Join the airline’s loyalty program for possible upgrades.
Research the airline before you book. Seat Guru provides a listing of airline seat maps and in-flight amenities.
Chose a seat close to the front of the plane; be the last to board and the first to depart.
Chose an aisle seat if you are prone to being cold.
Reserve airport parking or shuttle service as soon as you purchase the plane ticket.
Pack light, know your airlines baggage allowance and weigh your bags.
Check the restricted items list for review. Do not pack wrapped presents.
Spend money on a good airport bag. You will have it forever and it makes your life easier!
Pack your airport bag with the essentials and never unpack it. My essentials are: eye mask, ear plugs, pillow, blanket, lip balm, breath spray, small tooth brush and paste, moisturizer, hand sanitizer, pen and paper, ear phones, Ziploc bags, pain reliever, Dramamine.
Skip magazines and heavy books and bring a kindle or iPad full of music, books, games and travel apps.
Wear compression socks for long flights.
Charge all electronics before boarding and carry a portable battery charger.
Pack a snack for the flight.
Pre-pack liquids and gels (3-3.4 ounce containers in 1 quart zip bag)
Put your ID, credit card and boarding pass in an easily accessible location.
Dress appropriately. Do not wear a skirt, what if you need to be patted down? Do not wear flip flops, do you really want to walk on the airport floor barefoot? Do not wear jewelry, you will hold up the line removing it.
Identify an ‘airport outfit’ and stick to it. Mine is yoga pants, tank top, half sleeve T-Shirt, slip on sketchers, compression socks and a wooden bead necklace. The sketchers are like slippers. The T-Shirt is easy to remove if the plane is warm. I usually wear this outfit three times; flight there, country hop flight and flight home. When I get home I wash it and pack it in my airplane bag. I’m always ready for the next adventure!
Get to know the airport of your transfer and destination before you leave. Sleeping in Airports has great airport guides. (I do not advocate actually sleeping in the airport… unless you are in Chicago during a blizzard)
Consider wearing your glasses. Your eyes may become dry if you wear contacts.
Check in online. Take a screenshot of the boarding pass rather than relying on the airline’s app and internet connection.
Print the boarding passes; it’s best to be prepared.
Check flight status and terminal before leaving.
Arrive 1-1.5 hours early for domestic flights and 2 hours early for international flights.
Do a quick baggage drop at the curb to avoid the long lines at the counter.
Know the airport code of your destination and ensure your bag is labeled correctly.
Do not drop off your bags too early. The first bags dropped are the first loaded on the plane and the last to arrive at baggage claim.
Don’t hold up the line. Empty your pockets, separate your laptop from your bag, remove your jewelry and belt before you are standing at the conveyor belt.
Avoid the security line with children in it.
Do not joke at the security check point.
Check flight status boards for the correct gate once you are through security, gates can change quickly.
Bring an empty water bottle to fill after clearing security. Staying hydrated will even out the effects of cabin pressure. Yes, you will need to use the restroom. Getting up, stretching and walking to the restroom will help break up the flight and reduce swelling.
Don’t waste your precious data. Use this Wi-Fi Map to find passwords, instructions and the best place to sit for a good connection.
Set your phone’s alarm for boarding, it’s easy to get distracted.
Eat before you board. Airplane food is not the best and you have limited personal space. Not worth it.
Sanitize the tray. They are not washed between flights. People put dirty diapers on those trays. Consider purchasing stick on placemats.
No need to stand in line to board the plane. Your seat is assigned and the plane will not leave without calling your name at least once.
If you are lucky enough to be traveling overseas and booked an overnight flight, try taking a regular formula Dramamine to help you sleep.
Sync your sleep with the destinations time zone immediately.
What is your best airport survival tip?