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I’m not one of those travel bloggers that takes 200 flights a year. I don’t usually take anywhere near 30 even. I’m not a frequent flyer, but I have taken enough flights to have figured out how to have a smooth airport and in-flight experience. Long-haul flights can be intimidating, especially for first-time flyers, but I’m going to share some tips and tricks I’ve learned on how to have a smooth airport and in-flight experience. And if you’re still in the process of looking for flights, Skyscanner is my favorite to find deals.
Tips for a smooth airport experience:
- I like to get to the airport a couple hours ahead of time, just to be safe. I get very nervous if I even think I might miss my flight.
- With smaller airports, that much time isn’t as necessary.
- Definitely, know which terminal you’re leaving from. This is especially important abroad since you’re less likely to have access to looking that up on your way to the airport.
- On that note, have airport written down in the local language, especially if it’s a country with characters, like Taiwan or Japan. I didn’t do this, or know the terminal, in Taiwan and it was tough getting across what I meant.
- If there are two airports in the city, know which you’re leaving from. Again, have it written down.
Tips for smooth sailing through security:
- When you go to the airport, have your liquids already separated into a quart size bag for smooth sailing through security.
- If you have a laptop or tablet, be ready to take it out.
- While you’re waiting, take off your belt, any jewelry, watches, that sort of thing. Even better, try not to wear too much of that to the airport.
- Wear shoes that are easy to take off and put back on.
- Don’t forget to take off your jacket or sweatshirt, too.
- If you have coffee or books, let security know. I didn’t do this once and the lady that searched my bag told me to let them know since they look like explosives on the scanner. The more you know.
- Once you’re through security head to the gate. I always check a few times to make sure the gate doesn’t change on me, and if it does that I have time to get to the new one.
- Sometimes while I’m waiting I get something to eat. I usually do this for shorter domestic flights since airlines are much less likely to feed you in any way on those. I was starving on my last flight to LA and it was awful.
Tips for a good flight:
- If you like a particular seat, aisle or window, and have a choice to book one, do it. It will be much more comfortable than ending up in the middle, especially on a long flight.
- Think about getting some noise canceling headphones.
- Load up your phone, tablet, or laptop with music, games, podcasts, whatever.
- Think about getting a Kindle. I know some people are adamantly against them, but they’re wonderful. Load it up with lots of books before you leave so you always have something to read. If you’re not super picky about what you read, check out Bookbub for some free and cheap books. Here are some of my favorite books, too.
- Try sleeping if you can. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t. I never take anything to help me sleep though.
- Bring a reusable water bottle so you can have more than a tiny cup of water and you can keep it closed. I just fill it up in the terminal before boarding. This one has a filter in it so you can just drink tap water anywhere, too.
- Bring warm socks and layers. Planes can get really cold sometimes.
Do you fly a lot? What are your must-have in-flight items? What are your tips for a smooth airport experience?