7 Tips for Traveling by Yourself

With Christmas break approaching, many college students will be heading home for the holidays. For some students, this may be their first time flying by themselves. If you’ve never traveled alone before, this may seem daunting. I’ve compiled seven tips to help you prepare for your first solo travel experience, from packing to driving home from the airport.

1. Pack lightly

Remember to pack all the essentials but do not overpack. Since you are traveling solo, you are the only person who can hold your luggage. If you pack too much, your luggage will be very heavy and difficult to carry through the airport or put in the overhead bin.

2. Print off your boarding pass ahead of time

In the event that your phone dies while you’re in the airport and all the charging stations are in use, you will not be able to access your boarding pass via your phone. Print off your boarding pass in advance to avoid this problem.

3. Arrive at the airport early

Plan on arriving at the airport at least two hours before your flight is scheduled to depart. From heavy traffic to exceptionally long security lines, there are many factors that can cause you to miss your flight if you do not plan accordingly.

4. Have your driver’s license handy

Before you place your luggage on the conveyor belt and walk through a scanner at the security checkpoint, you will need to have your boarding pass and driver’s license accessible to give a security agent. Sometimes, there are people who hold up the line because they can’t remember where they put their license. Put your license in a place where you can find it quickly and keep the line moving.

5. Come prepared for airport security

At airport security, always plan on removing your shoes, belt, jewelry, and placing your laptop and liquids in a bin. Make sure your laptop is in a spot where it can easily slip in and out of your baggage to make the process easier.

6. Never leave your belongings unattended

If you are not traveling with a group, you will not have anyone you can trust to watch your luggage while you leave the gate to use the restroom or buy food. Don’t leave your belongings at your seat to “save” your seat. Even if all the seats at the gate are filled and you will lose your spot if you leave, it’s better to keep your belongings with you to avoid having your luggage moved or stolen.

7. Schedule your transportation ahead of time

Once you arrive at your destination, the first place you will go is baggage claim and then you’re on your way. Make sure you have your ride arranged before boarding your flight, especially if you live a long distance from the airport. If the airport is close to your house, you could schedule an Uber, but that is typically not an option for people who live far away. You need to have a ride planned out beforehand so you’re not stranded at the airport after your flight.

Keep these seven tips in mind to help you as you embark on your first solo trip. While flying alone can be intimidating at first, you will learn a lot through this experience and be prepared to travel alone in the future. Safe travels!

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