Hey guys! Let me be the first to congratulate you on your upcoming trip and adventure. No matter where you are going, I’m going to give you a few pointers about air travel, packing, the airport, and the plane ride. This is meant to be more of a refresher course or for new flyers who may be panicking a little bit. So if you’re more experienced then you probably don’t need this, but I’d love comments in case I forgot something.
I recently went to Colorado and Nevada. I hadn’t been on a plane in a few years, I think about 5, and I needed a quick refresh. Thankfully, I wasn’t going alone so my dad helped me a lot. Now I’m here to help you, let’s start with packing. I’m a minimalist when I pack, for a week, I took one pair of jeans and two long sleeve shirts for the cool Colorado, and then three short sleeve shirts and two shorts for the warm Las Vegas weather. I also took my winter coat, thankfully because it snowed in Colorado and my mom brought a light sweater for the cool morning air in Vegas.
As for shoes, I took flip flops (again for Vegas) and sneakers, which I wore everywhere. I wore them to the airport and all through my trip. I mention the airport because you will have to go through security before heading to your gate, and you’ll have to take off your shoes in most cases so make sure they are easy to get off and on. Also, if you can check in before arriving at the airport and you don’t need to check a bag, then do it. You’ll save yourself at least one line for this process. We checked in online and didn’t have checked bag so we went straight to security.
What you need for security: Your boarding pass, and a government issue ID (It can be a passport or your license) – if traveling internationally, leave the license at home and just do the passport. Keep track of these at all times, they are very important.
Most airports are then a straight shot to the gates. Some, like Las Vegas, have trams AKA trains to take you to the gates. Your gate letter and number will be found on your boarding pass. If it’s not, then you can check the board of flights and find yours for the gate number.
It’s suggested to arrive at the airport two hours before your flight for domestic travel, and three hours for international travel. This gives you time to get through the line to check in, the line for airport security which trust me can take a long time, especially if you get stopped by security so they can look in your bag. As well as get to your gate, go to the bathroom before the flight or maybe grab something to eat.Either way, being early is best when it comes to flying.
What you need for a flight: Depending on the length a lot. I had books downloaded and read like the wind through flights. Other things, video games, music, a neck pillow (if you use one), sudafed and nyquil (if you’re my father), Dramamine (if you get motion sick), a laptop, ect.
Flights can be full, cramped, and just uncomfortable. I sat next to my parents so I could move around a lot and lean on one of them. I wouldn’t do that to a stranger.
When you put your carry on in the overhead bin, you want to put it close to you. Though you have to be careful, some people will put their stuff in the overhead bin way before their seat. Look for your section and put it as close to you as you can, don’t be my father and put it behind you. It makes unloading the plane even longer.
If you have a connection, you can ask the attendants at the desk in the main airport where your next gate is if you’re easily turned around, and then wait for your connection. I would suggest about two hours between connections if possible to account for possible delays on either side. Again, being early is best for flights. If you’re late you can miss your flight, if you’re on time then you’re panicking through security or the connection between flights.
If that is your final destination, then enjoy your trip and just follow the signs out to the airport exit.
Safe travels! Enjoy your time!