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From passport renewals to airline check-ins, travel is changing in 2018. Stay up-to-date by checking out the top 5 changes happening in travel this year.

1) Online Passport Renewal

Speaking of passports, for all those who’ll need to renew theirs you may be in luck! Carl Siegmund, community relations officer for passport services at the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, has confirmed that the process for renewing passports is getting a makeover mid-2018. We’re all familiar with filling out the application, waiting in line to get your passport photo taken, etc. By this time next year, you may be a few clicks away from a renewed passport. Yes, completely online!

2) Bye Bye Check-In

What if you didn’t have to check in for flights? Seems crazy, right? We’ve all been “checking in” for yeeeaarrs, but that may be dead in the new year. Airlines such as Lufthansa and its partner Swiss are doing away with the antiquated practice. The only thing passengers will need to do is download the respective airline’s app, and you’ll automatically be checked in 24 hours before your flight. You’ll also receive an e-boarding pass in the app that can be shown to make your way through security. More airlines will be adapting this practice, so stay tuned!

3) Budget Airlines on the Come Up

More airlines are making a name for themselves to stay competitive. What does that mean for us frequent flyers? Expect budget airlines such as Norwegian, British Air, and other smaller airlines to introduce unbeatable deals such as $99 round trip from NYC to Paris. Of course, mainstream airlines won’t take this lying down, so also expect even MORE deals from some of your fave airlines like Southwest and Delta to get your business. Bottom line? Stay connected with apps such as Jetlag to get flight deals as soon as they’re released!

4) Smart Luggage Ban

If you’re anything like us, you love a good high-tech piece of luggage. You know, the kind with phone charging capabilities, one of the ones that open with a single touch. They’re so helpful when you’re on the move, but American Airlines will be restricting some of these suitcases in 2018. The airline has deemed the lithium battery in many of the smart suitcases a fire hazard, so if they’re not removable from the suitcase they will not be allowed onboard. American Airlines’ new policy will go into effect on January 15th, but expect some of your other fave airlines to follow suit shortly.

5) REAL ID

For all the folk who’ve procrastinated getting their passport, you may want to put that on the top of your priority list if you plan on traveling next year! There is a new law passing that may change the game for identification required at the airport. “The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.” Translation, depending on what state you live in, you may have to have a passport in order to travel. This law will go into effect on January 22nd, so make sure you click here to see if you’ll be affected. Don’t get caught slippin’ y’all!

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