Traveling on an airplane doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Proper prep is a traveler’s best friend when it comes to flying on your next trip. Here are a few tips for a better flight.
Noise-cancelling headphones Owning a pair of noise cancelling headphones will likely preserve your sanity when flying, especially on long trips when your patience is wearing thin. I have used quite a few noise cancelling headphones over the years, but prefer to stick to the Bose brand. I own a pair of Bose Quite Comfort Earbuds that I never leave home without. Think spending $300+ on a pair of headphones is crazy? Having the ability to tune out the screaming baby seated right next to you with the push of a button makes them worth every penny.
Booking tickets When booking tickets themselves online, many less-experienced travelers do not consider the time that they have between connecting flights. Typically if you go for the lowest priced tickets, you will either end up having hour-long layovers, or will have layovers so short you will be sprinting through the airport just to make your next flight.
Exit row If you can, book your seat in the exit row, or ask if you can move there after the flight has started if you see an open seat. The seats in the exit rows typically have more room than other seats, allowing you to spread your legs. If you are tall like me (I’m 6’5″), it will pay off! However, dress warm if you sit in the exit row, because it is almost always colder by the doors and window exits!
Obnoxious children The key to this one is to come prepared. Pack some snacks or a small toy to give the children something to preoccupy their time with during the flight. Need to improvise? Hand them a sick bag and a pen and tell them to make a hand puppet. Just be sure to put your noise-cancelling headphones in before “Mr. Noodle” pops over the seat and tries to start a conversation with you.
Moving seats Unless you are flying Southwest, you will more than likely be stuck in the seat you booked when you bought your ticket. If the flight is not full, however, the flight attendants will likely allow you to switch seats if there are open ones after takeoff. Often times passengers will cram into the front of the plane so they don’t have to wait in line to get off. One time when I was coming back from California, everybody crammed into the front, leaving multiple rows in the back completely empty. I moved seats, and slept laying down the entire ride back.
Clothing Think about your choice of clothing for your plane ride. If you are traveling for business, you will likely want to look your best. At the same time, you will want to be comfortable. I almost always wear a jacket over my polo. If it is cold, it keeps me warm. And if I get hot, I just take my jacket off and use it as a pillow when I sleep.
TSA PreCheck The last thing you want to do after waiting in a long airport security line is take off your belt, shoes and jacket, and then take your laptop out of your backpack. To save time, sign up for the TSA PreCheck program. The program is a pre-screening initiative that allows a select group of passengers the ability to move through security checkpoints faster than other passengers. If approved, you pay a one-time fee of $85, and get to keep your laptop in your bag, as well as your shoes, belt, and jackets on. Is it worth $85? Totally. Find out more about the program here.
Early flights Waking up early is never easy, but booking an early flight has huge advantages over the later flights. Because your flight is the first one of the day, your plane is already at the airport. You also don’t have to worry about your plane getting delayed coming from another airport.
Hopefully these tips will make your next flight a little more pleasant. Happy flying!