8 Sep

Ten Great Travel Tips

Whether you travel for work or for pleasure, whether it’s your day-to-day grind or something you do very rarely, every traveler can appreciate a few hacks to make their lives a little easier. With new airport, baggage and security rules changing seemingly on a whim, you still need to get through the tedious parts before you can get down to business (or fun, as the case may be) some of these great travel tips might be just what the doctor ordered to take some of the pressure off!

  1. Many airlines have eliminated ‘free’ carry-on allowances, and those who still do allow it have lowered the weight limitations – in some cases so much that your typical standard carry on case, even if completely empty, is too heavy to pass. There is, however, no weight restriction on your one allowed personal item, which means that if you can take some of your carry on contents and pack them into your personal item, you’re home free. Ladies, you’ll just need to carry a larger purse!
  2. When traveling with a friend or spouse, choose both an aisle and a window seat. This way, you may just end up with a full row of seats to yourself so the two of you can stretch out. If it doesn’t work out that way, the middle person will always be quite happy to switch so you can cozy up to your traveling companion.
  3. When booking a full-fare economy flight, tell the booking agent that you are looking for an upgrade. This will effectively put your status right on your ticket. Essentially, it’s a special code (Y or B) that tells the flight attendants that you have requested an upgrade and if there are any seats available in the next class up, you may actually get upgraded for free. This doesn’t always work of course, but your chances are much better if you are active with the frequent flyer program connected to the airline in question. Good luck!
  4. The way travel websites like Expedia and Hotwire work, the more you click on a fare, the higher it’s going to rise. Sites like these have algorithms that are based on demand, so for instance if you keep refreshing or checking other sites for the same destination it’s only going to nick you in the long run. Clear the cookies on your browser each time you do a search and browse ‘incognito’ or privately. Most browsers have a setting you can use for private browsing, located under the preferences pane.
  5. Who hasn’t spent more time at the gate than they’ve wanted to? Resolve to spend your spare airport time in the lounge, spa or bar by knowing exactly what you need to know about your itinerary. Most airlines have smartphone apps. For the latest in real time updates to flight times, gate and seat assignments, cancellations and more, download your airline’s mobile app, where you can track your frequent flier miles, book and change flights and more.
  6. Use air compression bags to pack your clothes. Squeezing the air out of the bags will reduce your packed real estate considerably. Most people know to roll their clothing to make more room, but combine the rolling technique with an air-compression bag is just genius.
  7. Pack stuff inside your shoes. You will be surprised at how many items you can fit, rolled up or not, inside a pair of shoes. Belts, socks, toiletries (put them in a zip lock first), and hairbrushes … you get the picture.
  8. Your credit card may give you travel incentives you didn’t even know about. Check your credit card website to see if you quality for reward point discounts, upgrade certificates, free travel insurance, discounted hotels and restaurants and more.
  9. Maximize your frequent flyer miles. Make sure you are signed up for every possible bonus that you can collect on when you travel. This goes for hotels as well, some groups like Choice Privileges or Starwood Preferred Guest offering free stays and more. Collect double the points toward your favorite airline through a branded credit card, where you can earn miles on everyday purchases and not just travel related. You’ll be on your way to a couple of free flights in no time!
  10. Order a special meal in advance for priority treatment in the air. Whether you have dietary restrictions or not, airlines always cater to those who need a little TLC. You can ask for a vegan, vegetarian or kosher meal, and you can even request seafood if that’s how you roll. Chances are, you’ll be served before anybody else, and it’s pretty much assured that you’ll eat better than most.

Last but not least, don’t forget to call in advance to book your Toronto airport limo pick up and drop off to ensure prompt, personal service, and to make sure you are on your way to your destination in no time flat. Here’s to your safe travels, wherever they might take you!