Every year around the world many people make travel arrangements to some of their favorite vacation locations, with  expectation that from the moment you get to the airport to your destination that it all goes smoothly.  For those novice standby travelers who try to plan in advance to get to their destination, quickly realize that their traveling plans turn out to be the worst nightmare of there lives, and are  rudely awakened by the experience.

Since the age of 9, I’ve been able to witness and experience the good and the bad of flying standby and because of that I consider myself an avid standby flyer. As a result,  my travels have landed me on First Class trips, being number 200 on a wait list during a horrible snow storm to sleeping at airports; which undoubtedly become extremely exasperated and expensive. Needless to say that is why so many travelers along with myself consider flying on paid tickets at times, if  you  haven’t  learned how to travel smarter to begin jet jetsetting in the sky smoothly and stress free.

In addition, of helping you succeed in traveling smart and effectively I wanted to share some tips that have helped me mastered my traveling schedule and on a budget!

  1. Figure out your total budget that you are willing to spend
  2. Search your targeted destination’s high and low peak traveler seasons
  3. Do your research on what the weather is from both your departure and arriving location
  4. Whomever is letting you use their standby tickets, make sure to always book the earliest flight possible; which usually means the 5 am flights.  Reason being, that is when the most paid customers miss their flights and that gives you a better chance to get on with no problem.
  5. Select Monday through Wednesday as your travel days. Most importantly, DO NOT FLY on any HOLIDAYS and HIGH peak seasons; but if you must BUY a ticket!
  6. Pre-Check in the day before ALWAYS, so you can be placed higher on the standby list, which gives you a better chance to get on
  7. Travel as light as possible! I reiterate, TRAVEL LIGHTLY ! One carry-on and your good to go. So in other words, train yourself to make your outfits interchangable for convenience.
  8. Dress in either business and/or attire, depending on the rule of that particular airline company. Why you ask? If by any chance the only seat left open for one more standby passenger and its in first class, the flight attendants will ease you in that seat and guess what?! You will get the bonus of flying while either sipping on some champagne and/or snacking on a real meal, instead of just peanuts or dried up crackers. LOL
  9. Make sure the ticket agent see your face and double check with them that you are on the standby list if , the gate doesn’t have a screened standby list for you to view.
  10. Always be kind to the ticket agents and always remember to write their names down, gate number and just in case something goes wrong so you can report it. Otherwise, KINDNESS will bring you a long way, since they deal with a ton of travelers on a daily basis.
  11. If you happen to have a connecting flight make sure to ask the ticket agent, if there is any possible open seats that become open, If you can seat in the first 3 isles of the plane if you are in coach and the end seat, so you can grab your carry-on and move quickly of the plane to your connecting flight.
  12. Lastly,if you do find yourself stuck at the airport and can’t make a flight be sure to have the ticket agent print you a priority ticket pass before you leave the airport for your overnight stay.
  13. Overnight stay?! Well, here are two apps that you should have on hand to help ease you into your impromptu over night stay on a budget. UBER and HOTELS.com

Well you have officially made it through a travel day, so make sure to relax, grab a drink and  have some fun!

budget travel

Photo Credit: Budgettravel.com

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