We’ve compiled the largest and most comprehensive list of Airplane and Airport Travel Tips on the internet so here are a hundred travel hacks to make your next flight more enjoyable.
Airplane and Airport Travel Tips
Here comprehensive list of 100 Airplane and Airport Travel Tips you must check.
Booking your Flight
Booking your flight? Always check it online. You can choose your seat in advance, skip the checkout line at the airport, and head straight to bag drop.
Choose front seats if you have a tight connection or if you’re on an overbooked flight. Pick seats in the back for flights with limited overhead space or if you have a large carry-on. Since planes board back to front, choose seats close to the wing if you don’t like turbulence and want a less bumpy ride. On long-haul flights, avoid seats around the washrooms as they tend to become hangout zones. If traveling as a couple, pick the aisle and the window seat.
If the plane is full, your middle seat isn’t very desirable and it may not be chosen by anyone else. And if someone else does end up in that middle seat, you can always trade them so you and your partner are sitting together. You can also use SeatGuru.com to find the best seats on any plane. Just enter the model of the plane you’re flying on, and you’ll see things such as available power outlets and extra legroom.
Get a travel credit card to earn rewards such as miles, points, and cashback that can be redeemed for things like flights, hotels, and rental cars. Many travel-specific cards also include travel insurance such as medical cancellation and interruption insurance. This saves you money by not having to purchase those separately.
Avoid tight connections, even if it’s a great deal and the flights are super cheap. I don’t like connections that are less than an hour and a half. Your first flight could be delayed, and some airports are just so huge that your gate might be a 20-minute walk away. The savings just aren’t worth the hassle and the possibility of missing your connecting flight.
Book early morning flights for a lower chance of being delayed. They also give you the most options if you need to rebook. I know I hate mornings too, but just grab a coffee and thank me while you’re sitting on the beach.
Packing and Prep
If any of your accounts use two-factor authentication, especially via SMS, make sure you know how to do this abroad. For example, switching from SMS to an authenticator app.
Bring more than one payment with you, for example, a second credit card or a second debit card. If you bank with two banks, bring long cords for electronics. Sometimes outlets are limited or they’re just in awkward spots. If you have many things to charge, consider bringing a power strip since your room might only have a couple of outlets.
If you forget or misplace your cord or charging brick, head to the airport’s lost and found to see if they have any unclaimed ones there. Or better yet, bring a portable power bank. Don’t use random USB connections or chargers. You are compromising your phone’s security as these can be modified to install malware on your phone or download your data without your knowledge.
Dress for comfort. Times have changed, and you probably won’t get magically upgraded because you look professional. Dress in layers for flights as temperatures can vary quite a bit. I like a zippered hoodie as it usually gives me the best versatility for fluctuating temperature changes.
Ladies, for long flights and travel days with overnights where we don’t get a chance to change our clothes, and more specifically our underwear, bring some very light panty liners.
Bring an empty water bottle. You’ll save money and waste less plastic for your whole journey. Use tape and plastic wrap to help keep containers closed and to prevent shampoo or sunscreen accidents due to pressure changes at high altitude.
Pack snacks. You know airplane food isn’t amazing, and you can avoid getting hangry if your food service is taking a long time.
Always carry a pen. You’ll need one to fill out your Customs forms. Make your luggage easy to identify. You can get a black bag but just add stickers, a ribbon, or tags to the top and the sides because there might come a time when you are trying to find your bag very quickly in a sea of hundreds of other bags due to delays or understaffing.
Do not put your address on your bag tag for safety reasons. All you need is your cell number or an email that you can be reached at. Weigh your carry-on bags before you fly. Get a portable scale like this step on a skill at home and do a little bit of math, or use an empty checking counter at the airport to wait before going to your actual check counter.
Every airline has its own carry-on weight limits, and generally, the cheaper the airline, the smaller the limit. If your checked bag is overweight and you don’t want to pay a fee, put your heavier things in your personal bag like your backpack or your purse. Most Airlines won’t weigh these personal bags, but beware if you are flying Ultra budget Airlines though, because sometimes they will include both bags as your total carry-on weight.
Wear more things, layer up, and put on your heaviest items. They’ll never weigh you unless you are going on one of those float planes, you know the tiny little planes, in which case they will weigh you and everything you bring on board. So stick to the weight limits in those cases.
Just in case
Worried about lost luggage? Add an email slip inside of your bag so if the luggage tag is broken off, they can still contact you. Take a photo of your suitcase in case it gets lost because airlines will typically ask you to describe it or if you have a photo of it, that’s even better.
Air tags, this $30 device, is one of the best ways to track your luggage if it gets misplaced. The Federal Aviation Administration has ruled that having an air tag in your luggage is permitted and in fact not a safety hazard because the amount of lithium falls below the FAA’s limit so you’re good to go.
Know your passenger rights when it comes to delays in luggage because you could be entitled to get money or other forms of compensation depending on the airline or the destinations you’re flying to. For insurance claims, having photos of the packed items inside of your bag can help provide a breakdown for the value of everything in the event of lost luggage.
Scan your passport itinerary contact information driver’s licenses Bank phone numbers Visa cards, etc., and put it all on a Google drive or any other cloud service that is shared with a family or trusted contact back home. If you lose everything, it’s incredibly useful to have since both you and they can access it while abroad.
Set your phone’s lock screen wallpaper to your email or a trusted emergency contact, you know in case you lose your phone and a Good Samaritan tries to find its owner at the airport.
At the Airport
Ever since COVID things have taken longer, so get to the airport early, about three hours for international flights, and bring a book to keep you occupied. If you’re driving to the airport, take a picture of where you parked your car so you know you don’t walk around with your keys doing this.
If you have an iPhone, download your boarding pass to your wallet app since it allows boarding passes to be visible on the lock screen. But also always have paper copies since phones die and sometimes the codes on the phones just don’t really want to scan.
always have printouts of your departing flights and accommodation confirmations plus any Visa or e-visa documentation if required. These documents will be what ninety percent of Agents need for any issues that may arise.
Always keep your luggage receipt you will need this if the airline loses your bag. Listen to the announcements in the airport and periodically check your flight on the boards sometimes your departure gate can change and if you don’t hear or see the change you could end up at the wrong gate.
Ask for directions some airports are huge and hard to navigate airport staff can be sometimes very helpful in finding the fastest way to get to your terminal or just recommend a good restaurant.
Get lounge access via the many credit cards that offer free or discounted passes to airport lounges or pay for Access which is really only worth it if you have a two-plus hour layover and you are going to take advantage of the food and the drink you can get those at loungepass.com.
Get priority pass which is a third-party membership program that provides access to around 1300 airport lounges globally. If you are connecting to the airport’s Wi-Fi make sure it is the official one to protect your personal data if you go to an info kiosk they’ll have the airport Wi-Fi listed or they usually have it posted around on the walls most get attendants will know this as well and better yet always use a VPN to connect to Wi-Fi for even more security or to get around geoblocked websites.
If you’re low in space and overweight with your carry-on buy something small at the airport and get a bag place your extra items in that bag as I’ve never had an airline agent weigh The Shopping Bag I’ve brought onto a plane but really we all just need a pack less stuff you’ll save your yourself so much trouble and money on all your travels.
Going Through Security
The best thing is to pack them in the airport-provided security liquid bags I like to grab a few of them so then I can pre-pack the next time. keep a small clear plastic bag the smaller the better because sometimes they’ll actually ask you to take the items out of that bag to make sure they fit into their own security bag so few of the parents out there can bring breast pumps through security.
It counts as a medical device so you can have a separate bag for it which does not count towards your carry-on bags you can also bring full bags of breast milk that can be over 100 milliliters of liquid and you can bring an ice pack and a cooler to ensure proper storage of that milk in fact anyone can bring any size Frozen beverage through security because any explosives or flammable products don’t freeze just make sure they are still frozen when you are going through security where security friendly clothes so no buttons or buckles and like shoes like Runners because many airports are finally phasing out the taking off your shoe rule but only for certain types of shoes
If you have to decide between multiple security lines choose the one on the left most people’s dominant side is right and we have a natural tendency to choose the right lanes.
So the left lane can be shorter you can also look at the people in each line as lines with business Travelers tend to move a little bit more faster than lines with families.
The quicker the line larger airports tend to have multiple security gates that lead to the same spots so if one is looking a bit busy check out the other one wash your hands thoroughly if you use makeup or sunscreen because they can make those TSA swabs test positive for chemicals which will just make for a longer Security check.
If you are in a security lineup and your flight is currently boarding tell an airport staff member sometimes they could bring you to the front of the line or just get you through faster. it also doesn’t hurt to ask the people in front of you as well as connections and issues mid-journey for tight connections.
Connections & Issues mid-journey
Check the backseat pocket for an airport map of your connecting gate and then snap a picture for reference your gate number could also change mid-flight so don’t rely on the number listed on your boarding pass always check the airport screen when you arrive at your connecting airport or you can ask the flight attendant aboard your flight as they will have up-to-date information on your connecting flight and if your connection is really tight and you might not make it to the next flight on time once you get off the plane tell the agents at the gate as they can then call over a buggy and drive you to your next gate a bit of a warning though.
If you do make your next flight this way chances are that your checked bag might not true story you can see real-time flight delay info on flightaware.com they’ll typically show you if your flight was canceled or delayed before the airline sends you a notification or just simply type in your flight number into Google and they’ll give you not quite as much info but enough if your flight gets canceled.
Immediately get in line for the agent then while you’re waiting go on the airline’s website as most have implemented online rebooking systems since coven if don’t have it or you just can’t find it then call the airline while you’re still waiting in line don’t take your frustrations out on staff if your plane is delayed or canceled.
Take some deep breaths be patient and know that there is only so much they can do you know they cannot make extra flights appear out of nowhere or put you in seats that are already full they are doing the best they can and they’ll be more likely to help you if you treat them with kindness and respect boarding.
If you are flying with a cold or allergies take decongestants before you board because the pain in your eardrums from the change of pressure can be excruciating if you want to board a plant early because of the size of your carry-on and you need that coveted overhead space consider an airline travel credit card to get priority boarding or just simply enroll in that airline’s Rewards program even if you don’t have status sometimes just by signing up you can get into that middle boarding group and that should leave you with enough overhead space.
If you are boarding later scan the plane and grab that first overhead compartment space you see don’t wait until you get closer to your seat it’s always better to place your bag in front of you than behind so you can keep an eye on it mid-flight and you don’t have to plow through people when you are disembarking to try and get your bag don’t be afraid to politely ask people to rearrange their stuff if there is no space in the overheads.
If you notice someone stuck the jacket or another small item up there you can always ask an attendant to help you make space be courteous to your fellow passengers and put your one carry-on bag overhead and your one personal item below your seat know you want the leg room but so does everybody else and there is just never enough space in the overheads on the flight.
On the Flight
Wear sunscreen especially on your face while playing Windows block UVB so you won’t get a sunburn longer wavelength UVA can still get through and dig into the skin causing far deeper genetic damage to the cells that can lead to skin cancer and premature aging over time the higher up you are the more radiation and aisle seats aren’t any better as someone who has had skin cancer please take this one seriously.
If you’re taking a red eye and you need to sleep and you’re morally okay with drugging yourself bring some melatonin pills or NyQuil plus a good eye mask earplugs and a neck pillow you’ll be snoozing avoid hot or carbonated drinks on airplanes.
The former comes from the hot water tanks which are rarely cleaned the latter because it causes gas and bloating on international flights in between meals there is typically a snack tray that you can help yourself to usually it’s located in the middle or in the back near the toilets.
We suggest always grab a couple of items and then bring them back to seat if it’s not out then just ask flight attendants to always have extra snacks on hand your personal bag should contain the items that you’ll need most frequently during your flight.
including your important documents this is for security and that bag should be the one underneath your seat because getting your carry-on bag out from the overhead compartment opening it up in the aisle or on the seat and trying to get things out is just so awkward and annoying.
If you are someone that gets periods always have extra supplies in your bag as they can come unexpectedly especially due to traveling if you don’t have any with you almost all airplane washrooms will have products tucked away in one of those secret drawers now it’ll just vary whether it’s a pad or tampons bring moisturizers planes are so incredibly dry hand face lip balms and eye drops noise canceling headphones are a game changer.
If your trip involves lots of flight time or if you just actually enjoy being able to hear what they are saying in the movies that you are watching download your audiobooks podcasts or shows before your flight as there is no guarantee your airplane will have an entertainment system or that’ll be working.
It’s also a good idea to download the Airlines app as some airplanes don’t have Entertainment Systems built into the seats instead you interact with their entertainment system through their app and you just watch it on your own device just make sure that you’ve downloaded the app before you take off get a phone or tablet case with a folding stand or you can just makeshift a holder with a paper bag pinched between your phone case if needed bring compression socks.
They help with circulation and comfort and are especially important for older people and pregnant people as they can help prevent blood clots for protect against germs wipe down your whole flight area with sanitizing wipes including that front seat pocket when you board better yet avoid that front seat pocket in front of you all.
We heard of some really gross things that people put in there and they don’t always get cleaned properly open your air vents to blow directly in front of you since most airlines are equipped with HEPA filters for their recirculation so that is the cleanest air that you will get it also helps blow away your neighbor’s stinky farts.
After the Flight
Never throw your used boarding pass in a public trash can or leave it on the plane because the barcode on it has your personal information in it that a nefarious character could gain access to.
Avoid the currency exchanges at airports and head over to the ATMs for a better rate for the best rate conversion always choose to withdraw money in the local currency and not in your home currency if you want to know if your debit or credit card will work in a foreign ATM look at the symbols on that ATM if any matches symbol on your card then it’ll work to get to your accommodation.
The most affordable option is to take public transit away from the airport and then if necessary only grab a cab or ride to share the remaining distance to your accommodation airports in most major cities will have a direct connection to the main city center and this could be via bus metro train or commuter rail oftentimes it can be cheaper to pay for pre-arranged shuttles either through your accommodation or by hiring a private shuttle if both these options are not available and you are planning on using any kind of ride sharing app see if you can walk a little ways away from the terminals as there are usually surcharges involved with airport pickups.
The same goes with taxis another option hop on a free airport hotel shuttle doesn’t really matter which one as long as they don’t require a pre-reservation the driver will usually let you know or sometimes it’ll just be on the post they’ll then take you to a hotel and you can call a much cheaper taxi or ride share from there before you leave the airport.
Check out the foam counters and kiosks for Taurus SIM cards these are specifically designed for travelers with no plans just pay okay pop it in and now you have data for your whole trip if there is more than one SIM card option always go with the bigger provider or if you are in a more remote area.
Ask your tour guide or accommodation which provider they’d recommend or better yet if you have a newer phone look into e-sims that you can digitally load onto your phone before you go last be nice to the staff you interact with at the airport and on airlines they’re just trying to do a job they’re trying the best they can to help you and taking out your hangry sleep Drive frustrations out on them it’s just not the right thing to do it only makes you a bad traveler.
FAQ: Airplane and Airport Travel Tips
Here’s a quick FAQ guide for airplane and airport travel tips:
Booking and Pre-Flight
1. How far in advance should I book my flight?
- Aim for booking flights 1-3 months in advance for domestic travel and 3-6 months for international trips to secure better deals.
2. What should I consider when choosing a seat?
- Check seat maps online to pick seats with extra legroom, near exits, or in preferred sections like the front for quicker deplaning.
3. How early should I arrive at the airport before my flight?
- Arrive at least 2 hours before domestic flights and 3 hours before international flights to allow time for check-in, security, and potential delays.
Packing and Security
1. What items should I pack in my carry-on?
- Essential documents (ID, passport), medications, chargers, a change of clothes, valuables, and anything you might need during the flight.
2. Are there restrictions on liquids and electronics?
- Liquids must be in containers of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less and placed in a quart-sized, clear, zip-top bag. Electronics should be easily accessible for security screening.
3. How can I expedite the security process?
- Wear easily removable shoes, avoid metal accessories, and organize belongings in your carry-on to ease the security screening process.
During the Flight
1. How can I stay comfortable during a long flight?
- Stay hydrated, move around periodically to prevent stiffness, wear comfortable clothing, use a neck pillow or blanket, and consider noise-canceling headphones.
2. What’s the best way to combat jet lag?
- Adjust your sleep schedule a few days before departure, stay hydrated, get sunlight upon arrival, and try to adapt to the local time zone as soon as possible.
3. Can I use electronic devices during the flight?
- Generally, yes. However, follow the airline’s guidelines regarding the use of electronic devices during takeoff, landing, and specific phases of the flight.
Arrival and Baggage Claim
1. How do I navigate the airport upon arrival?
- Follow signs for baggage claim, ground transportation, or connecting flights. Check the airport map or ask airport staff for assistance if needed.
2. What should I do if my luggage is lost or delayed?
- Immediately report the issue to the airline’s baggage service desk. Fill out a lost baggage claim form and provide the necessary information for tracking.
3. Any tips for a smooth transition from the airport to my destination?
- Have transportation arrangements in place beforehand, whether it’s a rental car, pre-booked taxi, public transportation, or a ride-sharing service.
We hope you enjoy this Airplane and Airport Travel Tips guide. Happy Journey!