Home for the Holidays: Tips on Flying Back

On my way to the airport during Thanksgiving break, my Uber driver told me about the Duke student she just dropped off. He/she got into the wrong Uber, had no phone, and had no card or cash. He/she got into the Uber at 5:30 in hopes to make a 6:30 flight. I’m sorry if this was you, but this is a hot mess.

Whether you’re a pro at traveling or flying alone for one of the first few times, here are a few tips to get through the airport without looking like the family in Home Alone:

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1. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

Have cash just in case. Check the weather and your flight status religiously. Try to arrive at the airport at least an hour or hour and a half before your boarding time to allot for security, checking bags, etc. And make sure you get into the right Uber.


2. Get the airline app

If the airline you’re flying has an app, download it because you can usually have your boarding pass on there. It’s much easier than going to a kiosk to print it, carrying that around, and possibly losing it. Just make sure your phone is charged.


3. Packing List

Making a packing list and/or listing everything you pack will not only help you stay organized and pack efficiently; it’s also helpful for packing up to leave to double check that you’re not leaving any essentials at home.


4. Airport Food

Airport food and water is ridiculously expensive (I paid $3 for a pack of gum). Easy solution: make a target run before you travel and get some snacks. And bring a reusable water bottle.


5. Travel Outfit

Wear your bulkiest clothes, coats, and shoes to the airport to avoid trying to fit them into your suitcase. And SOCKS. Please do not be that person that forgets to wear socks to the airport and has to walk on the airport floor barefoot. It’s so hard to watch, just please wear socks.


Best of luck, and safe travels!!


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