“It’s a bird! It’s a plane!” It is a plane. Traveling by plane is a great way to get far away from your hometown and explore places you would never be able to if you were driving. The most stressful thing about flying, however, is the before and after situation. Maneuvering packing your suitcases and traveling to each terminal can make you want to rip your hair out. To avoid this, I am here to offer you some ways to keep the stress out of your much-needed, stress free vacation.
First consider how you pack. If you are flying, packing has to be done in a smart and organized manner. Some main airlines, such as Southwest, allow two free checked bags. Others, including American, United and Delta charge for every checked bag. Be aware of the restrictions that the airline has on bags, and try to compress things into a carry-on if you can. Most airlines let you bring one carry-on – which can be up to the size of a small duffle bag – and a personal item. So usually when I fly, I’ll bring my small duffle bag and my backpack, both stuffed full. If you do just bring a carry-on, make sure to keep in mind the liquid restriction. Anything over three fluid ounces will be tossed out at security. Luckily, most face, makeup and skin care products are under that, and you can always head to Target and buy travel packs of products.
There are also a lot of great Youtube videos on compressing your packing. I try to think of essentials – since I usually only really wear like 12 things on a normal basis in my wardrobe. Pack a couple of staple pieces and mix them with statement items to make it seem like you are wearing something new everyday. Make sure to also check out the weather ahead of time so you know what to plan for.
After packing, take a look at your flight. Its best to book a flight on a Tuesday or Wednesday because that is when they are the cheapest. Websites like Expedia and CheapOair are great for seeing all the options for flying out on a certain date. But also go checkout the actual websites for each airline because they might offer deals that the bargain websites don’t pick up on.
Once you book your flight, try and outline your flight schedule. Arrive about an hour to two before take-off to get past security and check your bags. Wear slip-on shoes and comfy clothes for flying so you can move quickly through security. The biggest pet peeve of any normal flier is the people who don’t know how to move through a security line. Make sure to have your laptop at arm’s reach and read the signs so people don’t give you death glares. I always keep my headphones, an extra portable charger and an empty water bottle in the front pocket so I can easily grab them after I get through security.
If you have a layover, make sure to check the airport layout. Fortunately, the internet has maps of each airport, so you can track where you have to walk to for your next gate. You can also see the food places around your gate and plan ahead, because flying is about planning. Also, anyone with your flight number can google it and track the plane. This sounds a bit creepy but can be super helpful if someone is picking you up and your flight is delayed.
These tips will help you keep your cool before, during and after your flight so you can take full advantage of your vacation.