About to Fly?

Rebecca Roeth

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In cold and gray Washington, vacations can be gloomy. Sometimes hopping on an airplane is the only option to get the summer vacation that is worth the year-long wait. Airports and airplanes can be uncharted territory to some, leaving many afraid of traveling. Here are some tips that will help bear the airfare from packing, time management, to flying in the air.

Packing: It is vital when packing to be prepared. Even if the destination is Hawaii bring a sweatshirt just in case, even just to wear on the flight. When arriving back at the Port of Seattle, it’s going to be much colder than it was in Hawaii. Check the weather beforehand and plan to fit around it. Florida is known for thunderstorms and the sun never sets during the summer in Alaska. Something important to know is that airports allow 3.4 oz of liquids to bring for carrying on, but bags that are checked can have more than that so pack all hair gels and sunscreen in a checked bags.

Transportation: The most important part about traveling is leaving home early. Nothing ruins a vacation like missing a flight. Don’t fall for the “I’ve got time” mentality. Take into account the travel time to get to the airport including traffic. Remember that some airlines have a required check-in for passengers. There might be sign-in and boarding times that must be calculated, especially if traveling internationally. When at the airport, it takes anywhere between fifteen minutes to several hours to get through security, depending on the lines. At the sum of all this, add extra time to get to the gate or grab a muffin at an airport store.

Flying: Before even booking a flight, evaluate the balance between cost and comfort. If this is your first flight, try the cheapest seats to get an opinion on them. If it was the worst experience of all time and it would be worth spending the extra money for legroom, now you know. If traveling with a buddy, take shifts on who naps to not miss any snacks. It’s not fun to miss out on a free cookie. If the flight attendants to make around during a nap, slam that call button overhead to ask. They may look scary, but they aren’t. Make sure to account for how long the flight is and if it serves meals. It might be a good idea to invest in buying lunch at airport stores or food from home; TSA won’t throw away a homemade sandwich.

Whether this your a first time or last, flying can be stressful and frightening. It is a unique experience that will prepare you for not just traveling, but the independence and responsibility of adulthood. Keep these tips in mind next time you pack, drive to the airport, and fly on an airplane. Just remember to keep calm and just enjoy the view from above.