Consider: TSA Global Entry Pre-Check – For only $100 and an easy appointment, it’s well worth it especially over crowded travel seasons.Certain credit cards will actually reimburse the fee; Citi Prestige, American Express Platinum and Citi/AA Advantage Executive Card are three that currently offer this perk.
Skip: The Airline Club Room – While some credit cards will get you free lounge entry, unless you truly think you will have lots of time on your hands, you’ll actually spend less grabbing the odd drink/bite in the airport versus paying for the lounge entry ($25 to $50 per person.) Most airport restaurants offer free wifi these days too.
Consider: An Upgrade to First or Business Class – Seats are getting smaller, and planes are getting busier, so start using one credit card./airline for travel to rack up loyalty points. Also be flexible as it’s easier to score two separate seats in first or business class than two seats together.
Skip: Extra legroom – It’s rarely worth it for short-haul flights, especially if you’re paying cash instead of using points. On some carriers the “extra” legroom is a measly 4 additional inches larger than standard economy. It would be better to choose an airline that has spacious economy seats or use SeatGuru or SeatExpert to choose the best seats within your cabin.
Consider: The Loyalty Program – Programs often offer perks like minibar credits, upgrades and insider deals. For example, Kimpton gives new members a $10 minibar credit and a $30 spa service discount. Even if you don’t travel frequently, it’s well worth it.
Skip: In-Room WiFi – Most hotels offer complimemntary wifi in the lobby, or you can use your phone as a hotspot for your devices. If you’re staying for multiple nights, consider upgrading your data plan by $15 or $30 before the trip to avoid overage charges.