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Travel Advice from Someone with the Worst Travel Luck

I believe it is a pretty safe assumption to say airports are a naturally stressful environment. Regardless if you’re the one who’s stressed or if it’s someone around you, stressful energy always seems to be right around the corner. But there’s no need to be so uptight! Take it from me, I’ve had a million and one things go wrong at the airport and I can truly say it’s so much easier to take it as it comes and just do your best to be prepared.

First things first, check the weather. It is important to check the weather in advance of your flight so you can predict any delays. Especially if there’s a torrential downpour during the time of your flight (at the take-off location or the final destination), then it’s reasonable to think there might be a delay. On account of this possibility, inform people that need to know of your travel plans about the weather, and maybe even look at back-up flights just in case. In addition, if the weather is bad, that usually equals traffic. It is important to account for time to get to the airport. Just the other week I was going home for the long weekend and the roads were in such bad condition that my Uber took an hour and a half just to get to the airport! Make sure you are as prepared as possible for any weather-related issues that you may be able to control! 
Secondly, make sure any updates regarding your flight are sent directly to your phone—especially for breaks! I know a lot of parents buy tickets home for their kids and sometimes put their phone numbers down to be notified in case of a flight delay or cancellation. While it is very important to keep others informed of your travel plans, in the end, you are the one on the plane, so you need to know if you have a gate change twenty minutes before take-off! Trust me, my mom thinks she should be privy to all my flight information. However, I quickly learned that getting a screenshotted text about a gate change right before boarding does not necessarily create a stress-free environment. Keep others informed, but make sure you are the one receiving all direct updates. 

Once you’re at the airport, make sure to stay alert! Don’t fall asleep to a Netflix show or put on noise-canceling headphones. I cannot tell you how many announcements I’ve almost missed! Airports can get very noisy and crowded, especially on busy travel days or holidays, so it is important to do your best to keep yourself informed. Give yourself the best shot at knowing about last-minute changes and announcements by keeping yourself aware of your surroundings! In addition, on really busy days, sometimes changes aren’t even announced on the intercom. Instead, they’re only updated on the screens or websites, so make sure to check your flight information regularly! It would be a shame to miss a flight because of a last-minute gate change! 

My last piece of advice would be to dress in layers. Planes are either always freezing, or way too hot, there is simply no middle ground. Wear short sleeves, but bring a sweater or a jacket. My personal favorite item to have on a plane is my Mer Sea Travel wrap! These wraps are perfect because they’re stylish so you can wear them around the airport, but they’re also warm and comfortable for a nice nap on the plane as they can also fold into pillows.

Credit: ​People Magazine 

Overall, staying alert and organized on the day of and on the upcoming days before the flight is essential for a smooth travel experience. And finally, if something does go wrong, it is vital that you stay calm. These issues happen daily and most likely your problems affect other people on your flight, so work with the airport staff to help create a calm and helpful environment.


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Gabby Hendren is a sophomore a Boston University studying neuroscience. Gabby loves to dance, do yoga, and explore Boston!
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