I travel for work a lot (more than 100 flights in 2017!) so I thought it would be fun to share some tips, tricks, and random facts I've acquired over the past couple of years.
Clear vs TSA Precheck
I've had TSA Precheck for over 4 years and couldn't imagine traveling without it. At only $85 for 5 years you don't have to travel much to make it worth it. You save so much time not removing your liquids, electronics, etc. and typically the line is shorter than the general line. On top of that, if others are on the same flight reservation they get TSA Precheck as well so you're saving your friend/boo time too! With that said, TSA Precheck has had cray lines at SeaTac for months now which is where Clear has come in for the win. Clear is quite a bit pricier at $179/year but it has some clear advantages when combined with TSA Precheck: 1) you don't have to pull out your ID (they use iris or finger scans), 2) there is virtually never a wait (probably because of the cost?), 3) you can still take advantage of TSA Precheck but skip the massive line. If you don't travel very often TSA Precheck is the way to go, but if you are an avid traveler I would highly recommend doing both!
Tricks and Tips
- Sign up for the mileage program: I know this sounds obvious but racking up airline miles has major advantages (hello free flights! and early boarding?? yes please) so even if you fly infrequently or use a new airline, sign up beforehand because those miles won't expire.
- Research airline/airport perks in your area: You would be amazed by how many random perks airlines and airports have. Alaska Airlines has a program where you get free ski lift tickets the day of your flight if you show your boarding pass (we're using this at Mt Bachelor in a couple weeks!). They also allow you to check cases/boxes of wine for free when you fly from Oregon or Washington, or pineapple from Hawaii. Airports get in on the fun too, SeaTac almost always has a discount online that can be used to park at the airport for a much cheaper rate instead of those off-site areas where you have to deal with a shuttle.
- Lounges: I joined the Alaska Airlines Lounge over a year ago and it was a game changer. The ability to take conference calls in a quite space, eat a few treats, have a drink, and simply relax with a fun view of the tarmac makes for significantly more enjoyable travel. Despite Alaska Airlines being a [relatively] smaller company, they have affiliations with American and United so I can access lounges throughout the US and abroad at no extra cost, plus they allow up to 2 guests!
- Packing: Since I am on the road weekly I keep minis of all products ready to go in a quart bag, along with chargers so packing is a cinch. I'm always hot and cold on planes so removable layers are key. Forgot your charger? Most hotels will loan you a charger at no cost. Fun fact: Samsung chargers work for your Kindle!
- Travel for Two: Years ago my mom taught me the trick of booking your seats aisle and window, leaving the middle open. Best case scenario you get a whole row for the two of you (yay for space!). Worst case you simply ask the person in the middle if they want to switch for the aisle or window and no one says no to that :)
- Fun Fact: You know the small 'Lavatory' metal sign on the bathroom, right above the door handle? That little sign actually lifts up and that is how the flight attendants lock and unlock the bathroom from the outside.
This has quickly become a very wordy post so I'm going to cut myself off but let me know if you want to see a part 2 in the future! Want more style inspiration? Check out Abby's travel post here and my old travel style post here, and don't forget to follow along on IG @clockingoutblog!