What you’ll need to know about the airport.
Getting there: If you have a friend or family member that will drive you to the airport, it’s a great way to save. If not, Tyler likes to use a ride share service like Uber or Lyft. “It’s cheaper than parking over an extended duration, and faster.” Public transportation is also an option almost everywhere; check your airport’s website for details.
Baggage: Kelsey says always check your airline’s bag fees before you book the flight, “so you have a better idea of what your total ticket will cost you.” Anne always uses a small carry-on bag partly because it often saves her money but mostly because, “The bag that travels by your side is the bag airlines can’t lose. Then, when you arrive at your destination, there’s no waiting around at the baggage carousel.”
Find some water: Bring an empty plastic bottle with you to the airport (or insulated thermos-type container). Then, after you pass through security, find a water fill it up to bring on the plane. But no big water bottles are allowed through security so wait until you’re past the checkpoint.
Mini-wallet: Connie suggests packing a small wallet with only your go-to trip documents, papers, and cards such as boarding passes and ID. “Doing this means I don’t have to dig around in my purse, it’s all in one easy-access place.”
Security help: If you’re in the U.S., join TSA’s PreCheck for a fast security experience. Several FareCompare employees are members and every one of them says it’s worth it. If you live outside the U.S., check with your government’s travel agencies to see if they offer something similar.
Charging devices: Don’t you hate it when phones die? Tyler suggests going to an empty gate area where no flights are taking off, then use a multi-port outlet extension so several people can charge devices at the same time. You will be the most popular person in the airport!
Use your phone: Take a picture of your suitcase so you’ll be able to describe it accurately in case it gets lost. Also, take a picture or screenshot of your boarding pass, your passport, and any other important documents. Hang on to your phone, but put some kind of identifying mark on it in case you do lose it; the lost & found departments of airlines, airports and the TSA are filled with thousands of electronics that cannot be reunited with owners.
Delays: Rich has a good reminder for travelers. “The airlines can’t control weather and bad weather often means delays.” When you need help to get on the next flight out, Rich suggests finding agents that aren’t overwhelmed by delayed passengers. “I’ve found that walking around looking for an agent at an empty gate usually gets me more personal attention; they’re willing to go the extra mile to help.”