So many people envy my job because I travel the world. They want to know how I get the best travel deals no matter where I’m headed. Close friends constantly probe for my list of “secret” travel resources. In this post, I will share tried-and-true methods for scoring the cheapest travel deals.

However, I don’t always travel alone. Traveling with a screaming baby in endless security lines at the airport makes thoughts of wrinkled clothes in a too-tiny carryon even more stressful. I reduce travel stress by purchasing accessories that smooth the rough spots. Saving money on the items I need to achieve comfort away from home is obviously important, too. Items or gadgets that don’t perform or aren’t practical are a waste of money.

Use Online Resources to Save Money

It’s true that I have secret travel resources. If you’re planning to travel alone and you can travel on a moment’s notice—also known as last minute travel—you will find some of the most amazing flight and hotel deals on the Justflytravel app.

Keep in mind that travel consolidators use supply and demand to price deals. Recently, I had to travel to Curacaowithout a lot of time to find flights. Although I was hosted by the tourism board, my airfare and hotel accommodations were up to me to book. I was able to book a hotel room at bargain basement rates with the help of the app.

Essential Travel Stuff

Here is a list of family travel essentials:

  • When I travel with my family, I always put comfort and safety ahead of everything else. Simple things, like catching a few REMs during a long flight to China, can make the difference.
  • The pillows and blankets available on most flights aren’t comfortable and, if you have sensitive skin, just say no. Many airlines don’t offer a pillow or blanket but, even when they’re sealed and supposedly sanitary, our own gear is the right choice. We love the Trtl Travel Pillowbecause it props your head up so you don’t get a sore neck. Neck aches or dozing into a stranger’s arm won’t happen because of the design. I never travel without one in my carryon.
  • We also take a sleep maskor two in handheld luggage. When time zones change or we’re traveling to Finland or places above the Arctic Circle, persistent daylight is a big problem. Kohl’s also sells a variety of sleep masks.
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  • Noise blockers are really important on a long flight. You can pay hundreds of dollars for great noise blocking headphones, so make sure to price shop. I bought Bose noise cancelling headphones at a huge discount by comparison shopping.
  • In-flight entertainment and communication is also important on a long trip, and our tablet keeps everyone entertained. Read books, play games, access files, and use apps like Justfly to make my reservations. Check out this Justfly reviewon Follow Me Away on how you can score cheap flights on the app.
  • Athletic shoes are comfortable, and ours perform double duty. On a long flight, they support our feet. When we get to the destination, they’re perfect walking shoes. Avoid tender, aching, or tired feet and get a new pair of running or walking shoes at Adidas or Foot Locker. When athletic shoes get dirty or very wet, remember it’s time to get a new pair.

Favorite Things

Depending on the destination, we also bring a multi-use electronics charger and a mini steamer. Depending on your travel plans, a tiny steamer can make your crumpled suit or jacket look freshly pressed. Making travel look easy, along with managing travel costs, reduces stress and keeps us happy. As for a durable suitcase, I highly recommend Away Luggage.

Travel Light

For many reasons, traveling light is important to traveling well. Buying a deeply-discounted last minute airfare or snagging $100 off on the second night of a hotel stay are important to the bank balance. At the airport, on the plane, or after arrival at the destination, happiness may depend on how well things function. Think about the things you can’t live without before booking a next business or pleasure trip, and buy them. Let me know about your favorite things for travel.

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What are your favorite ways to stay stress free and save money while traveling?