I need more TOP TIPS and will give away a United Club pass to get them!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

We all have great little things we do that make our trips better. Vacations are to be FUN and stress free so why create stress or for business travelers why do things that can cost you time.

I love the 21 ideas, many from you my readers, at the TopTips link above. But I want more more more! Here are a few more from me:

1) Use zip ties to lock all your zippers and put more in a zip lock bag inside on top taped to a sheet of paper that says “TSA please rezip tie with these provided or use your own”

2) Car rental – most of us have smart phone. Take a video or lots of photos of the car when you pick it up and when you drop it off. If they say you did it, you have photos to say otherwise. I do the same thing when I park MY car at the airport btw.

3) Save money on off-site parking. Check out  airportparkingreservations To save even more you can start HERE at (my link gets us both $5.00 btw)  and search for to get another 20% off and a $5.00 coupon when you book online

Now I know you all have more great ideas to help your fellow Delta flyers. So, give me any kind of tip you do, that is not already posted here : TOP TIPS

EDIT: You guys (& gals) ROCK! I am loving these great ideas. I plan to do so many of these great ideas and I travel all the time. Thank you all!

Tomorrow some time I will do the thing and pick a winner so you have both today and some time tomorrow to work on this. Saturday evening I will post the best ones ( any ideas that are NOT repeats have a chance to win btw ). Please help out and you will have a a chance to win a United Club pass (it does not look like you need to be flying United but not sure) – Rene


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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. This is related to one of the Top Tips – but I always save in my phone all the relevant information about my prescriptions (including pharmacy number, prescription number and insurance number). One time I totally forgot to bring them and another I put them in checked luggage that got rerouted to another city. Since one of those was an international trip it was particularly helpful to be able to get in touch directly with the pharmacy to see what they recommended.

  2. Another TIP related to smartphones…use TRIPIT to have all your reservations in a single place…Just forward your confirmation emails to tripit and they will organize it for you. This comes specially handy if make your reservations couple of months out!

  3. This one is obvious: try fitting everything into a carry on by rolling clothes and packing light. Youll eliminate the worry of losing your bag and plus you can easily save 30 minutes or more by not having to wait at baggage claim.

  4. Here are three things I always remember:

    1. Program all credit card and bank numbers into my cell phone. The last thing you want to be doing is searching online in a panic if you ever loose you wallet or get robbed and need to cancel your cards.
    2. Take a photo or write down all membership rewards numbers and keep the photo on my phone’s camera roll or notes app for easy access. When you are flying internationally and can’t quickly pull up the Awardwallet site for your complicated AA Advantage number, this works well.
    3. If your bags are lost, use your credit card’s bag loss warranty protections! Many cards (American Express) will refund you the cost up to a certain amount of daily necessities if your bags are lost.

  5. Sit near the agent desk, so you can be first in line for rebooking when they announce a delay

  6. Want to actually be able to sleep in coach? Here’s how I do it. Travel neck pillows just push your neck forward, making you sore 10 hours later, and don’t prevent your head from falling forward. BUT, if you put it on backwards, so that it wraps around the FRONT of your neck, you get a nice pillow to rest your head on (to the side) and the front keeps your head from falling, all without pushing your neck artificially forward and making you sore. Albeit, you look like you’re strangling yourself, but who cares!? You’ll be asleep!

  7. 1. Try to exchange only as much money for foreign currency as you expect to use. If you have any leftover money, instead of paying to change it back (or having it sit in a drawer at home) put it towards the bill of the last hotel that you’re staying in. Even the change.

    2. If you’re not renting a car, program the number for a couple of taxi companys into your cell phone. (The easiest way to do this is at the airport. Take a second before jumping in first cab and taking off. Most will have their phone numbers posted on the outside of the car.) Once you have their number, you can always call in advance and arrange for a pickup.

  8. When traveling outside the US, call your cell carrier and see what options they offer. For example, Verizon charges about $1.49/min for calls placed on a euro network, but if you sign up in advance for their $3.99 Global Value plan, that per minute rate gets knocked down to .99/min. Also, if you have a smartphone, sign up for the Global Data Package. At $30/50mb or $75/150mb, it’s steep, but way better than what it would cost to use data without these plans. Both options by the way (Global Value and Global Data) will be pro-rated when you return, so if you’re in Euroland for only a week or two, you’d get some of that $3.99 back, as well as any money on your data plan. Verizon will even let you set a start and end date for these plans in advance.

  9. Understand the number of mobile phone scanners for mobile boarding passes each airport has before security. Some airports only have one or two scanners, which means you have to get in a specific line when going through security. That adds time.

  10. Best stress reducer is having a backup plan. Just knowing you have an option makes any problems easier to handle.
    Before you go, look up what the next flight would be if you didn’t get on the one you booked. Can you take a taxi if your transport doesn’t show at the other end? Where would you stay if there is a problem with the hotel you booked? You don’t have to go crazy and have every detail, but knowing you will have options keeps stress down.

  11. If I’m checking a bag, I always take one night’s change of clothes plus any prescriptions in my carry on bag. It’s very rare for a checked bag to be lost completely, but it’s quite common for it to be delayed a day. This way, I’m not super-stressed when I arrive and have a day to sort out my options.

  12. I always pack a blanket with me so I can use it in the airplane when I get cold without having to worry about catching germs from airplane blankets (or not getting a blanket at all).

  13. Does anyone still send postcards when traveling? I do! To make things easy on myself when sending postcards, I print a sheet of small Avery mailing labels with the names and addresses of family and friends on it. That way when I’m resting at the hotel after a day of sightseeing, all I have to do is write my postcards – peel and stick address labels – and hand my stack of finished postcards to the hotel desk clerk to put in the mail for me. Simple!

  14. Even better than the AwardWallet card is to get the CardStar app for your smart phone. Not only will it store your airline/hotel/rental car loyalty program numbers, but it will generate and display the bar codes associated with the number. So when traveling on Delta, you can have the gate agent or SkyClub agent scan your Delta SkyMiles bar code from your phone (e.g. to get a seat assignment). And it generates bar codes for fitness club memberships, drugstore and grocery store loyalty programs, and many others, so you never have to be without those discounts on the road.

  15. For families, if you’re checking in a car seat (we have a car seat bag that’s black), stuff some clothes in there to keep your carry on and/or check-in a little lighter. They never check inside.

  16. If you have atleast one Visa Infinite or World Mastercard, save the 1800 number to their complimentary concierge service. They will help you with almost anything you throw at them. Reportedly, they can help you with the simplest things like finding nearby gas stations and directions, to planning whole travel itineraries (although we probably know a few more tricks).

    Had my car towed in a foreign place once and used them to patch me through to he local compound to figure out where my car was.

  17. 1. When using a carry on only pack old underwear that you’d throw away anyway. It doesn’t take up a large amount of room but frees up some space.
    2. Email yourself and a friend or family member copies of your passport and ID as we’ll as making the copies to carry or put in the phone. That way if wallet and phone are stolen you can still access the copy.
    3. When traveling home, my husband and I try to never take the last flight available so we don’t get stuck in an airport overnight and take off an extra day of work.

  18. When you’re using the safe at a hotel, put everything in a shoe the night before. That way, you won’t walk off without your passport.

  19. 1) Call ur credit card companies to notify them u’ll be out of town so that they know the upcoming charges aren’t fraudulent.
    2) travelling with kids? Love early morning flights because everyone crashes as soon as u take off

  20. thrashsoundly Reply

    If, like me, you have trouble sleeping in a hotel room when it’s not totally dark (think city lights), bring along a couple binder clips to fasten the curtains to each other, avoiding the inevitable slit and light beam that lights up your room.

  21. @thrashsoundly made me think of it, since my first night on the road, i ALWAYS have trouble sleeping – get some Ambien/Lunesta. For me, the trip to the Dr’s office to get the prescription is 100x better than taking Advil PM or the like, which always leave me waking up completely groggy.

  22. Oh, and one more – if you know you’ll have more than a 2hr layover at the time of your ticket booking, and don’t already have a club membership, pay the $25 right then for a day pass, rather than putting it off and spending $50 if you decide you want a respite on the day you fly. You’ll get that $25 back in free internet and beer anyhow. And even if you decide to not use it that day, they’re still usually good for a year from the date of purchase.

  23. 1. Always have a printed copy of your boarding pass in case the TSA’s or gate agent’s scanner fails to scan your mobile boarding pass. Also great if you have to prove to the airline your travel to earn award miles!

    2. I avoid taking the last flight of the day (taking the 2nd or 3rd to last) for business trips in case of delays/cancellations/etc. I also keep information on alternate flights on partner and non-partner airlines should I need them if my flight is oversold or cancelled.

    3. When possible route myself through airports that if I had to get stuck at I know a friend or family member nearby that I could stay with rather than sleeping in the airport waiting for the next day’s flight.

    4. Check the weather of all airports you are flying to and/or connecting through so that you can be better prepared should a delay in your travel occur. It is better to know a delay is likely and ask to be put on standby for the next flight rather than wait until the delay is announced and be at the back of the line.

  24. Recently, Delta seems to have increased their frequency of compensating International BusinessFirst travelers with a 5,000 mile voucher if your meal choice is not available when meal orders are taken. I don’t mind boarding last, so I’ve recently waited to be one of the last to board with the hopes of scoring some miles. I’ve scored 3 vouchers on my last 6 transatlantic flights (twice on flt. 71 AMS-JFK and one on flt 21 CDG-ATL). Worth the wait if you are not picky about what you eat.

  25. due to the weather in the NE today, i was reading a US Air relaxed change-fee policy, and in the fine print, it says that this policy only applies to tickets purchased thru US Air, not 3rd party sites (travelocity, etc). That reminded me that you should ALWAYS book travel thru the airline website – it something comes up, they’re much more likely to help you if you bought a ticket from them than from Orbitz, etc. Also, once I booked a flight on LH thru Travelocity and put my US Air DM# on the reservation, only to find out after the trip that I was only entitled to HALF my preferred miles because I had booked through a “discount site”.

    Rene – when I first read this post, I thought I didn’t have any travel tips, but I keep surprising myself…

    • @ G. David – I love you guys! I can not believe how much information we all can share. I am so impressed how good my readers like you are. Thanks! Rene

  26. 1) Don’t be [EDIT mean] and put your jacket in the overhead right when you get on the plane.
    2) Always book directly with the airline
    3) Turn on EasyAlerts (United) or whatever similar service other airlines have

  27. Another idea for shorter trips….When at the cosmetic counters of department stores I ask for samples of products. This way I can bring small-sized lotions and make-up items with me and leave my larger bottles at home. It also serves as a way to try new products.

    Also, I always bring several anti-bacterial wipes in a ziplock bag in my carry-on. The bag doesn’t take much space and I always have something to wipe down the tray table, armrests, hotel TV remote, door handles, etc.

  28. 1. Always keep your phone/camera handy when on the plane. That way you can take pictures of any defective features and email it to customer service. You might be able to get some credit for a broken screen

    2. Check seatguru before booking to see which seats you want to get. The same price seat might have power outlets or more legroom

  29. Truthiness Reply

    Bring multiple copies of your printed boarding pass, you never know when the scanners are broken for mobile BPs. Always ask for nicely ask if they need volunteers to be bumped if your schedule permits, and ask well before boarding.
    If you have an IPhone, take a screen shot of your mobile boarding pass and scan that. You might not have service or Internet to connect to get it on your phone at security or when boarding (and if you didn’t print your boarding passes, this could be a problem).

    Read Delta Points the week before you fly, there might be a targeted promotion or news you need to know.

  30. A safety tip: when traveling on flights when you want to take off your shoes and put on slippers in order to be more comfortable, it is better to wait to remove shoes until a good amount of time after take off (and put them back on a good amount of time before landing). Because if there is an emergency / evacuation on take off or landing, you need those shoes on. And likewise, I keep important stuff right with me (not in an overhead bin) on take off and landing because if there is an emergency, there will not be time to grab stuff from overhead bins.

  31. 1. Take along at least two memory cards and two camera batteries.
    2. In my purse I always carry a small flashlight and compass. Eddie Bauer has a combination flashlight/compass that works great!

  32. @iflycoach Reply

    Carry a cheap dual outlet electric plug-in with you. If you can’t find an outlet, you can ask someone if they would consider sharing… I’ve never had anyone say no. And it’s only a couple of bucks if you accidentally leave it behind.

  33. Buy longer USB cords + a USB extension cord for your travel pack. I have a charger just for travel and keep a 6-ft USB cable attached to it. I also have a 6-ft extension cable in my carry-on for when needed. Very handy at airports and hotels when the power sockets might be farther away than you want, or you don’t want to move the bedside table and reach down into the dusty depths… You can get quality cables online for under $5.

    If you expect a lot of power needs on a layover you can bring a very small power splitter in ‘cube’ form (turns 1 power socket into 3). That way you can go to ANY convenient socket in the airport, even if it is in use already, and politely ask if you can put your splitter on there and share the socket. No one minds this and you get the pick of any power source you want.

    Save important phone number/prescriptions/passport images etc on your phone as suggested, but also consider using dropbox app or other similar app/service so you can save them to the cloud. Then you can get to these things from any computer in the world, not just your own cell phone in an emergency.

  34. Got one more (since I’m packing for a trip right now):

    As you pack, make a list of everything you’re bringing in a text/Word document – chances are, if you’re bringing it this time, you’ll bring it again on another trip. So the next time you get ready to pack, just print out the list, and you’ll be sure to not forget anything. I also like to cross things off the list as i get them packed, so i know exactly what I do and don’t have in my bag so far. It’s worked out great for me, especially as a person who routinely leaves the house without my wallet/glasses/meds/etc

  35. I just love my “Space Pen!” It’s a bullet-shaped ballpoint that I got (and have gotten for gifts for several people) from Amazon. Comes in a variety of colors and simply always writes. On everything, even the flimsy copies of cash register receipts. Writes upside down. Writes on damp paper. Just a lifesaver I always have with me.

  36. Joelle Maski Reply

    Hi, I log on to your new stuff regularly. Your story-telling style is awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!

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