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6 Travel Tips to Save Time and Money

Last Updated: January 4, 2024
4 min read

Key points about: travel hacks

  1. Travel hacks can help you save time before and during your trip so you can get more out of your vacation.

  2. One way you can save time is by packing similar items together instead of packing them by person.

  3. If you sign up for a pre-screening program, you can potentially save time going through airport security.

Have you been wanting to travel, but dread the hassle of packing and navigating through the airport? Travel-hacking is a way to get more out of your travel experience without the extra stress. Travel hacks include tricks from using the right credit card to packing thoughtfully. With these time-saving travel tips, you can spend less time at the airport and more time doing the things you love on vacation.

Travel hacks to save money and time

Few experiences are more exciting than going to the destination of your dreams, whether you’re traveling alone or with friends. However, travel itself often comes with many extra expenses and logistical hurdles. Fortunately, the financial tools you use could minimize your costs and your stress.

A travel credit card is often a valuable tool for making travel more affordable and convenient. With the Discover it® Miles credit card, you could earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase. We’ll automatically match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year.1

You can also take steps as you prepare for your trip to make your journey smoother. Consider the following tricks:

Use a checklist as you’re packing

Whether you’re taking a plane or going on a road trip, you should create a checklist of items you need to pack before you go. Be sure to include things like clothes, documents, passports, credit cards, electronics, and food on your list. And as you're packing, check off the items. Not only could this save you time, but could also prevent you from forgetting essential items and delaying your travel plans.

Pack strategically

Try to pack exactly as much clothing and supplies as you need for your trip, rather than planning to buy things when you arrive at your destination. This can save you time and spare you extra expenses.

And if you’re traveling with someone else, you could coordinate and plan to share some items like shampoo, toothpaste, and sunscreen instead of each packing your own. This strategy can help you make sure you have what you need, while also saving space (and avoiding airlines, train, or ship over-weight luggage fees). When you pack similar items together, you may save time going through TSA. You and your travel buddies could use packing cubes to organize your luggage, bundling supplies like liquids and electronics. Before leaving, you can buy packing cubes and other essential items by redeeming your Miles. With Discover, you can easily redeem Miles as a statement credit for travel purchases or get cash.2

Use vacuum storage bags

According to the TSA, vacuum storage bags (also known as space bags) are allowed on flights. By removing excess air from the bags after you pack them with what you need, you could save space. These bags can help you pack more clothes without sacrificing space in your luggage for other things you may want to bring on your trip or take home as a souvenir. They can also help you keep your luggage within the right weight limits, avoid added fees, and repack at the end of your trip.

Use TSA PreCheck® and Global Entry to expedite security wait time

Waiting in airport security lines can be time-consuming, but what if you could shorten it? With TSA PreCheck® that may be possible. TSA PreCheck® is a special screening program to make going through airport security faster on domestic flights. You can sign up for Global Entry for international travel.

You also typically don’t have to rummage through your carry-on for liquids, gels, or electronics with these screening programs, making your time going through security shorter. Plus, you can pay for them with your travel credit card and get back some rewards from it too.

Use a service to ship your clothes ahead of your trip

A luggage shipping service is a great travel hack if you have a lot of clothes or heavy luggage that you really don’t want to carry around with you everywhere - like if you plan on spending a semester studying abroad.

Get an airport transfer to and from the airport

Having your ground transportation booked in advance may make your travel experience less stressful. You can schedule through ridesharing apps or with a taxi company days in advance so you’re not scrambling at the last minute for a ride to the airport or to your lodging after you land. Plus, when you buy your ride with your travel credit card, you can earn rewards to redeem during your vacation on food, souvenirs, and more.

Did you know?

Sometimes, a travel credit card’s annual fee may offset your rewards, depending on your travel habits. A credit card with no annual fee could help you maximize your savings. Discover has no annual fee on every credit card including its travel rewards card.

Travel hacks may help you get more out of your next vacation. You’ll be able to see more of the world while spending less time at an airport or going through security. Not only can travel hacking save you money, but it can also take some of the stress out of planning your vacation, too. If you’re interested in saving time during your next vacation, give the above travel hacks a try the next time you hit the road.

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  1. Discover Match®: We’ll match all the cash back rewards you’ve earned on your credit card from the day your new account is approved through your first 12 consecutive billing periods or 365 days, whichever is longer, and add it to your rewards account within two billing periods. You’ve earned cash back rewards only when they’re processed, which may be after the transaction date. We will not match: rewards that are processed after your match period ends; statement credits; rewards transfers from Discover checking or other deposit accounts; or rewards for accounts that are closed. This promotional offer may not be available in the future and is exclusively for new cardmembers. No purchase minimums.
  2. Redeem Miles: Starting at 1 Mile, you can redeem your Miles as a credit to your account to pay for all or part of your bill, for cash as an electronic deposit to your bank account, or for a credit for Travel Purchases made on your statement within the last 180 days. Travel Purchases include airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, travel agents, online travel sites, commuter transportation, restaurants and gas stations. Restaurant purchases include those made at merchants classified as full-service restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, fast-food locations, and restaurant delivery services. Gas Station purchases include those made at merchants classified as places that sell automotive gasoline that can be bought at the pump or inside the station. Gas Stations affiliated with supermarkets, supercenters, and wholesale clubs may not be eligible. Even if a travel purchase on your statement appears to fit in a Travel Purchase category, the merchant may not have a merchant category code (MCC) in a Travel Purchase category. Merchants and payment processors are assigned an MCC based on their typical products and services. Discover Card does not assign MCCs to merchants. Certain third-party payment accounts and digital wallet transactions may not be eligible for credit redemption if the technology does not provide sufficient transaction details or a qualifying MCC. See Terms and Conditions for more information.
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