I have an interesting relationship with air travel. My family lives all across the country and I fly at least twice a year to Florida to visit my boyfriend at school. I am used to planes, airports, and unfortunately- turbulence.
I have, however, picked up some tips & tricks regarding air travel that I find incredibly helpful and I wanted to share those with you all today.
1. Step up your organizational skills
Start with packing. No one wants to get to their destination only to realize they’ve forgotten half the things they need, or they’ve packed for the wrong climate. That being said, check the weather, about a week before, and make a list of the essentials you will be needing. Once you’ve got the basics figured out, you can decide on your luggage situation. I always recommend having only carry on luggage; I have lost my bags one too many times and don’t even risk it at this point. Toiletries can be a hassle- but CVS has great traveled sized products you can pack, and if you bring a small rolling suitcase and a duffle, you have more than enough space. Zippered cases are great for keeping your electronics and chords separated in your duffle while packing-cubes are a lifesaver for organizing clothing in your rolling suitcase. Before I ordered packing-cubes, I would separate outfits in plastic bags. Everyone laughed at me, but I loved having everything prepared when I arrived. Packing cubes are definitely a nicer way of doing this. You can find the product I use when traveling here: Rolling Suitcase, Packing Cubes, and Zippered Cases (I have one for toiletries, one for travel hair tools, and one for electronics)
2. Give yourself time
I got this one from my mother, who got it from my grandfather. As a kid, I always wondered why we would wake up so early to get to the airport, just to sit in the terminal and wait for our flight. Now, as I’ve gotten older and started flying on my own, I realize what a luxury extra time is. It’s a terrible feeling to be running late, just to get stuck in a mile long security line. As a rule of thumb, I always give myself two hours before my flight, if I can. I would much rather be waiting at the terminal then waiting at home and rushing at the very end. Plus, airports are a great place to people watch.
3. Be careful what you eat in the airport
If you’re like me, air travel wreaks havoc on your body. Between stress, (most likely) lack of sleep, and sickness in general, it sucks to feel poorly while on a flight. That being said, one thing you can do to make sure you feel at least a little normal is to eat well. Airport food definitely isn’t the healthiest option, but some shops are better than others. Bringing along your own food is great too! I always stash a few bananas in my bag to snack on. Eating well while traveling also guarantees you’ll be feeling your best when you arrive at your destination, so you can dive right into your day.
4. Hydrate yourself
Similar to eating well, hydrating yourself while traveling by plane is so important. The air at thirty thousand feet is dry, recycled, and unforgiving. Drink as much water as you can, whenever you can, and ignore if your seat mate gets annoyed when you have to get up to pee six times. Hydrate your skin with moisturizer or facial mists and make sure you don’t forget chapstick. Your skin is suffering on both sides, from the air outside your body and the lack of water inside. If you can’t drink while on the plane, make sure once you get to your destination you drink twice as much as you normally would and avoid using harsh products on your skin, at least until you’ve had a good nights sleep and your body has balanced out.
5. Remember the necessities (motion sickness bands, portable charger)
Forget being bored; if my phone dies while I’m on a flight, I’m freaking out because I had my boarding pass electronically downloaded. A backup charger of some sort is a must, especially when you’re in the air for over four hours. Now that planes have wifi, that battery goes quick. Also, if you have a laptop you’re constantly working on, look into a backup power source for that too. It’s worth the investment. My other flight essentials always include motion sickness arm bands, a large scarf that can double as a blanket if needed, and a good book. Purell isn’t a bad thing to have either.
6. Be flexible when things change
More times than not, air travel will be a pain. Flights get canceled for no reason, luggage gets lost, delays happen, weather sucks, and turbulence is the worst. However, it’s no use stressing yourself out over it all. Unless you’re stuck sleeping in the airport overnight, which apparently everyone in my family has had to do at some point, the situation is probably not that bad. You will still arrive at your destination, and it will make you and those around you happier if you can keep your spirits high. This is something I am personally still working on, but I really do believe it helps. If you can look at changes with a positive perception, things will be better in the long run.
I hope some of these tips help you out on your next flight. If you have any tips & tricks of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments below!