TOP 10 MISTAKES TRAVELERS MAKE INTERNATIONALLY
After experiencing some recent travel woes, I wanted to share some travel lowdown so you can be prepared for your next trip. Here are…
TOP 10 TRAVEL SECRETS
PEOPLE ASSUME YOU KNOW, BUT NEVER ACTUALLY TELL YOU
Some countries won’t let you visit if your passport expires within the next 6 months.
On roundtrip tickets, if you don’t fly on your outbound leg the airline will cancel your return ticket and not issue a refund.
When booking a flight to an airport you’ve never been to, always Google Map the distance from the city center to make sure the airport is actually near by.
People forget this, but you’re entitled to cancel any flight within 24 hours of booking at no charge.
The secret sauce to traveling more? Get an airline credit card! miles = money
Booking flights that depart on Tuesdays or Thursdays makes the price significantly cheaper.
Never wear sandals to the airport. You better believe, your bare feet will be walking through security. The type of shoes you wear reveals how experienced a traveler you are.
Rule of thumb: Arrive at the airport 2 hours before your boarding time for domestic flights and 3 hours prior to international flights.
Bag check closes 45 minutes before take-off.
Beware the Basic Economy Ticket! This new category of airline ticket can trick you into spending more, because of how truly “basic” it is.
But you haven’t even heard the full story yet!
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1. I recently got back from a trip to Paris for Fashion Week. I was so excited to be on my way when I was turned away at security 😫I learned (the hard way) that passports need to have six months validity for international travel. For some countries such as Canada, the rule is 3 months, but I suggest renewing your passport before six months of the expiration date to be on the safe side. I had to get a passport expedited the next day and buy a new flight. Trust me, learn from my horror story!
2. After I finally got my passport and new flight to Paris, I was so relieved to be on my way. I thought everything would be smooth sailing from there…however, upon my arrival to the airport I was informed they couldn’t find my reservation back to NYC. It turns out that if you miss one leg of your round-trip itinerary, the airline cancels the return. I then had to purchase yet another flight, although staying in Europe was kind of tempting!
3. It’s common to not remember which airport codes go with which airport, so we trust google flights when it tells us a hub is near a city. But what we don’t realize is sometimes there are mini-international airports hours away by bus that get lumped into our search - so it’s always important to double check where an airport is.
Once for a girls trip, my girlfriend quickly booked our round trip saying everything was taken care of. But little did we know from New York City the cheapest direct flight to Dublin is from Stewart International Airport. If you don’t recognize that name it’s because it’s an hour and a half bus ride north of the city, but is recognized on google searches as “within the surrounding area.” Paris and London have mini-international airports that easily get mixed up as well!
4. Under the Department of Transportation’s regulations, as long as the ticket is bought at seven days before the departure date, you can change or cancel the reservation within 24 hours of when you bought it. So, don’t stress if that spur-of-the-moment booking suddenly doesn’t seem like a good idea anymore.
5. Some credit cards allow early boarding, free checked bags, and access to airport lounges which makes traveling way less stressful 🔑
6. Keep an eye on flight prices through websites like Hopper and Skyscraper which predict and alert you the best time to purchase.
7. Removing your shoes during security is standard. Amateurs wear sandals and walk on the bacteria ridden floor. Be a pro and wear comfortable, easy to remove shoes with socks.
8. While this might seem excessive, better to be safe than sorry. You want to have time to address any unforeseen issues such as passport invalidity or a long security line.
9. Another reason to arrive a few hours before takeoff! I wouldn’t chance this unless and risk having your bag lost or not making it to your destination.
10. With Alaska Airlines set to join American, Delta, and United in offering no-frills basic economy fares (Alaska will be calling them Saver Fares), almost every airline in the US now offers some form of bare-bones, nothing-but-a-seat flights. This means you aren’t even allowed overhead bin space. You’ll be last to board, will be charged extra to check a bag, not allowed to change your ticket for any reason (including flying standby on an earlier flight that day). This is a great option if you just want to get from point A to point B, but you should just know what you’re getting for your ticket - not much.
Are you a frequent traveler? be sure to check out this blog post about my top 7 travel essentials.