The good news is that there are ways to minimize stress when traveling this summer. Why have a headache when you can catch flights and experience a new destination?
Here are five tips for stress-free air travel:
Catch the first flight out
The best thing you can do when booking a flight is to book the first flight out of the day. Waking up super early is worth it because the first flight out usually doesn’t get canceled or delayed.
If your flight does get delayed or canceled, there will be other flights that day you can get on.
Fly on a Wednesday
When it comes to days of the week, choosing a flight on a Wednesday is the best bet. If you’re traveling for a specific event that’s on the weekend, plan to get there a few days early. This ensures that you’ll make it to the event, regardless of cancelations.
Book directly through an airline
Avoid third-party sites for the best customer service and refund options in case your flight gets canceled.
“There has never been a more important time to book directly with the airline. When you book through a third party and you have to rebook, the airline says, ‘Go to them,” says Willis Orland, travel expert, to CBS MoneyWatch.
It’s worthwhile to stay on hold with an airline because once a representative is on the phone, they’re usually super helpful.
Connecting flights may be cheaper, but can result in missing your connecting flights, issues with luggage, and canceled flights.
James Ferrara, co-founder, and president of InteleTravel says, “Avoid connections. If there are two or three legs, you’re doubling or tripling your chances of running into a problem. The more you can connect the lower the price, so it’s not an option for everyone.”
If flying direct is not an option, look for layovers that are at least two hours or more. That way, you’ll have enough time to connect without feeling flustered.
Choose an upgraded seat
One of the best travel hacks is to join an airline’s frequent flier program and stick with that airline. Download the airline’s app and request an upgrade to a premium seat. If a seat becomes available, you’ll be upgraded.
“When seats are overbooked or flights are canceled, they award seats on new planes based upon your status on that first plane. First class, business class and passengers with higher mileage levels will be rebooked first. You’ll get a seat before the person at the back of the plane does,” says Melissa Biggs Bradley, founder of Indagare Travel.