For those of you who are going to be traveling this holiday season, or any holiday season for that matter, I’ve compiled a nice little checklist for you to prep you for the madness that is to follow at the airport.
Print Your Boarding Passes At Home
For those of you who have apps on your phone with the boarding passes on them, SUPER. But I’ve had to, on numerous occasions, go back to the airline kiosk because their phone scanners didn’t work. Print it and have it ready as a back up.
Preset Your House
I get anxiety knowing that the house may not be in the same shape as it is when you get back home. But not only should you be making sure that the oven isn’t on, but you should make sure to double check your heater or trash is taken out. These little oversights can be costly, later on if they aren’t dealt with right away. I don’t know about you, but I love to come home to a clean house, so if you have a moment to try to not thrash your clothes around while packing it will feel much better when you arrive!
Get In The Right Line For Security
If you are TSA Pre Check/Global Entry make sure you ask and find the right line. Also if you have airline status go into the premium line. Typically if you have certain credit cards, they automatically will upgrade your boarding pass to have that privilege. So be sure to check your boarding pass before you leave.
Arrive at the airport 2.5 hours early
This is for domestic travel. If you are flying internationally I would tack on an additional hour. Why? Because everyone MUST check into the service desk to verify passports, visas, etc. Also, some airlines have regulations as to the weight your carryon bags have and will force you to check your bag regardless. So plan for that extra hour to be used up.
But if you are flying domestically, do not put it past the TSA to shut the security check point down if there’s a breech in security. I’ve had that happen and thankfully I had an extra hour to spare and this wasn’t during the holiday season. It’s better to have a buffer than to miss your flight. Chances of you & your family getting on the next flight out is very unlikely.
Pack/ Dress Accordingly
I would like to say I am a PRO when it comes to the security check screening. I pack my backpack, carryon, and wear the easiest of outfits that I need to get in and out of security. So here’s some simple do’s and don’ts.
DO– Pack laptops, travel sized gels/liquids ziplock to be easily accessible when going through security. The worst is having to unzip your carry on bag to pull this stuff out especially when the line needs to move. So I have them in my backpack to pull out quickly and keep the line moving.
DON’T – Wear your super lace up intricate boots to the airport. You will hate yourself when you have to take them off and put them back on again. Try some slip-ons instead. Once your stuff shoots out the other end of the x-ray machine, you’ll be all over the place trying to put on your boots and scooping your stuff back up.
DO – Stack your bins. If you are one of those people who (God forbid) needs 8 bins to put each of your electronics into, whatever man, but don’t hog the whole table with your shit. Stack them up, then move them on to the conveyor belt one at a time.
If you’ve made it through to the terminal and you have ample time to relax before your flight here are some things to make your waiting time a bit bearable.
Find a Power Outlet
To coat tail on that thought, I HIGHLY recommend packing a surge protector. Not only to prevent your devices from frying if there’s a surge in power, but to also open up multiple sockets. If you happen to find a plug that is occupado, then it would be much more convincing to plug your surge in there to share the wealth. It’s always best to keep your devices charged for as long as possible, especially if you plan on having a long flight with no in flight entertainment.
If all else fails, make sure you pack a power bank in the least. The worst is to have a dead phone when you arrive and you have no way of calling your ride.
Grab Some Essentials
If you happen to be taking any red-eye’s pack some snacks or grab some food/ drinks now before you lose your chance. Nothing’s worse then arriving at an airport when everything is closed and you’re starving. Solid foods are great to pack for your trip there, but unfortunately drinks will not be allowed through security. So do yourself favor and pack an empty water bottle and fill it up at one of the water fountains, or even at a restaurant.
I’ve already made a handy guide to some Airport Essentials that I cannot live without. But also, here are a few hacks to keep you comfortable for the duration of the flight.
Hack the Wifi
Until it’s been
fixed noticed there are several ways to beat the expensiveness of the on board wifi. You can always pre-pay the fees online, or you can simply: hack it. If there’s Gogo inflight onboard, connect to the service then check out one of the free movies, as you are in the app store to download the app to watch it, you are automatically connected. Some wifi services aren’t available, such as streaming video, but it still gives you a free 10 min window to surf on Safari.
If you are traveling during the holidays, you’ll see a higher volume of children traveling. I have nothing against kids, but I wouldn’t want to be caught trying to sleep next to an infant who’s ears are infected. So do yourself a favor and try to find some noise reduction, noise cancelling headphones or earplugs to ease your drums and give you some needed woosah for your journey.
I would like to say first and foremost that airplanes are a cesspool of diseases. Kinda like a daycare but for adults from all different countries. I know for a fact, that those tray tables, hardly ever get cleaned. So before you lay your sandwich on there, do a little whiperooski! It never hurts to have a 3 pack from Target to keep you that much farther away from catching the flu, or cleaning up baby puke.
Last thing I am going to leave with, is travel SAFE! Make sure you get home safe to your loved ones and report anything you feel is suspicious while it’s happening. I really meant it! If you see something, say something!