Flying has changed dramatically since the Golden Age, and some can say it’s gotten worse when it comes to transiting between airports, waiting for planes to arrive, going through security and finding ways to kill time while at the airport. As such, here are some pre-boarding tips to make your travel experience much smoother and stress-free.
Make Use of the Carrier’s App
Almost every airline has its own app on Google Play and on iTunes, as such, it can be beneficial to use it before even arriving at the airport. Many airlines make it seamless to check in, check flight status and board all with a simple tap. And for those flying domestically on an airline that no longer has back seat entertainment screens, the app will allow you to (usually) watch free shows and films for the entire flight.
Check SeatGuru Before You Book Your Seat
SeatGuru is a terrific site to check before booking a flight. You first enter your to/from destination or flight number along with your date of travel and airline, and you will be given an extensive list of information about the aircraft you will be flying in. This can include the following: which is the best seat, reviews from customers, if there are power outlets and back seat entertainment screens, seat width and more. SeatGuru also tells you about the noise level around you, especially if you are thinking of a seat that’s located near the lavatory.
Sign Up and Use Global Entry and TSA PreCheck
Global Entry and TSA PreCheck really do make life so much easier at the airport. TSA PreCheck allows you to skip on having to take off any clothing or shoes, or unpacking your laptop and liquids. Global Entry lets you skip long lines when you come back into the U.S., and easily go through border control in just a few minutes.
Have All Your Travel Information All in One Place
Staying organized can be a little overwhelming, which is why TripIt can be your key to ease any stress. The app is designed to store your itinerary, share plans with others, find places near your hotel, provide maps of airports and terminals so that you can find exactly what your looking for while in transit, show neighborhood safety scores, and transfer information from your email into the app that relates to your trip so that you don’t have to switch between different programs.
Measure Your Carry-on
More recently, airlines have cracked down on the size of carry-ons, including the roller types. Gate agents have been checking almost every passenger’s bag to see if it looks a little too big to be a carry-on, requesting them to stick it in the box to see if it fits. Remember, sizes range from airline to airline, and continent to continent, so checking airline dimensions before you pack is highly recommended to avoid having your carry-on become a check-in luggage.
Stay Secure While Browsing the Internet
No matter where you are—be it in an airport, hotel or cafe—it’s best to never use the WiFi without connecting to a VPN. Sites like InvinciBull.io and HotSpot Shield offer free services (up to a certain megabyte, and if you need more, you will need to purchase a monthly plan. Check out these top-rated free VPN services for other options). No matter where you are, your information can never be too safe while connected to public WiFi, which is why making sure you’re connected to a VPN is essential to keep everything safe and secure from hackers.
Invest in the Right Travel Pillow
Travel pillows have made life so much easier while traveling and can be used while flying on an airplane, driving in a car or bus, or riding on a train. However, not all pilows are made the same—some are ergonomically designed to prevent any neck pain no matter what position you’re in, whereas others are just cheap and don’t provide the right type of support for your head and neck. As such, make sure to find one that works with your body so that you don’t wake up with stiffness.
Bring Your Own Water Carrier
Purchasing water bottles once you pass through security can get expensive, which is why bringing your own water bottle will not only save you from having to buy water at the kiosks constantly, but you are also able to use it while exploring a city or hiking up trails and mountains. Amazon sells a lot of collapsible water bottle options that are fantastic and save so much space!
Skip Jet Lag
Traveling to different countries always affects our sleeping patterns, which is why an app to combat that from happening has been created, called Timeshifter®. The app was “developed by world-renowned scientists. Based on the latest sleep and circadian neuroscience. Used by astronauts and elite athletes”. Timeshifter allows you to develop “your own personalized jet lag plans and arrive at your best”. All you have to do is enter your destination, and the app will help you slowly switch your body clock so that once you’ve arrived at your destination, you’ll feel much more adapted.
Think About Buying Travel Insurance
Although your credit card can cover things like lost luggage and flight cancelations, it may not help in case of a medical emergency. As such, if you do have health issues, or are planning an extensive trip to multiple destinations, buying travel insurance may save you in case you get hurt in any way.