I wouldn’t call myself a “regular” on the flight between Silicon Valley and Portland, Oregon, but I have made the trip so many times that it’s an easy trip for me now.
I have three travel tips that seem to help me get through any sort of hustle and bustle in the airport.
- check your luggage – yes, it costs a little more sometimes, but having one less (heavy) bag going through the airport, security, and boarding, is much easier. For me, only having one well-packed carry-on bag (with all the important items*) makes my airplane life easier. (Depending on which carrier you fly, you can even check your smaller bags at the gate (a la carte) for free sometimes!
- get to the airport early – it used to be that 45 minutes before your flight you could show up, breeze through check-in (with a human!) and security (with your shoes on!) and board your plane with a hot cup of Starbucks you picked up three minutes before. That is not the case anymore. I’m of the mindset that I want to be at my gate at least an hour before it begins to board. Being early allows you to literally and figuratively catch your breath before you climb into the aluminum tube with wings. I oftentimes listen to a relaxing podcast, or a favorite couple of songs, and I make sure my carry-on has easy access to the important items.*
- rearrange your carry-on before you get on the plane – so when you stow your bag under the seat (my legs are short, I can) you can reach the immediate-access items. I make sure that my phone (which probably hasn’t actually left my pocket), my headphones, the chewing gum, and a new magazine are within easy reach without disrupting the person near me. It makes me feel more calm to know I won’t be a “bother” when I’m making myself comfortable.
What else do you do to help yourself while traveling?
*important items :: clean undies, medication, makeup, book, phone + charger, glasses, chewing gum, new magazine