Over the past 10 years I have been on 500+ flights and traveled across the country more than I’d like to remember. While most people check flight status, weather and their gear before traveling, here are a few other pearls of wisdom I have picked up along the way. Since I am a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), I would be remiss if the list did not also include some money saving tips!
Computer Privacy Screen
That weird feeling of someone looking over your shoulder is probably your aisle or window seat companion seeing what you are up to. (It’s okay to admit you’ve done the same thing!) Privacy screens for laptops are sheets of semi-transparent plastic that typically sell for $25-$30. See sample on Amazon They are easy to add or remove and make your screen virtually invisible unless you look at it head on. These are a must have if working with sensitive client information.
(Great gift idea for the traveling loved one!)
Charge All Technology 100%
This one is self-explanatory but you don’t want to be “that guy” looking all over the airport for a charger. While power is more readily available than is used to be, there is no excuse for leaving the house without a full charge.
(Carrying a battery backup is a no-brainer as well!)
One of my most embarrassing meetings was early on in my career when I took a client to a small local restaurant for lunch and found out they only accepted cash. There is NOTHING more embarrassing than having to ask a client to pick up the tab! Now I always carry a little cash when on the road. It’s also helpful for tips and tolls. Renting the toll pass from your car provider or simply driving through the toll often amounts to 100%+ surcharges.
2 Forms of Identification
Always travel with both a driver’s license and passport. It is easy enough to bring the extra one along just in case one is misplaced.
(Helpful hint: take a picture of your driver’s license and store on your phone just in case!)
Use the Apps!
Virtually all travel provider> (airlines, car rental, hotel’s, etc.) have some type of mobile app. There are so many useful things on these apps from airport layouts to important phone numbers there is just no excuse for not downloading the appropriate app before you travel.
(Money saving tip: check out other hotel’s in the same chain or Airbnb for less expensive rates. Often the same hotel, 10 miles further away from the city is 10% - 15% less expensive)
Make a Note Where You Parked the Car
I use the app any.do for this (as well as other to-do items) but any note taking app will do.
Purchase In-flight WIFI on the Ground
I’m only familiar with Delta Airlines policy on this through their Gogo network but imagine many airlines work the same way. Purchasing a day pass for online access is 25% - 30% less expensive before taking off.
(Don’t worry, if you fall asleep before take-off, you can redeem the pass on a future flight)
Check Hotel & Car Rental Rates
Unless you pre-paid your room and vehicle you can generally cancel your reservation up to 24 hours before your schedule usage. I’ve used Autoslash.com for years to save money on car rentals and recently started using Dreamcheaper.com for hotel rooms. Both will check the rates you booked each day and automatically cancel/re-book at less expensive rates if they can find them.
(Need a car for a short time period? Have you tried the Uber app?)
Bonus: Bring Snacks
The $2.49 chocolate bar I purchase at the airport kiosk does not taste any better than the $0.99 one I bring from home. Not only is it less expensive to bring a snack but it eliminates the hassle of waiting in line at the airport.
One more item, if you use wireless headphones, consider packing an inexpensive set of wired ones. I’m not aware of any inflight entertainment systems that allow the use of wireless headphones to connect to their content.
Questions about your investments, retirement or finances? Need someone to help you better understand what you own? I am here to help!
Spencer Corzine, has been helping clients understand their investments and reach their investing goals for over 18 years. He is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), a member of the Paladin Registry and resides in Austin, Texas with his wife and 5 children.
Serving clients in upstate New York, the Austin Texas area and over 20 other states.
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