How To Survive Holiday Travel

By: Danielle Terracciano 

Everyone loves the rush of excitement when you hear the words Flight X is Now Boarding, and you're just one step closer to being home for the holidays. However, the long lines to get through TSA Security, extra hours spent hanging around the gate waiting for your delay to end, and that passenger to your right who won’t stop snoring are all far from lovable. Never fear! I was born and raised in New York, so my flight back home entails a whole day of traveling. Throughout my years of JFK/LAX flying, I have found tons of tips for before, during, and after your flight. I hope my tricks can enhance your holiday travels and save you from stress, but just remember… when in doubt, upgrade!

Pre-Flight:

Check-in begins 24 hours before the time of your flight, and make sure to do so as soon as possible. This can give you an advantage of when you board, which for some airlines means your choice of seating! Once you check in, take a look at what type of airplane will be used for your flight. Visit seatguru.com to determine your seat location, whether or not the aircraft has seat-back screens and phone chargers, and to see other details about your seat, flight, and available amenities. Also, download your airlines app to track the status of your flight, so you won't be surprised about a delay once you get to the gate. You might be traveling before finals are over, so plan out what work you can do in the air. If you use Google docs or another online source to write papers, it’s a good idea to copy them into word docs, just in case the in flight WiFi doesn’t work. If your workload is light, then download new music and movies to keep you entertained. Lastly, pack your favorite snacks, as no college student wants to pay for over-priced airport food.

In-Flight:

Take a walk up and down the isles every hour or so to stretch your legs and back, and to keep your body active. Despite the fact that your destination might be warm, flights can get chilly. Layering up with scarves, cardigans, and comfy pants will keep you warm. Even though it might bulk up your luggage, bringing a neck pillow and or blanket can make such a difference in your experience. If you don't have space in your bags for that, try an eye mask and fuzzy socks for extra comfort. The best investment for flights are earplugs because they block out all of the noise surrounding you. When the flight attendant comes around, ask for a cup of chamomile tea to relax you and stay cozy. One final in-flight tip is to come with a fresh face, and start your makeup an hour before touchdown. The lighting in the clouds is incredible, and this way you will feel refreshed and avoid any smearing or greasiness.

Post-Flight:

Congratulations! You’ve made it through that 6-hour, cross-country flight! Now the last step of traveling is to exit the plane and pick up your luggage. The best way to get through this hectic time is to stay patient and calm, and imagine the homemade gingerbread cookies that await you. Stay seated until it is your rows turn to exit – jumping up and watching everyone else leave only makes you antsy! Stop by the ladies room before you make your way down to baggage claim. This small detour allows you to take a breather and collect yourself, instead of waiting around the carousel anxiously. Once you're down there, pick up your bags, find your ride, and you're home for the holidays!

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(Cover Photo)