With the countless flights I’ve taken over the past few years of my life I have picked up a few traveling tips along the way. (Speaking of, if you haven’t read my guides to traveling abroad in Europe you check them out here, here, and here.)
Flying is something I LOVE. Almost as much as I love actually visiting a new place. I think it’s because airports signify being able to explore new places. And let’s be real, my sense of wanderlust is no joke.
But it wasn’t always something that I loved. In fact I used to have major anxiety when it came to flying. And I know too many people who absolutely dread it.
Over the past however many flights I’ve taken I’ve learned what works to make the whole process go a lot smoother. Whether it was learning that buckled wedges weren’t the most efficient choice of footwear, or how to move through security with ease, there are a few small things you can do to make sure you’re not completely hating your life while traveling.
- Pre-Airport Prep
- Have your boarding passes printed out or on your phone. This speeds up the whole process by allowing you to skip the check-in line
- Avoid having to check a bag at all costs. I can understand if you’re going somewhere for an extended period of time. But if you’re leaving for a week to a tropical resort… Let’s be real, you’ll be living in a swim suit a majority of the time and you don’t need 10 outfit changes. Even if you did you can fit all of that into a carry-on.
- Security lines – Shoes, laptops, and easy access
- Do yourself a favor and wear the easiest shoes you have to slip on and off. DO NOT wear anything with laces. And unless you’re a hippy freak (like me) who doesn’t mind being barefoot anywhere in the world make sure you’re wearing socks.
- The line is always moving so fast and there’s this unspoken rule that you have to move as fast as humanly possible to move through this line or else you’re going to piss off everyone around you. Laptops are usually what seem to trip people up. Always assume you’re going to have to take it out of your bag and be sure to have it at the top ready to be taken out.
- Have your boarding pass and I.D. in hand when you’re in line. It’ll spare you the seconds of panic while the TSA agent stares you down.
- Boarding – The aisle hold, bag storage, avoid holding up the line
- Again, there’s an unspoken rule that if you’re not moving at roughly 50 mph you’re going to get some dirty looks. So you have walk down the aisle of the airplane doing something I call “the aisle hold”. Hold your bag out in front of you so that you can walk down the aisle without hitting people or getting stuck on arm rests. Trust me, pulling it behind you never ends well.
- If you have carry on luggage, do your best to look down the aisle at the storage bins above your seat. Because more often then not they’re going to be full unless you were the first one on the plane. So look for an open spot closest to your seat and take it. It’s an absolute pain to have to walk back up the aisle, with your bag, when hoards of people are trying to push past you to their seats as if the plane is going to take off without them.
- Make sure you’ve memorized your seat number before you get to it. Holding up the line, as we’ve learned, is majorly frowned upon.
- The Flight – PREPARE YOURSELF
- I don’t care if your flight is 1 hour or 18. You have to make sure you’re fully prepared. Wear comfy clothes, bring a book or a laptop, and don’t be afraid to be THAT PERSON with a neck pillow. They’re fantastic and I 100% support them.
- I HATE airplane bathrooms, so I try not to drink too many liquids so as to avoid using one.
- If you’re the type of person who gets irritate easily by noises, bring ear plugs and maybe even an eye mask. Because more than likely there will be a person coughing or a baby crying.
Finally, just relax.
Allow yourself enough time to be able to relax at your gate. And feel the excitement of being able to travel. It really is a luxury that too many of us take for granted.
I hope these tips help to make your traveling experience more enjoyable. Traveling can be a beautiful thing. You just have to have the right attitude.