If you spend a lot of your time travelling for work, you’re likely always on the lookout for ways you can make it a little bit easier—whether it’s a hack for speeding-up your check-in, advice on how to pack, or some other time, money, or sanity-saving tip. We’ve rounded up some first-class travel secrets from frequent flyers who really know they’re stuff!
Keep to the Left
If you’re a frequent flyer, you’ll already have your own tips and tricks for finding cheap flights and making what can be an arduous queuing process a little bit easier. But have you heard of queuing theory? The travel experts at Expedia say that studies show that because most travelers are right-handed, we tend to favor the right in general. So when we’re in an airport, the theory goes that we’ll unconsciously choose check-in desks that are on the right, along with most others.
“By bucking this trend and veering to the left, in theory, you should be able to reduce you queuing time as fewer people will make the same choice,” they write.
Don’t Fly into Your Final Destination
It can sometimes be cheaper to fly into an alternative airport to your end destination, then take a train or bus the rest of the way. Travel blogger Nomadic Matt says there are big savings to be made for those flyers willing to make this small sacrifice.
“For my recent flight to Valencia [Spain], the cheapest flight was $700 (with two stops) as everyone is traveling there for La Tomatina,” he writes. “Even Ryanair was $200 to fly just from London. However, it was only $550 to fly into Madrid and then another $50 to take the train. I saved myself $100 USD and 6 hours in layover time getting to Valencia before I would have otherwise.”
Get Your Packing Strategy Down Pat
As all frequent flyers know, checking in your bag at the airport is a pain. It’s time-consuming and, in some cases, ends up costing you more money. Can it be avoided? Yes, says corporate travel blogger Road Warriorette, it’s all about packing smart. She advises frequent flyers to use the smallest suitcase possible, and to be selective with how much stuff they take with them.
“You don’t need a separate outfit and pair of shoes for each day,” she says. “You can re-wear and re-mix various parts of your wardrobe and create plenty of different outfits from just a few pieces.”
Check In Automatically
Lots of airlines have started to offer automatic check-in. If you haven’t yet tried it out yet, then now’s the time. You’ll probably have to download an app in order to do it, but it can really pay dividends, saving you stacks of precious time.
Travel blogger Kathleen Roberts recently noted that automatic check-in helps ease the stress of travelling.
“That’s right, potentially gone are the days of setting a 24-hour reminder before your flight,” she says. “Or hurriedly using a ticketing kiosk at the airport before heading to the security line. Now, you’ll just to open your app to retrieve your boarding pass.”
While some business travelers use plane journeys to do work, others use it to get some much-needed sleep. And who can blame them? But in order to get some rest when you’re up in the sky, you’ll need to be clever when it comes to booking your seat. Healthy Travel Blog suggests setting a reminder to check in online 24 hours in advance of your low cost flight so you can be the first to select your preferred seats.
Frequent flyer Roman Shteyn says: “Aisle seats are my preference as they easily allow me to stand up and walk around without disturbing other travelers. Plus they offer just a little bit more of that valuable legroom when I sleep!”
Take Public Transportation
Taking a cab might be a quick way to get around a city (well, depending which city you’re in), but don’t overlook the opportunities presented by using public transport instead. In a piece for the Financial Times, business travel expert Michael Skapinker argues that taking public transportation improves a business trip because it allows you to get under the skin of a place.
“Public transport gives you more insight into a city and country—which is surely something you need if you are there on business,” he says. “Being on a train or bus is an opportunity to people-watch and eavesdrop.”
And while public transport might not always be easy to get your head around, this too is a problem that can lead to a beneficial outcome. “If you find yourself at a Berlin U-Bahn station where the ticket machine refuses to accept your credit card or a banknote bigger than €10, the temptation to hop into a cab can be overwhelming. But these glitches are an opportunity to ask for help and engage locals in conversation.”