My husband and I prioritize travel above most everything else. One year, we made it a goal to fly somewhere at least once a month (which quickly turned from exhilarating to exhausting). However, in our many trips up to cruising altitude and back down, we picked up a few tips and essentials along the way.
Be a Loyalist
If you’re not enrolled in an airline loyalty program, you’re missing out. Aside from valuable frequent flyer miles that convert to free travel, loyalty status brings other perks like complimentary upgrades, free alcohol, free checked bags and more. If you want to go a step further and earn extra miles and perks with each purchase you make, apply for a credit card that rewards purchases with travel perks like the American Express Delta Card.
Along these lines, we exclusively book our lodging through Hotels.com, where you earn a free hotel room for every 10 nights you book. We’ve earned countless rooms totaling thousands in savings just for sticking with one hotel booking platform. The best part is Hotels.com will match other platforms’ rates for the same room, so you know you’re getting the best value every time you book.
In addition to rewards from booking sites, you can also access exclusive perks through individual hotel portfolio programs. We’re members of the IHG group of hotels because we frequently stay at Kimptom Hotels. As a result, we get free wifi ($20/daily value) each time we stay. (Side note, all Kimptom Hotels offer free happy hour from 5-6pm!)
Travel like a VIP
Save your ass and get the pass. I can count at least half a dozen times when the Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check and Clear Choice have saved our asses due to late airport arrivals. The $150 or so is a nominal price to pay for easy entry, less hassle, and 5 years of VIP security access. If you’re a more frequent traveler, splurge on the Clear Choice ($200-300 depending on the plan) or check your airline perks credit card for possible reimbursement. American Express offers reimbursement for Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check and Delta offers discounts on Clear Choice at certain status levels.
Don’t overpack, for real
For starters, why do you need that many clothes? Unless you’re an influencer who’s using the trip for equal parts pleasure and profession (you know, the profession of trying to make everyone jealous AF of their lifestyle on the ‘gram), then it makes no sense to pack so much. It’s like the old adage – I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one. Basically, overpacking is a result of either not having enough appropriate items (i.e., staples) in your wardrobe to mix and match different OOTD or not having time to really think through your list. Either way, it’s not a good look, on anyone.
Pack a carry-on like a pro – use packing cubes to help organize your clothes and squeeze a little extra into your luggage.
Invest in good luggage
Nothing is worse than arriving after a grueling flight, only to schlep your shitty luggage through the airport. Believe it or not, modern luggage is supreme. They roll better, are more immune to hard hits and scratches, weigh far less than their dated cloth counterparts, and just look sleeker. We prefer Monos luggage because they have enormous quality assurance standards. (Read: they put their shit through the ringer.) My husband and I each have the Carry-On Plus and we share a Checked Medium when traveling with our pup. We also just started using the luggage covers because nice luggage is an investment and I’m a perfectionist. Since the covers are clear, you can see all the scratches, gunk and grime that would have made it onto the luggage, and it’s disgusting. Do we look like the modern version of your grandma with her plastic couch covers? Yes we probably do.
Don’t skimp on the skincare, just downsize
You shouldn’t have to compromise on your skincare simply because you’re traveling. Silicone liquid containers are a great way to transport your precious treatments because they’re lightweight, packable and eco-friendly. They come in lots of sizes, so you can store your serums, sprays, tonics and toners each in their own container.
Watch for part two of our travel primer – how to make the most of the journey and in-flight tips you won’t want to miss.