Flight Status

I’ve already talked about checking the status of your flight before you leave for the airport. Let’s say it’s delayed by a significant amount of time.

If you are picking up a rental car when you land at your final destination, you might want to notify the car rental of your new arrival time. The same goes for heading home. If your flight is delayed and you are returning the rental car, you might want to notify them of that as well. You should check to see if you will be charged for an extra day’s rental. That might change your decision on when to return it.

Don’t forget about your hotel or vacation rental if your flight is delayed significantly. There might be a check in or check out time that you need to pay attention to.

Hotel Rooms

Have you ever asked for a better rate when you booked your hotel room? Or, do you book through a site that offers multiple hotels for that city?

While reading reviews through the site with multiple hotels can be educational and maybe even helpful, you may not get the best rate.

Frequent travelers suggest booking directly through the hotel’s reservation number, not the 800 number or the larger multi-hotel site. That way you can ask if this is the best deal or if there are upgrades. You may also be able to ask for a certain floor or a room away from the elevator. It’s worth a try.

And speaking of reviews, do you read them all? If you are going to read any…be sure to read them all. You don’t want to rely on one very unhappy customer or read only one review from three years ago. Read the most current ones. Pay attention to the number of happy versus unhappy people. Were the unhappy people all unhappy for the same reasons? If so, it’s probably a sign that problem still exists.

Email Alerts

Do you sign up for email alerts for travel deals? Hotels, airlines, vacation rentals, and more offer great deals that you might not find by just looking at their websites. If you belong to their loyalty group or plan, you may even get better deals.

If you think you may receive too many emails or are afraid those travel deals will get lost in your regular email, get a dedicated email address just for those programs and alerts. Then you can check it when you are ready to plan your next trip or adventure.

Trusted Traveler Program

According to the TSA, their new Trusted Traveler Program has been spreading to select airports across the US. As a member, you are pre-screened and then can go more quickly through security. At some airports, there is no need to remove shoes or laptops.

For frequent international travelers, the US Customs Department has a Global Entry Program.

If you travel often, both of these may be worth looking into.

Check Flight Status

This may sound like a simple question…even obvious. Do you check the status of your flight before you leave  for the airport? Did you know you can also add your cell phone number when you make the reservation? That way the airline can text you with any updates or cancellations.

It’s still a good idea to check before you leave, however.

Fly on a Tuesday…or not

According to Conde Nast Traveler, flying on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday means a less crowded cabin and lower fares. Lately, I don’t notice a less crowded cabin. It seems my flights have all been full or nearly full.

As for fares, this might still be true. I am still able to book a slightly lower fare on those days.

How about you?

Book Your Flight

According to CheapAir.com, the best time to buy a ticket for non-holiday domestic travel is 49 days before your departure. They also say for international travel to book 81 days in advance for the best fares.

FareCompare.com suggests you shop for your best fare on Tuesdays.

Does this work for you? Do you have experience booking this way?

Last Day of Vacation

Your last day of your vacation is coming to a close. You need to pack, find your plane reservation, figure out what you did with the car rental agreement, remember where you put your house and car keys, find the right cash in the right currency, and maybe more.

What if you planned your last day at the same time you planned your first day? Have a packet or resealable bag with all the stuff you need as you exit your hotel room. You could keep a copy of your airline reservation, the rental car agreement, your car and house keys, some extra cash, and any other documents or information you will need. Everything is in one place, easy to see, and you can grab it out without digging through your carry on.

Phone Numbers

Let’s say you are delayed or your flight was cancelled due to weather. You need to call your hotel to let them know you’ll be late or that you won’t arrive at all. You look at your reservation email and it has the hotel’s 800 number or the main booking number, but not the hotel’s direct number. You’d like to call the hotel directly so you don’t encounter a charge for not cancelling in advance. What do you do?

Probably search for it this time…and eventually find it.

Or…next time when you book, put the hotel’s direct number in your cell phone. That way, you have it with you. If you’re at the airport, at home, in a cab, or on the street…it’s in your phone. It’s just so much easier.