In a time where the world is becoming more accessible, short and long-haul flights are becoming a normal part of our lives – whether it is for work, to visit family, to go on a relaxing vacation, or to explore new and unusual places. Here are some of our BEST travel hacks for flying:
1. Bring noise cancelling headphones
They are a lifesaver when you are seated next to a group of friends, young children, or want to sleep through the barrage of pilot announcements.
2. Check-in 24 hours prior and select your seats
Most airlines allow you to check-in online for your flight(s) 24 hours prior. You will be able to look at the seat map and select the seats you want free of charge! You know you want a window seat, but if there is a row where the aisle seat is selected but the middle and window are free the chances of someone choosing the middle seat are lower.
3. Bring snacks or buy food from food court before boarding.
Airlines are providing less complimentary meals all the time, and healthy snacks can keep your blood sugar from dipping too low on a long flight. Consider carrot or celery sticks, granola, nuts and dried fruit, or whole-wheat crackers.
4. Stay hydrated!
Bring an empty water bottle and fill it once you have gone through security – extra points if it is collapsible!
5. Wear comfortable clothes
Choose something that is comfortable, and that you feel good in. Travel days can leave us feeling grubby already – a presentable, comfortable outfit and some oil blotters go a long way when you have someone waiting for you in the arrival bay!
6. Bring a neck pillow and eye mask
I have long avoided packing the neck pillow in an attempt to keep my “cool factor.” After trying it and experiencing the great nap I say coolness is overrated! There are a plethora to choose from based on style and functionality and you will arrive feeling much more rested and without that sore neck!
7. Check if your airline has a downloadable entertainment app
More airlines are adopting an app-based entertainment system versus the seat-back screen. You may not be able to watch the on-board entertainment without the app on your device or tablet. Plus, you won’t be able to download it once you have boarded because you will need an internet/wifi connection to download it. Check before you leave home or at the very least once you are in the departure lounge at the airport.
8. Bring an extra top or large shawl on-board in case you get cold.
Flights are infamous for blasting the air, and it can get quite cool to be wearing that t-shirt. An extra top or large shawl work great when the temperature drops and you want to curl up and nap.
9. Look behind you before leaving your airport seat
Make sure you haven’t forgotten a bag, snack, water bottle, or phone. Even more importantly, remember that boarding pass that you placed on your lap to check your gate and then forgot about? Yeah, it fell under your seat when you stood up – make sure you have all your boarding passes with you!
10. Set your watch to the local time where you will be arriving as soon as you board the plane
It will help you get in sync with the new time zone quicker. Try sleeping during the evening hours based on the local time where you are travelling to. This allegedly helps to reduce your jet-lag.
11. Check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules for going through security
You will know where all of your liquids and gels are, and have them in an easily accessible, clear plastic bag. All you will have to do is unzip your luggage, place your bag of liquids in the bin, place your laptop in the bin, and get ready to walk through the scanner.
12. Bring hand sanitizer or anti-bacterial wipes
There are lots of surfaces in an airplane that everyone touches – having hand sanitizer is a life-saver when your meal arrives and you are stuck in a window seat with a grumbling stomach.
13. If you are traveling with kids a portable DVD player with a couple of their favorite movies can be a life-saver! Remember a pair of headphones for them too.
14. Don’t carry on too much stuff
If you are going on a long-haul flight you may get stuck putting your carry-on bags under the seat in front of you, which inevitably takes away from your legroom.
15. Keep your valuables with you or in your carry-on bag under the seat in front of you.
No one wants to get off of the airplane and then realize that their wallet is no longer in their carry-on luggage where they left it. If it is valuable, keep it with you!