We've always loved a good travel hack, whether it's the secret to a smaller suitcase or the trick that gets cheaper plane tickets every time.
We asked the pros at CheapAir -- and sifted through our favorite hacks -- for 7 tricks that will make 2015 the year you FINALLY get out there, and on a trip that goes smoothly, too.
1. Start flying in the morning.
It's science: the later in the day you fly, the longer the delay you might face, as bad weather and other issues create a domino effect throughout the day. Experts advise avoiding flights between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. to decrease your chances of getting stuck.
2. Get TSA Precheck.
CheapAir recommends signing up for TSA Precheck -- after an application, you'll whiz through security like a BOSS.
3. Pick a smart day to book.
Fifty-four days before your trip is the magic number, if we're being precise. And remember: it's never too early to start strategizing for the next holiday season.
4. Stop checking baggage.
You'll 1) avoid checked bag fees, 2) eliminate the chance of bags going missing and 3) have an excuse to invest in the best carry-on tote ever. CheapAir also points out that when flights are cancelled or delayed, airport staff may be more willing to help re-route passengers if they know they won't have to go to the trouble of re-routing checked bags. When you travel light, you're low-risk.
5. Pick up passengers in Departures, not Arrivals.
Meeting your air traveler at Departures instead of Arrivals almost always means less crowds, CheapAir points out. Plus, they say airport police are less likely to make you move while you're waiting at the Departures curb. Don't be afraid to take advantage of cell phone lots as low-stress places to wait, too.
6. Turn your phone into a travel agent.
With the right apps, your phone can nab same-day flights, teach you the local language and even identify the historic spot you're standing in. And when flight delays strike, CheapAir recommends hopping on the phone while waiting in line at the airport check-in desk to double your chances of finding a remedy.
7. Finally set those price alerts.
Sites like Airefarewatchdog and Hopper keep you posted when prices dip on the routes you're looking to fly. Start the new year off right by setting alerts for all your dream trips, and watch 2015 be the year you take the trip of a lifetime.