Are you a savvy traveler? Do you shop around to get the best deals? How about knowing the ins and outs of saving money when planning a trip?
Chase and the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) asked folks across the U.S. travel-related questions to find out just how savvy they are, and here’s what they found: 73 percent of millennials consider themselves to be savvy travelers.
Even if you think you know it all about getting from Point A to Point B, there are some secrets from travel gurus that might take your vacation travel to a new level. From streamlining check-in to getting the most out of your hotel stay, and even a few packing tips, here are 9 genius travel hacks that will save you time, money and headaches on your next trip.
Two words: TSA Precheck
If you’ve ever breezed through the TSA Precheck point while the main security line snakes halfway through the airport, you know the glory that is TSA Precheck. Get it done well in advance of buying your ticket and you’ll be having a pre-flight cocktail while everyone in the other line is taking off their shoes. Plus, if you have the IHG Rewards® Club Premier Card from Chase, you’ll get a credit toward the application fee.
Do your homework and plan ahead
According to Chase and IHG’s survey conducted earlier this year, 57 percent of consumers who consider themselves to be savvy travelers look for travel hacks to help them make the most of their time and money. Fare calendars let you see a month’s worth of fare prices at a glance. If your dates are flexible, you can save hundreds. And, if you set up price alerts, you’ll be notified as soon as fares drop on that flight to your dream destination.
Evoke the 24-hour rule
Have you ever booked a flight and then found a better deal the following day? Some airlines allow you to cancel flights within 24 hours of booking with no penalty. But a word to the wise: If you’re booking through a third-party travel site, that rule might not apply.
Get a credit card with a hotel rewards program
Chase and IHG found that 71 percent of travelers surveyed use credit card points as often as they can to book travel arrangements. The points add up faster than you can say “free vacation.” But not all cards are created equal. The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Card from Chase sets a new standard for credit card benefits. You can earn 10 points per $1 spent on purchases at IHG hotels, like Holiday Inn Express®, 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants, plus additional travel benefits like an anniversary free night stay, automatic Platinum Elite IHG® Rewards Club member status, no foreign transaction fee, Global Entry and TSA Precheck credit, and receive a fourth reward night free when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights.
A hotel credit card like the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is an easy way to earn more points on everyday purchases to get you even more savings and on to your next vacation faster. And for a limited time for new cardmembers, you’ll earn 100,000 bonus IHG points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months on your Premier card!
Scan your important documents
Once your trip is booked, remember to scan your passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, even credit cards front and back. Email the scans to yourself or leave a copy at home with someone you trust. That way, if these lifelines are lost or stolen, you’ll have a much easier time getting them replaced.
Roll it up!
If you’re not rolling your clothes, you’re wasting precious suitcase space. Rolling instead of folding can double the amount of clothes you can take with you. Also, pop a dryer sheet into your suitcase to freshen everything up.
Pop your power cords into an extra glasses case
A glasses case will wrangle those cords into submission, and you won’t risk getting them kinked or tangled. Bonus tip: If you forget your cords, ask your hotel’s front desk. They often have spare cords for forgetful travelers to use during their stay.
Another tip: If you have somehow forgotten your plug, you can use the USB port on the hotel TV to charge your phone.
Buy a city pass
Most major European and U.S. cities offer city passes, which are sightseeing cards that give you free or discounted admission to that city’s most popular attractions. You buy the pass and can enter the attractions for free by presenting the pass at the door. In New York City, for example, the Empire State Building, the 9/11 Memorial, the Statue of Liberty, Top of the Rock, MOMA, and many more are included. It will save you money, but the invaluable thing is: It will also save you time. Most city passes include fast-track entry to the attractions. You skip the line.
Get the best of both worlds
Chase and IHG found that 74 percent of travelers want a mix of adventure and reassurance when on a trip. With nearly 5,400 IHG hotels around the world from brands like Holiday Inn® to Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants and InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, you can count on the same trusted experience you’ve come to expect while exploring the hidden gems of the city around you. Book an excursion, try the local eats and venture off the beaten path, knowing you’ll have a relaxing and comfortable hotel experience waiting for you when you get back.
Next time you’re traveling, try these hacks and take the headaches out of your trip!