How to Breeze Through Your Next Flight | Elyse Myers of @mileswithmyers
Elyse Myers of @mileswithmyers [instagram] shares her favorite travel tips on how to have a convenient flight!
How to Breeze Through Your Next Flight
So you’ve booked that flight for your next vacation. So exciting! New places, great food, relaxing in beautiful scenery, and no dishes or grocery shopping! And then it’s the day before your flight and you start getting that feeling of dread. You’re not alone, many people site flying and dealing with airports in general as their least favorite part of traveling. But with a little preparation and a few tools, you can make your airport experience smooth sailing (or flying!).
Pack Efficiently – Unless your trip is a week or more, you really shouldn’t be checking your luggage. Think about how much time you spend in the airport just making sure your luggage gets to where it needs to go. If you pack a carry on, you save the time waiting in line and checking your bag on the front end, and then at least 15-30 minutes on the back end waiting for your luggage at baggage claim. There are lots of articles out there to help you pack efficiently but basically you should pack items that are versatile, wear your biggest items (sneakers and jackets, for example) on the plane, and only bring what you need. And if you don’t want to take up even more room with a bulky travel pillow, get one that is versatile and won’t take up room once you are done snoozing on the plane. The Flight Fillow is a great travel pillow option when you are short on space because it takes your bulkier items, like sweaters and jackets) and turns it into a soft pillow. Check them out at www.flightfillow.com.
Download your Airline App: Make sure that before you go to the airport, you download the app for whatever airline you are flying. Also make sure that you check into your flight (usually 24 hours before takeoff) and have your online boarding passes ready. If you only have a carry on, this will enable you to breeze past the check-in counter and go straight to security. Many airports have the ability to scan your boarding passes straight from your phone at security and before you board your flight. You will also be able to get up-to-date notifications in case your flight is delayed or your gate has changed.
Let someone else drive you to the airport: Parking at the airport is the worst. It is expensive and takes forever because often you have to park far away from the terminal and wait for a shuttle or train to take you to where you need to be. Skip all of that and just get dropped off at the airport. You can always ask a friend or family member to take you but that might be a steep ask if your flight is leaving at 6am. If you live within 30 minutes of your airport, consider taking a rideshare service like Lyft or Uber. Not only do you get dropped off at the curb, you can often save money if you are going to be gone longer than a weekend on parking fees. Make sure to schedule your ride ahead of time if you need to be picked up really early or really late. This will guarantee that your ride will be on time and you won’t be late to the airport.
Download your Entertainment: Trust me, there is nothing worse that sitting down for a four hour flight and realizing your plane doesn’t have any in-flight entertainment. Most airlines have some sort of entertainment but you are never guaranteed that their options will be good and if you fly a discount airline, you are out of luck. If you have Netflix, they have the option to download TV shows and even full movies onto your phone that you can watch without Wi-Fi. Spotify will also allow you to download songs and playlists onto your phone. If you are into listening to podcasts, you can also download a few episodes of your favorite podcast ahead of time. Don’t be stuck listening to your neighbor snore on your trip to Los Angeles, plan ahead.
Bring Extra Juice: I’m not talking orange or apple juice. Make sure to charge all of your devices the night before and bring a backup. Many airports are decking out their new terminals and airplanes with all of the power outlets you can think of, but the majority of them are still dealing with old technology. To avoid hovering over an outlet near the bathroom or your phone cutting out in the middle of your episode of The Crown, buy a portable phone charger. You can find them in stores or online for anywhere between $20-$50. They are also super helpful throughout the rest of your vacation when you are away from your hotel all day and don’t have a chance to charge your phone.
- Spring for TSA Pre-Check: If you think airports are the worst part of traveling, chances are that has a lot to do with the security process. For me this is definitely the most stressful part of the airport experience. I would highly recommend going ahead and getting TSA pre-check. It was actually way more simple than I thought it would be. I applied online at https://www.tsa.gov/precheck and made an appointment at a local office to go over the info, get fingerprinted, and pay the $85 fee. The whole thing took about 20 minutes. Your pre-check number is good for 5 years and having TSA pre-check means that you won’t have to remove your shoes, jacket or belt and you won’t have to take your laptops and electronics out of your bag. You will also not be waiting in line as long. If security is your least favorite part, $85 is a small price to pay to make your travel experience as painless as possible.
Remember that having a good flying experience is all about preparation. Doing a few simple things ahead of time will save you time and money. Hopefully the next time you show up to the airport, you can breeze through the process and be sipping a cocktail on that beach in no time and without too much stress!
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