Secrets for Stress-Free Flying
Elevate your travel game with these simple hacks
From the LifeMinute.TV Team
April 17, 2023
Going to the airport these days can cause a lot of anxiety. Before taking your next trip, consider these tips to take the stress out of flying and maybe even make it a fun experience.
Check Your Baggage Before You Go
Though there may be costs to check your luggage, pre-paying for it in advance could save you time and any extra charges you may incur when doing it at the airport. Also, know what you can and cannot pack in your bags. This will help you steer clear of any hold-ups during the security screening. All liquids must be 3.4 oz or less. Avoid messes by keeping those liquids and other toiletries, such as toothpaste or creams, inside small plastic baggies.
The airport can be chaotic, and you never know what can delay you from reaching your gate. It’s always a good idea to leave yourself plenty of time to get there in case you hit traffic or run into any problems once there. A good rule of thumb is to arrive about two hours before domestic flights and three hours before the scheduled departure for international travel.
Skip the Lines
Even if you arrive early, it doesn’t guarantee you won’t wait in a long line. To avoid crowds and get through security screening faster, consider applying for Clear or TSA PreCheck. Clear is $189 per year and is offered at 59 locations. With Clear, you can skip the security line and go straight to a Clear kiosk where your ID and boarding pass are verified through biometric technology. Once that quick process is complete, a Clear agent escorts you to the front of security. A TSA PreCheck membership is $78 for five years, then $70 to renew, and is offered at 200+ airports. TSA PreCheck allows you to go through a shorter security line and undergo less strict screening requirements, which include not having to remove your shoes, belt, or light jacket. You can also leave laptops and TSA-approved liquids and gels in your carry-on.
Get an Upgrade
You may think it’s too pricey to move up from coach or even get first class, but there are some hacks you can do on the cheap. If you are a frequent flyer, enroll in airline reward programs because those with elite status are more likely to be rewarded with complimentary upgrades on domestic routes. If you have the flexibility and are willing to be bumped to the next available flight, airlines will often upgrade, offer a refund, or issue vouchers for a future flight. You can also look to upgrade last minute at a discounted price. As a last resort, always ASK. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Inquire about upgrades from booking ‘til boarding. Even once you’ve boarded, there is still a chance you can get upgraded if you ask an attendant.
Stay Safe and Cozy
Unfortunately, being in close quarters can expose us to germs. Bring anti-bacterial wipes to wipe down armrests and tray tables. If you can pick your seat, choose one next to the window. Research from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds window-seaters experience less foot traffic and are less likely to leave their seats during a flight, exposing them to fewer people and those who could be sick. The window seat is also considered the comfiest, especially on the left side of the aircraft. These seats are usually off-center, making leaning up against the side of the plane more comfortable. Bring a travel pillow and blanket. And in case you get cold, dress in comfy clothes with layers.
To remain entertained, bring a book or download a podcast, movie, or show to binge-watch. Since some airlines only offer entertainment through their app, download the airline app ahead of time. And don’t forget your headphones. Try noise-canceling ones to drone out all other sounds.