Travel is exciting—but waiting in long lines at the airport and being stuck in a flying airplane for more than ten hours? Not so much. Unfortunately, these are things you can’t avoid if the only way to get to your destination is by plane. But if you carefully plan and prepare for your flight, airplane travel can be a lot less stressful. The following tips will show you how.
Air Travel Checklist
Make sure your travel documents are in order. If you will be flying to a place where a passport and visa are required, see to it that these documents are up to date. Keep them in a small envelope that you can slip inside a carry-on bag. Once you reach your destination, don’t leave your travel documents in the hotel. Carry these papers with you at all times. You never know when you might need them.
Choose your airline. We all want to travel as cheaply as possible. But sometimes, cheap can mean poor seats and maybe even poor service. Do some research and find out other people’s opinions about an airline before buying a ticket.
For long flights, you will need to be as comfortable as possible. This is one of those occasions when splurging a little bit won’t hurt. Book a flight with a reputable airline and reserve good seats. Aisle seats are great if you want more legroom, but if getting good sleep is your priority, get a window seat.
Check airline rules and baggage regulations. This may sound boring, but it’s very important. Staying updated on airline rules can save you from a lot of problems and inconveniences. Don’t just read the rules—make sure you perfectly understand them. There are also certain items, such as specific types of drugs, which are considered illegal in some countries. Do your research to avoid getting caught in unpleasant situations.
Make a list of things you need to pack. Even if you think your memory is good enough to remember every single item you need to bring, it’s always best to make a list. This makes it easier to check if you’ve forgotten a few things. Make this list at least a week before your flight. It gives you a few days to keep going over the list and make revisions if necessary.
Never procrastinate on packing! Pack your bags at least three days before your flight. Never do it the night before or on the day itself! Being in a hurry makes you prone to forgetfulness. If you need to check in your luggage, make sure your suitcases or bags have locks, as well as labels that show your name and contact information—but don’t give out too much information. A phone number (complete with country code and area code) will do.
Plan on how to keep yourself busy during the flight. A long flight doesn’t have to be a dreadful experience. It could be the perfect excuse to catch up on your reading—or to write letters to your technophobic grandma. You can also bring a laptop filled with games and movies that you can enjoy offline. Of course, make sure that it’s fully charged before your flight.
Be at the airport at least two hours before your flight. Remember that in some airports, getting through security can take quite a while. Be at the airport early to avoid very long lines.
These six little tips shouldn’t be so difficult to remember. The main idea really is to keep things organized. Plan and prepare. Don’t wait until the last minute. By putting things in order days before your flight, you will feel more relaxed and confident during your trip.