Traveling is fun. Airplane travel, however, is not. Airports are loud, crowded, hectic and annoying, but they’re a necessary evil for anyone who is traveling a significant distance. With that being said, here are a few tricks I’ve picked up over the years that might just help make your airport experience a little easier.
1. Wear Slip-On Shoes
If it’s winter, wear Uggs. If it’s summer, wear flip-flops. Shoes with laces, straps or velcro are time-consuming and frustrating to get on and off in line. Wearing slip-on shoes makes going through airport security much easier.
2. Online Check-In
Many airlines are getting rid of assigned seats in favor of letting passengers choose their own seats based off of boarding groups. Your boarding group is based on your check-in time, so the earlier you check in, the better your seat will be. For most airlines you are able to online check-in for your flight 24 hours before boarding time, so check in as early as possible. If you wait until the last minute, you’ll be the last to board, and you will get a middle seat…And that seat probably won’t be between two cute lax players from Vanderbilt ’cause that can really only happen once.
3. Use Your Carry On
Avoid checking bags if at all possible. Bag check is probably worse than TSA. The lines are long, the clerks are mean, and, with most airlines, checking a bag is expensive. If you can get away with packing all of your clothes in a carry-on, do it. You’ll save time, money and your sanity. Even if you do need to check a bag, it can always get lost. Prepare for this by packing expensive items, a change of clothes and other essentials in your carry-on.
4. Flight Attendants Have Everything
I’m not kidding. Your flight attendant is your best friend. If you forgot Dramamine, Tylenol, tampons or even toothpaste there’s a chance your flight attendant can give some to you, especially if you’re flying internationally. Shorter, domestic flights are less likely to have things like toiletries, but a flight attendant will be happy to give you motion sickness or pain medicine if they have it (and they usually do).
5. TSA Pre Is Worth The Money
If you’re planning on becoming a frequent flyer, TSA Pre is a must. You go through security with shorter lines, less hassle and with your shoes on. It helps you to spend less time in line and more time sipping your coffee at your gate…or something stronger at the bar, I don’t judge.
6. …So Is Spotify Premium
Airplanes are loud on their own. Add the crying baby, the fighting couple and the whining toddler (all possibly from the same family) and you create a recipe for no sleep. Spotify has some awesome sleep playlists that you can download if you have premium. It drowns out the noise and lets you sleep even in the loudest of planes.