackets, belts, pocket contents, and often shoes need to come off. (Hint: Put anything that would go in your pockets into your jacket to limit the number of things you need to manage). While waiting in the security lineup, I usually start this process by pulling out my laptop and liquids so I can just chuck everything in the trays.</p> <h2>On Landing</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/arptfast-79071625-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>If you've applied the tips above, you'll be (close to) first off the plane, with your passport at the ready and forms filled to clear customs and immigration quickly. And if you're traveling with carry-on bags only, you'll be cruising out of the airport in no time flat!</p> <p>Here are some additional tips to keep your momentum up.</p> <p><strong>Know Where You're Going</strong></p> <p>Hopefully you have accommodations booked and some sense of how to get there. Even if you're planning on heading into town to sniff out a place to stay, research the airport online, so you know the best way to get to wherever you're going. Getting stuck in lineups for information or to book tickets will delay your airport departure.</p> <p><strong>Pre-Book Transportation</strong></p> <p>If you're renting a car, march up to the rental desk with the confirmation number from your earlier online reservation. You can often book bus and train tickets online as well; other times you can use kiosks in the airport to buy tickets quickly.</p> <p><em>What is your best tip for getting through the airport faster?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-carry-on-luggage-can-save-you-time-and-money">5 Ways Carry-On Luggage Can Save You Time and Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-new-carry-on-luggage-charges">How to Avoid New Carry-on Luggage Charges</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-airline-travel-sucks-and-what-you-can-do-to-make-it-better">5 Ways Airline Travel Sucks — and What You Can Do to Make It Better</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel air travel airports luggage travel Tue, 26 Nov 2013 11:24:04 +0000 Nora Dunn 1098526 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Get More Done on Airplanes http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-more-done-on-airplanes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-get-more-done-on-airplanes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6299901001_f30acee6f4_z.jpg" alt="woman on airplane" title="woman on airplane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My line of work has required me to travel more, specifically by taking multi-leg flights to various places in the United States. While I used to use my flight time as a way to catch up on reading, sample new music, or even catch a nap, I now see flights as a wonderful opportunity to get some much-needed work done. Being productive on an airplane isn&rsquo;t always easy, however; heightened security measures, electronic device limitations, and even the lack of personal space are all common obstacles to the motivated traveler. Here are the tips I swear by &mdash; all designed to pack more punch into your traveling workday. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. Pack Well</h2> <p>It is important to know just what tools you will really use on your flight. If you are like me and own a smartphone, tablet, netbook, and full-size laptop, it can be tempting to bring just one or go overboard by stuffing them all into an already stressed out carry-on. I like to take an assessment of what tasks I will realistically want to do during my flight. If I will be doing a large amount of word processing, for example, the netbook or laptop is a requirement; if the flight will be short, and I can use the time to catch up on industry articles and e-mail organization, my tablet will suffice. Don&rsquo;t bring any more than you need, and make sure you don&rsquo;t leave your best tools at home.</p> <h2>2. Research Your Flight (and Seat)</h2> <p>Not all flights have Wi-Fi, and most won&rsquo;t have access to a power outlet. Using a site like <a href="http://www.seatguru.com/">Seat Guru</a> can help you plan your travel time wisely by showing you all of the amenities your flight (and specific seat) will provide. Please note, however, that flights get changed at the last minute. I have pinned my hopes on a flight that said it offered Wi-Fi, only to find that that particular plane was grounded for the day; the alternate plane left me completely without the Internet service I was counting on.</p> <h2>3. Assign and Check In Early</h2> <p>Regardless of whether you book your flight personally or you rely on a company travel department, you still have the ability to view and change your specific seat assignment &mdash; provided there are alternate seats in your price class available. This is not only great for those who insist on an aisle seat (more elbow room for using the laptop); it can also help you secure one of the few spots on the plane in an empty row, giving you even more room to work. Some small carriers and fully booked flights won&rsquo;t allow you to see your seat assignment until you board the plane; for every other flight, however, checking in before arriving at the airport can help you secure the most productive seat in the cabin.</p> <h2>4. Prepay for Internet</h2> <p>For flights that offer wireless in-flight Internet, you can choose to pay for your service time while in the air, or pay for a code that can be used on any future flight. If I know that I am traveling soon, I buy wireless Internet time before I leave. Not only is it usually more affordable, it also guarantees that I can start surfing the web while everyone else is fiddling around for the credit card. When you only have 30 to 90 minutes of &ldquo;electronics are okay&rdquo; flight time, it is essential not to waste even 10. Wireless providers often offer free service time during holidays or special promotions; if you find that you don&rsquo;t need to use your prepaid code, you can still use it on a later flight.</p> <h2>5. Save Pages for Later</h2> <p>If your flight is not offering Internet, you can still view the web. Services like <a href="http://www.instapaper.com/">Instapaper</a> not only save your favorite web pages and articles for offline viewing, they simplify the page design for optimal text reading. (I also use <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/evernote/id281796108?mt=8">Evernote</a> for my iPad to do reading without internet.)</p> <h2>6. Have a Back-Up Plan</h2> <p>If it is absolutely imperative that you get a certain number of tasks done while flying, be prepared to have a plan B or plan C in place. Flights are unpredictable, and turbulence, technical issues, or even a chatty seatmate can make it impossible to do those things you needed to get done during flight. Have a supply of alternative activities to do that don&rsquo;t require electronics (brainstorming ideas in a notebook can be very productive), research airports ahead of time to see if you can cram some busy time in during a layover, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-keep-you-sane-on-a-plane">bring headphones to wear</a>, even if you aren&rsquo;t jamming to music &mdash; it politely lets other travelers know that you want to be left alone.</p> <p>Flights are an energy and time drain that many don&rsquo;t look forward to. If you view them as an opportunity to get to where you need to go while you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-accomplishing-more-in-a-day">get stuff done</a>, however, it creates a window of productivity that you may not get in your daily office life.</p> <p><em>What tips do you have for cranking out more work while flying?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-more-done-on-airplanes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-kinds-of-emails-to-purge-from-your-inbox">5 Kinds of Emails to Purge From Your Inbox</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-stages-of-procrastination-read-this-right-now">The 7 Stages of Procrastination (Read This Right Now!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills">10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity airports business travel flights Fri, 02 Mar 2012 11:24:21 +0000 Linsey Knerl 906599 at http://www.wisebread.com Clipped Wings: Can Consumers Fix Air Travel? http://www.wisebread.com/clipped-wings-can-consumers-fix-air-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/clipped-wings-can-consumers-fix-air-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/air_travel.jpg" alt="Family on airplane" title="Family on airplane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="132" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For me, it begins about two days before a flight &mdash; that mild anxiety that only modern air travel can inspire. It&rsquo;s a restlessness born of the knowledge that in a matter of days, my intricately laid travel plans will surely begin to unravel. I will be shuttled from nearly bankrupt airline to nearly bankrupt airline (the result of a delay, a staffing issue, a mechanical problem, or the like) only to end up considering myself fortunate to land a spot wedged in some seat designed by a retired torture-device engineer.</p> <p>The modern air travel industry is broken. From the harried groping at the security lines to the in-flight pretzel-tosses, consumers are losing their voices and suffering the consequences of a service on the skids. Let&rsquo;s examine just a few of the indignities travelers are subjected to and explore some ways we can collectively make ourselves be heard. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/headaches-begone-5-tips-for-making-airline-travel-easier">5 Tips for Making Airline Travel Easier</a>)</p> <h2>Luggage Fees</h2> <p>Fuel prices may fluctuate, but luggage fees look like they&rsquo;re here to stay. If the best minds were to figure out how to power a jet with only pretzels and the power of crying babies, I&rsquo;d still be paying at least $25 for every checked bag.</p> <p>Why are we passively allowing what amounts to an undeclared fuel surcharge on each flight we take? What might happen if we began calling, twittering, and writing emails to the airline decision-makers and demanding a fairer solution?</p> <h2>TSA Procedures</h2> <p>Once my wallet is lightened by the checked bag fees, I&rsquo;m treated to security lines so extensive that I immediately begin to calculate the cost/benefit ratio of everyone I love and am traveling to see. The only upside is getting to take my shoes off for a few moments and then experience what I convince myself is just a special &quot;fraternal hug&quot; by the TSA screening agent.</p> <p>Isn&rsquo;t there a better way? It&rsquo;s as if our system is so broken that the safeguard has become the new menace. After months of outrage and a public relations nightmare, the TSA has made only nominal changes to its screening of even the youngest of children. Maybe it&rsquo;s time to leverage a bit of that democratic influence we Americans enjoy and (sensibly) reinvent the TSA through the representatives we elect.</p> <h2>Late Flights</h2> <p>I never attempt to fly without a fully charged cell phone. How naïve I&rsquo;d be to assume that plans will not need to be changed, arrival time estimates revised, or connecting flight arrangements reworked to accommodate the vagaries of flight schedules and routes that the airlines establish through careful study and fly every single day?</p> <p>By leveraging the power of a collective passenger response, I wonder how schedules might improve if just 50% of the passengers from a late or rescheduled flight called the airline or posted a negative online review. Let&rsquo;s try it.</p> <h2>Boarding by Class</h2> <p>I&rsquo;ve never won the lottery, but I imagine it feels something like finally being able to board a long-delayed flight. It typically goes something like this -- after the third hour, a secret cabal of gate staff convenes and determines in hushed-tones, secret codes, and semaphore that passengers may begin to board. Then the elaborate and arcane process of boarding by class begins. Understandably, those with small children and passengers who need extra help go first. First-class passengers board next, then platinum flyers, then gold, then silver, bronze, copper, nickel, and nickel-plated passengers go. Since I usually travel aluminum class, I take what amounts to a walk of shame to my middle seat between an angst-ridden teen and a chatty Midwestern woman.</p> <p>What does this artificially created class division accomplish other than to make boarding a plane feel like a privilege instead of service we&rsquo;ve all paid something for? Isn&rsquo;t this just a remnant of a bygone era when we didn&rsquo;t arrive at the gate already fully-frustrated from a series of long lines? I vote for a mini-exercise in civil disobedience (and alchemy) that would have aluminum mixing with gold.</p> <h2>Carry-Ons</h2> <p>The unplanned offspring of the airlines&rsquo; checked baggage fee is the over-stuffed carry-on. Otherwise mortal passengers become super-human when zippering and hauling these comically large bags. I&rsquo;m reminded of the classic image of Atlas straining to support the earth as passengers attempt to wedge these nylon sausages into the groaning overhead bins.</p> <p>The solution is simple &mdash; airlines should dispense with checked-bag fees or at least allow one free checked bag. It might cut into their bottom lines a bit, but maybe profits could be made more legitimately by real industry-wide efficiencies.</p> <h2>Cabin Chaos</h2> <p>With the hurdles of the TSA screening, flight delays, and boarding processes behind me, I feel like a bit of well-deserved rest. Likewise, it would seem that the flight attendants and pilots would like a plane full of sleeping passengers too. But it&rsquo;s not to be. Just as I&rsquo;m drifting off to sleep, a crackling audio system delivers some inane message from the pilot in a decibel so high I brace myself for a water landing. Then, twenty minutes later the clanking metal carts rumble down the aisle in a sad nod to the long-lost era of more genteel plane travel &mdash; dispensing pretzels, crackers, and sodas. If peace ever comes, it&rsquo;s disrupted by the constantly glowing video screens on the back of every headrest, emitting just enough light to keep passengers awake during evening flights.</p> <p>This seems like an area where airlines could easily scale back service without much impact. Why, especially on short flights, must passengers be constantly hydrated and visually entertained? Couldn&rsquo;t we relax, read a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-never-pay-for-another-book">book</a>, and enjoy a cabin free of <em>Shrek</em> and soda?</p> <h2>Comedic Flight Attendants</h2> <p>I can&rsquo;t imagine the challenges and special brand of frustrations that flight attendants face. In the bigger picture of the airline industry, most employees are as hapless and helpless as the average traveler. I&rsquo;m sure some marketing firm suggested that each flight attendant should try her hand at amateur comedy. Maybe a junior VP somewhere delivered a compelling PowerPoint on how most passengers forget 80% of their complaints if they leave with a chuckle. Enter Susan, the flight attendant who delivers with aplomb jokes about arriving at the wrong destination or how she will be selling anything you leave behind on eBay. But to me, this in-flight version of Open Mic Night underestimates the harrowing experience we&rsquo;ve all put up with and the stiff drink (or two) we&rsquo;ll all need to recover from it.</p> <p>Jokes aside, America&rsquo;s once grand airline industry is broken. From mild inconveniences and slight indignities to outright danger, the industry&rsquo;s chronic decline is precipitous and unchecked. Sleeping air traffic controllers, mounting TSA issues, and an aging fleet all conspire to make the future of air travel bleaker every year. Short of that mythic American high-speed rail system, the answer to better travel lies in our response and in our refusal to be passive about a level of service we wouldn&rsquo;t allow from any other industry.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clipped-wings-can-consumers-fix-air-travel">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-airline-travel-sucks-and-what-you-can-do-to-make-it-better">5 Ways Airline Travel Sucks — and What You Can Do to Make It Better</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel air travel airports customer complaints Mon, 27 Jun 2011 10:24:28 +0000 Kentin Waits 587394 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Free Wi-Fi at Airports That Charge for Internet Connections http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-free-wi-fi-at-airports-that-charge-for-internet-connections <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-free-wi-fi-at-airports-that-charge-for-internet-connections" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2094505702_ae90489995_z.jpg" alt="airport" title="airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're stuck at an airport that charges for Internet connections, here's a solution: Go to the gift shop and ask for a a free Wi-Fi pass.</p> <p>That's what happened to me last week. I was in LaGuardia Airport and my flight &mdash; <em>surprise, surprise</em> &mdash; was <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-check-if-a-flight-is-delayed-online" title="How to Check if a Flight is Delayed">delayed</a>. I decided to use that gift of time to check my e-mail and do a little bit of work.</p> <p>So I charged up the laptop and tried to go online. <em>No luck.</em> The airport offered a pay-as-you-go system called <a title="Boingo" href="http://boingo.com/">Boingo</a> and I was not able to hitch a ride on any of the other unsecured Wi-Fi systems. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frequently-under-budgeted-air-travel-costs" title="8 Frequently Under-Budgeted Air Travel Costs">8 Frequently Under-Budgeted Air Travel Costs</a>)</p> <p>But while looking at the Boingo <em>pay-now</em> portal, I noticed that there was slot for a promotional code. HMMM?</p> <p>Minutes later in the gift shop, I saw a stack of &quot;15 minutes Free Wi-Fi&quot; coupons from Boingo. Boingo provides Wi-Fi at over 500 airports, 17,000 hotels (Marriott, Hilton, etc.) and 9,000 McDonald's.</p> <p>Hmm. The clerk gave me a Boingo card and I sat down to log on for free minutes.</p> <p>The promotional code did not work, but I called the tech support number and the Boingo customer rep offered me a complimentary code that would get me online while I was waiting for my flight.</p> <p>That did the trick. My flight was called and I had no need for the free pass. But I learned the following lessons:</p> <ol> <li>Inquire about free Internet passes at the airport gift shops.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If there are no passes, go to the fee-based Wi-Fi portal (website) and look for a toll-free number. Ask the customer rep for a promotional code that will provide you with free minutes.</li> </ol> <p>By the way, the customer service number for Boingo is 1-800-880-4117. I'm keeping that number with me when I travel.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-duchess">Frugal Duchess</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-free-wi-fi-at-airports-that-charge-for-internet-connections">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-slash-the-cost-of-wi-fi-when-you-travel">6 Ways to Slash the Cost of Wi-Fi When You Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-travel-hacks-that-will-save-time-money-and-your-sanity">23 Travel Hacks That Will Save Time, Money, and Your Sanity</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-the-ultimate-tech-guide-for-travelers">Book Review: The Ultimate Tech Guide for Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology Travel airports Internet wifi Sat, 25 Jul 2009 16:42:08 +0000 Frugal Duchess 3419 at http://www.wisebread.com How to check if a flight is delayed http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-check-if-a-flight-is-delayed-online <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-check-if-a-flight-is-delayed-online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/plane.jpg" alt="Airplane" title="Airplane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Once in a while friends and relatives would visit my family from other countries, and we usually go to the airport to pick them up.&nbsp; The problem is that sometimes flights are delayed, and we would end up driving around the airport for half an hour or pay for expensive airport parking.&nbsp; Fortunately, there are several sites where you can check for airport conditions and whether or not a certain flight is delayed.</p> <p>First, you need to know the airline and flight number you are waiting on, and then you can go to one of the following sites to check its arrival and departure statuses.</p> <p><a href="http://flightview.com"><strong>Flightview.com</strong> </a>- This site has the least amount of advertisement and is very easy to use.&nbsp; You can pick the airline name in a drop down and then type in a flight number, then it will show you the status of the flight.&nbsp;&nbsp; They also have a mobile flight tracker for phones.&nbsp; This site also has an airport departure status of major airports in the continental United States.</p> <p><a href="http://Flightstats.com"><strong>Flightstats.com</strong></a> - This site is actually integrated with Google.&nbsp; So if you search for the flight number in Google the status will show up immediately at the top.&nbsp; Here is an example:</p> <p><img alt="UA" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u766/ua.jpg" /><br /> If you go to Flightstats.com you will find more detailed information and an interactive map for airport statuses all over the world.&nbsp; They also have a delay rating for each flight.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://flightarrivals.com">Flightarrivals.com</a> </strong>- I think this is the oldest site of the bunch and it has been around for around 10 years.&nbsp; It is not very fancy, but it loads quicky and it is simple.</p> <p>I have found that the&nbsp; most efficient way to use these sites is to check if my guest's flight arrived on time, and then head to the airport.&nbsp; It usually takes at least another half an hour for a person to actually leave the plane and get out of the airport with their baggage so I always arrive just a little after they are out of the gates.</p> <p>Saving time is equivalent to saving money, so before you head out to pick up someone at the airport next time, run a quick check if their plane is on time.&nbsp; You could avoid quite a bit of frustration and wasted gas.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-check-if-a-flight-is-delayed-online">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-value-of-forever-stamps">The Real Value of Forever Stamps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-1-rich-is-relative">Ten Tenets for &quot;Arranging Your Rich&quot; - Part 1: Rich is Relative</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car">How Wisebread helped me get 45mpg out of my 28mpg car.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Life Hacks Cars and Transportation General Tips air travel airplane airports flight Mon, 09 Feb 2009 21:57:10 +0000 Xin Lu 2827 at http://www.wisebread.com Sleeping In Airports For The Stranded And Frugal Minded http://www.wisebread.com/sleeping-in-airports-for-the-stranded-and-frugal-minded <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sleeping-in-airports-for-the-stranded-and-frugal-minded" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/airport-sleep.jpg" alt="sleeping in the airport photo" title="sleeping in the airport photo" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether it's an unplanned layover, a means of making an early flight, or simply an attempt to save money on accommodation, the season of sleeping in airports is upon us. I know, I am doing it.</p> <p>As I type this article, dozens of other weary holiday travelers are hunkering down in chairs and on the floor inside Albany International Airport. Sure, the lights are bright, the cleaning crew loud, and the temperature cold, but it could be worse. There is pleasant classical music coming from the ceiling, the chairs, if you are in one, are comfortable, and it is warmer in here than it is outside.</p> <p>Sleeping in airports is a basic skill for frugal travelers. I say skill because with some experience and preparation, it is not something that must simply be endured, but a way to save money and time.</p> <p>Here are some tips:</p> <h2>Know before you go</h2> <p>Research is key to a comfortable night in any airport. First off, you must know if you will be allowed to sit there after flights have stopped for the night. Beyond that, you want to know the basic layout of the place, what facilities are available, what the temperature, noise, and light levels are, and how many other people will be trying to do the same thing.</p> <p>The first place to go for this information is the airport's website. This will provide you with a map, list of services available, and likely some rules pertaining to overnights. For more information, check to see if your airport is listed in the helpful <a href="http://www.expedia.com/daily/airports/">Airport Guides</a> series. After these resources, it is time for more specific details and no one has more than <a href="http://www.sleepinginairports.com/">The Budget Traveler's Guide to Sleeping in Airports</a>.</p> <h2>Pack for sleeping</h2> <p>Lots of packing guides tell travelers to fill their carry-ons with things like toiletries and changes of clothes. Not me. I say, bring what you know will make you comfortable, not what you think you may need.</p> <p>If you are planning to sleep in an airport (or fear you may be), this means packing to sleep. The big three concerns for the airport squatter are light, noise, and temperature. Must haves include headphones or earplugs, a scarf or eye mask, and a blanket or light-weight sleeping bag. It sounds obvious, but having these things means the difference between a great night's sleep and starring blankly across the terminal for 10 hours.</p> <p>After you have found a place for these items, you might want to consider bringing something to soften a hard floor. A blanket, thin, partial-length, sleeping pad, or a pillow could all help prevent bruising and soreness.</p> <h2>Don't forget these luxuries</h2> <p>Be sure to leave room for a timepiece, specifically one with an alarm, and anything else that might make the time pass more gently. My recommendation is the <a href="http://www.bravenewtraveler.com/2008/02/18/6-essential-items-to-pack-if-you-want-to-meet-the-locals/">ever-useful deck of playing cards</a>.</p> <p>I know what you are all thinking: &quot;playing cards? what about hooking up the laptop you hypocrite?&quot; Fair enough. For those, like me, looking to get their interwebs fix there are several <a href="http://www.travelpost.com/airport-wireless-internet.aspx">guides</a> and <a href="http://www.jaunted.com/maps/Airport-WiFi-Map">maps</a> that will help you find WiFi wherever you go. There is even a wiki to help find <a href="http://airpower.jeffsandquist.com/default.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1">power outlets</a> in airports around the world.</p> <h2>Eat, drink, be merry</h2> <p>Going too long without food will only leave you cranky. There are numerous ways to anticipate what kind of <a href="http://www.airlinemeals.net/">inflight meal</a> you will be served. You can even share <a href="http://www.flickr.com/groups/inflightmeal/">pictures of your meals</a> and <a href="http://www.airguideonline.com/airlfoodrew.htm">write reviews</a>. Even can join in. But the sad truth is that lately, you will not be served any meal on the airplane at all. This only makes airport eating more important.</p> <p>Of course, the easy option is to eat at one of the <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/airport-dining-guide">airport's restaurants or cafes</a>. While easy, this is certainly not the most frugal option. Instead, try <a href="http://ask.metafilter.com/27084/Packing-food-for-airline-travel">packing a snack or meal</a>.</p> <p>And don't forget to have some kind of water. I know the bans on liquids make carrying water bottles around airports a crime. I also know that an airport is drier than a desert. By a bottle of water if you must, but please, stay hydrated.</p> <p>If slumber parties in museums can be so much fun then why can't we enjoy our nights in airports? With a little planning and preparation, your next night in the airport will be more comfortable and fun as staying in the dingy hotel across the parking lot. I promise.</p> <p><em>Have any other tips for staying in airports? Any stories of success or failure? Do you love airports as much as <a href="http://www.boingboing.net/2008/11/24/japanese-man-lives-i.html">this guy</a>? Let us know in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-defranza">David DeFranza</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sleeping-in-airports-for-the-stranded-and-frugal-minded">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-never-buy-souvenirs">Why You Should Never Buy Souvenirs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-and-romantic-ideas-for-valentines-day-and-any-other-day-of-the-year">Cheap and Romantic Ideas for Valentine&#039;s Day (And Any Other Day of the Year)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Lifestyle Travel accommodation airports frugal frugal travel frugality Thu, 27 Nov 2008 05:04:14 +0000 David DeFranza 2609 at http://www.wisebread.com