You may be looking forward to that week long Alaskan cruise but you’re probably less excited about the connecting flight to get to your departure point. It’s no secret that flying can be a nuisance these days with extra-long security lines and an inexplicably long list of items that can be confiscated.
Fortunately, while there are a lot of things that are out of your control during your flying experience, there are ways you can improve your trip. Here are five tips for a more enjoyable flying experience:
1. Only pack a carry-on
When you are packing, gather all the items you think you will need on your trip...and then leave about half of them at home. Depending on how long your trip is, you probably don’t need much more than a carry-on suitcase. And by limiting yourself to a carry-on you will be saving tons of time during check-in and baggage claim. Also, you will save on possible headaches because of missing luggage.
If forgoing the baggage check-in isn’t an option for you, be smart about it. Make sure you have a carry-on with the essentials, like a change of clothes, battery chargers, cash, any necessary medication, and your ID.
2. Choose a direct flight
The number one factor that can significantly drag out your trip is a long layover. Sometimes layovers can’t be avoided but if you can, try to go for a direct flight. It will likely cost more but isn’t it worth it to skip that 10-hour layover at the Atlanta airport?If you can’t avoid a layover and your flight gets delayed and caused you to miss the next flight make sure to reach out to your airline agent. They will often give you a VIP lounge pass in compensation for the inconvenience. If your flight is rescheduled for the following day then the airline will usually pay for your meals and accommodation at a nearby hotel.
When you are choosing your seat, try to pick a seat close to the door. You will thank yourself, especially on international flights when you have a long wait in customs to look forward to.
Is the seating first come first serve? No worries. Keep an eye out for empty seats during the flight as sometimes the flight attendants will let you swap.Aisle seats are worth more than window seats plus you will be able to exit the plane much faster and will be able to go to the restroom during the flight without climbing over anyone.
If you have a tight connection but need to transfer to a different concur by taking a train choose the train wagons near the exit stairways. Sometimes it is tricky to figure this out but if you are in doubt, look for an airport employee or flight attendant to follow and you will take the shortest path.
Whatever you do, don’t leave your travel gear at home! If you are someone who needs to sleep on the plane, an eye mask and noise canceling headphones are a must. And having the option to watch a good movie or listen to your favorite playlist can make all the difference in the world.
More and more airlines are now offering in-flight Wi-Fi for a fee. Surprisingly, the cost isn’t too outrageous, averaging about $12 per flight or $30 a month for frequent travelers. And there’s nothing like the ability to be productive even when you are 30,000 feet in the air.
Of course, the only guarantee about traveling is that there are no guarantees. No matter how early you show up at the airport or how carefully you plan your seating arrangements on the plane, things can still go wrong.
Delays, annoying encounters with TSA, and chatty seatmates are just a few of the hassles you may encounter when flying. But these hassles are more than worth it when you consider the rewards that traveling has to offer.
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