Giveaway: $400 in Visa Gift Cards

Offer Your Best Travel Tips in the Comments by 10am Eastern Saturday morning to Win.

Some of y’all will remember that I hosted an online forum about technology and travel that was sponsored by National Car Rental coinciding with the launch of their new mobile app.

I rent regularly from National and had been looking forward to the introduction of a mobile app (finally!) and the folks participating in the chat were friends and travel heroes.

I like the products I like, I share the reasons why here, and I don’t want there to be confusion over my motives — if I benefit personally from a referral link I always say so in the post, I frequently try to arrange to give any miles I may earn from referrals back to you in the form of bigger bonuses (some companies are receptive to this, others are not) and I prefer to do giveaways rather than take freebies myself.

There was modest compensation for participating in the National forum, and I already gave away half the amount here on the blog. I split it up into more than one giveaway largely because I didn’t want to have to do tax reporting!

I want your best travel tips in the comments.

  • You may enter as many times as you like, but each entry should be a bona fide travel tip. I will compile the best tips in a subsequent post.
  • I will select two winners, largely at random but to be eligible to win the entry must be (in my sole judgment) a genuine tip.
  • Two prizes of (2) $100 Visa Gift cards each will be awarded.

You have a great chance of winning because internet traffic drops like a rock on Friday evenings, second slowest only behind Saturday evenings.

So.. what are your best travel tips? They can be anything from ways to improve the odds of getting an airline upgrade, a hotel suite upgrade, clearing airport security quickly, the best place to eat at a given airport, anything at all.

I love to learn from this community of readers, and love to be able to share your knowledge back with everyone else. I look forward to reading your submissions, and of course to selecting two winners!


    You can join the 30,000+ people who see these deals and analysis every day — sign up to receive posts by email (just one e-mail per day) or subscribe to the RSS feed. It’s free. Don’t miss out!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Keep your phone and wallet in your pocket and your shoes on while taking off and landing. You will have everything you need in case you need to evacuate.

  2. Carry a few ziplock bags on extended international travel. You will be surprised what all you can use it for.

  3. Never exchange currency at american airports. They will rip you off with their fees and rates. Try to convert it at Wells Fargo before you start your journey or do it at a local bank at your destination.

  4. We are going to Europe for 5 weeks and the hotel prices are staggering, but Choice just lowered their points redemptions to 8k/night, which you can buy 8k for $88 from them.

    We didn’t buy any points, but instead transferred AMEX MR points to choice at 1:1 and got Clarion rooms for 8k, which cost $440/night in Paris.

  5. After entering your hotel room ,put the latch on the door or lock it. I have had people given the wrong room key and try to enter my room. I have also been given the key to a room that was already occupied. This also prevents housekeeping from entering unannounced

  6. If staying at a hotel or going on a cruise….Take a power strip! Also might want to consider a short extension cord.

  7. Don’t underestimate Priceline for hotels/rental cars! Forums can give you a great idea of the hotel you’ll get, and rental cars are a no brainer!

  8. Don’t waste your time when arriving at your destination trying to figure out what to do. Take 2 days before your trip and create your own schedule of activities (your own guide). following the schedule step by step will allow you not to miss the most important attractions and sights!

  9. If you need a plastic bag for whatever reason, the laundry bags in the closets of hotel rooms work in a pinch!

  10. My favorite thing to do is either pick up cheap clothes at goodwill or take items you no longer want to wear – wear them and leave them, so on the way back you have tons of room for items you buy!

  11. Try to meet a local so you can see things you’d never think of or read about on blogs or in guidebooks.

  12. I wear natural fibers at home but pack synthetics for the road. No odor and dry quickly when washed inhotel sink.

  13. Take advantage of complimentary hotel overnight shoe shine when traveling on biz but make sure you tuck some singles in tne shoes for guys that do the work.

  14. if you plan to buy coffee, buy in whole bean. Nothing is worse than having ground coffee explode in your luggage.

  15. if taking a hiking vacation and you have internal country low weight limits, wear your hiking boots and cargo pants on the plane.

  16. pack a copy of your itinerary in each bag. That way, if your bag gets lost, they know where you are going to be.

  17. I use space bags if I need to fit some clothes into my computer bag. This just helped me complete a trip with just one bag.

  18. PACKING
    -Small resealable zip-bag of powder detergent for emergency hand washing at your destination.
    -Flip flops. I’ve noticed it’s mainly hotels catering to Asian tourists that will provide room slippers. You never know what’s been on that hotel carpet even at a 4 or 5 star establishment! Plus, if there’s a pool, you are good to go.
    -Foam earplugs if not your own noise-cancelling headset to block engine noise or small talk/give a visual cue that you are zoned out!

    SECURITY
    Remove and store your watch, jewelry, etc in a safe place inside your hand carry bag just prior to disembarking from an airport shuttle/private car vs dumping in the TSA security tray. Inevitably people will forget something or the trays get backed up and everyone gets flustered. Put items back on as soon as you get to the airport lounge or settle into your assigned seat.

  19. Using a debit card in a foreign ATM may actually be more convenient and cheaper than exchanging currency locally. Confirm before you go.

  20. bring running shoes, or at least really comfortable walking shoes. You’ll probably save a lot on taxis, and then sleep really well at night. If you’re a runner, when you go out in the a.m. for a run, scope out the areas you want to revist later, and get the route together.

  21. Put your cell # or email address on your power cord, computer, kindle, phone…The person who finds it has a way to contact you if they want to do the right thing.

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