Brilliant Travel Hacks From Frequent Flyers | 22 Words
Silhouette woman travel with luggage looking without window at airport terminal international or girl teenager traveling in vacation summer relaxation holding suitcase and backpack

My job allows me the flexibility to work from any location, which means I get to do something that I love more than almost anything: travel. I'm constantly jetting off to some new and exciting location, and while the experience of being in these locations and exploring new destinations is amazing, the process of actually getting there can be a different story altogether. From frustratingly long lines, endless waiting periods, cranky passengers and intense security situations, airports can be one of the most stressful places on earth. In fact, I get so nervous about the idea of missing my flight that I insist on getting to the airport four hours early every time. My husband is not a fan of this practice.

Luckily, there are ways to make the experience less agonizing. These travel tips from frequent flyers are beyond brilliant. In fact, you might want to bookmark this page right now so you can reference it later.

Melatonin, checked bags and speed-walking

This first tip might be a deal-breaker for some people. I understand that the idea of only packing a carry-on bag for long trips sounds daunting, but it'll save you money and the added time of waiting at baggage claim.

Combating cabin pressure

I actually hadn't considered the fact that watching movies can dry out your eyes. Listening to music or a podcast allows you to rest your eyes so you can arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready for fun.

Upgrades are key

I have literally never asked for an upgrade, mostly because I just assume they'll be out of my price range. Also, power banks are the perfect way to combat the complete and total lack of available outlets at airports.

Snacks on snacks on snacks

Everyone knows that snacks are essential when traveling, but what you choose makes all the difference. Orange juice is the perfect way to get some much-needed vitamins and a quick pick-me-up without all the added sugar.

A beautiful deception.

If your plans change and you need to cancel your hotel reservation against the hotel's cancellation policy, don't call and cancel. I've tried to barter with hotels many times, but truthfully unless you have a good relationship with the hotel, they have no reason to refund you. Instead, call the hotel and move your reservation to next week. Even if it is against the cancellation policy, most hotels will allow you to alter a reservation without issue. Then (usually a few hours later to guarantee you talk to a different hotel rep) call and cancel your "new" reservation. - Peacockblue11

Give yourself options, gurl!

Take clothes that all match with each other, whatever combination you wear. Don't pack anything you can only wear with one specific outfit. - hippiebanana

Better safe than sorry.

Photocopy all your important documents, credit card numbers etc, email them to yourself and someone at home. And have two credit/debit cards and leave one in your room so if you get mugged, you have a back-up. - hippiebanana

"Did we just become best friends?!"

As soon as possible, become friends with a local. That will make everything 90% easier than it should be. Also, memorize or write down the "important " phone numbers of the place you're at. Numbers such as police, firefighter, KFC... Your call. - NoFlyingSolo

It's fun to secretly palm people money — try it next time you're paying back your friend for buying drinks.

If you're traveling to a third world country look into the accepted bribery practices. - ButtersHound Best way to do this is buy one of those plastic holders for your passport/license. Keep a $20 in the plastic holder behind your documents. If the police officer is looking for a bribe, they will take the documents, and return them without the $20. If the police officer isn't looking for a bribe, you can say that you just keep a $20 in there for emergency situations. - [account deleted]

"Hey honey, remember when we were at this sign? Good times."

Make the first photo you take of the place you're visiting a photo of the place's name (Like the train terminal or similar). That way you'll be able to work out later where you took all your photo's that day. - Shishakli

Great use for old clothes.

If you have an old shirt or socks you are going to throw out anyway, bring it and wear it but throw it out before you come back that way you make room for souvenirs. - PM_ME_GIRL

They probably have good turkey in Paris, too.

If you are leaving the country (United States) and can swing it, leave on Thanksgiving. It's an American holiday and people are traveling state to state. Ticket prices go WAY down if you are leaving the country. A few years ago I wanted to go to Ireland and booked my tickets 2 months in advance. Tickets were around 1,200 dollars every day except thanksgiving which dropped to 550. Have done this every thanksgiving since. - Princess335

They mean get pushed off your plane and take another plane later, not the illicit kind of "bump."

Take a bump on a plane if there's one available and you have the flexibility in your schedule. Go right to the front desk at the gate to see if one is available and put yourself on the waiting list in case the opportunity arises. The upside to taking a bump is tremendous; there are typically financial incentives and sometimes upgrades on your next flight. If you have to stay an extra night in your location the airline will put you up in a hotel. I've even gotten bumps that have resulted in boarding direct flights and avoiding a layover, which cut time OUT of my overall travel. - ailetoile

They keep your legs warm!

The one time I didn't bring pants in my carry-on I got stranded in Chicago for three days. Always bring pants. - eggsistoast A handy trick is to wear them. - mydadfukdurdad

As the renter of an apartment, I am happy to vouch for apartments.

Rent an apartment instead of a hotel room if you're staying more than a week. You'll have a kitchen so you don't have to eat out all the time, a more realistic experience of the city, and it's typically cheaper than the hotel would have been. - ThatLesbian

Suck up that wifi like Daniel Plainview sucked up oil (like a milkshake).

If you're in an airport that doesn't have any free wifi, look for the airline lounges. The lounges always have free wifi, and you should be able to pick up the signal outside the doors. I know United doesn't even have a landing page on theirs. Just connect and you're on the fast internet. - nebulus64

Just get a few useful phrases in your vocabulary.

Language. You don't need a mastery of it, but learn the phrases "How much is this?" "Where is the bathroom?" and if you're in Asia or street markets, learn bartering words like "Cheaper" and whatnot. Also learn how to "walk away" from the deal to get a better one. Learning key language phrases can also help you navigate local public transportation so you don't get screwed over by the taxis. - [account deleted]

How else are you supposed to carry your Nintendo Switch?

Man bag/Purse. In many countries, it's common to put stuff in a bag of some type. Avoid putting your wallet in your back pocket and if you do then avoid "tap checking" things to make sure they're there. You're just saying "Hey, my valuables are in these pockets." - [account deleted]

Truly ingenious.

Buy a cheap starter pistol and include it in your checked bag/case. Declare it when you check the bag. They will inspect it and place a card inside and lock it back up. The airline really does not want a case with a weapon in it getting lost or tampered with. Photographers have been doing this for many years to ensure their expensive equipment arrives intact. Starter pistol in every case. - Freakin_A

Sounds like a fun trip!

For you booze lovers like me, you are allowed to bring as many of those tiny bottles of liquor onto a plane as you please as long as they are in a zip-locked bag. Found that out last year on my trip over to Spain. - lurker2080

These are some good Google Maps work-arounds.

If you're traveling in another country (i.e. probably do not have cellular data), always zoom in on the map on Google Maps and scroll around to load as much of the map as possible whenever you have wifi, and then leave the application running (don't quit out of it). The GPS doesn't require data to use (so you can turn off data and still use your GPS on Google Maps), so when you're trying to get from point A to point B, you can just use the map on your phone to see where you're going, and since you've already loaded the zoomed-in map, you can see street names and other details. - ushinawareta

These airlines are trying to suck up your money like you suck up wifi — like Daniel Plainview sucked up oil (like a milkshake).

Every time you look up a flight the price goes up. Clear your cookies first to get the original price - cepppaf/

Very clever.

Business cards. Whenever I go to a new town (China) I take a business card from the restaurant I liked. Write a description on back. As I cannot read Chinese. So I have cards that on the back say, American Steaks, Korean BBQ. Fish house. Hotels are getting smart, the desk clerk will write on the back of their card in Chinese where I want to go. Mall, Bar, Ferry, ect. This also does double duty as I can now use card to get back to hotel. - ray_dog

Go out on a limb.

I always book hotels about 15 mins before I show up. You may not always get the room or place you want, but I have stayed at many 4 and 5 star hotels between Philly, NY, Baltimore, and DC for less than 100 a night. I also do this if I am going to a sporting event in that given city. I've gone to multiple NFL playoff games for 50-60 and sat lower level. - kevrjs37

They're also good for diapers.

via: Flickr

Buy a diaper bag for photography equipment. They're cheaper, waterproof, and nobody steals a diaper bag. - dawhoo

Chuck everything out of your suitcase.

Travel as light as possible. If you question if you'll need it, you don't need it. And know where you're going! Don't jump three lanes of traffic to make an exit and don't stop in the middle of the concourse to figure out where your flight is. - cardsox

This is maybe a good idea outside of travel too?

Bring a journal and write down everything you do. EVERYTHING. Hold onto receipts, brochures, etc. Not only will this keep you organized, you can have lots of memories to fall back on. The worst thing in traveling is to have wonderful experiences in a new place and forgetting what exactly was so wonderful a few months later. - FRUITY_GAY_GUY

G'day mate.

If you are looking to party and at a hostel... find the Australians. - [account deleted]

Carry baby wipes on your hip like you were a cowboy and they were your six-shooter.

BABY WIPES ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND. You can give yourself a quick wipe down, and feel much cleaner than just washing your face. GREAT for bathroom stops. AND you will always have clean hands. I keep a pack in my purse (yes I'm a girl) at ALL times. You can get them for super cheap! - amazonallie

Might I recommend a fine Taco Bell washroom?

If you are traveling in a place with less than ideal bathrooms, try going to a fast-food restaurant. They usually are fairly clean compared to local bathrooms and usually don't charge money to use the toilet. - oaklandnative

Roll the dice... on adventure.

Try skyskanner.com. You can leave inbound or outbound destinations blank allowing you to find the cheapest flight if you don't have a set itinerary or if you're feeling open/adventurous as to where you go. - duffsmuff

Turns out, water is important.

UV light water filters. It will run you about 50 bucks but being able to get water straight out of the tap will save you money in the long run. Plus being able to drink water straight out of a river could save your life. - cosmicjesus3

Make it a fun little scavenger hunt for the burglars!

Do not hide your money at the same place! Put some in your socks, your bra, your shirt, your butt if you want — but don't leave them at the same place! - Deerattack

Might I recommend the bacon-wrapped hot dog, sir?

When you go somewhere that is all about street food but have a sensitive stomach stick to stands where you see more woman and children eating. - TheVelvetMayor

Getting through security

Going through security is never fun, so any way to minimize the pain and streamline the process is something you need to know about. Keeping all electronics in one designated bag is a game-changer.

Don't cheap out on bags

Luggage is expensive for a reason. If you choose to go with the cheaper option, you'll pay for it when your zipper breaks and an airport employee spills the entire contents of your suitcase across the tarmac.

Pack like a pro

When packing, it helps to think to yourself, "What would Marie Kondo do?" In fact, that mindset helps in all areas of life.

Don't over shoe it

Look, I get it. Shoes are amazing, and you want to be able to bust out all your favorite pairs when traveling. But even just scaling back to two or three pairs will make all the difference once you're lugging your over-packed suitcase through customs.

Kindness counts

Not only is that empty water bottle idea a brilliant tip, but you'd be amazed at how far simply being kind can get you. Airport employees are so used to dealing with rude, stressed-out people that they're much more willing to throw an upgrade or perk to the ones who are polite and agreeable.

Flight essentials

I cannot stress this enough: DRESS. IN. LAYERS. Also, bringing your own soft yet compact blanket is 100X better than using one of those germ-riddled ones they provide for you on the plane.

Germs, germs, germs!

You wouldn't think that a cloth pocket would be such a breeding ground for bacteria, but if you take a minute to imagine the hundreds of thousands of people who have touched them and disposed of disgusting things in them it's a major wake-up call.

Don't forget your pen

Nothing stresses me out more than scrambling to fill one of these things out while people behind me wait impatiently for me to finish. Pens are a must!

Pockets are essential

If you're about to miss your flight, there's simply no time to sit there and re-pack your carry-on back after going through security. This tip is essential for those who don't insist on getting to the airport four hours early (like I do).

Aisle seats are awesome

I've always been a die-hard aisle fan and would take an aisle seat over a window seat every time. There are few things more awkward in life than having to wake up your sleeping seatmate so you can use the bathroom.

Just add water

This is brilliant! I've never even considered this before. A healthy, filling snack is always within reach!

Bathroom brilliance

Everyone has used an absolutely disgusting airplane bathroom at least once in their lives, and it's an experience so scarring that afterward you're willing to hold it through a 20-hour flight. Follow this tip instead.

Avoid food poisoning

Sure, that airport sushi looks like it would be a great pre-flight snack, but do you really want to risk hurling your guts out at 31,000 feet?

Kids travel must-haves

Traveling with small children has got to be a harrowing experience. Parents, come prepared.

Only non-noisy toys

I once sat behind a toddler on a flight to Dallas who played with a light-up robot that played all kinds of loud beeps, alarms, and music for five hours straight. I wanted to rip all of my hair out the entire time. TAKE OUT THE BATTERIES BEFORE BOARDING THE PLANE, PEOPLE!

Bare feet are a no-no

Sure, this should probably go without saying, but please keep your socks AND pants on throughout the entire flight. Your fellow seatmates do not need to go through that.

Safety first

Most people just ignore the safety spiel at the beginning of the flight, but you never know when you'll actually need to use that information. It just might save your life.

Make your suitcase stand out

I made the mistake of buying my husband and me generic black luggage for our New Orleans honeymoon, and I can't even tell you how many suitcases we picked up thinking they were ours. Do something to make yours easy to spot.

Bribe your way to business class

Sure, this probably won't result in an immediate upgrade most of the time, but it can't hurt, right?

Medication must-haves

This tip could actually be lifesaving. No one wants to wind up at the ER during their relaxing beach vacation.

Patience is a virtue

However stressed or frustrated you may be, don't take it out on the gate agents when your flight gets delayed. They have nothing to do with how long you've been waiting, and it only makes you look like a jerk.

Be strategic with your seat

This is so smart. It's always such a pleasant surprise to discover that I don't have to sit next to anyone on a flight. Does that make me horribly antisocial?

Tray tables are gross

When I first read this I thought, "No way! People don't really do that, do they?" And then I realized that, because there's literally nowhere else on a plane for them to do this, they 100% do. And that's horrifying.

Walk it out

If you have any kind of travel anxiety, taking a quick walk and getting to know your surroundings can do a lot to make you feel calmer and in control.

Tour the cockpit

How cool is this?! I'm definitely trying this the next time I fly.

Don't be a jerk when deplaning

Everyone has that moment when the plane lands and they just want to push everyone out of the way in order to be the first one off the plane. I have that urge literally every time. But please, try to stifle that urge. Believe it or not, you're actually not more important than the 300 other people on the plane. Love these hacks? Well, check out some brilliant travel gadgets next.