Nobody likes flying, but if you want a change of scenery, it’s the fastest way to escape from the monotony of everyday life. While it’s convenient, there’s the trouble of getting to the airport on time, checking in, going through TSA, and then racing all the way to the gate only to endure several hours in a metal tube crowded by strangers. I don’t want any part of that.
But flying doesn’t have to be stressful. It can be just the start of your exciting vacation with these tricks for making airplane travel simple!
Seriously, pack light. When we go on vacation, we often bring everything we can—a shirt we’ve never worn, three pairs of shoes that we don’t need, and a deck of cards that we know we’ll never use. Why? We’re afraid that the moment we don’t bring something, we’ll instantly need it. But you’ll never need that dress and if you want a deck of cards, buy one for a dollar when you get to your destination.
Packing light might even save you money. If all you have is a carry-on, you won’t have to pay money to check in luggage. For some airlines, I’ve spent as much money checking in luggage as I’ve spent on my ticket! Packing only a carry-on means that you won’t run the risk of the airline losing your luggage either.
Get Ready for TSA
The part about flying that stresses me out the most is the TSA check. I know everyone is in a rush to get through and there I am, spending five minutes unlacing my shoes and making sure I don’t have any metal on—keys and jewelry.
But I’ve come up with a few tricks during my travels. Wear something easy. Don’t wear any or a lot of jewelry. If you do, take it off while you’re in line or don’t put it on until you’re at your gate. For shoes, wear flats, or make sure they’re unlaced by the time you get to the scanner.
Flights are long! If you’ve ever been bored on one, then they’ll seem ten times longer. Make sure you download a few movies on your devices or a couple episodes of your favorite television show. You can also bring your laptop and get caught up on some work while you listen to music.
Bring a book, a notebook, or, if you really, really need that deck of cards, bring it and play a game with a friend. Make sure you have a few things planned before your trip so that you’ll be entertained or even productive during your flight!
Get Some Rest
If you have a long layover, a long flight, or in the event that your flight gets cancelled, you’ll need a chance to get some sleep. It’s no fun laying across the chairs at your gate or getting a crick in your neck after falling asleep sitting up. So be prepared.
Bring a neck pillow for yourself. If you need one, bring a blanket or something to keep yourself comfortable. You’ll also need to wake up on time, but you can’t just set an alarm on your phone and let it disturb everyone around you. If you have a friend, ask them to wake you up or make sure you have a pair of headphones that can alert you when it’s time to get up. Also consider silent alarms like those on fitness trackers.
Be a Good Neighbor
There’s nothing worse than sitting next to or in front of an annoying passenger—the child that kicks your seat, the man that eats with his mouth open, and the woman that can’t keep her belongings out of your space. It’s so aggravating, so don’t be those passengers.
If you’re traveling with a child, make sure they behave themselves and are entertained. As for yourself, make sure you are courteous of the people around you. The moment you start to feel like other people don’t like you, the moment you start to feel the stress creeping in again. Make sure you stay organized. It’s never easy to share your space with someone who’s throwing snacks and belongings all over the place.
Flying isn’t easy, but it’s the only way to get away. And sometimes we all need a break from the stress of life, so getting cornered again at the airport isn’t exactly relaxing. But by following these easy tricks, you can handle the airport like a frequent flyer. Safe travels!