14 Flight Travel Hacks, From Booking Cheap Airfare to Flying Comfortably

The travel part of any trip can be the most stressful. Thankfully, you don’t need to visualize arriving at your destination to make it through the airport or your next flight. Instead, use these flight travel hacks. Ready to start finding the cheapest flights, thriving in the airport, and finding comfort in the air? Then let’s dive in!

Jump Ahead

blue outline of arrow pointing right Tips to Find the Cheapest Flights

The journey begins with booking airfare. Check out these flight travel hacks to get the best deals out there.

1. Searching for flights incognito…is a myth.

You might feel like a super spy or that you’re beating the system by using an incognito search to find low-cost flights. However, searching for flights using incognito mode doesn’t do anything. Clearing your cookies won’t affect airfare prices, either. Thrifty Traveler does a great job at explaining why this is the case and why it seems flight costs often fluctuate. 

If using incognito mode doesn’t make airfare cheaper, here are a few flight travel hacks you can find affordable flights. 

2. Sign up for flight deal alerts.

Know where you want to travel, but your travel dates are flexible? Then we recommend signing up for flight deal alerts. You’ll get airfare deals sent straight to your inbox about travel destinations you want to visit. Here are some of our favorite flight deal alert sites. Some cost a monthly premium, while others are free to use.

3. Compare one-way flights to roundtrip airfare.

Getting a roundtrip flight is always more convenient. However, if you want to save some money, it’s worth comparing the cost of roundtrip airfare to one-way tickets. Sometimes, it’s cheaper to buy two one-way tickets than to get a roundtrip flight. If you’re okay with spending some time in a layover city, we recommend price comparing.

Man sitting on rusty, metal steps with a carry on luggage

blue outline of arrow pointing right Travel Hacks to Make Your Airport Visit More Enjoyable

Flight travel hacks don’t stop when you book your airfare. Here are ways you can make the most of your airport experience.

4. Invest in a quality suitcase and carry-on bag.

We’ve written about the best suitcases for frequent fliers, and we haven’t been able to stop dreaming about one in particular: The Away Travel Carry-On. As you probably know all too well, airport outlets can be like sunny days in Seattle – few and far between. Spare yourself from having to sit on the floor of your gate hunched over a broken outlet by investing in this amazing carry-on, which allows you to charge an iPhone up to 10 times until its own internal battery needs a charge. 

Pro Tip: You wouldn’t buy a nice car without car insurance, would you? These days, most people even buy insurance for their expensive phones. The same rule applies with luggage—if you own something valuable, it’s best to insure it. Many travel insurance plans include coverage for lost baggage or delayed luggage, so start here to find the custom plan that is right for you.

5. Store your liquid bag in a reachable zipper.

To get through TSA a bit faster, keep your liquid bag in an outside zipper that’s easy to reach. Then you don’t have to embarrass yourself by digging through any possible “unmentionables” in your suitcase to find it.

6. Wear a hat to airport security.

We carry many valuables in our pockets: our phones, keys, wallet, etc. But what happens when you reach TSA and need to toss all those loose items into a bin? Does your anxiety spike a bit, too? By wearing a hat, you can easily store those loose valuables inside your hat, which also needs to travel through the x-ray conveyor belt. This way, your valuables can stay nicely together for you to collect after security.  

7. Wear socks with your bulkiest pair of shoes.

Do you want to walk on the airport floor with your bare feet? To avoid such a conundrum, make sure you wear socks through airport security. You can also save on luggage space by choosing to wear your bulkiest pair of shoes to the airport.  

Friends sharing a meal at an airport cafe

8. Order your airport meals for pickup.

Airports are full of lines. And wait times. If you’d rather relax at your gate and skip the line to get a meal, downloading the Grab app is a great timesaver. Instead of waiting in another line, you can order a meal on your phone and walk right up to the counter to grab it when it’s ready.  

9. Work out before your flight.

If you have a long flight ahead of you, more time sitting in an uncomfortable chair might not sound thrilling. Instead, many airports now offer yoga rooms–spaces where you can stretch, work out, meditate, or join a short class before takeoff. You can get your body moving so you can better relax on the flight. 

Looking out an airplane window flying over a city coastline near sunrise.

blue outline of arrow pointing right In-Flight Travel Hacks to Make Flying A Breeze

Flying doesn’t need to be a waste of time. Instead, use these flight travel hacks to enjoy your time in the sky.

10. Prepare for your in-flight activities.

You’ll want to be able to grab whatever you need during your flight. Think ahead to how you want to spend your time in the air. Do you want to read? Catch some z’s? Finish that report for your boss? Consider what chargers, accessories, or downloaded content you might need to do that activity. You’ll want to make sure the items are easily accessible in your carry-on or already downloaded to your device. We also put together this carry-on packing list for you to reference.   

11. Pack a set of corded headphones.

Nowadays, most people use wireless Bluetooth headphones. However, those won’t work if you want to use the in-flight entertainment that many airlines offer. If you want to watch their in-flight movies, play their games, or listen to their music, you’ll need a pair of headphones that plug into a headphone jack. Remember those? If you have a spare set tangled in your junk drawer, you might want to put them to use for your upcoming flight. 

12. Pack a fully charged portable battery.

Not all airlines come with charging ports. If you need to charge your phone, tablet, or laptop mid-flight, you might want a backup plan for your charging options. By bringing a fully charged portable battery, you’ll have a reliable option to keep your devices juiced up for the flight. If you don’t have one, check out these TSA-approved portable chargers

13. Bring disinfectant wipes.

Yes, this is something you need to pack, but it’s worth mentioning separately. Because who knows how many germs you’ve collected throughout the airport? Easier to manage than hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes will let you wipe down your seat arms and clean your hands, so you can feel peace of mind.

14. Wear glasses instead of contacts.

If you’re one of the many people who can’t even see the broadside of a barn without corrective lenses, this flight travel hack is for you. Even if you primarily wear contacts, you’ll feel more comfortable in flight with glasses. The cabin can get very dry, which can lead to dry eyes. By choosing glasses over contact lenses, you’ll likely feel way more comfortable in the sky.

What flight travel hacks are your favorite? Are there any you would add to this list? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You can also check out our other popular travel tips right now.

Skylar, a seasoned content writer with over seven years of experience, possesses a deep understanding of the travel and travel insurance industries. Her commitment to authenticity infuses her work with a unique perspective, drawing from three years of dedicated writing in the travel and travel insurance sectors. Skylar's expertise is further enriched by her proactive approach to seeking insights from industry professionals, ensuring that her findings are comprehensive and reliable.


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