So you’re ready to pack your things and head off for your flight? Well fasten your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen: the following tips are designed to make traveling to the airport, through the airport, and from the airport, as quick and easy as possible!
If you’re not a first time traveler, the following may help even the most veteran traveler get through the airport that much easier.
Plan, Plan, Plan!
First and foremost, planning is the most important factor when traveling. We've talked a lot about it in previous blog posts and are happy to bring it up again. Why? Because proper planning and researching can save you a ton of money and stress down the road.
Planning travel for a bigger group? Check out our Tips for Successful Group Trip Planning.
Pack it up, Pack it in
Most people wait until the last minute to pack. There are three main reasons for this. First, people hate the pressure of choosing exactly what they’ll need for their trip. Second, they’re pressed for time. Third, they need the things they’ll be using right up until they zip the suitcase shut. Phone chargers, anyone?
As much as we avoid it, smart packing can take a huge load off in terms of travel stress. If you travel often enough, you may even get to the point of enjoying the packing process. Until then, we have several great packing tips as well as some pointers on how to protect your stuff while traveling.
Find Some Wheels
Next, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to get to the airport. You'd be surprised how many people realize they need a ride at the same time they realize they need a toothbrush protector (aka: last minute). Don’t worry; SuperShuttle is here with our shared ride, exclusive ride, and ExecuCar services. For other options, check out our post on The Best Way to Get To or From the Airport.
Planning to use a shared ride shuttle? Here’s some friendly ways for you to break the ice with fellow passengers, or avoid them all together if you’re having ‘one of those days.’
During normal travel times, most airlines recommend travelers arrive at the airport two hours before domestic flights and three hours for international flights. This is to account for time spent checking luggage, navigating security, and finding your terminal. If you’re not checking luggage, you can usually arrive a little closer to the flight time but you might be left racing to your flight if security is running unusually slow. During peak travel periods, such as major holidays and spring break, airlines often recommend arriving even earlier to account for crowds.
When you get to the check-in kiosk of your selected airline, make sure you have proper identification and itinerary ready and waiting. You can visit your airlines website to review specific check-in directions, and many airlines offer self check-in using computer kiosks.
Once you've got your boarding pass in hand, head over to the security checkpoint for your terminal. From here, it’s just a matter of keeping your ID and itinerary handy, and making sure to pull out those liquids before sending your carry-on items through the X-ray machine. If you’re at all nervous about airport security screenings, check out our related article Top Five Tips to Make Getting Through TSA Security Check Points Easy.
Hurry Up and Wait
If you followed the standard recommendations from the airline and TSA, you likely have some time to spare before boarding your flight. Check out our tips on How to Make the Most of Waiting at the Airport and you may be able to relax and even have some fun! These tips are also good for layovers if your connecting flight gets held up along the way (though we really hope it doesn’t!).
While you’re enjoying your coffee or perusing the duty-free stores, make sure to keep an eye on the departure boards to make sure you don't miss your flight. Typically, you want to be ready to board 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
Fly, Fly Away
Feeling nervous? It’s normal. Most people feel a little nervous during their first few flights and landings, and some people can never shake the nerves. If you’re beginning to feel panicky, speak with the flight attendant. They’re used to checking in with and calming nervous fliers and they may even arrange for you to switch seats to help make you more comfortable!
As for the flight? Take a deep breath and remember that, no matter how many episodes of Lost you may have watched, flight is the single safest form of civilian travel. Each plane is inspected thoroughly before each flight, and your crew’s most important goal is your safety.
Born to Run
You've landed, safe and sound! Before you bend over to kiss the ground, check your seating area for any belongings that might have come loose during the flight. Also, remember to be patient as people before you gather their things. Patience is contagious and the people behind you will return the favor when it’s your turn!
After you exit the plane, follow the signs to the luggage claim to collect any luggage, then follow the signage for your preferred form of transportation to your hotel.
If you chose SuperShuttle as your airport transportation, here's how you can find your SuperShuttle at the airport once you arrive.
It may seem a little intimidating the first time you fly, but practice makes perfect. Just have fun with it, and - who knows – you might even catch the infamous travel bug!
Posted 1 years 332 days ago
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