A thousand words? A picture of your boarding pass can be worth thousands of dollars and endless headache. With one picture you could give someone enough information to simultaneously cancel your flights without your knowledge and steal your frequent flyer miles. It’s true. With another smarter photo, you can get yourself out of a sticky situation abroad. We all love to travel but we occasionally forget some very basic fundamentals which can be absolutely detrimental to our travel happiness. Here are five insanely simple, but important tips to ensure smooth sailing, flying, driving, training or whatever form of transportation you’re taking…

a close up of a ticket


Ah, I just love spending miles. How nice would it be if I could spend yours and stop working so hard to earn my own?! Boarding passes contain tons of very sensitive data. The barcode for example may have everything from your birthday to your record locator, frequent flyer number and future travel plans. Security experts have proven that anyone with sinister means can easily then login, use your miles, cancel your flights or move you from business to economy. Take a mental picture of that image instead!

a label on a piece of clothing

Luggage Tags: Have Contact Info In Or On Your Suitcase

If you haven’t experienced a first hand luggage horror story, count yourself amongst the lucky ones. Airlines lose bags, they get put on incorrect flights, they visit the wrong continent, crazy stuff happens. If you have accurate contact info visible immediately after opening the bag, and or preferably on luggage tags, the chances of being reunited before your trip is over are far greater. I recommend even putting a copy of your itinerary in your bag so that an airline can quickly figure out where it was meant to go.

a group of people walking in front of a large screen with a sign

Garden Your Reservation. Schedule Changes can Be Killer…

Gardening is the act of caring for something over time. These days airlines change their schedules as often as the wind shifts, even on flights you’ve already booked. Don’t be the one dummy that misses your flight by two hours because you never bothered to read those “annoying emails” they send or because you didn’t supply correct contact info at all. I always attempt to check in online 24 hours in advance to guarantee best seating and of course, make sure that I have the correct flight number and time.

a passport with a picture of a man

PhotoCopy Your Passport

If you ever travel internationally, there’s one fear which is well warranted, losing your passport. Passports are very sensitive and very valuable and as such, there are many people interested in stealing them…or you just drop it somewhere. Either way, you should photocopy the picture and info page of your passport, leave it in a secure place at home and if possible, give someone instructions of where they are. With that info it will be far easier to issue an emergency passport or travel visa and get you home.

a yellow car and a taxi

Verify Authenticity Wherever You Go

It’s pretty easy to verify that you’re getting on a real airline. Someone would have to go through serious effort to rent a Boeing 747 and paint it just to dupe you. When it comes to tours, taxis, transfers and other services, it’s a lot easier to cause havoc. Airports are notorious for scammers offering pick ups with the real aim of driving you around in circles and over charging. Make sure you’re using accredited rides, guides and services to keep your pants where they belong, on you.

a boat in the water

I love jokes and if you follow these tips, you can simply enjoy your travel, laughing all the way. Travel is a true highlight of my life and I believe that it can be better for all, you just need to put a bit of effort in to learn best practices. So, if you follow these, I all but guarantee your luggage will eventually return to you, you will be taken care of even if your passport is stolen, you’ll save money, and I won’t spend all your miles.

As Always, Get In Touch: GodSaveThePoints@gmail.com

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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