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SWAG Saturday: What is your favorite travel tip?

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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.

swiss backpack

Boy so many seemed to really love the SWAG Saturday a few weeks ago for a new backpack and Delta Points Polo (plus some other goodies) so why not run the same giveaway again!

This Swiss Gear is the one I now am using (as well as a reader from last round). I think if you win you will really like it for your Delta travels as well!

delta points polo shirt black

SWAG Saturday rules, that are almost always the same, are HERE so if new to the blog take a look because by commenting you are agreeing you have read the rules! Like last round the very nice backpack, inside it I will include a Delta Points custom embroidered polo shirt and some other nice swag as well (and some HOOU – have one on us – coupons too)!

1 year hoou have one on us delta coupone delta points blog

Then what do I need from you this week for a shot at this nice travel package? Let’s make it really fun. Comment below and give me your best travel tip you live by and want everyone to know!  – René

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.


Gold Delta SkyMiles®
Credit Card from American Express®
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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. Scott Travel Reply

    I like to roll my clothes when packing. Uses way less room.

  2. Never — ever — check luggage. Pack light, taking only essentials, and enjoy the trip!

  3. Always enjoy some Woodford Reserve (neat) when flying Delta.

    It’s a great additional benefit vs flying other airlines.

  4. Rolling my clothes in the suitcase to save space. I also use the plastic laundry bags in the hotel room for workout gear so my clean clothes don’t get contaminated.

  5. Learn some basic sentences in the language of the country you are visiting, and unless there is an overhead movie, please open the window shades when you are flying.

  6. JP Traveler Reply

    Snap a phone picture of the part on the hotel phone that shows the address and room number. If you are a frequent traveler, it takes care of remembering details like room numbers!

  7. For long layovers, pls pls pack your carryons light. You don’t want to be hauling heavy stuff around the airport.

  8. Do as much as possible with the time you have. That way you won’t have any regrets when you leave.

  9. Always have noise canceling headphones and my Vera blanket. I freeze on planes and always fly Delta!

  10. Keep some always-used items in your carry-on. (Buy an extra if you need to.) You will never forget it then!

  11. Kent Morrow Reply

    I always use Passport to view my e-ticket. ATL does not always have the best coverage in the main lobby. It is frustrating when trying to get the Delta App to come up (Ironic, I know).

  12. I keep a small pad in my suitcase with different pages for different favorite destinations. I list items that I use (like a totebag to bring to the pool) but frquently forget!

  13. Michelle C. Reply

    Take lots of time to soak up the atmosphere. Don’t be so busy doing that you miss what makes each place unique.

  14. Try to fit everything in carry on
    This not only saved you money from checking in bags but the airline can’t lose your bag. Once you deplane you can quickly head out the airport and start your journey rather than wait at carousel
    Pack a reusable grocery tote bag so when you end up buying stuff on your trip it can act as your second carry on. You can always squish your purse in it so you don’t end up with 3 items

  15. Traveling is stressful!! Always be nice to everyone from the minute you get to the airport until you leave the plane. You never know whose day you could make❤️

  16. Try to maximize your travel with open jaw and stopovers. Why fly 7,000 miles to just turnaround and go back when you can throw in a side trip to Australia for free?

  17. BOShappyflyer Reply

    When traveling in family, don’t try to schedule too much into the day’s itinerary.

  18. Optimum nutrition protein powder sets off the bomb scanners. Allow extra time for extra screening.

  19. If you park at the airport- Snap a phone picture of the number/area you parked at- I’ve had countless times where I spent an hour looking for my car without this trick!

  20. Pack as lightly as possible. Take few clothes (wrinkle-free, if possible) that you can mix and match so that you can get more outfits out of just a few pieces.

  21. Dannon Shiff Reply

    My NEXUS/Global Entry card is a must have for anyone traveling outside the US. It has saved me hours in customs lines!

  22. Young_Tho®ough Reply

    Definitely know the alternate security checkpoints at the airport. Precheck isn’t what it used to be and these can mean making it or not on a flight.

  23. Never check a bag, pack clothes in space saving bags and buy toiletries when you arrive!

  24. I love carrying on to be able to walk right off the plane into our destination.

  25. On the day of long international flights I always drink airborne to minimize the chance of getting sick.

  26. Always have an extra set of toiletries, makeup, hair stuff, etc so that you can just throw it in the bag. Also, ladies should use the schick intuition razor as you don’t have to try and squeeze those huge shave gel containers in your 311.

  27. Always have headphones at the ready, even for short flights. You never know when there will be a vocal child in a seat nearby.

  28. Pack light and try to relax, things don’t always go as planned when travelling.

  29. GetToThePoints Reply

    Especially in first or business class I find that tipping the flight attendant(s) with a small “treat” from the duty free shop makes a huge difference. A small box of chocolates or other sweets doesn’t cost that much and the difference in service on long flights is worth 10x what it will cost you. It is a nice gesture that goes a long way.

  30. I never pack laundry detergent. Shampoo from hotels works fine, followed by a drop of conditioner to keep my washables smelling sweet

  31. “Trade” airline award flights with friends and family. My brother is 1K on United, and he books my award flights with his miles and I get the benefits of his 1K. I book his award flights, and his 1K membership card gives him the benefits of 1K. The only downside is that he can’t easily re-book the award flights I book for him, but he always sticks to his travel plans anyway.

  32. Be nice to all delta staff. If you don’t like the answer they give do not get angry. Hang up and call back. Or if at airport find another agent or last resort a red coat. Be nice. Be nice. Always be nice. They want to help you get where you’re going too. Remember that.

  33. Sometimes my patience wears thin when traveling, but I always try to take a deep breath, relax, and destress. I know I feel better when I do, and I am sure those around me appreciate the fact that I am less cranky. I always try to smile and be pleasant to the airline employees even when I am furious with them. I will not lie and say I am pleasant ALL of the time…but I do try.

  34. On long trips, wear old clothes that you can throw away along the way.

  35. When going through security place your shoes in the first bin through the x-ray scanner so it comes out first to put on and go.

  36. Ed Jenkins Reply

    Carry-on; pack light with organizers; good book and Woodford

  37. Scan your passport and email it to yourself so you have a copy in case anything happens.

  38. My toiletries always seemed to leak and I’d end up with cream and liquid everywhere. Take a piece of plastic wrap and place it over the opening THEN screw the lid on over the plastic. No more leaking toiletries in checked luggage!

    And yes, some of us have to check luggage, my carry-ons are always dedicated to the tools of my trade which can not, or should not, be checked – cameras, lenses, batteries, hard drives, computers.

  39. If you have short legs and fly in coach, never forget your folding footstool.

  40. pack some nuts and dried fruit so you have a snack and don’t need to raid the mini bar

  41. Don’t get agitated when bad things happen and take it out on the employees, they are just doing a job! Relax!

  42. Robert Lamb Reply

    Always take a picture of your luggage before a trip, if lost it helps explain what it looked like

  43. Dotti cahill Reply

    If u have more than 3 connections and you cannot only carryon luggage ship it to your destination hotel via mail or luggage forward to insure u will see your bag again

  44. Take pictures of all the labels of the medicine you are taking. Helps if happen to loose or misplace and have to try to get a emergency refill

  45. Before rushing to deplane, take a second to check the seat back pocket.
    The cleaners don’t deserve your phone, head sets, or that book you are only 20 pages into.

  46. My favorite travel item is my phone. It’s gets me through a lot if hours of sitting in a plane, car, or train.

  47. Pack a collapsible bag in your suitcase. It is useful if you acquire things on your trip. We usually end up using it for dirty clothes.

  48. No matter what screw up happens while traveling, always treat everyone with respect, and smile.

  49. I save a little foreign money from my trips. That way, when I go back I have that money to get me started and I don’t have to get money right away.

  50. The LoungeBuddy App. Finding the best airport lounge can make any trip less stressful.

  51. carry-on, and snap pictures with your phone along the way: car park, luggage, rental car receipt, train schedule, hotel brochure or business card, etc,, etc.

  52. Don’t forget to bring your noise cancelling headphones. They’ll help you block out everything else.

  53. tucsonbabe Reply

    Be kind. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. It makes travel much more pleasant.

  54. Yelp for local restaurant recommendations. Never eat at national chains, eat local.

  55. Never check luggage, always have a photocopy of your passport in 2 places, and use packing folders.

  56. Always use carry on, never check luggage. Use packing folders (eagle creek, etc…)

  57. I travel a lot overseas. I look up my hotel on Google Maps and then save that map for offline viewing. Then when I arrive, I can use the GPS on the offline map even if I have yet to get a SIM card. This really helps for late night arrivals. Even when using a taxi to get to my hotel, being able to track my progress is reassuring. Also by showing the taxi driver where I want to go or giving directions, we avoid the taxi getting “lost” scams.

  58. Dehydrated food packets (like for camping or instant foods) for inflight meals and snacks . Hot water is always available.

  59. Michelle O Reply

    Dress comfortably on travel day. I wear yoga pants and a t shirt. Make sure to carry a light jacket as it can be cold on the plane.

  60. Always bring something to keep your travel partner entertained, otherwise it’s a reallllly long flight. 😉

  61. Barbara Steele Reply

    Pack a small bag inside my carry on that contains everything I may need while on a flight. Mask, extra ear buds, mints, toothbrush, hand sanitizer/ wipes, drink mix, tea bags. Etc

  62. I pack empty water bottles (preferably the Vapur kind which collapses flat) which I then fill up in the lounge once I’m past security!

  63. Hydrate welll 24 hrs prior to traveling to avoid jet lag and airplane tummy discomfort, avoid sodas and caffeine prior to and during flying. I always buy a bottle of water and carry it on the plane. Lastly I vitamin up, and wipe down the tray table with a Clorox wipe. You don’t know who has touched the table and what germs (diaper, kellenex, etc) may be on it or the seat card and airline magazine. No I’m not paranoid but during cold season these are high contact area most likely to transmit germs.

  64. I keep a packing list in my notes on my computer of anything & everything I might need when traveling. Before each trip I print it out and it helps me remember what I might need for that specific trip.

  65. Carry-on without wheels when traveling in Europe – trains, cobblestone streets, stairs. Travel is so much easier with backpack carry-on and slim packing cubes. (I am 58 with bad knees) Think “layer, mix and match, and stick with a color palate”

  66. My latest travel tip is use the Passport app if you have an iPhone. You can swipe to get your boarding pass right from the main screen, it “follows” you on trip so the right boarding pass is up (normally). It has helped me a lot on my last few trips.

  67. My travel tip for Europe is to download the free Rick Steve’s app and grab the tour guides that apply to your trip.

  68. Noise cancelling headphones, Cliff Bars, tablet, battery pack and neck pillow. Also, quick photo of all your bags to make them easier for baggage claim to find them after they eventually lose them.

  69. Go for row 2, so you can put your backpack under the seat in front. Near the front lets you get off quick, and make that tight connection.

  70. Michael H.(oldfox) Reply

    Don’t overpack for overseas trips! Do a trial run by packing your bag/bags a few days before a trip and walking around in a mall for 30 minutes to know if you have too much stuff. You’ll definitely know if some things should stay home.

  71. Sign up for TSA Pre. It saves time and avoids the hassle of taking off shoes, etc. Better yet, Global Entry allows you to avoid the long lines when re-entering the U.S. from overseas.

  72. Keep the (unused) socks from the business amenity kit. Keep one sock in your bag/backpack. Use that as a washcloth in the airplane toilet to clean up on long flights. Throw the sock away.

  73. KEEP CALM when faced with IRROPS. Getting crazy isn’t going to improve weather/maintenance/etc… it’ll just add to your stress level AND those around you. Also, if you are a calm voice of reason when all around you are in a tizzy you may just get that extra bit of help fomr an overworked/badgered GA!

  74. I always leave a travel umbrella in every suitcase. Never again will I be on a trip and wish I had an umbrella.

  75. LonK in the ATL Reply

    I use a web site, for local transportation knowledge when getting to a new airport.

  76. TexasYankee Reply

    I transfer digital movies to my phone and/or pc to watch on long flights.

  77. Global entry works to skip lines using Smart Gate entering Australia

  78. I use the Key Ring App on my phone to save all my membership/club numbers. That way I only have the essential credit cards I need for travel and don’t have all the OTHER plastic cards like Marriott, Hilton, SPG, IHG, CVS, Walgreens, Kroger cards, Bestbuy, etc bulking up my wallet.

  79. Nina deltagoldlass Reply

    I have a good one: before Scott vests. Etc I wore a coat with captain kangaroo pockets
    And put shoes in there also wear loose elastic long skirt in case my carrying it too full and I buy clothes I double up and hen peel off a layer on the plane haaha and always
    Via a biz rene. Carry has ex hahah so it ain’t me babe

  80. If you are flying economy or ever take long trips by car or a train, buy a memory foam pillow. It is soft, nice to the touch and a total life saver!

  81. Give yourself plenty of time throughout the trip to avoid missing flights. Plan to arrive 30 minutes earlier than needed at the airport so you can relax during the check-in process, enjoy a beverage in the lounge and make some final calls before boarding the plane. This helps make the journey a part of the whole trip (hopefully enjoyable) rather than a hassle that you want to get over with.

  82. My noise canceling headphones have made the difference between miserable and tolerable on many flights. I NEVER fly without them, even on short trips.

  83. I become a member of a museum if I will be visiting and I don’t want to stand in line to buy tickets when I get there if the price is reasonable. I just did that for the 9/11 museum and we got to access the members line which happened to have no one in it as opposed to the other line that had hundreds in it. Worth every penny.

  84. My favourite one is a very simple and straigtforward way of receiving a Gold Star Alliance card – the Aegean Airlines Mles&Bonus program. You basically need less than 20k miles for that and you can achieve that with a couple of long-haul flights.

  85. I keep a running list of all my “don’t forgets” a week before I travel. Then go over it before I leave.

  86. If you have to check a bag, keep a change of clothes and your toiletries in your carry-on.

  87. Check those bags! Avoid the hassle of squeezing into the overhead space, avoid the competitive rush for space, board last and chuck your backpack under the seat. Hassle-free travel at its best. Delta has yet to lose my bags – 40 segments this year on DL alone! ORD-MSP-CGV-BOS-DCA-LGA-ATL-LAX -SJA & more . . .

  88. When booking overseas travel with Delta Skymiles, always check the mileage price of an open-jaw ticket against the mileage price of a round trip with or without a stopover. The former can cost FAR fewer miles than the latter, especially if you purchase an inexpensive foreign national carrier’s flight for the one-way ticket to the second city (such as Olympia into Greece).

  89. Pack light so you never have to check luggage. Will always save you a lot of time

  90. iwantmoremies Reply

    Email a copy of your itinerary to family and yourself. Then everyone knows where you should be.

  91. Amanda - AMR Reply

    I keep two sets of toiletries – including makeup. One never comes out of the suitcase. This way, I only change out the clothing and shoes I need for the next trip. It saves a lot of time – and when I get home super late and I don’t feel like hauling my suitcase inside, or if my bag is checked and doesn’t make it home with me, I still have what I need in the vanity. – AMR

  92. Never carry on anything that won’t fit under the seat. I know many are recommending only take a carry-on, but my tip is the opposite. Even when upgraded to 1st, you can find overheads bins full. And you never know when you are going to find yourself on a CJR or an Embraer with overhead bins that won’t accommodate a full size roll-aboard.

  93. Take a picture of your credit cards (front and back) and your passport. Could be helpful if you lose any of them.

  94. Amazon prime doesn’t work on Android tablets, and networks aren’t always available for streaming movies. I bought PlayLater, so I can download videos from my Prime / Netflix / whatever accounts and take my inflight entertainment system with me.

  95. Load your smart phone with MP3s so you’ll have music to listen to on your trip.

  96. Use something like a Pelican case when checking luggage. Waterproof, hard to damage, and it floats!

  97. Have a small bag that slips inside your carry on that holds your tablet, headphones, pen, passport and any items you may want while you are in your seat. Makes it easy to gab as you put your carry on in overhead bin and easy to pack when you arrive.

  98. Always say hi to the crew when boarding. Use please and thank you and ask them how their day is going. These things cost me nothing and hopefully it makes them feel good.

  99. When you walk into a hotel room
    Put the lock on in case the desk gives the same room to someone else .
    I was given a hotel room that someone else was in !

  100. My favorite luggage is Patagonia MiniMass messenger bag. Simple solution to packing light, if it won’t fit in there I probably don’t really need it.

    Clothing tip#1: smartwool socks, shirt, etc. are great for travel as they don’t take up odor or wrinkle easily, and wash & drip-dry quickly.

    Clothing tip#2: Travel pants with zipoff legs may not be fashionable, but for sporty travel more weather range.

  101. Make sure pre check is on your boarding pass. Noise canceling headphones are a must as well

  102. Load up your Kindle, iPad, etc. with extra books, magazines, movies, and so on – so that you never have to try to download this stuff at the hotel or airport.

  103. Use ziplock bags or the plastic shower caps from hotel bathrooms to put dress shoes in to avoid getting scuff marks on your shoes in the luggage.

  104. Anyways pack a protein bar or some almonds for those tight connections when you get hungry!

  105. christine pincince Reply

    Since I am a photographer I always take all electronics in my carry on. I can buy new underwear if bag gets lost but my cameras and headphones ect get the kid glove treatment

  106. I bring my travel coffee pot because it’s important to me to have my favorite coffee in morning.

  107. If you don’t get upgraded and have to do “the walk of shame” to economy comfort seats, always steal a pillow/blanket from FC/BC overheads on your way back to your seat………….seems like they do not bother to stock pillows/blankets for the common folk seats like they used to.

  108. Use a retractable USB 3-in-1 cable instead of 3 separate cables.

  109. Keep a digital copy of your passport, etc. In Dropbox and your email in PDF format so you can print it any time, anywhere.

  110. Make sure you check out the fire evacuation routes when checking into a hotel. Know how to get to the stairwells.

  111. My favorite tip – for traveling and always: Be kind. To the gate agents, to the flight crew, to your fellow passengers. In the end, it’s the best way to make the travelling life better for all.

  112. My favorite tip is to be sure to carry a 3 in 1 plug adapter. I find a full charging station near the gate, and ask, do you mind if I share? They look back puzzled like “dood, don’t you see there are no vacant outlets?” I whip out my adapter and viola! Everyone can charge their PED, or two.

  113. Get on board, have a drink and just relax. If everyone relaxed air travel would be allot easier.

  114. Never check a bag. If it won’t go in one carry-on, leave it at home.

  115. Always use the button hole on the cloth napkins in first class to drape over your clothes to protect from unexpected spills, sometimes just from turbulence.

  116. Check your hotel room more than once before checking-out to make sure chargers and other personal items are left behind.

  117. My wife and I keep a running excel file of items we need for our personal trips. It has been a lifesaver to print it and just go down the checklist while packing. Good for roadtrips and trips with flights.

  118. Barb Thompson Reply

    Hand sanitizer. Also transfer photos off your phone memory card for a new trip and bring an extra memory card – in case you go crazy with taking pics. Also avoid sodium a few days prior to long flight to help avoid leg swelling. Having some foam under your bum for long international flight. Airline bottom cushion is not very cushiony.

  119. Travel with a small blowup footstool to raise your feet up while traveling a long flights!

  120. BenTraveling Reply

    Invest in a travel scale to weigh checked luggage easily at home to save on overweight charges at the airport.

  121. Luke Coyne Reply

    If you need a luggage cart, but don’t want to pay the $5 for one, walk out to the pick up curbs. At PHX the pick up areas / taxis are across from luggage claim and free carts are almost always left their by passengers that have left.

  122. I have a small battery charger that I carry everywhere when traveling. It has saved my phone many times when I’ve needed it most

  123. I like to carry my id and the Amex card in my front pocket. That way if my billfold or backpack get stolen, or if luggage doesn’t arrive if checked I still can get my hotel room and new clothes, and back on through security if necessary

  124. Do whatever it takes to get to Gold.
    Sky Priority alone is worth it.

  125. Read the Delta Points blog, if you’re interested in flying Delta!

  126. Use your cellphone camera and take photos of your wallet contents, drivers license and passport.

  127. Open a bank account that does not charge fees to withdraw cash.

  128. print an extra boarding pass to give the GA when you are asking for a bump.

  129. Stuff your shoes with your socks and other small items to maximize room in your carry-on.

  130. Arrive at the airport with enough time to settle down before boarding. Rushing increases your stress level which can prevent you from enjoying the flight.

  131. Laptop, headphones, camera, phone, meds & book in briefcase; everything is checked in extra large roll-a-board suitcase with neon colored identifying strap, nametag and lock.

  132. Carry the Plt Amex and get to the airport early to enjoy Centurion and Priority Pass lounges

  133. Be calm and patient. Odds are whoever you’re dealing with is not responsible for what ever problem comes up.

  134. Avoid checking a bag…I can pack for 2 weeks in a carry-on and that includes 2 pairs of shoes.

  135. I line the bottom of my suitcase with plastic bags from drycleaner before placing my clothes in and put one on top to protect my clothes. Doing it after my suitcases came wet on 2 occasions, with all my clothes soaked wet inside…

  136. I always pack empty Freezer Gallon Size Ziploc bags. They are great for keeping items that may leak or are wet, separated and protected.

  137. The Captain Reply

    Once you board and are in your seat, if another passenger walks up and insists you are in their seat do not get up. It does happen that people are issued the same seat assignment and whoever is in it first gets it. Unless directed by a crew member to change seats do not get up.

  138. I like my E-bags carry-on backpack. Always fits in the bin and full of useful storage. Also love Global Entry.

  139. I keep a printed “checklist” of travel items for trips. I cross off each item as I pack it, making sure I don’t forget anything. The list has saved me many times from leaving something behind that otherwise I would have forgotten.

  140. Keep an Amenity kit for travel ONLY.. and don’t unpack it when you get home. This will save you time for your next trip.

  141. Pack only what you need, roll all your clothes tightly, and be sure your carry-on meets the current requirements. If you can’t fit it in your carry-on, ship it ahead to your destination. DO NOT check a bag!

  142. Pingback: This week's SWAG Saturday Swiss Backpack winner is... - Delta Points - Delta Points

  143. Use hotel corporate “codes” to get discounted rates like business travelers. Rarely are you asked for proof and even if you do just say you are there to interview with the company code you are using.

  144. Kemmeth Taylor Reply

    Pack carefully all that you believe that you will need and then remove 1/3 of it!

  145. Take pictures of your luggage before you give it to the airline, makes lost luggage a little easier.

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