Over the past 5 years, we’ve traveled by plane, train and automobile several times a year. Now we’re sharing our best travel tips and tricks to help you have an amazing trip!
Before-Your-Trip Travel Tips
There is so much you can do before your trip from choosing the right locations and flights to finding the hottest spots to visit.
Whether it’s a business trip or a vacation, these tips will save you time and keep you from stressing.
Top Planning-Your-Travel Tricks
1. Check the weather before you pack.
We love traveling with just a carry-on, and a lot of the time that means just layering our outfits. Checking the weather can help make a trip more enjoyable (ponchos for rain, jacket for night, etc).
2. Use Google Reviews, Yelp and ask friends on Facebook where are the must-go stops.
If you are only planning to be in a city for a few days, utilize your time by asking for recommendations before you ever arrive. This way you can plan your days based on where you want to go, see and eat.
3. Have a credit card that earns you airline points like American Express’s Delta Card or Southwest’s Chase Card.
We’ve managed to get dozens of flights free or at least discounted because of our credit cards! We pay them off each month, and we still earn points!
4. Choose a non-stop versus something with a layover if you’re worried about time or are type-A like us.
After getting stranded in Denver during the year of the flood, we decided on non-stop flights if at all possible.
5. If you can, always book a seat versus just a flight to help you from getting bumped.
If you fly Southwest, upgrading to Select can sometimes help, as well as, checking in early.
Usually, the last people to check in get the crappiest options – best case is a middle seat, worst case is getting bumped altogether.
6. Have a “Go-Bag” with your normal liquids and travel items.
Our “go-bag” includes, Chapstick, deodorant, travel size toothpaste, toothbrush, sunscreen, bandaids, razor, charge cords, ear plugs, and headphones. That way we don’t have to grab them every time we travel.
Also a pair of undies is nice if you, you know, get stranded in Denver the year of the flood.
7. Carry Some Cash
We like to carry small bills to cover tips, and we also have a little stash in case of emergencies. We typically have a backup credit card for major expenses though as it’s safer.
How to Pack a Carry-On for Max Capacity
Additional Travel Tips for Business & Conferences
- Know the agenda – where do you have downtime? What will you do with it?
- Pack a jacket because ballrooms and seminars tend to be cold.
The best tip?
If possible, arrive a day early and leave a day after the conference to cut down on crowds.
- Sometimes the flights before and after are cheaper – helping pay for your hotel!
- You’ll be more rested.
- It’s also fun to see the town you’re in besides a conference hall.
- You’ll also have fewer lines inside of the airport as well.
Travel Tips on the Plane
We sometimes drive to our location, but most of the times it requires us to fly.
We love our Delta Card because where we travel for business a lot, we can earn points to have our vacation flights covered.
8. TSA PreCheck is worth being able to skip the lines usually.
- On average, it makes going through security under 5 minutes!
- Don’t have to remove shoes, jackets, liquids or laptops.
- Note – They can still make you do these things though, and it’s common in airports like LaGuardia.
9. If you want to be on your way faster, don’t check a bag!
10. Sit on the aisle versus the window if you want off the plane faster once you land.
11. If you are traveling with a friend, sit in the aisle and window until you HAVE to move.
Sometimes they’ll say the plane is fully booked, but they lie sometimes.
Travel Tips Once You Arrive
12. Every city’s transportation is different.
We use Uber a lot in California; however, due to the surge pricing with Uber, we found taxi cabs to be cheaper in NYC around the holidays.
You can also save money in larger cities like Chicago by taking a Metrobus or train. We took the L-train for about $2 a person years ago.
Skip things like a Super Shuttle which can take hours to arrive at your destination.
13. You can ask for an upgrade in the hotel.
The best time to do this is if it’s late at night once other people have already gotten their room.The top floor is the best if you want something quiet.
14. Never charge to your room!
Never, ever. We’ve had 2 issues with being overcharged, and there isn’t a real way to show it. They may just say you must have misplaced the receipt.
15. Choose to eat at fancy, hot-spots at lunch.
Eating at lunch can save you some time and money. The fancy restaurants will typically be less crowded and have a lunch menu ready for you!
Favorite Places We’ve Been in the United States
New York City at Christmas, Tourist Style
New York at Christmas was on our vision board forever. Now, we love going back each year! Lombardi’s, John’s Pizza, The Plaza for Champagne and popcorn, Max Brenner, and Quality Meats are all must-eat places.
We also love going to a Broadway show, walking through Central Park, and Rockafeller Center.
Times Square and 5th Avenue are all really neat as well. The tree in Rockafeller does turn off late at night.
They also have Christmas pop-up shops in Union Square and Grand Central Station which were neat.
Orange Beach, Alabama
It’s less crowded than Florida, and the beaches are gorgeous!
Southern California for friends
Jake and I flew into LAX and then rented a car. From there, we went to Long Beach, Catalina Island (by ferry), L.A., and Santa Monica all within 5 days! It was a blast!