You’re not alone if you haven’t flown in a while. Still, as the holidays draw near, more people will book trips, and you may do the same. The best ways to prepare for airline travel are the same as before. Get through the airport quickly and efficiently when you have a plan in place that gets you from the taxi drop-off to your gate.
No one wants to begin their trip with stress, yet the airport is full of opportunities for you to become frustrated. Follow these tips to stay calm and learn what to expect.
Organize Travel Documents
The documents you’ll need for your trip may depend on where you’re going. International travel requires much more documentation than domestic travel. You should start organizing these necessary records as soon as you book your trip. Some may take time to acquire. Travel documents you may need include:
- Plane ticket
- Driver’s license
- Photo ID
- Travel visa
- Immunization records
Pro Tip: If your airline allows it, secure your seat before the flight. Each company has a different policy; some are first-come, first-serve as you enter the plane.
Read Airline Rules
Check the website for your specific airline to ensure you pack correctly. Each airline has different guidelines for how large and heavy your bag can be for both checked and carry-on luggage. You don’t want to find out that you’ve over-packed after arriving at the airport. Some airlines charge enormous fees for heavy bags.
Pack for TSA
Keep items you’ll need to remove for TSA easily accessible. This will make your time at security go much quicker. Become familiar with your luggage and figure out how to fix its zipper in case it breaks in the middle of the airport. Further, you should know how to repair your trolley handle if you use a suitcase with wheels.
Dress in clothing you’d wear for a road trip when traveling by plane. Since you’re going to be stuck in a seat for several hours, you’ll want to be comfortable. You can change your clothes when you get to your destination.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to bring a face covering to wear inside the airport and plane. Currently, airlines require everyone to wear a mask unless they are eating or drinking.
Even if your plane has in-flight entertainment, you’ll want to listen to music or read a book while you wait for your flight to board. Especially if you experience a flight delay, you may spend more time in the airport than you originally anticipated.
The best ways to prepare for airline travel are to know what to expect. No two experiences are the same, so try to go with the flow. It’s wise to have a backup plan for when things for wrong—and don’t be surprised when others aren’t as prepared as you. Flight delays, long lines, and poor staffing happen every day at airports. Be thankful for the opportunity to fly to your destination and be with the ones you love.