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Raise Your Standard of Flying

Always compare airports and airlines for better deals.
Book your seat when you book your flight, if posible. Request a spot just at of a bulkhead (this is the first row of seats behind business or first-class seats) or emergency-exit rows, there's often more legroom.

Cut your carry-on. Lockers for hanging garment bags are disappearing and overhead compartments fill up fast. If you stuff your bags under the seat in front of you, where you will  put your feet?

Low pressure in airplane cargo holds can make full containers explode. To avoid having liquid all over your gear, only fill bottles about 3/4 full and squeeze out the air before closing.

Travel off-peak times, but ask the kind of plane will be used for your flight, because airlines usually fly the smaller planes at off-peak times (DC-9 and MD-80 have the narrowest plane bodies, and that means instead of getting the usual 3 ft. x 3 ft. space, you get 2 ft. x 3 ft). Airlines also tend to save the larger planes for the busiest times: 7-9 a.m.,12-1 p.m., and 5-7 p.m.

Always make two copies of important items, like passports, credit cards, plane tickets etc. Leave one copy at home with friends or relatives (someone you can reach in an emergency), and pack the other somewhere seperate from the originals. If you're traveling with a partner, carry each other's copies. Along with a copy of your passport and other travel documents, carry extra passport photos. They are required if you loose your passport and it must be reissued.

Find what the phone procedures are before you arrive in a strange country. There is often a bewildering array of local codes, city codes, etc., that can turn a phone call into a nightmarish experience, especially if people are waiting in line. Remember in poor countries public phones are public phones and some countries (Malta, for example) don’t use coins for their phones, only phone cards.

You can usually get a better exchange rate by buying stuff with a credit card, rather than exchanging your cash. This is because the credit card company aggregates all its transactions and get a better rate than any one person could get.

If you're on a long plane trip, it's handy to bring along a bottle of pure water spray. Spray it on your skin, and it will prevent dry, itchy skin.

When you at are the airport's boarding gate and they cancel your flight, DON'T go to the ticket counter with the throngs of people that were also on your flight to rebook. Simply head to the nearest telephone booth and dial the airline's 800 number - you' ll go to "the front of the line."
Always have your notebook PC or electronic organizer hand checked at the airport; never pass it through the X-ray machine. X-rays are harmless but the power supply from the machine creates an electromagnetic field which can scramble information on a hard disc or erase addresses in an organizer. 
(Organizers are particularly susceptible because they have little or no shielding.)

Beware of a new scam at airports involving laptops computers. Two people look for someone with a laptop, placing themselveves in front of him/her at the metal detector. Once the victim puts the laptop on the conveyor belt, the first person goes through the metal detector. Then the second does, but is carrying something that will set off the alarm. While he slowly removes his jewelery, empties his pockets, etc., the first person takes the laptop while the victim is still on the other side of the metal detector...
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