Between work, traveling back to both Tennessee and New Jersey to visit family and vacations, I fly quite a bit. Over the years, I’ve also learned a few lessons when it comes to comfort and efficiency when flying. Here are my top 7 air travel tips.
1. Stick to One Airline as Much as Possible & Sign Up its for Mileage Program
If you fly often and want to reap the benefits of that, it’s important to stick to one airline as much as possible. I have miles on three airlines: United, Southwest and American, but I aim to fly United as often as I can so I can bank more miles and retain premier status. Southwest is my backup option (love them!), and then American is my last resort because Phoenix happens to be an American hub (although I really hate flying American due to numerous poor customer service experiences).
2. Buy Bright Luggage
For times when you do need to check your bag, it can be difficult to find at baggage claim if it’s black and looks like every other bag coming off the conveyor belt. That’s why I opt for bright luggage, patterned luggage, really anything that will stand out. I’m currently rocking bright pink luggage, and it never takes me more than a second to spot it as soon as it comes out.
3. Roll Your Clothes When Packing
I’m a notorious over packer. I can’t help it. Perhaps I’m just indecisive when it comes to getting ready in the morning, but I typically like to have at least a few options, especially on longer trips when the weather is harder to predict. To make the most efficient use of space in my suitcase, I roll my clothes; this also helps prevent wrinkling!
4. Aim for Comfort
Even when I’m flying for business and have meetings within hours of getting off the plane, I still aim for comfort when it comes to my attire, usually opting for a riding boots and leggings look if I have to be presentable, or just flying in activewear if I don’t have anywhere to be right when I land. I never wear heals when I fly, as it seems I’m often running through one airport or another to make a connection, and I make a point to ensure I’m wearing shoes that are easy to get in and off at security.
5. Wear Layers
It seems planes are never the right temperature: sometimes they’re a sauna, sometimes they’re freezing! That’s why it’s essential to dress in layers so you can take items on and off as needed for comfort. And bonus: that hoodie that you don’t need to wear can make a great pillow and won’t take up room in your suitcase.
6. Eat Healthy & Carry Water
I’ve definitely made the mistake of caving on one of those tasty Cinnabons right before a flight, and I always regret it. Now, I make a point to only eat things I know won’t upset my stomach — salads and sandwiches are usually my go-to. I also aways carry a bottle of water to prevent becoming parched before or after the drink cart comes through.
7. Don’t Rely on Airline Wifi
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a plan to get work done on a flight, only to find that the wifi isn’t working. Now, I always have a plan and a backup plan, and I ensure that I download anything work-related I may need prior to the flight so I can work offline if needed. I also pre-download podcasts (hello, Serial!) and books so I’m prepared with non-work-related options to pass the time as well.
What are your top air travel tips?