When you take a vacation, you spend a great deal of time planning the trip even though getting to your destination is really what you’re anticipating. This is because a small snag in your travel plans can throw off your entire vacation. While traveling is stressful, you can reduce your time on the road or in the air by making more detailed plans for your trip.
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Go Through Pre-Check Processes
Everyone must go through the TSA screening process, which is why it’s usually backed up. The average wait time to get through this process is an hour or more, and that can significantly add to the time it will take you to get to your destination. You can reduce your travel time by going through the pre-screen check-in process that TSA now offers. While this will cost an initial fee of $85 for the membership plan, it will significantly reduce your wait time.
On average, going through the pre-screening process will allow you to get through the TSA checkpoint within five minutes on average. If you’re traveling internationally, you can also join the Global Entry Program for a $100 fee. Once you have your membership, you’ll be able to skip the process of going through customs when returning to the United States. This program also includes the TSA pre-screening check, so you won’t have to join both programs.
Take Direct Flights
While it’s not always possible to take a direct flight, you should look for this option among a variety of different airlines. If a direct flight still fits within your travel budget, you should take this option over connecting flights. In addition to the time it takes to switch planes, you may have a layover time of an hour or more with connecting flights. Adding to your travel time will be any delays that could leave you stranded in an airport overnight. There are so many things that can go wrong with a connecting flight that it just makes more sense to look for direct flights.
Plan For Your Drive From the Airport
Another big waste of time that travelers experience is in waiting for a ride to get from the airport to their hotel. Once your plane lands and you’re ready to relax, you won’t want to waste time waiting for a ride. Rather than trying to flag down a taxi or wait for an Uber, it may make more sense to arrange for a chauffeur service to pick you up. This will ensure your chauffeur driver is already waiting for you when you depart the airport. You also won’t have to worry about other travelers taking your ride.
Get the Lounge Pass
Most airports have a lounge for business class and first-class passengers, but you can still use the lounge if you’re a coach passenger. The airport will charge a fee for use of the lounge, which typically comes to $30 to $50 per person. The extra cost may be worthwhile since the lounge provides showers and locker rooms, free drinks, and snacks, charging ports, and other useful amenities. Making use of these resources can save you from having to check into a motel by providing the opportunity to freshen up and relax right in the airport. You also won’t have to go through an additional security checkpoint since you won’t be leaving the airport.
Don’t Check Your Bags
When planning your trip, look for a laundromat that’s close to your hotel. This will reduce the number of clothes you’ll have to pack for your trip. In addition to saving on the costs related to checking your bags, you’ll cut down the time you spend in the airport. You can get through the checkout process faster if you only have a carry-on bag. Additionally, you can leave the airport as soon as you depart your plane without having to waste time at baggage claim. You’ll also avoid the risk of having your luggage lost if you can keep it with you.
Another good practice that you should always follow is to purchase travel insurance for your vacation. This will give you peace of mind in knowing that your extra expenses will be covered if something does go awry. While travel insurance will only cost a very small percentage of your vacation, the protection it provides will be invaluable.