Most people who are flying for the first time may think that you just need to visit accredited flight booking sites to find cheap flights, then pack your bags and go to the airport. But that is not all that you need to do. Flying for the first time is an exciting experience, but can also be stressful especially if you were not prepared.
In this post, we are going to share with you some tips that can help make your first-time flying experience less stressful.
Overpacking is simple, but doing so could cost you. Visit your airline’s website before your travel to verify baggage size and weight restrictions as well as baggage charges. Here are examples of what you can normally bring with a regular fare on most major airlines, though these vary by air carrier and fare paid:
Two carry-on items: One small rolling suitcase and another small personal item such as a backpack or purse.
- One checked suitcase (Which usually weighs 50 pounds or less) for up to $30. Note that any additional bags might cost you more.
- You may have to pay to check your carry-on bag if it is too large. The cost to check your bag may also be greater than usual if it is larger than a specific size. If at all possible, try to stay away from these surprises.
To avoid the inconveniences of having to pay more, always remember to pack light enough.
Pack your important stuff or anything difficult to replace, such as prescription medication, eyeglasses, contacts, or critical documents, in your carry-on bag. In the unlikely event that your checked bag disappears, you won’t be without that item thanks to this method. You should also bring some entertainment on the plane, like your laptop, headphones, and a book or magazine.
Ensure you follow through with the Transportation Security Administration’s regulations regarding what you may bring. For instance, you are permitted to bring a 3.4-ounce container of contact lens solution but not a large quantity. Additionally, keep in mind that you might need to check your carry-on bag if it is too large to fit under the seat in front of you. If you’re traveling abroad, there may be additional regulations.
Catching a plane is a much longer process, compared to catching a cab or a bus. In fact, the Transport Security Administration (TSA) advises travelers to be at the airport three hours before takeoff for international travel and at least two hours prior to takeoff for domestic travel.
In the end, you need to allow enough time for getting your boarding card, checking your bags, and going through security before your flight takes off. That can take up to 10 minutes. Other times, particularly during rush hour, it could take much longer.
It’s important to remember that getting on the plane isn’t free either. 30 minutes prior to flight, airlines normally begin boarding passengers in groups. A boarding time will typically be displayed on your ticket.
As soon as you enter the airport, have your ID card, license, or passport ready to save time. You won’t want to hold up the queue by searching through your wallet when checking your bags and going through security.
The most frustrating part of flying may be going through airport security, but if you know what to anticipate, the whole ordeal might feel much less draining. If you don’t have Global Entry, for example, you often need to:
- Take off your shoes if you are above 12 years or older than 75 years
- Empty your pockets and remove your belt, hat, jacket, jewelry, or wallet.
- Remove liquids or gadgets such as laptops from your bag
- Send your items through an X-ray machine
- Walk through a metal detector
When you wear easy-to-remove shoes, you can easily take them off and put them on quickly as you walk through the security checkpoints. Also, make sure the items you carry in your luggage are acceptable to the TSA.