Flight attendants, travel bloggers, and pilots are at the top of the list when it comes to professional jet-setters we turn to for practical advice on all things related to air travel. They've got the best tips on how to pack a carry-on, when to book a flight, and what not to do on an airplane. It's only fitting that family members of these expert travelers also happen to know a thing or two about efficient, money-saving travel.
Jillian Selzer, a contributor at Insider and the daughter of a pilot, recently shared all the juicy travel secrets she's picked up from her dad. Although she doesn't disclose which airline he worked for, she recalls tagging along on trips to Vancouver and Chicago and exploring cities in just 24 hours. "Having a parent that flies planes for a living gave me access to a side of travel that not everyone is privy to, and there are definitely things that even seasoned travelers would never notice," she writes in an article for the publication.
Curious about the intel this pilot's daughter has learned over the years? Here are four travel secrets Selzer picked up from her dad.
1. The end of winter is the best time to travel
That sweet spot after the holidays and before spring break is the best time to travel when it comes to avoiding crowded airports and finding low airfares, according to Selzer. Aim for late January to early March when planning your next getaway. She also suggests jetting off on Saturdays or Tuesdays to snag cheap flights and avoid packed planes since businesspeople tend not to travel on those days.
2. Wear and tear on a plane is perfectly safe
Don't be alarmed next time you see a bit of wear and tear on an airplane. "Often times there are systems that don't work or pieces that are missing off of the exterior of the aircraft," she explains. However, according to Selzer, it's nothing to worry about. "Think of it as a crack on your phone screen or a wine stain on your couch: it's completely harmless," she writes.
3. Pilots are required to get eight hours of sleep every night
Unlike most other full-time jobs, sleep is of the highest priority for pilots. "Pilots are given the opportunity to get their full eight hours of sleep per night," according to Selzer. This is regulated by ensuring that pilots are never overworked and always have 30 consecutive hours off every week to fully rest and reset.
4. The group number on your ticket isn't about boarding
While the group number on your ticket does indicate when you'll be able to board the plane, it's really all about overhead bin space, not efficient boarding. "The more money you pay for a ticket, the earlier you get to board the plane, which means earlier access to precious compartment space for your carry-on," Selzer explains.