If you travel regularly for business and / or pleasure, you may be familiar with many standard travel tips, such as booking in advance and keeping your luggage weighing less than 50 pounds to avoid extra weight charges. But for the seasoned traveler, we offer some lesser-known tips, which do not help you save money and reduce travel stress.
Sign up for the TSA pre-examination program. If you travel a lot, you may want to consider the Transportation Security Administration's PreCheck Trusted Passenger Security Scan option. PreCheck members are eligible for urgent security checks at participating airports. More than 336,000 passengers have already passed through the PreCheck Pass. PreCheck service is currently available at Kennedy Airports in New York, Dallas / Fort Worth, Miami, Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Los Angeles for AAdvantage members of American Airlines, and at the airports of Atlanta, Detroit, Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City for Delta Sky Miles. Individuals. TSA announced that American Airlines, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines will start PreCheck operations later this year. PreCheck is also available to members of the Customs and Border Protection Global Entry program.
Watch for new airline ticket pricing rules. Earlier this year, the Transportation Ministry passed new rules requiring commercial airlines to be more transparent in how tickets are announced. In the past, airlines only advertised the base price of a ticket. Now, airlines must disclose to the ticket buyer the total price of the ticket, including round trip fare, plus mandatory federal taxes, airport and any other fees that the traveler has to pay. Note, when you shop online for a ticket, the advertised price now includes government taxes, airports, and additional fees. I realize that now, since pre-hidden fees are included in the announced price of the ticket, what we consider a good price for the ticket will be more than the past.
Save money with smart travel apps. Going on a road trip? With what gas prices are, take advantage of technology. There are a lot of smartphone apps out there. Check out GasBuddy, FuelFinder, iGasUp and TripTik Mobile to find gas stations at the best prices. Use Route4me, Waze or Google Maps Navigation to find the most fuel efficient route. RoadAhead for iPhone lets you know your freeway location, service and gas prices at upcoming exits.
When traveling abroad with your smartphone, tell your service provider so that you can be activated for international use. To avoid high pay-per-use rates, use the data / internet access portion only when you need to verify email. Use a free Wi-Fi network whenever possible, but never access bank accounts or personal financial information. Do not connect to networks titled "Free public Wi-Fi," as they are often unsecured networks created by hackers. Also, be aware of roaming rates, especially in European countries.