Depending on how you look at it, some of us are fortunate enough to travel a lot, and some are fortunate enough to avoid travelling too much. Frequent travellers often collect up a list of tips, things they have learned the hard way over many trips, many flights and many hotel stays. I have a few myself, and I’d like to share them with you.
The art of booking a flight
There is a line of thought that says if you need to book a flight, book it as early as possible, preferably months in advance to get the best price. This is partly true, and partly a myth. Booking a flight while getting the best possible price is a real art, and it takes a little practice and persistence. My advice is don’t book too early and don’t try to book the night before you have to leave. Check out the flight prices on more than one booking website. Compare what is possible booking direct with the airline vs. through a general travel website. I booked a flight just last week, and through my usual websites, it was around 450 Euro. I checked via another site, and the same flight on the same airline was only 250 Euro. It can make that kind of difference, so do check around.
Picking a seat on the flight
Picking a seat on a flight is a tough one. Most airlines nowadays have an online seat selection process that you can go through right after you book your flight. So, my advice is don’t wait until check-in to get a seat, or you’ll be stuck in a middle seat. Pick your seats immediately after purchasing the flight.
- Pick a hotel that has good customer ratings
- When you rent a car, don’t fall for the upsell. Only pay for the features you need.
- Check with your credit card company to see if they have any features or extras that cover extended insurance for a rental car. Most credit card companies offer you something here, and you can save a lot of money on a car rental if you use the coverage you already have vs. the expensive insurance provided by the rental company.
- Register for a frequent flyer card even if you don’t fly a lot. You can collect the points in any ways, and in the long run you may earn enough points for a free flight.
- Register for a customer card with a hotel chain. For example, I have a Marriott card which collects points every time I stay with that hotel chain. The points are transferred to my frequent flyer card, and I earn my free flights even faster.
- Buy a hard case suitcase to protect your possessions from being squashed or damaged.
Overall, just relax and enjoy your trip. It doesn’t matter if it’s a business trip or a leisure trip – make the most of it. Smile and enjoy the change of scenery.
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