May 14, 2024 | Peter Kinney

Top Travel Hacks of 2024


Getting the Most Out of Your Trip

Aside from the usuals of what to pack and how, we looked into the top ways travelers are saving time—and money—in 2024.

From racking up airline points and choosing the right credit card, to where to sit on the plane and when to fly, here’s 38 travel hacks that can help you plan your next vacation.

Travel Hacks Split

Traveler Statistics

According to a poll done by American Express, “89% of respondents are planning on using ‘travel hacks’ such as traveling during off-peak times or using credit card points to save money on travel in 2024.”

image of statistics in front of airplaneekapol sirachainan, Shutterstock

Read the Reviews

As the world becomes more technologically advanced, travel reviews are in abundance. People are now more willing to share their experiences, both good and bad, which can really help you make informed decisions.

This includes: hotels, airlines, excursions, tours, restaurants, and more.

image concept for reviewsBlack Salmon, Shutterstock

Use a Credit Card That Racks Up Points

Find a card that really reaps in points and benefits and then allocate as much of your spending to that card as you can—especially with points that can be redeemed on flights or travel.

The AmEx Gold is a good card for this. You can save a ton of money on your trip before it has even started.

image of American Express Gold Card[email protected], Flickr

Take Advantage of Cards That Offer Sign-Up Bonuses

Some credit cards offer you an incentive for signing up—usually in the form of a sign-up bonus in cashback or air miles.

You can potentially earn thousands of points and air miles just by signing up, which you can then use toward your trip.

Cashback customer loyalty program conceptBestForBest, Shutterstock

Take Advantage of Seasonal Sales

While we are still on the topic of cards and rewards, some cards will run promotions where you can buy points or air miles. And, while it’s generally better to accumulate them for free through using travel rewards credit cards, it can make sense to buy points at certain times—specially, if you need a few more points for that free flight!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great times for these kinds of deals.

image concept for cheap flightsEleniVasiliou, Shutterstock

Watch Out for Foreign Transaction Fees

While choosing a travel card, watch for ones that don’t charge you foreign transaction fees or cash withdrawal fees.

Look into cards that provide safety too, such as consumer protection and travel protection. American Express is a good card with these safety perks.

image of credit cardsSuradech Prapairat, Shutterstock

Sign Up for Airline Loyalty Programs

Signing up for various airline loyalty programs maximizes your potential for earning points and rewards across different carriers.

Diversifying your loyalty memberships also boosts your chances of receiving exclusive offers and bonuses—such as seat upgrades, access to the airport lounge, priority boarding, and even free flights.

image concept for discount flightsAndrii Yalanskyi, Shutterstock

Be Flexible With Your Travel Dates

Sometimes, you can save huge amounts of money on flights by flying a day later or a day earlier than you might have planned.

Being flexible about your dates can be one of the easiest ways to save money.

Months and dates shown on a calendarBrian A Jackson, Shutterstock

Travel During Shoulder Season

Shoulder seasons refers to the period between the peak tourist season and the off-peak season in a particular travel destination.

This is when you can find more favorable travel conditions, such as milder weather, fewer crowds, and potentially lower prices for accommodations.

Woman Walking on PathwayOleksandr P, Pexels

Fly At Off Peak Times

If you’re looking to save money, or want better seating options on the plane, fly at off-peak times.

Not only is the price cheaper, but there’s less crowds too.

woman flying in airplanekudla, Shutterstock

Avoid Delayed or Cancelled Flights

This may not be a foolproof method, but travelers often report early morning flights as less likely to be delayed or cancelled—and they tend to be cheaper too.

image of airport information screen for flightsWilliam Barton, Shutterstock

Travel At Night

On the other hand, traveling at night is a great option too. This is especially good for people who get anxious on planes, and for families with small children, as night-time travel often makes it easier to sleep on the plane.

image of a woman sleeping in airplaneMilkovasa, Shutterstock

Check Multiple Airlines

Do yourself a favor and browse multiple airlines before choosing one. They all offer different accommodations, different flight times, differently loyalties, and of course different pricing.

Using a travel website like Skyscanner is a great way to search for flights across multiple airlines.

image of Skyscanner app and airplane conceptamirraizat, Shutterstock

Set Up Price Alerts on Flights

If you’re a frequent flyer, getting price alerts can help you choose your next vacation date.

Or, if you already know your date but are not ready to book yet, sign up for alerts that will notify you when the price of your flight changes so you can book at the right time.

image of phone notification about flightsGood dreams - Studio, Shutterstock

Keep an Eye Out for Mistake Airfares

Mistake airfares happen more than people realize—an airline or agency mistakenly lists the wrong price for the flight, selling it for much less than it’s worth.

Either from human error, computer error, or currency conversion glitches, many airlines will suck it up and honor the mistake. So, snag it while you can!

image of a happy woman on a laptopProstock-studio, Shutterstock

Know the Best Airplane Seats

Even in economy, there are some seats on the plane that are better than others. For example, a bulkhead or exit-row seat is the best for legroom; and a window seat in a bulkhead row is best for sleeping.

If you want a seat that allows for extra space without a seatmate, look toward the back of the plane.

image of airplane seatsAtstock Productions, Shutterstock

Get a Priority Pass

If you’re traveling with young kids, or perhaps someone with additional needs, a priority pass will provide access to over 1,400 airport lounges around the world.

This perk lets you escape crowded terminals, and often provides complimentary refreshments, free wi-fi, and business facilities.

image of a passport and priority passEvgenia Parajanian, Shutterstock

Download Your Media Before You Go

Before you head out, be sure to download your favorite TV shows or movies to your device. This can avoid expensive data charges, and areas that may not have signal.

Woman using Netflix application22 TREE HOUSE, Shutterstock

Download Offline Versions of Maps

If you’re traveling somewhere remote, it is advised to download offline versions of maps you may need before you leave home. There’s nothing worse than being lost in a foreign place with no Wi-Fi or data to help you.

image of person using mapsAngieYeoh, Shutterstock

Download the Google Translate App

If you’re traveling to a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, the Google Translate app can be a lifesaver. It can translate by voice, translate written text on photos, and can translate any text you input.

There are other translation apps available too.

image of person using google translateANAK ILANG, Shutterstock

Get An International Driver’s License

If you plan to drive while traveling abroad, double check the licensing requirements at your destination. Some places may require you to have an international driver’s license.

Check government websites for your country to inquire about how to get one.

image of international driver licencebieszczady_wildlife, Shutterstock

Don’t Be Afraid of Hostels

Hostels sometimes get a bad reputation, but not all are bad. In fact, there are many reputable hotels around the world that provide affordable accommodation and cater to different needs.

You can stay at budget hostels, party hostels, eco-friendly hostels, hostels for digital nomads, and more.

image of a A Room in a Hostelcottonbro studio, Pexels

Explore Your Travel Options

These days there are numerous ways to travel. Not every destination will require an airplane to get there. There may be cheaper options, or even some options that will add to the experience—such as taking a boat and then a train.

Paris subway mapFotogram, Shutterstock

Use Identifiable, Colorful Luggage

Consider the look of your luggage when shopping. You will want something that can be easy for you to spot in a busy airport, and also something that is not easy for someone to slyly walk away with.

Avoid the neutral trends and go for something bold, or add colorful accessories to make it easy to identify.

Happy tourist over ocher backgroundLuis Molinero, Shutterstock

Keep Your Luggage Fresh

If you’re traveling abroad and your clothing may get dirty, sweaty, or stay packed tightly for a long period of time, you might want to consider packing something aromatic along with it.

Essential oils, scented pouches, or even dryer sheets can be used to keep things smelling fresh during your trip.

image of essential oilMareefe, Pexels

Roll Your Clothes

Maximize space by rolling your clothes instead of folding them. This will also help reduce wrinkles and keep your suitcase organized for easy access and efficient packing.

Fold cloth by rolling method.BBPPHOTO, Shutterstock

Use Packing Cubes

If you want to take organization one step further, consider using packing cubes. They organize your luggage into sections, making them easy to find.

An open suitcase with packing organizersRosamar, Shutterstock

Use Vacuum Bags

If you still need to save more space, consider using vacuum bags to compress your clothes or linens. Most hotels will provide a vacuum to use at the end of your trip to pack up again.

image of compressed cloths bagsPJjaruwan, Shutterstock

Don’t Forget a Universal Adapter

If you’re traveling abroad and you have devices to bring, you may want to get yourself a universal adapter. Different countries (especially in Europe) have different socket types, which can prevent you from plugging in your devices.

One adapter can save you from purchasing different power cords while traveling.

image of universal adapterRaimond Spekking, Wikimedia Commons

Consider a Power Bank

Now-a-days, technology follows us everywhere—and depending on our use, batteries don’t last forever either.

Bring along a portable power bank which will come in handy for on-the-go charging of cell phones and cameras—especially when you’re away from the hotel room.

image of a power bank and phoneIlya Plekhanov, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Opt for Carry-On Luggage Only

If you’re traveling solo, or to a destination where your needs will be highly accommodated, consider taking only a carry-on bag with you.

This will be a huge time saver at the airport, and also avoid baggage fees.

Cabin crew lift luggage bagSummit Art Creations, Shutterstock

Pack a Pen

This might not seem like much of a hack, but you’d be surprised how many people regret not having a pen on them when they travel.

Whether it be for filling out forms at the airport or jotting down directions upon arrival, you will almost always find yourself needing a pen at some point.

image of a man writing with penKindel Media, Pexels

Keep Your Valuables At Home

This one is obvious, but a reminder never hurts. No matter how stunning your wedding ring may be, you might be better off leaving it at home.

If you don’t like the idea of bare fingers, consider buying a silicone wedding band to wear instead. They are affordable, and not a huge loss if you lose it.

Selective focus on a set of three silicon ringsColleen Michaels, Shutterstock

Get Foreign Currency Before You Go

If you can get into the bank and stock up on a bit of foreign currency before you leave for your trip, it can potentially save you money in conversion fees at the airport.

This will also make sure you have currency on hand immediately upon arriving, which is important for unexpected needs like travel fare.

image of  bank money exchange counterGumpanat, Shutterstock

Have An Emergency Budget

Before you travel, it is important to make sure you have all the money you will need—and then more.

Always account for emergencies, even if they don’t happen.

If you don’t have a savings account built up for this, make sure your credit card has a high enough credit limit that could handle emergencies abroad.

concept for emergency budgetVitalii Vodolazskyi, Shutterstock

Take A Picture of Where You Parked Your Car

For those who drive to the airport ad park in the long-stay car park, take a picture of where you left your vehicle.

More often than you may think people forget where they parked, or struggle to find their vehicle among thousands of others.

image from a parkingl i g h t p o e t, Shutterstock

Use Messaging Apps for International Calls

Use messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber, and Facebook Messenger to make international calls. Provided you do it on Wi-Fi it’s free and you’ll avoid any call charges.

This will save on roaming charges.

Woman using instant messaging app on mobile phoneKaspars Grinvalds, Shutterstock

Turn On Location Services

Having location services turned on will give you better access to local attractions, and can also help other people find you while traveling.

If your friend is traveling solo, encourage them to keep this on at all times, and check-in with wi-fi when possible, for an updated location.

image of person using location services on phoneTonktiti, Shutterstock

Book a Day Off Work After You Get Back

Booking an extra day off work for after your vacation can reduce post-travel stress and eases the transition back to work.

If gives you time to unpack, catch up on rest, adjust to time changes, and is especially helpful to families with kids.

concept image for day offBychykhin Olexandr, Shutterstock


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