As the saying goes, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey, but sometimes when travelling the journey can make the destination not seem worth the trouble. Avoid hassle and enjoy the journey with these tips for smooth air travel.
Give yourself plenty of time for things to go wrong, and you’ll be stress free if they do. Giving yourself breathing room makes the whole process of getting on the plane exponentially less stressful – if you have plenty of time to spare, a little line suddenly becomes no big deal. If everything does go smoothly, you’ll have extra time for airport exploration, which can be surprisingly fun, especially in a major hub. Linger over a proper meal before you get on the plane, move around before being seated for ages, or dive into a good book. Don’t forget people watching – airports tend to have a fascinatingly diverse population to observe. All these things also make long layovers, which help prevent being completely derailed by delays, more enjoyable. When the airport becomes part of the adventure, you may suddenly find yourself enjoying your time there.
Travel Light and Plan Your Packing
If possible, aim for carry-on only. The new rules for liquids may seem an obstacle, but a little careful planning goes a long way. If you’re going on a short trip, you probably won’t need more than 3 oz. anyway. If you’re going to be gone for awhile, chances are you can buy what you need at your destination. Consider shampoo shopping in an unfamiliar place part of the adventure. Revolve your clothing choices, casual and otherwise, around a common color scheme, so that multiple pieces can be worn different ways.
As you’re packing, plan ahead for security and the flight. Keep things you’ll need to take out for security where you’ll have easy access. Especially if you’re doing carry-on only, pack a bag-inside-your-bag with the things you’ll want within reach during the flight (snacks, books, earbuds, deodorant, toothbrush). You’ll feel less frazzled when you don’t have to dig through your bag at security and when settling in for your flight. If you’re checking luggage, keep medications and any chargers in your carry-on. It’ll give you one less thing to worry about in case of delays.
Make Security Stress-Free
Going through security can be one of the most anxiety-inducing parts of air travel, but a little pre-planning makes it a breeze. Do a little research on the current regulations, and pack accordingly. Keep a plastic bag with your liquids easily accessible at the top of your bag, as well as your computer or any other electronics that may need to be scanned separately. Put your jewelry, keys, or other metal that might set off alarms in your bag and put them on once you’re in the terminal, and plan your outfit to include shoes that are easy to take on and off. Finally, bring an empty water bottle to fill once you’re through, so you can stay hydrated on the plane without hassle at security.
Ace Your Arrival
Before you leave, make a detailed itinerary, complete with phone numbers and addresses of your accommodation, whether that be friends or a hotel. That way if you need to call due to unexpected changes of plans, all that information is handy. Also, print off any relevant confirmation e-mails and put it all in a file. If you need transportation from the airport, research your options in advance. Most hotels and airports will have information about shuttle services they offer on their websites. When you stumble exhausted out of the airport, you’ll thank past-you for making arrival easy.
Finally- remember there’s nothing to stress about. Sometimes things are outside of your control, but chances are, in the long run, they won’t be that big of a deal, though it’s hard to see that in the moment. No matter what hiccups you encounter, it’s almost 100% that you’re going to get there eventually. You may as well enjoy the journey.