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 rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2018, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®).
- Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (Earn unlimited 2 miles per dollar on every purchase).
- Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Get 3 points per dollar on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases).
- No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card (Earn unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases, with no annual fee).
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express (Get 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel, plus get access to the Global Lounge Collection). Terms Apply.
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