How to prepare for a comfortable and hassle-free flight
If you’re planning an upcoming vacation, making sure everything runs smoothly is probably at the top of your priority list. Whether you are taking a solo trip, a couples getaway, or a family vacation, the last thing you want is to be unprepared, causing unnecessary stress and worry while trying to relax and enjoy your break. As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted travel for quite some time, there are several things that you might overlook when it comes to planning your vacation.
Here is an ultimate checklist of things to do beforehand to ensure that everything runs smoothly and you have the most enjoyable trip possible.
Select Your Seat(s) as early as possible
Flying to a destination is always an exciting experience, whether or not you are a nervous flyer. But getting the right seat can make all the difference to your comfort levels and how much you enjoy the journey. With more and more airlines now allocating random seats to travelers, you’ll need to choose your seats well in advance if you know where you want to sit. Choosing your seat as early as possible is the best option as not only might the prices go up (for premium seats) the longer you wait, but there will also be a slimmer selection to choose from. So, if you’re traveling with friends or family and all want to sit together, it’s worth booking seats in advance.
Book Airport Parking in advance
Driving to the airport yourself and having your car ready and waiting for you when you return home from your vacation can be much less stressful than getting a taxi to the airport or taking public transport. But airport parking can be challenging to find and often more expensive if you get it at the last minute. So, it’s a good idea to book your airport parking well in advance when there are more parking spaces available, so you can shop around and find the best spot for you at the best price.
Follow the links for airport parking information in San Francisco.
Measure and weight Your Luggage
Whether you’re traveling with just a carry-on bag or taking some hand luggage with you in the cabin, it’s a good idea to measure your bags and suitcases to make sure that they will be accepted by the airline. At the same time, you should check your bags and suitcase for any damage or issues that might be a problem in-flight. Then, you can buy new ones if necessary.
Check with your airline to find out more about the maximum size restrictions on hand luggage bags and ensure that yours will fit. Otherwise, you may have to pay an additional fee.
Understand COVID Restrictions
In many parts of the world, there are no COVID rules or restrictions to adhere to when flying. However, this is not the case everywhere, so depending on where you are traveling, you may be required to wear a mask for the duration of your flight.
Before flying, you should also double-check the COVID-related entry requirements for the country you are traveling to. There may be none, or you may be required to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative PCR test. Be sure to have this with you when you fly, or you may not be permitted to board.
Prepare for Security
With travel having been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s worth brushing up on your memory when it comes to getting through airport security. The last thing you need is to miss your flight over an innocent mistake.
Aside from the obvious, like don’t try and go through with a sharp object in your bag, the main thing you need to be aware of is the liquid rules. Regardless of where you go, you can usually only take a certain amount of liquid in your hand luggage. If in doubt, put all liquid items in your checked baggage. Anything else must fit in a clear bag provided by security and be under 100ml. If you have an e-cigarette, this and any liquid must go in your hand luggage.
Check Your Flight Time
As your departure nears, it’s a good idea to double-check your flight time. While you’ll usually have the option to select emails and/or push notifications, it never hurts to refresh the app before heading to the airport. This way, you’re not going to end up at the airport too early or, even worse, too late for your flight.
See What’s Available at the Airport
Before you start packing and planning your trip, it’s a good idea to check out what is available at the airport. If you plan to use the airport lounge, remember that these can fill up early, particularly at busy times. So, it’s best to book your spot in advance as there’s nothing worse than getting to the airport and looking forward to using the lounge only to find that it’s fully booked.
It’s also worth checking out the airport website to see which shops and restaurants are available in the terminal.
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How to prepare for a comfortable and hassle-free flight
If you’re excited to get back to traveling after a few years of disruption, then keep these tips in mind to ensure that your next flight experience is as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
Any tips you’d like to share for preparing for a hassle-free flight? Leave a comment below!
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Most importantly, you don’t want to be rushed. Arrive at the airport well ahead of time so that you can be ready to deal with whatever is thrown your way.
Thanks Bryan. This Brian does not always follow that rule, lol!
We fly a lot, even during a lot of the covid lockdowns. Bringing kids makes it interesting, but we have it down to an art now. We did learn they aren’t allowed to separate minors from parents, so we don’t pay for seats early since we guarantee at least one of us will be with the kids. Our biggest thing is making sure the bags are packed properly and we have what we need while on the plane and the rest goes in checked baggage.
Hi Stephanie. Thanks for commenting. As Rick Steves said, “Keep on traveling.”
These are just the tips I need! We are planning a family trip to Tokyo Disney and sitting in an airplane for 12 hrs sounds challenging with little ones.
Hi Elizabeth. I forgot there was a Tokyo Disney. Where will you fly from?
Ah yes….booking all service providers you may need in advance, can save you so much trouble! It’s what I would do, based on experience travelling to other countries before.
If it’s a country I’m not familiar with, I usually see if the hotel can include airport pickup.
It is good to have some strategies for flying. There are so many little things that can make a trip more difficult, so planning is important!
Hi Marysa. You are correct. Like traffic heading to the airport if you are flying from New York, Los Angeles, etc.
The thing that gets me is security and I need to make sure things are ready for it. I had a glue gun in my suitcase and it got me in trouble. These are great tips to make it a good flight without a struggle.
A glue gun in your checked bag or carry on?
What a coincidence I am sitting at the airport while reading this blog post.l! I think it is very important to wear your luggage before hand. That saves a lot of self at the airport. Also be aware of prohibited items.
I’m not afraid to being olive oil, wine, etc. back because I pack it in with my worn laundry. This way it’s not bouncing against harder items.
These are very helpful tips. We buy tix on sale, though, so we don’t get the luxury of choosing our seats, cause the airlines assign it to us.
Hi May. Thanks for commenting. That makes sense. Personally, I’m not that picky about my seat. I prefer the window, but can handle an aisle or middle seat if necessary.
One thing I always do, is pack a change of clothes, a toothbrush and toothpaste in my carry-on luggage. Just to be on the safe side if my baggage gets lost, or if I need to freshen up on the flight or in transiting airports. And oh yes, a pillow, and my own shawl adds so much more to the comfort. I hate airplane blankets.