Traveling is stressful. There, I said it. It’s out there. If you’re one of those masochists who enjoys the tension, I’m sorry for you. If you’re one of the normal people who, like me, leave each flight an emotional and mental nervous wreck, I’ve compiled a list of 6 tips that will help you breeze through security and boarding and decrease.
1.) Brush up on your TSA and Security knowledge.
I cannot stress this one enough. If there’s one cause of holding up security, it’s that person who packed a pair of tweezers. DON’T BE THAT PERSON. Nobody likes that person. Before you fly, read up and know what you can and cannot pack.
As comedian Ed Byrne once said, “anyone who can hijack a plane using a set of tweezers deserves the plane.” Someone who can pull that off is not to be messed with. I’d gladly follow the leadership of this modern day MacGyver.
2.) If you’re traveling for less than a week, DO NOT check bags.
Look, I understand that it’s hard to condense your life into one 24Lx16Wx10T bag. Nobody is a minimalist anymore. Our lives are complicated. We have hair dryers, personal care products, absurd amounts of underwear- the works.
MAKE IT WORK. Decide what is going to make the cut, and just pack what you can.
Checking bags is a completely unnecessary evil. Airports lose luggage- it’s just a fact. I know it seems like a cliché from movies, but clichés exist because they’re based in some sort of truth. If you’re suit case is always within arm’s length, you have nothing to worry about. You’ll save money and stress.
3.) Wear your heaviest/ bulkiest clothing items on the plane.
This seems obvious, but I felt the need to include it so obviously it’s not. I traveled home for the holiday’s from Austin, TX to northern Pennsylvania. Wearing my heaviest jacket and boots in the 50 degree Austin weather was agonizing, but it made room for more clothes in my suit case (which I didn’t check). As said in rule 2, packing your life into a small bag isn’t easy, so any room you can make is for the best.
4.) Arrive 90 or more minutes before your flight.
Airports are not responsible for your having to rush to your flight because you waited too long in line at security. This problem is solved by just getting there early. You have no idea what kind of traffic you’ll be facing on your way there, how long the shuttle form the parking lot will take, or how long the line at security will be. If I learned anything from my father, it’s that if you’re not 15 minutes early, you’re late. Which is why I’m constantly spend at least an hour sitting at the gate waiting for my flight to board. I’d rather sit and wait than have to rush to make it on time.
5.) Check into your flight online if possible.
This is in tandem with Rule #4. Checking in online will save you five essential minutes at the gate. Saving time is saving yourself wrinkles and hair loss.
Added bonus: With some airlines, the earlier you check in the more seat choices you have. LAND THAT WINDO SEAT.
6.) DO NOT sleep on the plane.
Think about it. Sleeping on the plane is terrible. Between the screaming babies, the smelly tourists, and the loud stewardess, you’re not going to get any rest so sleeping is just a waste of time. If you’re lucky enough to get comfortable, you might get 1/6 the sleep you would at home in your bed. Doing the math- solving this problem is simple. Just got to bed early before your flight. Adjust your sleep schedule to get an extra hour the night before you travel. You’ll be well rested and will be able to start that book you’ve been telling everyone in the office you’re reading, but have never touched.
Worst case scenario, you can watch the in-flight movie and see just how bad ”Paul Blart: Mall Cop” really is.