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Top 10 Savvy Frequent Flyer Tips

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
If you travel often (or just want to), it’s time to step up your game. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Savvy Frequent Flyer Tips. For this list, we’re looking at the most useful and highly-recommended tips, both well-known and obscure, to make the most of your flying experience.
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Top 10 Savvy Frequent Flyer Tips


If you travel often (or just want to), it’s time to step up your game. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Savvy Frequent Flyer Tips.



For this list, we’re looking at the most useful and highly-recommended tips, both well-known and obscure, to make the most of your flying experience.





#10: Keep a Prepped Toiletry Bag in Your Carry-On



We’ll get into checked luggage versus carry-on later, but for now, let’s assume that you’re going on a trip long enough that you have to check a bag. You’re probably thinking that this solves the whole three-ounces toiletry problem because you can just throw anything you want into your suitcase. But if you fly often, it’s a great idea to set yourself up with mini-versions of your favorite products that live permanently in a toiletry bag in your carry-on. This means that you save time packing before each trip, but also ensures that if your bag gets lost, you won’t be left without toothpaste or, say, dry shampoo.




#9: Know How to Avoid Getting Sick



Frequent travellers know just how easy it is to get sick when you fly. Because you’re all packed into that little cabin together and the air is being recycled, germs are constantly flying. That’s why it’s essential to have a plan for how to avoid catching airborne illnesses . . . literally. Of course, it’s important to wash your hands and stay hydrated throughout the flight, but there are some lesser known tips to follow as well. Turn on that little air vent above your head to increase air circulation; and though it may seem crazy, try coating your nostrils with a nasal spray or even something like petroleum jelly, which can actually block germs!





#8: Be Ready for Security



In a post-9/11 world, airport security seems to get tighter and tighter every year. And when you’re in a hurry to catch a flight, there’s nothing worse than getting caught in a seemingly mile-long security line. Now, you can’t control the other travellers, but you can at least do your part to keep the line moving. Take off your shoes, belt and jacket before going through the scanner and make sure to separate your electronics into a separate tray. Plan your travel day outfit with security in mind so that you don’t have too many layers or difficult shoes to deal with.





#7: Save Important Info in Your Phone



We all know that sometimes your travel plans don’t always pan out like you had hoped, so it’s always best to plan for the worst. If your flight is suddenly cancelled and you need to find an alternative, you can, of course, get into the customer service line with everyone else. But if you want a leg up on the competition, you’d be smart to have the airline’s number saved in your contacts so that while you’re standing in line, you can also be first in the queue to speak to a representative on the phone.





#6: Figure Out the Best Seat



Many airlines make you pay for seat selection these days, so if you’re going to shell out your hard earned cash, you’d better be sure you’re actually getting the best seat available. There are websites like SeatGuru.com where you can input the plane you’re flying on to find out which seats are the best for legroom and all manner of other important variables. If the seat you want is already taken, you can even set up seat alerts to notify you if it becomes available, by using ExpertFlyer.com.




#5: Pack Your Carry-On Wisely



You need much more than just a good paperback, and those aforementioned toiletries, to make a flight go smoothly. There are some key items that can make your time in the air much more pleasant. First, and perhaps most importantly, is bringing an empty water bottle. Of course, you can’t bring liquids through security, but filling up your bottle once you’re at the gate will ensure you can stay hydrated for the whole flight. Also, packing a scarf that can double as a blanket, some travel wipes, a pen and a portable battery for your devices will make sure you’re in for smooth skies.





#4: Don't Check Luggage



Well, this one seriously bears repeating. Especially if you fly often for work, you know that checked bags are a big no-no. It, of course, extends your travel time because you have to wait for your bag to come out; and though it may defy all logic and reason, somehow you just know your bag is always coming out last. Also, these days many airlines charge for you to check a bag, so you’re saving time AND money. Learning how to fit your essentials into that carry on suitcase is a key skill to have, and you’d be surprised at how quickly you get used to travelling with less.





#3: Bring Your Own Entertainment



In-flight entertainment may have improved by leaps and bounds in recent years, but it’s still always safest to be ready with your own viewable content, just in case. Many budget airlines don’t even have seatback screens; and even if you think you’re flying on one that does, there’s a risk that your plane could change at the last minute. So download some content from Netflix, Amazon, or wherever else you watch your favorite movies and TV shows so that you can watch exactly what you want. Just make sure your device is charged up! You can also go the e-reader route, or old-school with an actual book or magazine.





#2: Download Your Airline’s App


Download another app? When your phone is already crowded with ones you never use? Okay hear us out on this one. Before you fly, it can be really useful to download your airline’s app for a variety of reasons. It will be the best resource for finding out about changes to your flight’s info, like the departure time or gate number. Not to mention, on some lower end airlines, in-flight entertainment is only available via app, so while they may not have screens on board, as we mentioned, you can stream content onto your mobile device. And the best part is? You can just delete the app as soon as you land.





#1: Sign Up for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓



We already talked about ways to make your security checkpoint experience smoother, but there’s no better initiative to take than enrolling in one of the pre-vetting programs available from U.S. Customs and Border Protection for expediting your potentially lengthy security experience. If you’re willing to pay the 85$ fee (for a 5-year membership) and go though the one-time, in-person government ID process, TSA Precheck can be a major time-saver. Though it’s $15 more pricey, Global Entry is the more versatile option, as it also covers going through Customs when you return from an international trip.
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