1) If you have time, enroll in TSA Global Entry. This includes TSA Precheck which means less time in the security and immigration lines. Other perks include keeping your shoes on during the security process (my favorite perk when I’m not wearing socks), leaving your laptop in your bag and your belt on your waist.
2) Be on time! I know this tip is obvious, but why spend thousands of dollars on a vacation to cut it close at the airport. Missing your flight might mean losing an entire day of your vacation. If you tend to run late, I recommend scheduling an appropriately timed car pick up which will help force you to leave for the airport on time.
3) On a similar note, book a reasonable amount of time for layovers. There is nothing worse than watching your layover tick away while sitting on the tarmac and then running through the airport while praying the cabin doors haven’t yet closed. Yes, sitting around for two hours in the airport stinks, but missing a day of your vacation is worse. Trust me!
4) Double check your fare class before booking your flight. Your travel agent can help you with this. Airlines are increasingly charging for extras including two carry-on items. Know what fare class you are booking to avoid surprise fees at the airport.
5) Dress in layers! Airports and airplanes vary widely in temperature. Make sure you have layers that you can easily remove or add on the plane. These day there is no guarantee that the plane will have blankets unless you’re in first class.
6) My favorite tip: drink a lot of water before, during and after your flight. Airplanes are extremely dry, and the stress of flying is often very dehydrating. Staying properly hydrated during your flight means you’ll feel better when you land!
7) Bring the right kind of food! You can’t assume that the airline will provide edible food these days, even on a long-haul flight. Prepare by bringing your own snacks. Pack healthy snacks that are low in salt and fat, so you don’t feel bloated in your tight airplane seat.
8) Time your coffee consumption with your arrival and departure. If you’re on a red-eye or arriving in your destination in the morning, hold off on your coffee consumption. Try to sleep and have a coffee when you arrive to avoid terrible jet-lag.
9) Bring some Emergen-C or Airborne. The recycled air on a plane is known for breeding germs. Don’t spend your vacation with a cold. Take some Emergen-C or Airborne when you land and then enjoy your vacation!
10) Last, but not least – have a glass of wine! If you’re a nervous or stressed flier, a glass of wine or beer at the airport can make that flight much better.