16 Brilliant Travel Hacks: The Best of Quora

by  Christine Wei | Feb 10, 2014
Passport / goodmoments/iStock

We're all huge fans of turning to social media for savvy travel tips, and Twitter is the first place we go for breaking news or obscure knowledge. But who knew that Quora is also rife with brilliant travel hacks? When this social media network first launched in 2009, it was poised to be the anti-Facebook. Today, it's not so much that as it is an intellectual, knowledge-focused forum, and one apparently filled with wanderlusters. This past week, we discovered this thread with creative tips that will save time, save money, and even help you figure out where the locals go, nestled in Quora's travel section. Below, some of the true gems from the conversation – no "bring an empty water bottle to the airport" here.

At the Airport & Train Station

  • "If you have a budget airline that weighs your carry-on luggage, wear two sets of cargo pants with loads of pockets, and stuff them silly with heavy compact things like digital cameras, chargers, etc. Keep the metal stuff in the outer pants to facilitate security checks." – Kuan Sng
  • "At Boston Logan security, no one cares what class you're flying. I always walk down the Elite security line...In general, if you dress the part, airport security will not challenge you. TSA's job is not to ensure adherence to an airline's passenger privileges rules." – Andy Cheung
  • "If there's a long wait for taxi at a airport Arrivals, try going to Departures and snatching a cab that just dropped somebody off. Also will save you on expensive flat rates." – Alan Nguyen
  • "I've peeled off labels from 3 oz bottles (or smaller) and applied them to larger bottles. The Transportation Security Administration doesn't notice [within reason]." – Anonymous
  • "At Penn Station in NYC, wait for your Amtrak train in the NJTransit area, on the lower level below the big departures board in the main waiting area. Also, check the arrivals monitor or website. The track for arriving trains will sometimes be listed before the same info is posted for departing trains." – Dan Berkman

Living Without Internet

  • "In the new version of Google maps, zoom the map to show the areas you want available offline and type 'ok maps' in the search bar to archive the map for offline access. A confirmation message will be shown." – Kartik Ayyar
  • "You can often siphon free wifi by parking yourself near the first class lounges. Those networks are often unprotected... The password for British Airways' JFK lounge wifi is 'London' (thanks, Reddit)." – Andy Cheung
  • "Check Foursquare for tips about where free wifi hotspots are located." – Nemo Chu

Living Like the Locals

  • "Real estate agents: They love talking to you. They know every beach within 100 miles, who owns it, how to get there, and what the area is like. I just pretend I'm looking at investing in some land eventually and chat them up and get great, great info and (free) maps. They'll even give you a tour around if you ask." – Joe Guilmette
  • "Email club promoters, local food bloggers, or expat bloggers in advance. They tend to be the nicest for giving great local tips and advice." – Alan Nguyen

Other Money-Saving Advice

  • "If you forget your phone charger, ask the hotel. They usually have a shoebox full of forgotten chargers behind the front desk and will let you take your pick." – Nat Friedman
  • "If the hotel has a member’s lounge (free drinks/appetizers), a trick that works is if you just hang out in front of the door. Most of the time they don't have someone checking if you’re a customer with status." – Justin Leu
  • "If I'm traveling between two fairly large airports, I always book the discounted 5 a.m. flight, then show up whenever I want to on the same day and go standby on the next flight. They rarely charge you a fee. If you want to be extra cautious, call the night before and figure out which flights later that day have a lot of open seats and show up in time for them." – Julie Rajagopal
  • "When flying United domestic at SFO, park in the northern international garage G. You can take the Red Airtrain two quick stops to United. Parking per day is $20 a day vs. $33 a day. The spots are also larger." – Glen Kacher

*Quotes have been edited for clarity.

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