Like wine, beer, slippers or perfume? Read on.
Checking a bag. Snacking on the plane. Getting early access to your hotel room.
Nowadays any of these once gratis activities can come at a price when you travel, draining the fun—not to mention funds—from your vacation plans.
But take heart: There are some surprisingly delightful and useful perks you can still score at no cost—from DirecTV at 35,000 feet (in economy class!) to loaner GoPro cameras at your hotel.
And that’s just two of the dozen travel perks we’ve unearthed that won’t cost you a dime on your next trip.
6 Airline Perks That Are Totally Free
JetBlue: Checking Your E-mail—and the Game
As JetBlue is pleased to announce: “Ladies and gentlemen, please feel free to roam about the Internet.”
Whether you want to binge-watch a reality show or root for your favorite team, the airline’s new Fly-Fi service, available on most JetBlue aircraft, has you covered with free DirecTV.
Japan Airlines: Finding Your Zen at 35,000 Feet
Flying internationally isn’t exactly comfortable—all the more reason to applaud Japan Airlines for its creature comforts.
The carrier distributes colorful slippers to all passengers, and will even hand out bamboo massage sticks to soothe swollen feet. Forgot your toothbrush? On some routes, you can ask for a complimentary amenity kit, complete with toothbrush set, earplugs, and an eye mask.
Southwest: Stowing Two Bags at No Cost
Fliers enjoy a host of freebies, starting with two free checked bags. Now that JetBlue has introduced bag fees, Southwest is the only major U.S. carrier to provide this service gratis.
You can also browse free ebooks during your flight, or tune in to the “Live at 35” concert series, in which artists like Imagine Dragons and Plain White T’s surprise travelers with Southwest-special concerts.
Porter Airlines: Toasting to Your Vacation
Enjoy free wine, beer and snacks when you fly with Canadian carrier Porter Airlines. Plus, Porter terminal lounges are open to all levels of passengers—so you can prep for your flight with free newspapers, refreshments and WiFi.
Delta: Entertaining Yourself With Endless Entertainment
With the Delta Studio video streaming service, international, First Class, Delta One and Delta Comfort+ passengers can catch new and highly rated films and TV shows, as well as tunes from featured artists for free. The airline also produces its own playlists by genre.
Domestic flyers in economy also enjoy free movies, music and TV via Delta Studio, although the selection is more limited.
Virgin Atlantic: Wining, Dining and Dreaming
Virgin Atlantic’s bar service includes at least one free drink per passenger (more for longer flights), while kids under 12 are treated to meals from celebrity chef Lorraine Pascale, star of the Cooking Channel’s Fresh, Fast, and Easy.
For overnight flights, snooze packs containing an eye mask, earplugs and socks are given to all passengers—so it’s easier to get some sweet shut-eye on your red-eye.
6 Hotel Perks That Are Totally Free
Rosewood Hotels and Resorts: Spritzing a Signature Scent
In the words of fashion icon Coco Chanel: “A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” Sure, that may be harsh—but it does feel good to freshen up with a splash of a favorite fragrance.
Enter Rosewood Hotels’ 24-hour Fragrance Butler who will bring a silver tray with a curated selection of perfumes and colognes to your room on request. It’s a commitment-free way to try a new scent—and save you the hassle of having to pack your own perfume (and likely check a bag because of it).
Sheraton: Personalizing Your “Personal Fitness” Routine
If breaking a sweat in the fitness center isn’t really your style, you can request a complimentary “Gym-In-A-Bag” and use it in the comfort of your own room. The kit includes an exercise manual, mat, resistance band, massage stick and a foam roller.
Whether you’re climbing in Cusco, snorkeling in the Caribbean, or shooting selfies at the hotel pool, share your GoPro moments on social media and you could be featured on Marriott’s Travel Brilliantly site.
Hyatt: Staying the Course While Getting Fit
Planning out a jogging route in a new city can be daunting, but with Hyatt’s Stay Fit Fitness Concierge service, you don’t have to worry about taking a wrong turn. Simply check out a GPS watch at the front desk, so you can map and monitor your running or biking course.
Kimpton: Treating You—and Fido Too
The pet-friendly chain lets you can check-in your furry BFF at no extra charge. Pet owners can also request complimentary pet beds, food, bowls, courtesy bags—and a list of parks, groomers and boutiques.
Traveling solo? You can borrow a goldfish for your room through Kimpton’s Guppy Love program.
As for human perks, the new Nightcap Program provides a free evening libation—such as port, brandy or cognac—paired with cookies, cheese or other goodies.
Fairmont: Enjoying the Presidential Treatment
Joining a hotel’s loyalty program is typically free and can be a worthwhile investment—such as Fairmont’s President’s Club. Signing up qualifies you to receive myriad free benefits that may include Internet access, phone calls, health club use, a shoeshine and loaner BMW bikes and TaylorMade golf clubs.
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