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by Becca K.
Whether you are the seasoned traveler or one who just occasionally takes a vacation, there is no doubt that travel has changed over the last several years.  We have seen airfare hit a low, but what does that mean for us travelers?  More hidden fees.  No one loves getting to the airport to find that they have to check their bag for $50. Even when the flight industry has made the idea of air travel daunting, there are several ways to make your travel smooth and care-free (and low cost!).
1. I always recommend packing light.  I travel with a dry bag.  Yes, the ones that you use on canoe trips.  They may not have wheels, but they are manageable and some even come as backpacks.  Why? Everything seems to fit and nothing gets wet.  I can put at least 5 days of clothing into my 30L dry bag and have it look smaller than a normal duffel or backpack of similar size.  This is important if you choose to bring two bags as carry-on.  Larger bags and rollers will always be questioned when cabin space is limited, while a dry bag can fit into most nooks and crannies.
2. More packing tips? Travel wearing your heaviest clothing.  Jeans, jackets and sneakers take up a lot of room in your bag, so just wear them! You may even need it to keep warm on the plane.  Also, make sure your liquids are less than 3oz and are already sealed in a ziplock bag. Don’t be the person who holds up security by having large liquids or everything scattered throughout your carry-on bags.
3. Before you get to the airport you can download the app for most airlines.  This allows you to miss the check-in counter all together and go straight through security using online check-in.  You may also be able to change your seats up until the time of boarding.  For longer flights, keep checking to see who is sitting where.  I have managed to snag whole rows to myself on my last 4 international flights by changing to vacant rows at the last minute.
4. It is important to remember, when you are traveling some things are just not going to be in your control.  Delayed flights, lost bags (not if you learn to pack light!). Take the “go with the flow” attitude and always be kind to travel employees!  Their days can be full of angry travelers and a nice smiling face can be just what they need!

Savvy Tip: My favorite flight hunting site? flights.google.com