When it comes to use outside the U.S., not all credit cards are created equal. Many credit cards carry a surcharge that is levied when cardholders make purchases while traveling abroad. Known as foreign transaction fees, these charges can quickly accumulate for cardholders who travel often, even to the point of canceling out any rewards earned through spending.
It’s no secret that in the Travel World there are the Haves and Have Nots. But unlike Money, being Travel savvy is really attainable for almost anyone. So here are seven SIMPLE tips on being a Savvy Traveler. No book, no seminar, just seven simple tips.
- Don’t Talk to People! Savvy Travelers are control freaks. Patrick Warburton is brilliant is this National Car Rental Ad. “I don’t have to talk to people if I want to…..And I don’t.”
2. Have A Plan B.
Only losers wait in line to be rebooked after a flight is canceled or delayed. Savvy travelers are pulling up alternative flights on their phone and calling the airline directly to be rebooked on the flight THEY choose. Doesn’t always work but definitely beats waiting online and being at the mercy of an annoyed, overtired and underpaid gate agent.
Some airlines (Delta for e.g.) even let you change your flight online for free once their is a delay. See the screenshot:
3. Travel Light and Pack Smart
No you don’t need that sweater that you’ll probably never wear. And you definitely don’t need that flashlight just in case there’s an apocalypse. Pack what you NEED! Not what you might make use of just in case. You can always buy it at your destination.
Also choose your luggage wisely. Good wheels means getting around carpeted airports a little easier.
THIS IS MY ALL TIME FAVORITE CARRYON BAG. Worth Every Cent!
4. Get Comfortable
Traveling is tiring. Sitting is Economy Class is uncomfortable. Running through Airports isn’t fun.
So what does a Savvy Traveler do?
- Wear comfortable and loose clothing
- Wear comfortable (and easy to takeoff and slip on) shoes
- Get a Travel Pillow. I Recommend This Space Saving One.
- Get an Eye Mask. Here’s My Favorite.
5. Be Entertained
It gets boring on planes. Especially if you’re delayed on the tarmac. Bring your own entertainment. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video let you Download movies and TV shows. You may also want to look into this Microsoft Surface which is built to fit into the seat back on an airplane.
6. Chill in a Lounge
Airline Lounges are not just for the rich and privileged. It’s actually quite easy to get lounge access if you play your cards right. (Pun Intended.) The American Express Business Platinum will get you access to all Delta Sky Clubs + the American Express Centurion Lounge. The sing up benefits of $200 airline credit, $100 Global Entry Fee, and the 75,000 Points will easily justify the $450 fee.
7. Status Does Matter
Earning Status with an Airline Program and/or a Hotel program needs to be a priority. I’ll have to write a separate post about earning status. But in a nutshell look for Status Challenges where you only need to earn a fraction of the amount of points in a 90 day period to earn said airline’s status. Here’s a great guide by The Points Guy.
Also once you’ve earned stats with one program you can usually match it to completing program.