Traveling by plane is a hassle there is always some thing that will bug you. Sometimes you might get nauseous, or get really mad at that crying baby, feel disgusted at he sight of the meal, and then try to catch some sleep despite all the noise. When you travel a long distance, you might as well sit back, relax and make the best of it. You can try to turn the unavoidable into the enjoyable flight time. After all, being in flight is a special situation, where you can use everything you have to your disposal to your full advantage. You might be able to find how to make the horrible in to an enjoyable time.
Step 1: Background Information
Traveling is very different from everything else so here's some background information about me and my travels. I spend the entire school year in the US but my summers in France so every year I take at least two planes and I have been doing this for 12 years now. In addition to those flights with the frequent flier miles we get from travailing to France, we get every 2 to 3 years a free flight which we use in the US to visit the west coast since I live in South Carolina. So traveling is no problem to me and I look forward to flying. I took the time to come up with my best traveling tips and hacks and I hope this will change the way you imagine flying by plane.
Step 2: Luggage
What you bring is a very important thing, when packing you need to think about what are the items that are necessary and what is not. The airport has limits on what you can bring and if you want to avoid fines you should check the regulations, what I always do is go on the TSA website and look at the Travel Checklist to make sure I don't break any regulations.
Also only bring on board the plane what you need if you want to have leg room and not have to carry excess things. Try to bring the bare minimum on board the plane and try to put all your belongings in the baggage hold which is under the plane. But if your that person who doesn't want to pay to put your luggage in the baggage hold you can still pass but the ride will be more of a hassle.
Step 3: Wear Comfortable Clothes
If you want to be able to sleep on the flight, try to wear clothes that are as close to pajamas as possible not that I’m expecting you to show up with your teddy bear on your next trip. Loose-fitting shirts, jeans, and a jacket are my flight uniform. Keep in mind that you should avoid anything that starts to press into your skin like skinny jeans, leggings, or muscle shirts. Bring a comfortable pair of socks they will keep your feet warm and cozy. Make sure they are loose enough that you don’t end up with elastic band marks on your legs.
Step 4: Parking at the Airport
The best thing to do is to have some one drop you off at the airport or using public transportation at the airport this will save you a lot of money because parking spots are expensive. A little bit of research about airport parking lots might be the difference between paying 20-40 dollars a day for parking. For a person like me spending 9 weeks in France, it would cost me about $1900, that more expensive than the plane ticket! For less than one-third of that rate you can find that there are ride websites designed to help you discover better rates. And one last tip take a picture of where you parked your car and the parking spot number this will help you your car so much easily when you come back.
Step 5: Get a TSA Pre-Check for Speedier Screening
Visit the TSA Pre-Check website to get through airports in the United States in a faster fashion. This will same you time and stress.
Step 6: Waiting in Line
G to the My TSA website and place your airport information within the search box to discover what lines you have to go to, and which one of those lines are the shortest. This will save you lots of time and stress and if you have to TSA Pre-Check you will fly by the people waiting in line. Also if you haven't had the time to do those tips, studies show that most people are right handed and will most likely go to the lines on the right so if your smart go to the left.
Step 7: Avoid High-Cost Airport Food
A good idea is to bring your own food because once your in the airport you can't get out unless you want to go through the TSA checkpoint. You can place lots of good dry snacks like nuts or candy bars in your carry-on bag to prevent hunger headaches and overspending. Food in the air port is usually very expensive and most of the time not that good. Packing your own food is the best solution but remember wet foods have certain regulations.
Step 8: Waiting for Your Flight
Once you are at the gate and are waiting to board there are many things you should take advantage of. First of all charge your electronics, there should be plenty of charging ports in the airport but on the plane there aren't any. If your lucky you might get a seat in the plane with a USB port but this won't charge your computer so take advantage of the charging ports in the airport. Also if you didn't buy any souvenirs the airport has a lot but it is more expensive.
Step 9: Boarding the Plane
Boarding the plane is a very important time you need to make sure to be first in line when they announce that boarding has started. The earlier you're there the more chances you have that you will have space to put your luggage in the upper had compartments, get out of your bag only what you need. Things you might need are:
The list I put above is all you should need in your seat. I really recommend to only bring the minimum if you bring too much you will be crammed up with all your stuff.
Step 10: Seats
If you are lucky you might get a seat next to you that is empty, if it is empty and the plane doors are closed it is yours to keep. Also if your lucky you might be on an under booked flight and they usually have empty seats in the back of the plane if you want a whole row to yourself ask if you can move, you will most likely be given the permission to. Seat arrangements on the plane are not set in stone you can switch with anyone as long as they want to. My advice is to get a window seat so that you can lay you head against it and you have control over the window and so that people don't bother you went they want to get through. Also all plane seats can recline just press the button on the elbow rest and push back.
Step 11: Escape the Noise
For long flights, noise-canceling headphones are the best things in the world. Once you are allowed to operate electronic devices, switch on your headset and enjoy a ride without the disturbances of the plane engines and all other noise that comes with too many people in a confined area. If you don’t own noise-canceling headphones and don’t want to invest in them yet, then bring earplugs. These will be your best friend, but if your cheep most airlines give free headphones and now days most planes that are longer than 6 hours and 30 minutes have TVs in every seat. The TVs are loaded with a lot of entertainment, take advantage of these since they have a lot of new movies on them.
Step 12: Evade the Light
If you want to sleep during the flight, bring a sleeping mask. Simply putting on your headset and sleeping mask can also mentally prepare you to sleep during the flight. Even if you have a window and it's closed other people will have theirs open so I recommend getting one.
Step 13: Stay Hydrated
While on the flight, it’s important to hydrate. Stay clear of alcohol and tea or coffee. Alcohol impairs your ability to sleep, as well as drinks with caffeine. These beverages dehydrate, while your body will need the exact opposite. So grab a large bottle of water after airport security, and try to finish it by the end of your flight. The air quality in the cabin can be bad for your skin, before you start cracking up everywhere, be gentle with your body and apply some cream on your face, lips, hands – wherever you’d put some extra if you decided to go for a walk on a winter’s day.
Step 14: Use Your Time Wisely
If you plan to watch five movies during your flight because you absolutely love movies, that is fine. On the other hand, if you watch them simply because you don’t know what else to do, then you should have planned ahead for the time during your flight. If you get nauseous during the flight, don’t force yourself to try and do actual work. Instead, look for a relaxing and soothing activity that makes your time more enjoyable. I use my flight time to sleep, watch movies, and this actually makes me look forward to flying. Also if you love movies like me, planes usually have some very new movies, so if your cheap watch them on the plane and get caught up with all those new movies.
Step 15: Plane Food
Plane food can be kind of rough so try to make the best of it instead of feeling sorry for yourself because of the terrible food. Try adding some salt and pepper. Warm your bread and butter by placing them on top of the container of hot food. See what you like, and pick out the best bits. And if your that person that can not digest plane food make sure you pack your own, you will get really hungry because flights are usually long.
Step 16: Mindset
Stop thinking about the time lost in travel and use it as an opportunity to enjoy the time you get to yourself. Don’t consider your travel time as a useless vacuum in time and space, but fill it with activities you don’t get to do too often at home. Take some snacks you enjoy, read, meditate, listen to some music, or prepare your senses for your next destination. Make sure that you set your mind to truly appreciate your personal time during a flight.
Step 17: Being Disturbed
Why go to all the effort of managing to get your seat belt showing at all times, only to find yourself being woken up to be asked if you would like something to drink? Air hostesses make a lot of trips up and down the aisle inquiring for drinks, food or merchandise products. Summon the air hostess and kindly inform them that you would like to be undisturbed throughout those passages because you would like to sleep. Problem solved. If you do not want to be woken up by the air hostess every time the fasten your seat belt sign is on, then make sure she can she your seat belt fastened at all times! Best way to do that? Just fasten your seat belt above your blanket or coat and try to keep it uncovered and visible at all times. If she can see your seat belt fastened, she is bound not to disturb you further, especially if you are asleep. But most of the time air hostess don't wake you up for your seat belt unless the plane is about to land.
Step 18: Leaving the Plane
Once the plane has landed, if you have a correspondence you need to be the first person out the plane. Everyone needs time to find the next plane, but if you don't you should chill out and let the people in a rush out first and remember take your time. Once you have left the airport and have reached your destination remember it is a must that you not go to bed until it is night time this will help with jet lag. And if you want to be all fresh and awake when you get of the plane you should get your Zzz's on the plane and restrain your self from doing other things.
Step 19: Conclusion
I'm not sure if I was clear enough in explaining these tips and tricks, but I think the photos will help. Also if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Suggestions and corrections are appreciated. I hope you enjoyed learning about flying and how to make it enjoyable.
Runner Up in the
Travel Contest 2017