Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
Relaxing during travel takes organization. You’ll need a plan for having IDs accessible for airport check-in, as well as plans for ways to optimize the comfort of yourself, your family and pets.
And don’t forget packing.
To ensure everyone has a great trip, try these five tips:
1. Get ID and documents in order before heading to the airport
One of my biggest stressors when traveling is trying to find my passport, credit card and boarding pass when in the security line. Make sure you keep everything in the same pocket in your purse or jacket.
2. If luggage is too heavy, check a bag
Checked luggage is faster to retrieve than it used to be. If you don’t want the hassle of removing liquids, etc., checked bag fees are on the increase but $30 might be the right price for your sanity on a particular trip. Certain credit cards also offer free checked luggage. You also won’t have the hassle of dragging luggage around the airport and to your connecting flight.
3. Triple-check that you have everything to entertain your kids and pets
It’s the same for kids and dogs: Not having their favorite toy or treat with you can greatly impact their and your enjoyment on the flight. Not to mention that of all the passengers. Pack enough snacks and entertainment to make sure everyone in your traveling group is happy.
4. Pack compact comfort items
Avoid buying a blow-up pillow at the airport unless you’ve used one before. They can be quite uncomfortable to some. An alternative is a gel or memory foam wrist rest you would use with an office keyboard. They also don’t take up much luggage space. Pack travel-size toothpaste, face wash and lotion to help you feel refreshed when you land.
5. Charge electronics and download airline entertainment apps before flying
While many planes now have electrical power outlets, not all do. Charge electronics before you fly. Many airlines offer entertainment apps for free podcasts, movies and TV shows while flying. Download the apps while on the ground to avoid possible in-plane fees for the download time.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: How to snag credit card rewards flights in peak season Why you should try slow travel at least once Travel like a minimalist and save big