In case you’ve been living under a rock since 2005, Amazon Prime is a paid membership of the gargantuan shopping site that allows customers free shipping on an unlimited number of items. Since its early days, several membership perks have been added that many paying customers might not even know about.
As a long-time Amazon Prime member (and someone who truly likes to get her money’s worth) I have compiled all the best perks with travelers in mind.
These are the Amazon Prime benefits for travelers
As travelers, we like to save our money to spend on travel and experiences, right? So, why spend $99 a year on a membership if it’s strictly for free shipping?
In addition to free shipping, there are several other advantages to having an Amazon Prime account, even if you travel outside the United States for the majority of the year.
These are the benefits included in the annual fee that can help travelers:
- Prime Photos + Amazon Drive
- Prime Music
- Prime Video
- Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
- Prime Reading
- Amazon First Reads
Read on to learn how travelers can best use an Amazon Prime membership to its full potential by taking advantage of these seven perks.
This post contains affiliate links.
1. Prime Photos + Amazon Drive
This might be the biggest and best perk of them all.
I take a lot of photos, not only when I travel but on a daily basis. I back up those photos to a portable external hard drive when I’m on the road and back up that back up to another external hard drive that stays at home while I travel.
If those hard drives are ever damaged, I could potentially lose tens of thousands of photos and memories, and I’d be super sad.
Included in my Amazon Prime account is Prime Photos and Amazon Drive, which are the same but different. Let me explain.
Amazon Drive offers unlimited photo storage space and up to 10 gigs of document and video files “in the cloud.” Use it to store files of all kinds, like back up copies of travel documents. If the need should arise, access them on a computer through your Amazon account or on your phone with the Amazon Drive app.
Prime Photos – which is connected to Amazon Drive – allows you to sort all your photos by category (type, people, places, thing, date) to find the perfect picture, see above.
Using my Amazon account, I chose, photos of the sea in Wellfleet, and it brought up all pictures related to those two things. Using the Prime Photo app for searches like this really makes that #throwbackthursday Instagram pretty easy to do!
2. Prime Music
I like to listen to music with my headphones while traveling but I don’t like using up precious data to do it. Download full albums, individual songs, or create your own playlist with Prime Music and listen anytime while not connected to the internet. Enjoy your tunes while you’re just out around town or across the globe.
There is one downside I’d like to mention. While there are a couple million songs to choose from, which is A LOT, some songs are only available with Amazon Music Unlimited but are available for free on Spotify.
Amazon Music Unlimited costs $7.99 a month (or $79 a year, which breaks down to about $6.60 a month) in addition to the Prime membership fee. I just don’t think it’s necessary to pay extra for this.
Nor is it necessary to pay extra for Spotify Premium. At home, I might use my free Spotify account for access to those few songs that aren’t available on Amazon Music but I wouldn’t pay an additional $9.99 a month to have the offline streaming.
In this case, Amazon Music Unlimited would be the better deal but I’m perfectly fine with what’s included in my Prime membership, thankyouverymuch.
Check out my featured playlist in the sidebar! –>
If you’re already an Amazon Prime subscriber, make sure to take advantage of everything your membership offers.
If you’re not a member yet, give it a try during a free 30-day trial period and see just how convenient and worthwhile it is.
3. Prime Video
Just like Netflix but better because with Prime Video you can download movies and episodes to watch while you travel.
Use any device with the Prime Video app – smartphone, iPad or Kindle Fire – to view downloaded content offline anywhere in the world. Additionally, Prime Video was recently added to Apple TV’s lineup of apps, which totally justifies having one (or getting one).
This is great to use as a back up for flights without in-seat entertainment. Or for those nights at a hostel that you just can’t sleep. Don’t forget your earbuds, though!
Read More: 50+ Stocking Stuffers Travelers Will Love
I prefer to download movies on my Kindle Fire because it has the most space available. That way I can download a bunch of titles and choose whichever one I’m in the mood for when I’m ready to watch something.
Download content to other devices like your iPhone as well, but one movie will use up a little over one gig of space. I say save that space for photos and cool travel apps!
Here are some helpful instructions on downloading videos.
*According to Amazon, select titles are available to watch overseas without downloading. I didn’t know this until I started researching for this post. I’ve never tried to use Prime Video while overseas, so I’m not sure how well it works. If anyone has any input, please share in the comments below.
4. Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library allows you to borrow one book per month. The good thing is there are no due dates, so you can take as long as you need to read each book you borrow. All you need is access to WiFi to download the books.
I think Fire Tablets are the better choice because you can use it in combination with a Prime membership in more ways, getting more for your money!
Other restrictions include:
- Does NOT work with any Kindle Reader apps
- Only one book at a time
- Only one book per month
Despite these downsides to the Lending Library, it’s a great resource to check before resorting to actually paying for an e-book.
Locate the Lending Library on your device
Just tap Books in the menu along the top, then tap Store> in the upper right corner. Scroll down to “More to Explore” and you’ll find it on the list. When you find a title you want to borrow, tap on it then tap on the grey Read for Free button.
Also try the public library: Borrow e-Books for Free From the Library. Even While You Travel!
5. Prime Reading
This is one of my favorite features of my Prime membership!
With Prime Reading, you can borrow an unlimited number of books, magazines, comics, and more. You’re allowed a maximum of 10 titles at a time but just swap one out for another once you’ve completed a title. The selection changes regularly, but you can keep a title until you have finished reading.
Reading magazines is one of my favorite forms of in-flight entertainment because I can flip through the pages mindlessly while listening to music. Before any trip I take, I load up my Kindle Fire with several current issues, saving me from spending at least $20 at the airport every time.
Unlike the Lending Library, a Kindle device is not necessary to take advantage of this Amazon Prime benefit. Prime Reading titles can be read using the Kindle reading apps for iOS, Android, or Samsung.
6. Amazon First Reads
First Reads is a monthly e-mail subscription that includes a selection of free (or sometimes discounted) e-books. You can choose one of six pre-release editor’s picks on offer to download and keep at no cost.
There is usually one title that intrigues me enough to download it each month, but I don’t always use this feature.
Just like Prime Reading, you do not need a Kindle device to read these titles. Just grab a free Kindle reading app. Also, non-Amazon Prime members can subscribe to the First Reads email but instead of being free, the e-books are available for purchase at a discounted rate.
Start using your Amazon Prime benefits now!
Amazing, right? All of that (and more) for only $8.25 a month!
If you are already a paying Amazon Prime member, put that money to good use and start using these features today!
An easy way to find them is to hover over Account & Lists in your Amazon dashboard. A dropdown list will appear with several of the perks listed or click Your Prime Membership. This will bring you to a nice little list of all your benefits.
Not an Amazon Prime member?
It’s cool, you can try it out for free for 30 days. –> Amazon Prime 30 Day Free Trial
Qualifying customers in select U.S. government assistance programs such as holders of the EBT card may get a discount on the annual fee! –> See if you qualify.
There is also an Amazon Prime for students! Get ALL the Amazon Prime benefits for a $49 annual fee! *Restrictions apply, see if you qualify. –> Prime Student 6-month Trial
Sign up using these links and gain access to all of the Amazon Prime benefits mentioned above (plus more!) FREE for 30 days or 6 months. See for yourself how all of these benefits make an Amazon Prime membership totally worth the annual fee.
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