The last thing you want to deal with at the beginning of a trip is any sort of mishap at the airport. It's amazing the number of things that can go wrong before you even take off. But, if you prepare for your flight ahead of time you can cut down on the likelihood of something unexpected happening. Here's what you should do before you even step foot into the airport:
6 Things To Do Before Every Flight
1. Take full advantage of being able to check in 24 hours before your flight. That way you'll know if there are any hiccups that may have come up with your ticket and can plan to get to the airport early to sort everything out. You'll also get better options when it comes to picking your seat. Most airlines have apps that will let you do this right from your phone.
2. Print all of the important info you may need on the trip like any AirBnb instructions or the address to where you're going. I do this for every trip, because I don't want to be left clueless if my phone dies.
3. Pack your carry-on the night before. Make sure that you have everything you'll need in your bag to make the flight more comfortable. Then double and triple check just to make sure. You'll also want to check and make sure that any liquids you plan to have in your carry-on are under 4 fl. oz. otherwise you risk TSA throwing the items away. Here are tips on picking a reliable carry-on that will make your next flying experience dramatically easier.
4. Put all of your travel documents like your passport and plane ticket (or phone if you use an airline app) somewhere that's easily accessible. You don't want to get to the front of the TSA line or to your gate to board the plane and not be able to find what you need. It makes me panicky just thinking about holding up those lines with a ton of people behind me staring a hole through my head impatiently waiting.
5. Check your flight times to make sure the plane is on time and that nothing has changed before heading to the airport. Checking these details will also make you more aware of what time you need to get to the airport, so you're less likely to miss a flight. I learned this lesson the hard way — a friend and I once accidentally got to the airport five hours early for a flight to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, because we "thought" we knew what time our flight was. Thank goodness we were early (and got pampered at the airport spa) instead of being late and missing our flight. It could have been an unfortunate situation had it been the reverse. Now I quadruple check my boarding times.
6. Put your keys in the same place every.single.time. you fly. There is nothing worse than getting back from a trip completely exhausted and not being able to find your car or house keys. No one wants to open her luggage and dig through it piece by piece in the middle of a creepy airport parking lot (or the back of an Uber) looking for lost keys — so do yourself a favor and always put them in the same place, preferably somewhere you can easily reach. Speaking of the airport parking lot, you'll also want to take a photo or write down exactly where you've parked at the airport. It's exceptionally easy to forget where your car is over the course of a trip and you don't want to have to aimlessly wander around looking for it.
Now that you've got the important things to do before down pat, here are two different ways you can make your trip to the airport a whole lot easier for the next five years.
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