In a previous post I wrote, Carry-On Essentials Packing List, I mentioned that I’m a frequent traveler. During my most travelled year yet, I took about 35 airplane trips in that year alone. Therefore, I think it’s safe to say that I do know a lot about traveling, packing, and airport experiences.
Of course there are a million more ways that people can make their travel experiences at the airport a lot easier. However, I feel that these 5 are some of the most overlooked, and they have definitely helped me out in having a less stressful airport experience overall.
5 Tips for Hassle-Free Airplane Travel
1. Less is more in terms of electronics.
Nowadays, it is SO difficult to cut back on the electronics. Especially when you’re a blogger and/or you work online! Therefore, if I don’t NEED my laptop, I bring my tablet, and if I think I can get away with taking only my small digital camera (or even just my phone camera), then I’ll leave the DSLR at home. The reason for this is that at some airports, they make you take out all of your electronics and put them in separate bins. If you have a laptop, a tablet, AND a kindle, you have to take ALL of those out and place them in separate bins. For me, it’s just not worth it because it takes more time, but if you don’t mind the extra time spent at security, then it shouldn’t be a problem for you.
2. Double check, then triple check that you have ALL liquids in a small and clear plastic baggy.
This doesn’t happen at all airports, but at London Heathrow’s security in particular, if you accidentally leave any liquids in the luggage instead of taking it out, you will have to wait at least an extra 20 to 30 minutes for them to scan your bag again. Not only will you have to wait for them to scan the bag separately, but they take every single thing out of your luggage one at a time. Therefore, if you spend a couple of hours carefully packing your bag at home so everything fits perfectly, that’s all gone to the crapper (excuse my language). They do offer to help you repack your bag sometimes, but not all the time, so that means you have to stand there and do it yourself while the person who’s waiting to get their bag scanned next is staring daggers into the back of your head. To save yourself the trouble, just triple check your luggage to be sure.
3. Never leave anything valuable or irreplaceable in your check-in luggage.
I think this goes without saying, but I figured I’d throw it in there for good measure. It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes your checked luggage gets lost or delayed. If that does happen, you don’t want to have anything like money, important jewelry, or anything else you can’t live without getting lost with it. If you can’t replace it and you need to take it with you, it should go on the plane with you.
4. Keep plane ticket, passport/ID, and a pen in an easily reachable place.
On international flights, they usually make you fill out a customs form before you enter a new country. On most flights, they hand out the forms on the plane. Don’t wait to fill out this form. It’s been my experience that if I wait until “later,” I usually forget and then I’m scrambling in the line at customs trying to use my leg as a table and drag my luggage at the same time. This means that you should always have a pen, your passport, and your plane ticket handy because the form requires you to provide information on those two documents (and you will need to use a pen; usually blue or black ink). *SIDE NOTE: you will also probably need to know the address of where you’ll be staying at your destination, so make sure you have that handy as well*
5. Don’t forget to breathe.
I’ve traveled enough to know that things don’t always go according to plan. When things don’t go your way (delays, excessive waiting, screaming baby, etc.), just take a few deep breaths, put your headphones on, and relax. Honestly, I know it’s all enough to make someone go insane, but there is no use in getting worked up over things. One way or another, you’ll get to where you need to go, and everything will be fine. Deep breaths, everyone. Deep breaths.
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