It seems as though the world is getting smaller by the day.
Travelers can now span the globe in less time than it would take to renew a driver’s license.. Heading off to the airport has become more of a commonplace occurrence. That doesn’t make the experience any less daunting for inexperienced travelers.
Here are a few tips to keep your trip flying high, even before you board the plane.
Book your tickets early.
If you know a flight is in your future, you can usually save money by simply booking in advance. This is especially true if your travel plans fall on a major holiday.
Review the restrictions.
Packing is not nearly as simple as it used to be. The good news is that restrictions on liquids and no-fly items are standardized. For more information additional information on foreign ports of call can be found on the country’s official website.
Print your boarding pass early and…
…check in online. Most airlines will allows travelers to take care of those little inconveniences ahead of time. This will save you both time and frustration.
Wear shoes that are…
…easy to slip on and off. Taking your shoes off at an airport is mandatory, so be prepared. Skip the thigh-high lace-up boots and opt for an easier to remove option. Comfort is also key. You might be doing a fair bit of walking, and depending on your flight schedule, you might need to walk pretty quickly, so keep that in mind when picking out footwear.
Make a folder for your…
…boarding pass, ID and Passport. These items will need to be accessible often during your flight. Having them handy will save you time, stress and glares from exhausted TSA agents.
Plan how you are…
…getting there and keep in touch with your pick up person. Nothing spoils a well-laid plan like a sketchy getaway driver. If your friends or family members are unreliable at best, schedule a cab to drop you at the airport and/or pick you up. Transportation is the name of the game and these guys are experts, but if you do have family waiting for your arrival, be sure to keep in touch. Flights come in late and land early all of the time. Do your best to text, call, email, send a carrier pigeon, whatever you need to do to let your ride know how your trip is progressing.
Bring a phone charger.
Folks are expected to be reachable at all times. Soaring through the sky does not give you a pass on that expectation. Most airports are well-equipped to help you stay connected, provided you bring the proper equipment.
If you are prone to getting chilly, bring a sweater. If you sweat at the slightest temperature rise, don’t wear a sweatsuit. There can be a phenomenal temperature difference between cities, airports and planes.
Pack a snack.
Airport food is ridiculously expensive. As long as you aren’t bringing in liquids like soup or smoothies, a snack will make it through security. Some flights offer meals, but they tend to be pricey. So if budget travel is the name of the game, provide your own sustenance. One cannot live on peanuts, pretzels or cookies alone.
Follow the 2-hour rule.
Most airports recommend passengers arrive at least two hours before their scheduled flight. Larger airports can even require more time. Early morning and late night flights tend to entail shorter lines. If lack of sleep is not your forte or flying makes you jittery, opt for longer lines and sleeping in.
Soaring through the skies in a metal tube filled with strangers can fill even the most logical among us with dread. The good news is as nerve wracking as flying can be, getting there is as easy as a little pre-flight planning.