As we head into one of the busiest travel seasons of the year, be sure you aren’t making these common mistakes at the airport:
Not checking in online
Most airlines allow you to check into your flight 24-hours in advance. This allows you to skip the check in line at the airport and may result in a better seating assignment depending on which airline you’re flying.
Forgetting to tag your bag
How many people do you know with the same black, average-sized suitcase as you? Be sure and tag your bag and make it easily recognizable with a bright colored tag or ribbon so you can find it effortlessly and prevent others from taking it by accident.
Not having TSA Pre-Check
Navigating through long security lines can be one of the worst parts of traveling. If you haven’t applied for TSA Pre-Check yet, you’re missing out. With Pre-Check, you can buzz right through security, grab a cup of coffee and be hanging at your gate catching up on your favorite podcast in minutes. Learn more about the program.
Skipping alternative airports
Sure the closest airport might be the most convenient, but sometimes you can save big by flying out of or into an alternate airport. Do your research and calculate the money saved on the flight plus driving expenses to ensure you’re truly getting the best deal.
Paying too much for airport parking
Depending on where you’re flying out of and which lot you park in, keeping your car at the airport for even a few days can cost you a couple hundred dollars. There are a few things you can do to lower this cost – pay ahead of time, park further away (there is usually a shuttle offered to get you to the terminal) or leave your car at home and book an airport transfer in advance.
Not packing food and an empty water bottle
It’s one of the easiest tricks in the book! Packing your own snacks and an empty water bottle to fill up after you get through security is one of the best ways to save money at the airport, hydrate and eat healthy. Find more tips for eating at the airport here.
Not using public Wi-Fi safely
Most airports now have free public Wi-Fi. While this is a great perk and can certainly make a layover or delay a little more bearable, keep in mind that public Wi-Fi isn’t always safe and secure. Avoid sharing or accessing sensitive information when connected.
Not following carry-on rules
You’ll have trouble getting through security (and are sure to annoy the people waiting in line behind you!) if you don’t follow the TSA 3-1-1 rule carry-on rule. Liquids/gels must be in 3.4 ounce bottles (or less) that must fit in one quart-sized bag. There is one bag allowed per traveler.
Not weighing your bag at home
Are you a chronic overpacker? If so, you’ve probably found yourself nervously watching the scale as the airline staff weighs your luggage. To avoid having to frantically move some items into your carry-on or paying the hefty overweight baggage fee, simply weigh your bag at home to ensure it’s is under the allotted weight.
Booking flights with rushed layovers
Even if there is no delay, flights can land a couple minutes late. To avoid being rushed, give yourself a little bit of time in between flights, especially if you need to go through immigration at a layover when you land. Relaxed layovers are the way to go, giving yourself at least enough time to use the restroom, grab a snack and get to your next gate stress-free.
Do you have anything to add to this list? Comment below!
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