Flying tips

Connect for Less

Many airports offer free Wi-Fi, but beware of hackers. Using a VPN offers a measure of protection.

Lounge Around

Why wait at the gate when you can enjoy free Wi-Fi and snacks in the comfort of a lounge? LoungeBuddy posts reviews on airport lounges around the world, including their entry requirements and how you can score day passes. Several premium credit cards, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Platinum Card from American Express, confer access to hundreds of Priority Pass lounges worldwide. Frequent travelers can also consider airli ne-specific cards such as the Delta SkyMiles Reserve or United Club Card, which get you into a particular carrier’s clubs. The agents in them can also usually help you faster than those out in the terminal, and get you rebooked if something goes awry with your travel plans.

Wear Comfortable Clothing

Airplane cabin climate settings seem to vacillate between icebox and toaster oven, with no habitable happy medium in between. And no one wants to touch those germy air nozzles, which only provide a hissing draft of dry air anyway. Dress for any contingency by wearing multiple light layers, and look stylish to boot.

Stick Your Neck Out

As airlines squeeze more and more seats into coach, ergonomics seem to be flying out the window. Luckily, travel pillow technology has never been better, with options for every type of sitter and sleeper. It’s time to invest in a quality travel pillow that will spare your neck and back the worst effects of a long flight in cattle class.

Bring Your Own Bottle

Avoid single-use plastic (and a bottle of water that costs $8 post-security) by bringing an empty travel water bottle with you instead. Some are even collapsible to save you space, and more airports have installed water bottle filling stations next to drinking fountains to make carrying your own that much more convenient.

Disinfect Everything

Due to the number of people passing through and touching everything, airports and airplanes are some of the germiest places around. Protect yourself as much as possible by using disinfecting wipes on your hands and your airplane seat once you get settled. Because they’re not liquid, like hand sanitizer, wipes will also not count toward your carry-on liquid limit.

Moisturize Like a Maniac

Even on next-generation jets like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350, cabin humidity levels rarely top 20% (and are only around 8-10% on conventional aircraft). To avoid looking like a prune after your flight, pack a light moisturizer and apply it frequently.

Get a Jump on Jet Lag

Flying across multiple time zones? Use an app like Entrain or Timeshifter before you fly. Both help you gradually shift your pre-travel schedule toward your destination time zone based on your specific plans and preferences so that by the time you fly, you’re already ahead of jet lag.

Park Like a Pro

Airport parking lots can fill up quickly during the busiest travel times. Use SpotHero to reserve a place in advance at lots near over 40 airports throughout the U.S.

Understand Your Credit Card Protection

Flight delays and cancellations happen. If you travel frequently, it pays to carry a credit card you know will protect you under certain circumstances. Many offer compensation for delays, cancellations, lost luggage, and more if you use them to pay for travel plans. So if you have to spend money staying somewhere overnight or to replace certain items, it won’t come out of your bottom line. Before traveling, read your card’s benefits packet carefully to understand what you’re entitled to and how to go about claiming it.