If you feel like you spend more time flying than driving, you might be a frequent flyer. Frequent flyers take advantage of loyalty programs and credit card miles to fund travel for business or pleasure.
Whether you’re bit by the wanderlust bug or you work for a nationwide enterprise, you need a place to call home, regardless of how often you’ll be there. For the jet-setting globetrotter, here are seven of the best U.S.-based cities to call home.
How to Become a Frequent Flyer
The first step to becoming a U.S.-based frequent flyer is joining a frequent flyer loyalty program. These programs are usually free-to-join, so join more than one. You can sign up through an airline’s website or app with your name, email, and phone number.
You should also sign for a credit card that accrues travel miles. While airline credit cards charge a fee, every purchase, from groceries to gasoline, gets you closer to a free flight or upgrade.
The second step is acquiring digital resources. Travel apps are here to stay, and they’re well worth the minute it takes to download and set them up. Download apps that make planning hassle-free, like Google Flights, Rome2Rio, or TripIt. Also, don’t forget recommendations apps like TripAdvisor, ridesharing apps like Lyft, and accommodation apps like Airbnb.
The third step is packing essentials. Invest in packing cubes, a reliable carry-on, and a portable external battery. For international stays, a universal adapter is a must. Other must-haves include a digital luggage scale, disinfectant wipes or pocket-sized hand sanitizer, and travel-sized first-aid.
Step four is ensuring your ducks stay in a row while you’re away. Consider signing up for a digital mailbox, which allows you to view and manage postal mail and packages from anywhere, 24/7, using an app or website.
Once you’ve stocked up on carry-on friendly essentials, it’s time to choose your frequent-flyer-friendly home base.
7 Best Cities for Frequent Flyers
As a seasoned frequent-flyer, minimizing the distance between your home and the nearest international airport is a must. After all, you don’t want to rack up expensive cab fares or car storage fees because the airport is tens of miles from your front door. Aim closer to the coasts to limit your international flying time and offer more options for overseas travel.
The second consideration is how much time you’ll be spending in your home city. If you have family or friends in one of the preferred travel cities, you might enjoy having friendly faces near your home base.
As America’s third-busiest international airport, MIA offers more flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other U.S. airport. However, if you’re overwhelmed by Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Tampa are the following best frequent flyer cities in Florida.
Los Angeles, CA
LA might have only one airport, but the LAX happens to be the U.S.’s second-busiest with a diverse range of destinations, including Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. If you’re considering living elsewhere in California, San Francisco and San Jose are also great for city-hoppers.
Home to one of the world’s busiest airports, with 150 domestic and 75 international destinations, the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport can help flyers black out the squares on their destination bingo card.
Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas is more than a dream bachelor party destination. It’s also a hub for several airlines. The airfare rates are reasonable, with LAS servicing a healthy rotation of domestic and international flights for wherever your travels take you.
In Chicago, you gain access to one of the busiest U.S. airports, O’Hare International, while living in one of the most affordable major American cities. O’Hare International boasts over 78 million travelers per year.
New York, NY
With three major airports providing plentiful flight options, both domestic and international, New York is a no-brainer for anyone who can afford the rent and doesn’t mind the big city life.
Minutes away from where Boeing manufactures planes, SEA or Sea-Tac offers reasonable fare with access to destinations near and far.
There are many other factors to consider when moving to a new city, like the climate, food, and culture, but hopefully, this list is a good starting point for anyone bit by the travel bug.