Flying can be stressful.
First, there is security. Then, there are large, busy, confusing airports. (If you have a layover in Atlanta, check out 3 Scary Truths to Prepare You for Your Layover at the Atlanta Airport.) Also, flying is, without a doubt, super uncomfortable (unless you’re flying first-class, that is).
If you’re new to flying, these tips will help make your trip through security as streamline as possible, and they will help you make your flight as comfortable as possible. So, get ready to take notes!
1. You must take your liquids out of your carry-on.
Since you need to pull your liquids out of your carry-on, you should store them in a Ziploc bag in the front pocket of your carry-on, making them easily accessible. You don’t want to have to unpack half of your carry-on while trying to go through security.
Additionally, you should remember that all liquids carried onto a plane must be 3.4 oz or smaller. Check out the rules regarding carrying-on liquids.
2. You must take off your shoes.
Please, make this easy for yourself. You are already going to be trying to keep track of multiple bins, so wear shoes you can easily slip on and off. This may not necessarily mean sandals or flipflops.
If you are a little weird about germs, I would recommend wearing shoes that you can also wear socks with. You don’t really want to walk barefoot through security, do you? I know I didn’t. However, my boyfriends didn’t seem to mind. So, it really comes down to a personal preference.
Most recently, I traveled wearing ankle boots. They zipped up and slipped off. They were perfectly comfortable, and I could also wear socks with them, making them the perfect choice for me.
3. Your laptop must go in a separate bin.
Yes, this is just as annoying as it sounds. You must take your laptop out of your briefcase or suitcase and put it in a separate bin, as though you didn’t have enough bins to look after already.
I avoided bringing a computer all together. Instead, I brought a tablet. At one airport, I was not required to separate my tablet from my other belongings but at another airport, I was required to. So, my best advice to you is to follow instructions and ask questions if necessary.
4. You must stay with your stuff until it slides onto the conveyor belt.
Seriously. One TSA agent yelled at me because I didn’t stay with my bins and bag until they were all on the belt. The gentleman behind me saw that I was new to flying and totally flustered. To be nice, he offered to push my stuff onto the belt so I could catch up with my boyfriend. I got in line to go through the advanced imaging machine. I was swiftly yelled at to not leave my belongings until they were on the conveyor belt. Of course, I had no idea that I had broken a rule. So, skip getting yelled at and stick with your stuff.
5. Have your boarding pass and ID ready when you get to the first TSA officer.
Please, please, please do this. This doesn’t only help ensure that your journey through security is quick, but it also helps keep the line moving smoothly for those behind you. Keep your ID and boarding pass in a place that is secure but is also easily accessible. Not only does this help in the retrieval process, but it helps when you have to put them away too. Right after you show your ID and boarding pass, you are expected to get in line to take off your shoes and get your stuff ready to go through security. In my experience, this isn’t the long part of the line so don’t think you’ll have tons of time to put your ID and boarding pass away.
6. Be respectful to the TSA officers.
I have found that some TSA officers can be a little harsh and have a bit of an attitude, but there are also some who are pleasant. No matter what their demeanor is, however, you should always be respectful. This will help improve their day, and it reduce the number of any unnecessary hiccups while you’re moving through the line.
Comfort on the Plane
1. Take gum.
This sounds silly, but if you aren’t used to flying on planes, you might find that your ears are sensitive to the rapid change in pressure as you ascend and descend. Children can also be very uncomfortable during flights, so packing special ear plugs for them might be necessary. For me, I had tons of problems with my ears as a child, so flying was incredibly uncomfortable. I used to need to chew gum and wear special ear plugs, and sometimes those measures didn’t even help. However, I did find that flying as adult was no big deal. Although, this might be because at least one of my eardrums is perforated… Anyway, just be prepared!
2. Take a tablet, phone, or a book.
Unless you really need it, I would leave the laptop in your briefcase. There is no Wi-fi unless you pay for it anyway. So instead, you should download some free games on your phone or tablet, just make sure you can play them offline. Check by putting your phone or tablet on airplane mode and running the app. My personal favorite game to play while flying is Potion Punch. It is challenging but tons of fun!
Listening to music is also a great way to pass time! Before your flight, you should definitely signup for a FREE 30 day trial of Amazon Music Unlimited! You can find awesome albums and playlists and download them so that you can listen to them on the plane with no Wi-fi!
Yeah, it’s amazing!
If you enjoy reading, I would definitely recommend bringing a book with you. The plane ride can be a great way to catch up with your favorite characters!
No matter what you take to entertain yourself, just remember that the goal is to take your mind off of how uncomfortable you are so make sure you enjoy whatever game or book you bring.
3. Take an external battery to charge your electronics.
Some of the bigger, newer, and fancier planes have outlets that you can plug into, even in economy. However, you can’t be sure that the plane you are on will have them, so bring something to charge your entertainment and communication devices just in case.
4. Take a snack.
There are plenty of places within most airports where you can purchase snacks prior to boarding. (I hear rumors that some snacks are TSA approved, but to be honest, I personally would avoid taking anything. It seems like too much of a headache.) If you have a long flight, you might not want to simply rely on the pretzels or peanuts the airline may or may not serve. So, feel free to bring something healthy and filling with you. Also, make sure you drink plenty of water: stay hydrated!
5. If you’re a bit claustrophobic, you may want to request an aisle seat.
Sitting by the window or in the middle seat in economy can be a little tight to say the least. If you don’t like feeling trapped, opt for an aisle seat. You may have an assigned seat that is not an aisle seat, you can do a couple of things to remedy this. You can ask a gate attendant if there are any aisle seats available. If there is one, the attendant will change your seat assignment, which you will get as you are just about to board the plane. If the flight it full, you can ask to switch with someone or speak with a flight attendant; he/she may be able to arrange a switch for you.
Aisle seats can also be handy for those who need to use the restroom relatively frequently but are shy about asking the passengers sitting next to them to move.
6. Bring a light jacket.
You might get cold. Or not.
My first flight was toasty. I had the air on and pointed directly at me.
My 2nd flight, however, was a bit chillier.
I had to bring a big jacket because I was traveling to Missouri in the fall and couldn’t fit it in my carry-on. It worked out, but carry around the big, fluffy jacket was a bit annoying. I would definitely recommend bringing something more manageable that will still keep you warm.
Want more information on what to wear (or not wear) for your upcoming flight? Check out a post called Do Not Wear These 11 Things When Traveling on a Plane on Michelle’s blog–She’s Not So Basic. I unfortunately read this post after my most recent trip. However, I think that her tips are awesome, and I will definitely remember them for next time!
There you have it 6 tips to help get you through security quickly and 6 tips to make sure you’re comfortable on the plane!
I hope these are helpful as you prepare for your flight. Make sure you approach air travel with a positive mind-set. After all, you want to enjoy the journey; it’s half the fun!
Let me know if you have any other awesome tips for new flyers in the comments below!
Until next time,