Christian Living

10 Travel Tips from a Pro: How to Fly Like an Experienced Frequent Flier

Updated June 24, 2023

It’s been 30 years since I took my first international trip. Back then, my parents walked me to the gate, and people still dressed up for the privilege of air travel.

Much has changed, and over my 25+ years as a missionary and traveling speaker. I have gathered the following travel tips I pray will be useful to you as you go where He leads.

Travel Tip #1 – Don’t check a bag!

Not checking a bag saves time when you arrive, avoids luggage loss, and keeps you flexible if flights change.

Travel Tip #2 – Don’t use a third-party website when booking air travel.

Third-party websites like, Expedia and Orbitz can be useful in research, but if you need to change your flight, most airlines won’t work with you unless you’ve purchased the flight directly from them.

Travel Tip #3 – Consider a lounge pass.

Woman with suitcases sitting in waiting area in airport business lounge

Whether you fly frequently enough to get a year-round pass, or have a long day with multiple stops, check in with Priority Pass, or your airline carrier to see what options you have.

A Priority Pass is a network of more than 1,300 lounges available around the world, entitling members to a relaxing space and food and drink before their flight. Some Priority Pass benefits even extend beyond lounges to restaurants within the airport terminal, allowing members to save money on meals.

With free food, drinks, WIFI, and a quiet place to work or sleep, a lounge has often saved me money, and allowed for a hot shower en route internationally.

Travel Tip #4 – Sign up for TSA pre-check / global entry.

Global Entry card (Trusted traveller) covered of Passport of United states on white background.

Paying extra for TSA pre-check & Global Entry might feel like a luxury, but on many occasions, has meant the difference in not missing a flight.

Going quickly through a border crossing or a security checkpoint has helped me arrive at my destination without inconvenience or delay.

Travel Tip #5 – Say no to any requests for a seat change, flight change, or airport change.

paper planes flying in formation in one direction on blue background and one paper glider going in different direction, breaking new ground and stepping out of the line concept

May times airline agents will make a various change requests to passengers. Find a different agent. Most of the time “no” means “I don’t want to,” or “I don’t have time for this.”

Especially when your travel plans have been disrupted, keep asking until you find someone sympathetic. They are out there! (Then reward them with kindness and a written recommendation.)

Travel Tip #6 – If you are stuck in an airport overnight: locate a family bathroom.

On more than one occasion, it’s been a great overnight accommodation in a pinch. Family bathrooms have a lock on the door, a plug, and water. Before objecting: bathrooms are cleaned more frequently than the carpet/seats at your gate.

Travel Tip #7 – Pack an elaborate sleep kit that includes an eye mask, travel pillow, noise-canceling headphones, or earbuds, and a lightweight blanket for a comfortable and restful journey.

Traveling at first class. Flight with comfort. Pretty young woman sleeping in airplane.

If you can sleep, you’ll arrive better for it. If you can’t, the rest will still create margin for your challenges and activities to come.

Travel Tip #8 – Get the latest updated apps.

Viersen, Germany – July 9. 2020: View on isolated mobile phone screen with collection of international airline booking apps (focus on Ryanair)

You can always google your flight number for gate information, but getting the airline app will help with last minute changes if delayed on a runway, allow for seat assignment changes, and in-flight entertainment.

I also suggest the mobile border crossing pass app, and go-go inflight. There are new apps all the time, so keep up to date and you’ll have all the information you need with you always.

Travel Tip #9 – Pre-download movies, music, books, so if your flight is delayed on the tarmac, you don’t have to wait to access the in-flight options.

Slow internet, video load and download speed. Watching movie online. Loading icon on screen.Hand with black empty screen mobile phone . Background red wall with cinema signate.

Where to find your downloads: Every show and movie has a download button next to the play button. When you tap the download button, your selection will show up for offline viewing on the Downloads tab, which can be found on the menu bar that runs along the bottom of the app.

Having something to occupy your mind can help when there’s a crying baby, when you’re in the middle seat, or when you face unexpected flight interruptions.

Travel Tip #10 – Carry an empty water bottle through security and then fill it up on the other side.

Hand of a traveler pressed the button of drinking water filling station at the Airport, fill up the reusable water bottle. Eco friendly, Environmental awareness, No Plastic, Clean water, Zero waste.

Carrying an empty travel water bottle through security and then filling it up on the other side is not only more cost effective, it is also useful to always have the ability to hydrate on a flight or upon arrival.

Travel usually involves unexpected circumstances – delays, cancellations, the loss or forgetting of something, a difficult seat companion, bad weather.

Whatever comes my way, I try and remember most: I can’t worry about what I can’t change, and this too, will pass. Taking a deep breath and enjoying the journey is what makes a travel day not a wasted day, but an investment in adventure.

Do you have any additional travel tips to share? Let us know in the comments!

About Author

Beth Guckenberger is the Co-Executive Director of Back2Back Ministries and founder of the Reckless Faith Movement. Beth and Todd have a large family they’ve formed through biological, foster, and adoptive children. She is an author and speaker, sharing her experience as a mother, a missionary, and a student of God’s Word.