Ahh yes, the Holiday season is here. With that comes the wonderful whirlwind of holiday travel. Many people have in-laws to visit, kids to tame, and flights to catch. So, here’s an early gift to you for this special time: a few insights that’ll make this season’s travels as stress free as possible. Who knows, you might even save a few bucks along the way!
Download Life-Saving Travel Apps
While searching for the best travel apps, you’ll find over 1,300,000,000 results presented in front of you. More companies are creating automated applications to prevent flight, ride, and hotel bookings from becoming an all-day event. Here are a couple of must-have travel apps that you should download.
If you’re like most people, you may not know that travel sites like to track your searches in order to recommend deals. Time magazine found travel search engines are always changing their prices based on inventory updates or even glitches in the system. So how do you stay up-to-date with fluctuating prices?
This is where the cool little app Skyscanner comes in. If you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible, downloading this app will allow you to kill two birds with one stone.
Instead of hiking up their prices before you buy, Skyscanner allows you to put in the dates and location of your trip, and sends you alerts when the price drops! If you’re like the millions of busy Americans always on the go, setting up alerts for when your flight is $10 cheaper lets you plan on the go and avoid being “that guy” checking his phone every few hours for the best deal.
Features that make this flight search engine surpass its competition? The “Flexible” option. If you’re not restricted to one airport in your area, sometimes flying out of a town 20 or 30 minutes away saves you a decent amount of money. Let’s be honest, every dollar counts when you travel.
Consider this pro tip from the expert travelers behind Shut Up And Go:
“Always search for your flights with a private browser to make sure you’re getting the fairest price. Some sites place trackable cookies on your open browser, which allows them to show you the most expensive flight you recently viewed. Also, if you own both a PC and a Mac, try searching on both to see if your prices are different, you’d be surprised at what you can find.” – Damon and Jo
There’s hardly a person that enjoys being a taxi for his or her loved ones. If you somehow manage to get out of family obligations to go on vacation this season, do you really want to worry about hailing a taxi cab after a long, cramped flight? My guess is a hard, “No.”
Keep the travel savvy hacks going by hooking up with SuperShuttle. Once you book your flight for the best deal possible, consider how you’re getting from the airport to your final destination. In the age of technology, SuperShuttle allows you to book a ride from your computer, tablet, or phone by downloading their app for convenience. The app is the fastest and easiest mode for booking a ride. Plus, they offer different riding options; if you’re traveling alone, with family, or in a group.
Even if you don’t book ahead, and are reading this on the way to the airport, look up whether the airport has a SuperShuttle station. Their walk-up counter allows travelers to grab a ride without booking in advance.
The great thing about SuperShuttle is their site goes beyond offering stress-free transportation. If you’re wanting to look up hotels for wedding venues, business trips, or conferences they offer a search engine on HotelPlanner with the lowest rates for groups, college, and business trips.
Managing Your Money
Traveling requires money, and traveling on a budget requires insight and planning. You’ll want to enjoy your trip without burning through all your funds. So how can you make sure you’re in good financial standing while on the move? Set your priorities and stick with them.
There’s A Card for That
Now that you know how to search for flights, and what transportation to use once you arrive to your destination… how will you pay for it all? Never fear, travel credit cards are here!
The right travel card differs from person to person and has the ability to save you a lot of money for your travels. When you’re booking your flight or hotel, it’s important to consider which type of travel credit card fits your current needs. Only use a credit card if you intend to pay the card off in-full each month. Try and keep your credit utilization as low as you can to avoid any short-term negative impact on your credit scores.
Every card has its unique perks. For example, some cards provide rental car collision insurance, while others may come with automatic trip cancellation insurance when you buy a flight on the card. Airline cards usually offer priority boarding and free checked bags. A higher annual fee typically means you’ll get better benefits. You’ll find airport lounge access on most cards with an annual fee over $300. This is ideal for those who find themselves buying airline tickets with layovers. Instead of sitting in a busy terminal for hours, cards like Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite MasterCard offers access to over 800 airport lounges across the world with an annual fee of only $150. Always shop around, put some time aside for research, and find the best card for your travel needs.
Free room upgrades during hotel stays is another thing to consider. Even if you only travel once or twice a year there are credit cards that offer Global Entry application fee waiver, which means you’ll automatically save the $100 on applying for the program, which includes TSA Pre-check. Breeze through security in the airport with your shoes on, and sanity intact.
When deciding whether a card is a good fit for you, weigh any benefits against the annual fee. Learn how to use the card’s benefits and rewards as tools to save you money.
Put A Notice On Your Credit and Debit Cards
Once everything is paid for and ready to go, call your bank to alert your providers that you plan on traveling. Most issuers now have a feature to let them know you’re traveling through their app or website. The last thing you need is to have your accounts frozen when you’re in the middle of a vacation dinner with your tired kids, or trying to order another round in Cancun.
Alerting your bank about your trip will allow you to access funds seamlessly. It also prevents the hassle of proving your identity in countries thousands of miles away from home.
Set Up Automatic Payments
It’s easy to get so caught up planning your trip that you forget that your bill’s won’t wait. Most accounts allow you to set up automatic payments, and may give you a discount. It’s as easy as making a phone call or signing up on your issuer’s secured website. Taking this step will help you avoid any late fees or suspended services if a bill is due while you’re out of town.
No matter how long your trip is, you’ll need to pack a bag with enough items to last your stay. There are many things to consider when deciding what to bring: the type and length of your trip, your itinerary, the size of your luggage bag, and any weight limits that are imposed.
Make a Checklist
Keep a basic checklist of everyday essentials you use to start your day. This will make packing for each trip stress free and habitual. No more forgetting your toothbrush on the bathroom sink, or your charger plugged into the wall. If you don’t know where to start, put everything aside for an hour and think of your daily routine. Write down each item you’ll need to get ready, and go from there.
Pack by Outfit
Wherever you plan on going, check the weather before you start packing. Chances are you know what your daily activities will be like, so make sure you know what clothing items you’ll need to stay comfortable while you’re out and about. Don’t let a rainstorm ruin your trip because you forgot to check the weather app. When choosing the items to bring try to coordinate complete outfits that go well together, so you can mix and match while keeping your suitcase light.
Article and content provided by a third party guest author.