The Next Time You Check Into A Hotel, This Is Why You Should Block The Bath With A Heavy Bag

Whether you embark on a far-flung business trip or a week away with your loved ones, you’re likely to go traveling at some point. And hotels are often an integral part of the travel experience – acting as a base for hitting the hay, perhaps, or a haven full of welcome creature comforts. But wherever you choose to lay your head, these handy hotel hacks will help make sure that you get the most out of your stay – and we’ll explain why you should in fact literally put your money down the drain.

40. Snap up the best deal by booking direct

Instead of arranging your trip through booking sites – where you may have to deal with sneaky commission fees – check out the hotel’s own website. There, you’ll often find the cheapest options for your chosen dates. And if you’re hunting for freebies, you’ll be more likely to succeed if you contact the place you’re looking to stay at directly. Choice Hotels, for example, offer a $50 reward card if you’ve shopped around and found a better rate on one of their rooms through another provider.

39. Call the front desk to beat online offers

Alternatively, contacting the hotel directly by calling the hoteliers themselves can also work wonders. Mike Richard, travel guru and founding editor of site Vagabondish, advocates this method. In a 2014 interview with Wise Bread, he explained, “Find the best possible deal online, then call the hotel and see if they’ll do better. I find better deals more than 75 percent of the time.”

38. Rack up air miles through your booking

If you’d rather boost your frequent flier miles than save pennies, however, try booking your hotel though a website such as Rocketmiles. And although you may end up paying a little extra for your room by doing this, you will nevertheless stack up both loyalty points and miles that may make that next trip even cheaper.

37. Get upgrades for special occasions

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If your trip is in honor of a big event, be sure to inform the hotel of that before you arrive. That’s a tip from traveler Nicole Connolly, who has suggested that a quick call or note during booking may be the way to an easy upgrade. Connolly added to Wise Bread, “You might be lucky enough to find yourself in a deluxe spa suite with champagne and chocolates awaiting your arrival.”

36. Use a room-reseller site if your plans change

When you’ve got to cancel your hotel room and lose your payment, it sucks. But by using a site such as Cancelon to offer your room to another vacation-goer, you can avoid having to write off that cash for good. Be warned, though, that you won’t stand to make a profit: reseller fees will eat into your return, for instance, and you’ll also be hard pressed to find a taker for your room if you charge full price. On the other hand, if you’re looking to book a room through one of these sites, you may find yourself able to pick up something pretty cheaply.

35. Book a room in the middle of a hallway for a good night’s sleep

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If getting a solid eight hours of sleep is non-negotiable during your trip, ask for a hotel room that’s more or less at the midpoint of the hallway. By choosing to stay there, you’ll probably be far away from the ice machine, the exit points or anywhere else where people are likely to produce some noise.

34. Stay away from the pool for peace and quiet

In addition, you should also opt for a room that doesn’t overlook the pool if you’re after a solid 40 winks. Yes, you’d have a great view – but it would come at a price. For those looking for fun, pools are often high on the list on places to hang out after dark, making them potential hotspots for noise in the early hours. And you’ll be even more likely to hear the revelry if you’re in a pool-facing room.

33. Fashion blackout curtains in a pinch with a clothes hanger

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When you’re finally in your room and ready to sleep, turn your hotel’s shades into blackout curtains so that you aren’t woken up by the early morning sun. And it’s simple to do so: just use the clips from a nearby hanger in order to close any gaps where the light may shine through.

32. Create your own white noise machine

To make doubly sure that you won’t be disturbed by unexpected sounds at night-time, use the hotel’s air-conditioning unit. By turning on the fan in the A/C, you’ll create a soothing type of white noise that ought to help cover up any commotion taking place outside. And in turn, you’ll hopefully benefit from a quiet night’s rest.

31. Restuff your pillow to suit your needs

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Even if there’s no noise to bother you, it still may be a struggle to get to sleep if your hotel pillow causes you discomfort. But, once again, there’s something you can do to help. Simply swap out the pillow itself for a soft item of your choosing – a sweater or hand towel, perhaps.

30. Make a homemade humidifier to breathe better

And if hotel air con has previously been the source of some breathing issues, try creating a DIY humidifier. Just grab an ironing board – if where you’re staying provides one – then position it close to the A/C unit and cover the board with a damp towel in order to increase the room’s moisture levels.

29. If you’re concerned about security, use the “Do Not Disturb” sign

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According to travel blogger Matthew Karsten, the “Do Not Disturb” sign is useful for more than just ensuring you get that additional hour or two of sleep. He told Wise Bread, “If you’re staying in a cheap or sketchy hotel somewhere and don’t want to leave your expensive stuff with housekeeping, just keep the… sign outside your door for the length of your trip.”

28. But the “Clean Room” sign may be a no-go

Conversely, if you hang the “Clean Room” sign on your door handle, you’re inadvertently advertising to potential thieves that you’re out. And you may not require housekeeping to tidy up so frequently, anyway. As Karsten pointed out to Wise Bread, “Who really needs the room cleaned every single day?”

27. Use your business card to keep the power running

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If the hotel that you’re staying in uses a key-card scheme, it’s likely that you’ll only be able to whack up your A/C and charge your phone when you’ve got the card inserted into the slot next to the door. And, naturally, when you leave the room, you’ll be taking your key with you. If you’d rather come back to fully juiced devices and a cool environment, though, simply put a credit or business card in your room key’s place before you step out.

26. Make your own drinks cooler

When you’re in need of a drink during your stay, don’t waste money on the hotel bar. Instead, use this savvy traveling tip that a commenter named Nomedia shared on Lifehacker in 2013: “Pick up a six-pack from the gas station, fill your bathroom sink with ice from the machine and water and use it as a cooler.” And this trick works for other packaged beverages, too – including non-alcoholic ones.

25. Scout out free bottled water in the gym

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Meanwhile, if you’d rather drink mineral water than anything from the tap, there could be no need to dig out your wallet in order to do so. Nomedia also suggested on Lifehacker, “Go to your hotel’s exercise room [as] there’s usually free bottled water there.” Staying hydrated while at the same time saving money? Count us in.

24. Cook up tasty treats with an iron

But that’s not all when it comes to pinching the pennies: you can scrimp on eating costs, too. Yes, rather than opting for often expensive room service, you can cook up some tasty snacks using regular household items. Boil an egg in the room’s kettle, if there is one, and pick up some bread from a nearby store to whip up a cheap breakfast. And for the more adventurous, an iron can be used in a pinch to make a tasty grilled cheese.

23. Store leftovers in your shower cap

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And there’s more that a shower cap can do than just keeping your head dry. Try wrapping up leftovers – whether they’re from room service or one of your own creations – in the plastic, for instance. After that, simply slide the food into the fridge for whenever you next feel peckish.

22. Child-proof your room with duct tape

If you’re traveling with young kids, then a child-proofed room is crucial. But if your hotel doesn’t offer a fully toddler-friendly space, then there’s still something you can do to help keep your little ones safe. Just pack a roll of duct tape in your suitcase; that way, you can cover up electrical outlets and get rid of sharp corners with ease.

21. Turn your ironing board into a child-sized meal table

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If you find yourself needing to host an impromptu art session for your children or just require somewhere for them to eat, then a table in your room is key. Don’t fret if there doesn’t seem to be any suitable surface for the task at hand, though. Bring out the ironing board instead – although you may want to make sure that it’s nice and stable before any activities commence.

20. Buy a Wi-Fi base station to bypass hotel charges

Although free Wi-Fi in hotels is becoming more and more common, some places still charge for the privilege of getting online. You can bypass these fees, however, by making sure that a Wi-Fi base station becomes a staple of your suitcase. By using a gadget such as the Apple AirPort Express, for instance, you can make your own Wi-Fi hot spot and so avoid paying through the nose to answer emails or watch Netflix while away.

19. Cut your cellphone bill with Skype for Business

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Furthermore, if you need to make regular calls, try talking via Skype for Business. The software could work out a whole lot cheaper than merely using your cell – particularly if you’re overseas – as a Skype for Business contract comes in at a mere $2 a month.

18. Get your favourite content from home on your hotel TV

If you know you’re going to get a bit of down time and have some shows to catch up on, that’s no problem, either. Just take a HDMI cable and a laptop pre-downloaded with your favorite box sets and movies along on your trip. That way, you may be able to connect your device to the hotel room’s TV, meaning you can watch to your heart’s content on a bigger screen.

17. Stream shows directly from your devices

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But there’s also a less fiddly method to watch TV during your stay. If you own a Google Chromecast and can access the hotel’s Wi-Fi, you can bypass cables and stream shows straight from your devices. Plus, you don’t need a laptop to achieve this: a smartphone or tablet should do just as well.

16. Maximize your socket space

With all the electronic accoutrements that the everyday 21st-century traveler carries, you may also panic about whether there’ll be enough outlets in your room to charge your many devices. But there’s no need to worry. Just pack a small power plug that has enough ports to satisfy your needs and then locate the best-placed socket available.

15. Use the TV to charge your smartphone

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What’s more, there’s yet another way to increase your plug potential. If you’re lucky enough to have a relatively up-to-date TV available, then look at its back to see if it has a USB port. And if that’s the case, then simply attach your cable to the port and plug in your smartphone or other gadget whenever it needs to be charged.

14. Provide the soundtrack to your stay with a homemade speaker

And now we come to the last of our tech-based hacks: how you can transform a piece of crockery into a speaker. Just find a glass – one without any liquid in, of course – and put your smartphone inside to amplify its sound. This is a particularly useful tip if you’re after some tunes while in the shower, as the glass may help to stop your phone from getting wet in the bathroom.

13. Block your bath with a heavy bag of coins

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And now we come on to the slightly less glamorous topic of laundry. If you’re looking to skip sky-high hotel bills for cleaning your clothes, then you’re in luck, since there’s a way to freshen up your wardrobe on the cheap. How? Well, it’s easy: firstly, fill a plastic bag with coins and use it to block the drain of your bathtub. Then simply pour some water in, rinse your clothes and get scrubbing with the free soap.

12. Turn towel radiators into laundry tools

Once you’ve finished washing your dirty clothes, however, you may wonder exactly where to put them. But the best location may be right in front of you. Yes, the bathroom’s towel radiators are practically perfect to drape your garments over so that they can dry.

11. Put your shoes in your shower cap

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And if you’ve gone to the trouble of washing your wardrobe, the last thing you want is for your grimy shoes to be nestled against your fresh clothes on the journey home. Wrap the offending footwear in a shower cap, then, before popping them into your suitcase.

10. Steam out wrinkles with your shower

If your hotel lacks a working iron – or you’d rather not be spending your vacation doing chores – then there’s still a quick method of getting pesky creases out of your clothes. Yes, by closing the bathroom door and then turning on a hot shower, you can create a working steamer in a pinch. After that, just hang your tired-looking garments as close as you can to the water without them being in the splash zone, and the wrinkles should be gone within mere minutes.

9. Get out your hair dryer for instant steaming

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However, if time’s too short for you to use the shower to iron out the creases in your clothes, you can achieve similar results with your hotel room’s hairdryer. By grabbing your wrinkled T-shirt or pair of pants and then directing the air from the dryer’s nozzle across the garment, you’ll achieve an effect similar to that achieved by a fancy steamer.

8. Shave your face and take off your mascara with just one hair product

The toiletries in your hotel bathroom can be used for more than simply having a great shower. If you don’t have shaving foam and want to defuzz yourself, for instance, or if you’ve forgotten your eye make-up remover in the rush to get on the road, conditioner is a more than serviceable substitute for either product.

7. Stop pesky post-shower mirror fog

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The night before you take a shower, give the bathroom mirror a once-over with bar soap and then remove the residue with a dry cloth. And for the next few days, you should have a condensation-free reflective surface, meaning you can use the mirror to shave or apply your make-up just moments after you step out of the water. Handy, right?

6. Lotion up your shoes

In addition, you can use the complimentary lotion to make sure that you’re looking your best – but perhaps not in the way that you’d expect. You see, moisturizer can double as shoe polish if need be, so take a small dab and rub it into your footwear to improve their appearance.

5. Keep your toothbrushes clean

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And there’s also an easy way to make sure that the bathroom essentials you brought with you stay as clean as possible. Pack clothing clips in your wash bag and use them to prop up your toothbrushes; that way, there’s less chance of introducing any germs to your gums.

4. Treat yourself with a homemade sugar scrub

If you’d rather not splash out at the hotel’s spa, then you can always whip up your own DIY treatment in the comfort of your hotel room. Mix one of the hotel’s sugar packets with water to create a sugar scrub that you can use to exfoliate your lips, your limbs or anywhere else that needs a bit of TLC. Alternatively, grab some lemon slices from the bar and apply their juice onto knees and elbows for skin that’s smoother to the touch.

3. Take your hotel toiletries home

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You’re certainly not alone if you take a miniature bottle of shampoo or three home from your stay. And hotel industry veteran Jacob Tomsky encourages this practice, too. In 2018 he told The Daily Telegraph, “We hope you take the amenities. We want you to use them later and think of us. We want that $1.79 shoehorn you stole to be the reason you book another room with us at the rate of $279 per night plus tax!”

2. You can get away with taking most complimentary items

Furthermore, Tomsky has even urged people to be more adventurous in their hotel pilfering. “Consider the unmanned housekeeper’s trolley a smash-and-grab situation,” he has advised. As for how to explain yourself if you’re ever caught in the act, Tomsky added, “Just say [to the housekeeper] that you were out of shampoo – or, even better, out of toilet paper – and thought you’d save them the trouble by grabbing it for yourself.”

1. Head down to the front desk if you’ve forgotten anything

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Meanwhile, if you’ve neglected to bring your phone charger with you or realize that you’ve left deodorant out of your toiletries bag, it’s worth telling someone at the front desk. Other guests leave their own belongings behind, after all, and so there may be a handy supply of lost goods that the staff will let you take for free.

But if you’re still in need of some hacks to make your vacation go more smoothly, then read on. That’s because we also have some top tips about traveling by plane. And what better source than people who clock up more than 30,000 miles in the air each month? Yes, flight attendants certainly know how to make the most out of air travel – and here are 40 of their best-kept secrets.

40. If you need to iron your clothes in a pinch…

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Flight attendants hurry from flight to flight, which means that they don’t always have time to freshen up as they would in normal circumstances. So, be creative. One stewardess with three decades of experience divulged to Business Insider that you can “use your flat iron to touch up your clothes when you’re in a rush, and there’s no time for the ironing board.”

39. Lay it all out first

Planning is the key to smart packing – at least, that’s what stewardess Abagail Valencia has discovered. She told Reader’s Digest, “Lay it out before you pack it. You may find that you’ll be able to wear a pair of pants with two different tops.” And, with a little bit of smart thinking, you can easily pack what you need into a small suitcase.

38. Layer your airplane look

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Don’t squeeze everything into your carry-on. You never know how warm or cold the airplane cabin will be once you’re in the air. Typically, it becomes pretty chilly once you’re airborne. So, flight attendants suggest putting on a jacket or sweater to keep yourself comfortable during the flight. And, as a bonus, you’ll free up space in your bag when you layer.

37. Wipe down the air vent

By now, you’ve probably heard that you should use sanitizing wipes to cleanse your tray table, the arm rests and all other hard surfaces for any lingering germs. But flight attendants also recommend you wipe down the air vent and angle it at your body – rather than your face – to keep airborne bugs away.

36. Pack your own snacks

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Without the proper snacks and meals, you’ll feel hungry – and, therefore, cranky – while you travel. And as flight attendant Annette noted to Refinery29, “Plane food is high in sodium, high in preservatives and high in price.” She therefore suggested that passengers prep and pack their own snacks. Her favorite idea? Laying out all the food on your table and ordering an in-flight glass of wine to go with them.

35. Avoid flying with a cold

If your head’s pounding on land, it will only feel worse once you’re flying in a pressurized cabin. One flight attendant learned the hard way to stay on land when your head is congested. “[Flying with a severe cold] can damage your eardrums, and you may lose your hearing,” they explained via Quora. “It happened to me once. I couldn’t hear properly for a week, and it hurt.”

34. Shoes can do double duty

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Bulky footwear takes up a lot of space in your carry-on, but you don’t have to lose all of that real estate to your boots, heels and sneakers. Fold up smaller items and stuff them inside your shoes; think tights, socks, underwear and so on. And if you don’t like your clothes touching the soles, wrap items in a plastic bag or shower cap before packing them.

33. Build your travel kit

Another way to hasten the pack-and-go process is to have a designated airplane-travel kit at the ready. First, purchase travel-sized bottles of your favorite hygiene products and set them aside for away-from-home use. Then, stow a charging cable and rechargeable battery pack in your carry-on so that you’re always connected. A large travel scarf that doubles as a makeshift blanket is also a smart addition to the kit.

32. Pass on airport currency exchanges

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It’s convenient to swap your home currency as soon as you land, but it’s typically not the most cost-effective way to get cash in another country. Flight attendants suggest that you instead order foreign notes from your bank prior to your trip or get them from a local bank once you arrive. And don’t forget that most places will accept your credit card anyway, so you can squeak by with a small amount of money in hand.

31. Sit at the back for bonuses

Flight attendants don’t like carrying extras – drinks, earplugs, blankets and so forth – from the back of the cabin to the front. If they do, other passengers will see and request the same, and then cabin staff tend to run out of such specialty items. If you’re sitting in the back, though, “it’s much easier to slip in that second mini bottle of wine,” a flight attendant explained via Oyster.

30. Roll up your clothes

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Folding and stacking clothes seems like the logical way to pack a suitcase, but travel pros suggest an alternative method: rolling garments into compact cylinders and then lining them up in your bag. This method prevents your wardrobe items from wrinkling. Plus, it helps you fit much more into a suitcase, which is vital to flight attendants who are away from home for days or weeks at a time.

29. Don’t use the seat-back pocket

The seat-back pocket is certainly in a convenient location, but that doesn’t mean you should use it to store your personal items. Even if you think you’ll remember what you put there, flight attendants have found that you probably won’t. So, place electronics, books and IDs into your bag to save yourself the heartache of leaving them behind.

28. Be polite from start to finish

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Obviously, flight attendants would suggest you be nice to them. But they also recommend that you treat all airline staff with respect. This works particularly well with check-in and gate agents – as they could give you a free upgrade or find you a faster flight connection just because you’re positive and polite.

27. Avoid a bulkhead seat

The front row of seats, also known as the bulkhead, has two major disadvantages. Because there aren’t chairs in front of you, you have to store all your personal items in the compartment above, which can be annoying. Secondly, parents with babies typically sit in this row since it’s the only place to safely set up a bassinet on a plane. In other words, you’ll be more likely to hear crying here.

26. Keep your footwear on

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While you’re in your seat, you should feel free to take off your footwear and get comfy. When it’s time to go to the bathroom, though, always slip your kicks back on. Flight attendant Annette told Refinery29, “Wear your shoes when you visit the lavatory. That isn’t water on the floor.”

25. Rely on hotel laundry facilities

On a long-haul trip, you can still pack light so long as the hotel has laundry facilities. Call ahead to see if there’s an on-site washer and dryer that you can use. And should you receive the green light, pop some dryer sheets and detergent pods into your carry-on, and – voila – you no longer need to bring as many clothes.

24. Get Global Entry

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With Global Entry, U.S. Customs & Border Protection permits pre-approved passengers to re-enter the country through automated booths rather than standing in line for customs. To earn the certification, you’ll have to go through a strict vetting process as well as a face-to-face interview. But one flight attendant told Business Insider that the process – and the price – were “totally worth it” for the convenience.

23. Parents should always prepare

A parent can’t completely prevent their baby or child from crying while flying. But flight staff advise that they arrive well-prepped to travel with little ones in tow. Jane Frilicci, who serves on a flight crew that operates out of New York, informed a Reader’s Digest interviewer that moms and dads should bring along a brand-new toy to keep kids occupied for as long as possible.

22. Soothe your skin mid-air

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Airline flights cause the skin to both dullen and dry, since the air within the cabin contains as little as 10 percent humidity. So, don’t be shy on your next trip: pack hydrating skincare products in your purse or backpack, and don’t be afraid to use them on board. Flight attendant Ally Lovett told Refinery29 that she regularly spritzes with rosewater to keep her skin healthy.

21. Contain bulky items in packing cubes

Wintertime travel means you’ll need plenty of cozy sweaters and perhaps a bulky jacket. But how will you fit all of that into your suitcase? Flight attendants suggest space-saving packing cubes, which compress your bulky items into easy-to-stow squares. You could also try compression bags that push the air out of your clothes to flatten them for packing.

20. Lost? Look up.

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Flight attendants know how to navigate new airports, and their best advice is to look up if you’re stressed, lost or both. There will always be plenty of signs at airports that will direct you to your gate, check-in desk or baggage-claim belt. To that end, you might even be able to download an airport-specific app to help you find your way.

19. Grab a hotel breakfast to go

Flight attendants’ odd working hours mean that they sometimes miss their hotels’ free breakfasts – but they’ve found a way around that. One airline staffer tipped off Business Insider, saying, “Check with the hotel to see if there’s some kind of snack or sack lunch they can provide before or ahead of time.” Many will happily do it for flight attendants – and for you.

18. Bring your own shopping bag

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A reusable shopping bag is compact enough to fit in any suitcase and comes in handy once you land. You can obviously use it to carry your groceries, which is great if you plan to shop and cook while you’re away. But if you need more space on the way home, the bag can also serve as a makeshift hamper for worn garments and as your on-board personal item.

17. Pack your personal item wisely

On most flights, you can bring a carry-on and a personal item such as a briefcase or purse. Make sure you pack what you’ll need during the flight in the smaller bag, which you’ll stow under the seat in front of you. That way, you won’t have to open the overhead locker and take out your suitcase every time you need something – and your flight attendants will appreciate this, too.

16. Drink plenty of water pre- and mid-flight

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Airplanes circulate low-humidity air, so you can easily become dehydrated if you’re not drinking regularly. Flight attendants suggest sipping water instead of sugary drinks, though, as they could leave your body feeling puffy post-trip. They also say that you should aim to consume plenty of water before even boarding the plane, to make a preemptive strike against dehydration.

15. Give yourself comfortable connections

Be aware that sites such as Kayak and Orbitz might offer you a discounted fare with a caveat: you’ll have to make a connection in under an hour. Flight attendant Annette told Refinery29 that on occasions this just isn’t enough time to travel from one gate to another. Plus, she added, it “takes a lot of stress away when you don’t have to worry about making your connection.”

14. Prep for any potential delays

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Imagine your plane gets stuck on the runway. Are you prepared to hang out for a while? Flight attendant Michele Radon told Reader’s Digest that passengers should always have snacks, medicine, a refillable water bottle and device chargers to get them through such a delay. She also suggests bringing sanitizing wipes because “after a few hours, the bathrooms can become unkempt.”

13. Be aware while you board

Flight attendant Annette told Refinery29 that all passengers should “employ some situational awareness” when they fly. Consider others’ needs as well as your own – and always be ready to board at short notice by having the necessary items at the ready. Then, sit down as soon as possible so that everyone else can get situated, too. “Don’t be that person,” Annette advised.

12. Land – and then go outside

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After a long day of traveling, re-center yourself by spending some time outside. For one thing, the fresh air will re-energize you post-flight. The sunlight will replenish your vitamin D reserves, and it’s in fact a well-known method for improving your mood and outlook. And if you’ve had a particularly stressful trip, getting outside will have a soothing effect, too.

11. Early birds get the upgrade

Airlines will upgrade your ticket to first-class – for the right price, of course. And on the day of the journey, there’s a better chance that you’ll get a great rate to fly in style. Your best bet for nabbing a coveted comfy seat is to arrive at your boarding zone early. Flight attendant Celessa Dietzel told Business Insider, “This is when you’ll hear the announcements for last-minute upgrade purchases you might be able to get.”

10. Edit down your must-have electronics

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You might want to bring your phone, smart watch, tablet, laptop… but do you really need to travel with all of these electronics? If you decide you can leave a few items at home, great. If not, at least try to choose gadgets based on which ones charge via the same cable. Doing so will make organizing and packing much simpler.

9. Ask flight attendants for travel tips

Many members of the flight crew have assigned routes, which means that they might well visit your destination city as a matter of routine. As such, they know the location and all of its best assets very well. So, don’t be shy to ask them about their favorite restaurants, activities and sights. Just make sure that you do so when they’re not helming the in-flight service or helping someone else, though.

8. Beat jet lag like a flight attendant

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Your flight staff won’t fall asleep as soon as they arrive at your destination – unless, of course, it’s nighttime. Instead, they’ll likely ward off jet lag by gulping down plenty of water – and some coffee – to keep themselves up until they can go to bed at a reasonable hour for their new time zone. After that, they’ll wake up adjusted.

7. Have backup entertainment

Your airline promised you in-flight movies and TV, but yours is the only seat without a working monitor. Now what? Seasoned flight attendants have seen these technical malfunctions happen, so they suggest taking along your own entertainment in the form of books or videos downloaded onto your smart device. You could even bring a to-do list and be productive during your downtime.

6. Your hotel will have the essentials

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It’s your hotel’s job to make you feel comfortable during your stay, which is why they typically provide you with essential hygiene and personal items. So as long as you aren’t picky, you can rely on hotel toiletries and therefore save suitcase space. They’ll have toothbrushes and toothpaste if you forget, for example. And they might even have spare chargers for your phone and other devices – just ask.

5. Look the part for first class

Today’s travelers tend to dress comfortably, but this could cost you an upgrade. “Check your air carrier’s rules. There are still dress codes sometimes in first class,” flight attendant Celessa Dietzel warned Business Insider readers. So, your comfy outfit should have a bit of polish if you’re aiming for a better seat, especially if your airline mandates it.

4. Be wary of blankets

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You know that germs spread quickly on planes, but you might not have considered that the cozy airline blanket could carry them as well. Unless yours comes in a sealed plastic package, you should be wary of using it, then. Someone probably snuggled up with it before you, and their germs could spread to you while you snooze.

3. Work out anywhere

Flight attendants know that they’ll often be in one city today and a different one tomorrow. So, joining a local gym or fitness studio doesn’t really make sense even if they want to maintain a regular workout routine. Instead, they sign up with a bigger brand with multiple locations so that they can exercise in all of the cities that they fly to. You can do the same if you’re a regular traveler, too.

2. Complain for free stuff… to a point

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Attendants have the power to give you free airline points, food or seat upgrades if something goes wrong on your flight. So feel empowered to complain in order to get compensation – but only when it’s really necessary. Airlines keep records of such gifts, and it’s likely that they’ll notice if you try to exploit the system.

1. Stick to bottled water

Most airlines’ on-board water tanks prove hard to wash, which makes them a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. And although many airlines have started serving bottled water, they still rely on the tanks when they brew big batches of warm drinks. So try to avoid these hot beverages and any non-bottled drinks from now on.

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