Ready to get into vacation mode? Easy! We’ll help you make the most out of your trip starting from the planning phase all the way to the time you arrive back home. Save some time, money and feel prepared when you use our top hacks for seamless travel.
Package Makes Perfect – Booking a vacation package is not only easier than piecing your trip together a à la carte, but can also reduce the total cost! Travel bundles that include your flights, transportation, all-inclusive hotel stay and even excursions are offered at discounted rates through many retailers like Apple Vacations, Cheap Caribbean, and United Vacations.
Browse Incognito – Activate incognito mode when perusing airlines and travel sites. While we can’t help but check prices compulsively, companies track your searches and sometimes will increase their rates for returning visitors. Don’t fall victim to cookies - clear your cache and switch to private browsing mode. Want to make sure you’re getting the best price possible? Try booking direct with our Best Price Guarantee.
Season Savvy – Research the travel trends for your desired destination, and then travel during shoulder season! This sweet spot falls between high and low tourist seasons when you can still get great weather without all the crowds and pay less than peak season pricing. May, early June and November are ideal for the Caribbean and Mexico Caribbean.
One-Way? Yes Way! – Don’t limit your search to only round-trip flights! You can often discover better rates when shopping for two separate one-way tickets and using different airline carriers instead. Apps like Hopper make it easy to find the best least expensive flight combinations and even suggest the best time to book! Booking individual tickets also helps when using reward miles to cover only one leg of your flight.
Reap the Benefits – Speaking of reward miles … open a travel credit card. Many companies offer amazing intro offers where your accumulated points or miles can wind up covering the cost of your entire trip. Look for a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees so you can use it in destination without getting charged extra. Check out the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card!
Middle Seat Meddling – Ah the dreaded middle seat. When selecting seats for your flight, you and your travel companion should reserve the aisle and window seat. Since most travelers avoid booking a middle seat, chances are you’ll have an empty seat in between you and some more space to spread out. Seat Guru is a great resource to scope out seat maps, in flight amenities and more details on your specific aircraft!
Pay at Your Leisure – Flexible payment plans are helping put the ‘leisure’ back in leisure travel. With travel outlets offering various payment options, there’s no need to pay your entire trip at once or even before you travel! Book your trip with a payment plan through Uplift and break up your balance into monthly payments.
Drop a Line – Before traveling abroad, give your credit card company a call. This will help avoid any freezes on your account due to suspicious activity. Give your cell phone company a ring too and see what your international calling plan options are. Sometimes it’s worth paying a bit extra for full service rather than relying on potentially spotty Wi-Fi.
Snap a Pic – We’ve all have fallen victim to patting ourselves down/checking our bag frantically to make sure our passport is still there. Taking a picture of your document and emailing it to yourself as a backup will help relieve some stress in case our fears of loss or theft come true. Take a screen shot of your booking confirmations too while you’re at it!
The Value of a Dollar – Make sure to bring some smaller bills and singles with you for tipping service workers. While not required at resorts, the staff greatly appreciate any tips and often show it by going above and beyond in their service. Cash will also be needed if you plan on tipping your airport driver.
Keep it Private – Speaking of transportation, pre-book a private vehicle to take you from the airport to your resort... you’ll thank us later! For a slightly increased price, upgrade to a private transfer through Amstar rather than a shared shuttle to avoid unnecessary stops and stretch out in comfort. Plus, reserving transportation in advance is more cost effective and time efficient than waiting around for a taxi or Uber at the airport.
Pack like a Pro – Refer to our packing check list for everything you need for the ultimate beach vacation. We also recommend you ditch the checked bag and fit your belongings in a carry-on for shorter trips (we swear by the roll your clothes method for space saving). Avoid extra charges, extra time and the extra stress of waiting at the carousel for a bag that may or may not arrive.
Handle with Care – Can’t fit everything in the carry- on? We get it. Mark your checked bag with a ‘Fragile’ tag. This will ensure the airline handles your bag appropriately. It will also stay at the top of the pack while in transit and be released first down the chute. Another quick tip - throw a dryer sheet in your bag to avoid that inevitable stale suitcase smell. The sheet also doubles as a lint remover!
There’s an App for That – For travelers who aren’t multi-lingual, technology can help us expand our horizons and work through language barriers. Download the Google Translate app. You can take a photo of text or speak into your phone and you’ll receive translations in real time (with no internet connection needed).
Sweet Celebrations – Travelling for a special occasion? Mention what you’re celebrating at resort check-in or book a celebration package in advance to make your destination festivities even more special and full of surprises.
Cash Up Local – Wait until you arrive at your destination and use your debit or credit card at an ATM to get local currency. These often have lesser exchange rates than airport currency exchanges.
Money Matters – Another money tip … never carry all of your cash or cards with you in one place. Leave some behind in the room safe or split between two different bags/wallets while at the airport. If you lose your purse or wallet, you won’t be stranded without any money.
Book the Excursion – While you may get a taste of the local culture within the resort complex, even more adventure awaits when you immerse in your outside surroundings. Book that day excursion to the local ruins or the catamaran sail and explore a bit, chat with the locals, try some authentic cuisine … you won’t regret it!
One more Day – Give yourself a post-vacay buffer day to recover before going back to work or school. Decompress, unpack, sleep off jet lag and prepare yourself for the coming week.
Don’t Delay – Ugh, we know … unpacking is the worst. Do it the day you get home rather than putting it off. Living out of your suitcase for the next week is not fun and the stress will pile up like those unclean vacation clothes.
Share the Mems – At the end of your trip, make a shared album on your phone, invite your travel crew via Airdrop and have everyone add their images from their camera roll. More pics, more memories, more flawless Insta posts!
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a tad rusty, use these travel hacks to easily pick up and go whenever you’re ready!