Stephanie Nelson | 

11 Travel Freebies Only the Savviest Travelers Know

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You won’t find “free flights for kids under 2” or “complimentary pretzels” on this list of freebies — no way.

Instead, you’ll uncover the travel freebies only the savviest travelers know.

Now, go impress your friends.


1. Get a free airfare refund through Yapta if there’s a price drop on your flight.

Yapta is like Paribus for travel — it watches for a dip in price on your flight after you book. When a price drop is detected, Yapta asks for a refund for you on these airlines:

  • Alaska (refund for any price drop)
  • Virgin America (refund for drops over $75)
  • JetBlue (refund for drops over $75)
  • Hawaiian (refund for drops over $100)
  • American (refund for drops over $200)
  • Delta (refund for drops over $200)
  • United (refund for drops over $200)

This perk used to only be available for corporate travel, but this year Yapta opened it up for everybody else.


2. Use a free tour guide at more than 150 destinations around the world.

Tour guide addressing group in Ireland

Global Greeter Network is a volunteer program where locals show tourists around certain cities for free.

Check out the list of destinations here.


3. Get free passport photos.

Take your own picture and order it for free through ePassportPhoto.

ePassportPhoto makes sure your photo is travel-ready and meets your home country’s requirements.


4. Skip checking your baggage and save $35 per bag when you carry-on (especially on United).

A United Airlines plane on the runway

United Airlines is in the midst of a multi-year renovation of their fleet, and that includes bigger and better overhead bins — with the intent of giving every passenger the ability to bring a carry-on bag aboard.

That extra space is going to be nice, and will give plenty of passengers the ability to skip checking their bags — saving $35 per bag and a lot of rushing to get overhead space.


5. Access free Wi-Fi when you fly with JetBlue.

JetBlue is the only US airline that offers free in-flight Wi-Fi service. It’s called Fly-Fi.

You have to get Fly-Fi through Amazon Prime, so if you’re not a member, sign up for your free 30-day trial just before your trip.



6. Watch Netflix for free at a Marriott hotel.

If you have a Netflix account, you can sign in to it at a Marriott and totally pass on forking out the cash to watch a Pay-Per-View movie.


RELATED: 11 Insider Tips for Scoring the Cheapest Flights


7. Request a free kids’ “first flight” certificate on Southwest Airlines.

Just tell your flight attendant that it’s your child’s first flight, and they’ll help you get ahold of a certificate signed by the pilot.


8. Ask for a free second drink on your flight.

Everyone knows you can get a free drink on your flight, but most people don’t know you can ask for two drinks (and ask for the whole can, too).

I always get soda and water.


9. Get free cookies at DoubleTree or Holiday Inn hotels.

Even though DoubleTree started the cookie tradition in 1986, a few other hotels have joined in.

Country Inn and Suites along with select Holiday Inn hotels also offer free cookies in the evening or at check-in.


10. Use AutoSlash for free to get cash back when your rental car price drops.

AutoSlash does for rental car bookings what Yapta does for airline bookings.

Sign up for free and save up to 30% on your next car rental.


11. Check your bags for free with Southwest or American Airlines.

Southwest always offers two free bag checks — not to exceed 50 lbs.

And you can check one bag free through American Airlines if you have an AAdvantage credit card.


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