105 Supersmart Strategies

Here's our comprehensive look at the best ways to travel: how to find a deal, avoid lines, pack, fly, tip, and more.

A tax loophole for hunter-gatherers
When returning to the U.S., Americans may bring $800 of goods for personal use without having to pay duties or taxes. If you buy more than that, ship it home: You can send $200 of goods per day to yourself at a U.S. address. You can also send duty-free gifts worth up to $100 per person per day to people in the U.S. Bear in mind that shipping companies charge based on bulk or weight, whichever costs more, so pack efficiently.

Basic training
If the airport you're flying into is served by a train, take it if you're heading anywhere near the city center. Unless, of course, you're traveling in a group of three or more people, when a taxi is probably more cost-effective.

If you're going to complain, do it right
1. Speak up as soon as you have a problem. The longer you wait, the more the company will assume it wasn't that big of a deal.

2. Unsatisfied with the response? Politely ask for a supervisor. Never take no from someone who isn't empowered to say yes. The corollary is: Don't bitch to anyone who can't help you. All that you're doing is ruining their day.

3. Even--or especially--if someone promises you the world, get it in writing.

4. Build a case! Take notes, keep receipts, get names. Your goal is to show that you really mean business.

5. When corresponding, do it by letter or e-mail. It beats calling, getting passed around, and telling your story over and over. But make copies before you send any originals.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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