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10 Travel Tricks That Will Change Everything

Tired of paying full price for airfare? Not a fan of luggage fees? Travel experts share the tricks that will change the way you travel.

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Senior couple with smartphone outside in spring nature.

Travel smart

Traveling today is easier than it’s ever been, if you know how to travel smart. From being flexible with booking your tickets and lodging, to packing better (speaking of, this duffel bag with garment rack is a must-have), to working out how to get the most out of your phone while you’re at your destination—there are tons of things you can do that will make traveling easier, cheaper and more fun.

Read on as our travel experts Andrea Woroch, James Ian, and Janice Lintz share their essential travel tricks that will help make your next vacation the best one yet.

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Be flexible

When it comes to securing the best prices on hotels, airfare, and other travel expenses, flexibility is the ticket to getting the best deals out there, says Andrea Woroch, a nationally recognized consumer and money-saving expert. “Be flexible with travel dates, be open to trying new airlines or hotels and consider heading to a destination to experience it during the off-season, where you can snag a vacation package instead of limiting yourself to one place that may be crowded and costly,” she says. “By doing this you will also find better prices on dining, activities, and more.”

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man in airplane seat

Price compare on flights

Finding the best deal on airfare comes down to price comparison and booking flights a bit differently, Woroch says. “Not only should you compare prices of the round-trip airfare, but you should look at prices for one-way flights and build your own itinerary. Also look at prices of flights on different airlines, and flights coming in and out of surrounding airports that are easily accessible from your chosen destination, “Not only could you save on flight costs, but should you need to make any changes to either of the flights, you’ll face a much lower penalty.”

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luggage overhead flat lay

Pack like a pro

Take this tip from James Ian, a travel blogger, who has a failsafe method of avoiding luggage fees: “I layer all of my clothes (pants, shirts, jackets) on top of each other on one hanger and then put everything in a suit bag,” he says. “I then squeeze this folded ‘suit bag’ above my carry-on bag in the overhead bin so I never have the hassle of having to check-in anything or pay any baggage fees.”

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technology, people, lifestyle and communication concept - of happy senior man using voice command recorder or calling on smartphone at home
Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Let your phone work for you

Choose a phone plan that lets you talk, video chat, or text—as much as you want, whenever you want, and from wherever you are. The T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55+ plan is a great deal with excellent added benefits. It gives you two lines for just $35 per line with unlimited talk, text and data—plus travel perks such as in-flight texting, one hour of Gogo Wi-Fi on domestic flights, and texting and data when you travel abroad in 210 destinations. And taxes and fees are included so it’s really just $70 per month—which is great for those of us on a fixed income. This is a huge game-changer, because now while you’re traveling abroad, you can look up directions to your next activity on Google Maps, find a cute, out-of-the-way café on Yelp, and share the latest pictures of your trip with family and friends back home on social media apps like Instagram or Facebook.

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couple at airport

Play the points game

An easy way to obtain free hotel nights is to sign up for a hotel credit card, suggests Janice Lintz, a travel writer and expert. “For example, The World of Hyatt credit card offers 60,000 points as a sign-up bonus,” she says. “That’s the equivalent of three free nights at Park Hyatt Zanzibar which is a fantastic property on the Indian Ocean!” This is just one of many credit cards that offer points perks—and there are many other ways to get points. Playing the points game can be rewarding, but it’s complicated, so make sure you about these 15 travel point perks.

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Clip coupons

Most people don’t think about clipping coupons when they’re booking travel, but there are lots of deal sites offering promo codes for money off flights, hotels, car rentals and vacation packages. Woroch says; “Get in the habit of checking a favorite site or bookmark one in your browser so you can quickly access it when searching for travel to find additional savings. Sites like CouponCause.com offer deals like 10 percent off weekend or weekly car rentals at Dollar rent a car10 percent off at Hotels.com, $100 off select hotel and flight packages at Travelocity, free vehicle upgrades at Alamo car rentals and more. Bonus—they donate a portion of the proceeds from your sale to a charitable organization so you know you are doing something good while saving money.”

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woman parking garage luggage
Andrew Angelov/Shutterstock

Find cheap airport parking

There’s nothing more aggravating than paying steep prices for long-term parking which is all the more reason to seek out affordable parking. “My favorite site to use is airportparkingreservations.com,” Woroch says. “The site lists various parking locations, distance to the airport, available shuttles, customer reviews and price per day. I recently booked a parking lot for my flight out of LAX for $5.99 per day compared to the $12.99 airport economy lot.”

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Download apps to save on travel extras

Budgeting for flights and hotels are a no brainer but many people overlook the additional costs of entertainment, food, and activities such as tours. “Skip an expensive tour and use an app instead,” Woroch says. “Many sites and apps have downloadable walking tours. One such app is Field Trip, a free app which uses your location to find cool spots for you to check out like historic sites, shops and even offers a ‘special deals nearby’ feature.” And with data abroad included in 210 countries in T-Mobile’s plan, you don’t need to worry about the app usage racking up extra bills.

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man working at airport

Stream on the go

Tired of feeling bored while waiting for taxis, dinner reservations or flights during vacation? If you’re traveling to Mexico or Canada, T- Mobile’s Unlimited 55+ plan gives you 5G of high-speed data. Access video or audio content, send holiday photos to family chat groups back home, or stay up to date with the news while you wait. And if you want a fancy new phone to do it all on, consider a device upgrade, with T-Mobile you can get the latest iPhone XR at T-Mobile for only $10 a month.

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Stay connected

Have work to catch up on your trip but worried you won’t always be able to get connected? If you’re traveling within the United States, you can carry your laptop along with confidence with the T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55+ plan, which comes with a mobile hotspot, meaning you’ll be able to connect to the Web no matter where you are. Working here and there while having the time of your life isn’t ideal, but if it’s what it takes to make the trip worry-free, it’s worth it.