Quick and Useful Tips for Flying Anywhere
Whether you’re a pro jet-setter or infrequent flyer, these tips will not only help you prep for your flight but will save you some cash, too. Flying can be stressful and there’s so much to think about – never assume you have it all together because it’s so easy to forget something.
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I fly numerous times a month, and still forget random things that would have otherwise made my flight easier. Use these tips before you fly next time to make your life simpler and to have some extra cash to travel with.
Before You Fly:
Before you board that flight, here are some things to make sure you do. Some are pretty obvious but no matter how many times you fly, there’s always a chance you might forget.
- Grab a sweater or anything warm. The plane is often cold! Having said that, don’t wear anything too warm because you want to be able to take off and put on clothes as temperatures can change.
- Pack some food. With airlines getting stingier and stingier with their drinks and meal service, it’s better to just bring your own. Even on those short flights that last only 2-3 hours, you might want food. While the flight is short, don’t forget that you have to get there two hours ahead of time, prepare for any possible delays and the time it takes to get through passport control and grab your bags. You’ll definitely be hungry!
- Bring an empty water bottle. You can’t go through security with a water bottle, even a new and sealed one, so bring an empty one and fill up at a water fountain on the other side.
- What do you need during your flight? Are you getting work done on the laptop? Just listening to music? Make sure everything is ready to grab so you can store your bag in the overhead and leave it there for the remainder of the flight. Don’t be that person that starts ruffling through their bags when everyone is trying to board! We hate that person…
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Prep For After You Land:
- Always prepare and offline map – I like Maps.me (a phone app) better than Google maps sometimes. I have data in over 100 countries with my cell carrier from home but just in case, it’s good to have an offline map to use. Download it when you’re on wifi.
- Where are you going? Try researching this before you land because nobody wants to wait in the arrival hall for hours trying to figure it out or get ripped off. Do they use Uber? What’s the public transport like? Did you land too late and miss the last train? Where is the best area to get a taxi from? It’s way less stressful to know these things before landing.
- Never use the currency exchange at the airport. Like, ever. They don’t give you a good rate. I never exchange cash no matter where I’m at, I just always use an ATM. You’ll get the best rate and you don’t need to do any math to see if the rates are good. Your bank will do it for you. Make sure you have a travel-friendly bank card that doesn’t charge you an arm and a leg for the transaction fees. If you’re American, get a Charles Schwab card, they charge ZERO!
Related Article: 6 Mistakes to Avoid When Traveling
Baggage Tips and Ways to Avoid Fees:
It’s so hard to keep track on baggage fees and what is allowed and not. Can I bring a carry-on and personal item? What’s the weight limit? Maybe the weight doesn’t matter but how many carry-on can I bring on board? Annoying! Airlines always have different rules, sometimes they change and sometimes it even depends on the ticket you bought … So, I usually prepare for the worst case scenario! Here are some of my flight hacks:
- Always make sure your small personal bag can actually fit into your bigger carry-on bag. Just in case they allow only one item as a carry-on, which happened on my most recent flight. I took my Pacsafe Vibe 200 Anti-Theft Compact Travel Bag and threw into my Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Plus Anti-Theft 40L Multi-Purpose Backpack. Done!
- Don’t risk taking an overweight bag and hoping that they won’t check! Wear stuff to alleviate the weight when checking in. People usually try putting on clothes but clothes don’t weigh that much and you don’t want to get heat stroke! What I do is wear my heavy items. If I have a jacket, I stuff my pockets with batteries from my camera, I wear my DSLR, I shove a hard drive in my back pocket… Maybe you have a few books? Throw those in your jacket pocket or even hold them! You can rearrange and put it back before security.
- This one is a trick that only works if you’re traveling with more than one person, but if you check in at different times you can leave your carry on bag that you know is overweight with your friend while you check in and get your boarding pass. They will never see your overweight carryon and you can slyly shove that thing overhead without a second glace.
Hopefully, these tips help you on your next flight! Do you have any more to add?
You May Also Like:
- 7 Tips for Overcoming Flying Anxiety
- 9 Tips for Handling a Cancelled or Delayed Flight
- Dos and Don’ts for a Successful Flight
By Nina Ragusa
Nina’s blog aims to give it to you straight in every aspect without skimping on details. She writes about the realities of making a life abroad by working for it while maximizing on travel experiences. Find out more about her life as a traveler at Where in the World is Nina?