As my plane goes up to thirty thousand feet up in the air, I start to remember how many flights I was on in 2017: fourteen flights, six of which were international.
So for all of you who are either first time flyers or are flying solo for the first time, here are some tips I’ve learned through countless mistakes on trying to master flying on an airplane.
I know, flying is not for everyone. But if you want to travel more this 2018, these might just help you.
1. Double check your ticket
Make sure that you have the right time and date for your flight. There was one time when I was thinking that my flight was in the morning when in truth it was at night. It’s forever etched in my brain to double check the time after that.
2. Decorate your bag
I have heard horror stories of people’s bags getting picked up by someone else who thought it was theirs. Bags look-alike whether you like it or not, and I guarantee you that there are at least hundreds of people who have the same bag as yours.
To make sure you don’t bring other people’s bag (or having yours mistaken as theirs), make yours stand out in a way that would mean something to you. Tie a scarf around it, or buy one of those cheap belts you can wrap your bag around or a luggage tag.
3. Wear comfy clothes
Don’t underestimate the power of wearing something you’re comfortable in. I always wear the same dress every time I fly, since it’s perfect for any weather. It’s not too hot or too cold, and I can run around and even sleep wearing it.
At least bring a scarf with you when traveling, and leave the heels at home. You need to be adaptable when traveling, and having the right outfit will definitely help.
4. Bring a small bag for your valuables
This one isn’t just for the women. When you’re going through airport security or boarding, it’s handy to have a bag you can stuff your valuables in to or take things out of instead of having to open your bigger bag.
5. Check in online
The power of being able to check in online has saved my butt a couple of times when I ran late for my flight. I once arrived at the airport right at the end of the boarding announcement. Since I was already checked in, I only had to grab my boarding pass and ride my plane. If I didn’t check in, I would have had to fork out money for the next flight.
Check the airline you booked with to check in online. It’ll help going through the airport faster too.
6. Be early at the airport
Because of my experience in #5, I’ve learned to be early at the airport. Why rush in traffic when you can chill at an air-conditioned place while waiting for your flight?
I have gotten so much work done while waiting for my flight, and it’s less stress. When you’re early, you can relax at the boarding area, maybe even grab a bite to eat (depending on the airport), and simply know that you’re getting on that plane.
Whenever you’re late for your flight and you haven’t checked in (that’s why you need to follow #5), chances are the airline would sell your ticket to someone else who couldn’t book the flight.
1. Be Patient
Delays happen all the time. If it can happen to your period, it can happen to an airplane. The longest delay I ever had was six hours, where I arrived at my destination at almost midnight when I was supposed to be there before five in the afternoon.
When traveling, patience is an amazing gift to have. You never know when something can go wrong, not as planned or simply just waiting in line for your flight, so a little patience can go a long way.
Bonus tip: Try to bring a book. It can help make time go by faster. Or make sure your phone is charged so you can waste time on Facebook and mock your exes.
2. Throw your trash properly
This isn’t a travel tip as it is an essential in life: know where the trash can is. I’ve seen airports where people would just leave their wrappers and their water bottles anywhere, even when the trashcan is right there. Just because you’re about to board doesn’t mean you don’t have the time to get up on your butt and throw your trash properly.
3. Big vs Small Carry On
This one took me a while to realize. If you’re boarding the plane with a small trolley, try to board first so you can comfortably put your bag in the overhead compartment. If you’re only carrying a purse, sit back and let other people through. You can put your carry on under the seat in front of you.
Since the seating is already assigned, you don’t need to rush in like you’re about to watch movies with unsure seating.
4. Have your ticket and your ID/Passport at the ready
Different airports have different rules when boarding, but generally, they ask to see your ticket and ID when boarding. It’s easier to have them at the ready, easy to grab when needed. I usually wear shorts with deep pockets so I can store both there, so I don’t have to reach into my bag right at the boarding gate.
On the Plane
1. Keep your carry on close, your valuables closer
Make sure to place your carry on above you so you can easily remove them once the plane lands. Do have your smaller bag with all your valuables under the seat in front of you, so you can easily take things out as you need them. Do the same if you only have one bag, to save you the time of having to open the overhead bin when getting off the plane.
2. Know where the exits are
Different planes have different emergency exits. Don’t ignore the flight attendant – listen to them because it might just save your life.
3. Enjoy the flight
Enjoy the thought that a hundred years ago, you would have had to take a boat if you wanted to get anywhere overseas. Also, try not to have an existential crisis while on the plane, because nothing good will ever come out of it.
1. It’s not a race
Don’t try to get off the plane like you’re going to win a prize once you’re out. Wait for your turn and don’t hit the old woman in front of you with your elbow as you pass through. You’re all going to the same place. Chill out and wait.
2. Go to the mouth of the beast
And when I say beast, I mean the bag carousel. Save time by going to where it all starts instead of standing further from it. That way you can just grab your bag and go. Make sure it’s the right one, okay?
3. If you can go without the trolley, just go
When you don’t have too many bags, don’t use the trolley and save it for someone who really needs it. It’ll make your trek to finding a taxi cab easier as you don’t have to learn how to drive a three-wheel cart and have to find a parking space for it once you’re done using it.
1. The Aisle Seat
If you’re traveling solo, try as much as possible to grab the aisle seat. That way you can easily get in or out to pee or when getting off the plane, as well as feel comfortable in your own personal space. You can grab that picture from the window next time – trust me, they all look the same.
2. Keep a travel journal
The amazing thing about flying is you don’t have wi-fi or any connection to the outside world. You’re completely cut off. Use the time to get to know yourself better, create some new goals for yourself or simply free write and not reading on flight magazines about places you probably don’t really want to go to.
That’s it! I’ll update this list as I go, but those are my travel tips when traveling by plane. Comment below if you have your own tips you’d like for me to add 😀