The simplest way to create extra email addresses for travel accounts
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
There’s a fun little email trick I use all the time, especially when it comes to signing up for new loyalty accounts, making reservations and other travel-related tasks. Essentially, I use a long-standing Gmail feature to create an instant alias — a vanity email address that funnels messages into one main account.
But as essential as it’s become in my own life, I constantly encounter friends, family members and colleagues who seem flabbergasted when I explain it, as someone once did for me nearly a decade ago.
Now that I’ve sufficiently built this up, it’s dead-simple to put into practice — simply add a “+” followed by whatever you like, between your Gmail username and @gmail.com. So firstname.lastname@example.org directs emails to the exact same box as email@example.com. On any site you’re registering for an account, though, firstname.lastname@example.org registers as an entirely different address — you aren’t flagged as a duplicate and don’t have to manage multiple totally separate email accounts.
There are countless occasions that travellers may benefit from an alternate email address, but I’ll name a few:
- Registering children for loyalty programmes, Global Entry and TSA PreCheck (email@example.com)
- Booking tours for a certain trip (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Signing into Wi-Fi (or use a fake address, like email@example.com)
I’ve also used this trick to create loyalty programme accounts for reluctant family members, if I can tell they won’t do it on their own. A frequent United flyer taking a rare American flight, for example — firstname.lastname@example.org, and voila, dad has his own account, and I’m getting his programme-related emails.
But wait — there’s more! You can easily create filters based on these addresses. zach+john goes into a folder for little John’s emails, while emails sent to zach+italy get a special flag during the weeks leading up to my trip. Then, when I get back, I can change the settings to immediately mark those emails as read, or to keep them out of my main feed, so any post-trip promos and follow-ups don’t clog up my inbox.
You can also “create” different addresses by adding and removing dots. email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com may appear unique when you’re required to register with an email address, but messages to any of the above all go to the same place — while Gmail essentially ignores the “+” and anything that comes after it, you’ll get similar treatment when you add or remove a dot.
Featured image of TPG Family’s Summer Hull by Andrea Bacle Photography.
Welcome to The Points Guy!