I have flown more this past year than I have in my entire life. It’s true. My new job turned me into a jet-setting PR girl, and I’d like to think I’m a bit of a flying pro at this point. Here are the best tips I’ve picked up to help you get through an airport faster and fly more comfortably.
- Don’t check your luggage. For the longest time I checked my luggage because I thought it was too hard to pack toiletries in my carry on. Then I stumbled on this TSA-approved toiletry kit in the travel aisle of Target. It is a no-brainer! I put my shampoo, conditioner, face wash, etc. in the provided bottles and I’m on my way. When you’re in doubt, the TSA website has a little search bar for prohibited and permitted items. Switching to a carry on was the best decision I ever made, especially at the end of a long trip when I can hop right in the taxi line instead of waiting for my luggage on the baggage carousel.
- Check in online. In my experience, checking in 24 hours before your flight guarantees at least group 2 boarding, and that guarantees you overhead space for your luggage. After you check in, download the mobile boarding pass to your phone. If you do this and pack a carry on only, you can bypass the whole check-in/kiosk situation and head straight to the security line. Such a time saver!
- Wear slip on shoes to the airport. This may seem like common sense, but I’ve made the mistake of wearing sneakers to the airport by reasoning they’d be more comfortable while running to my gate and navigating large airports. Slip on shoes are always the way to go, just because of the time they save in the security line. My favorites are these flats from Michael Kors, but slip-on sneakers are also a win. Another security line tip? Pack your toiletries in one of the outer pockets of your suitcase so you don’t need to open up the whole thing and dig for them.
- Leave time to pick up plane snacks. You don’t want to be ravenous when the plane lands and you don’t want to get suckered into the high prices of airplane food. I always make time to stop at one of the Hudson News shops and grab snacks for the plane. (They’re also good to have in my purse because when traveling for events our eating schedule is often sporadic. And I get hangry.) Here are some of my favorites:
- Strawberry frosted pop-tarts
- Twizzler cherry nibs
- White cheddar Cheez-Its
- Luna bars
- Water bottle (preferably Fiji or Evian. Just because.)And yes, despite my list of snacks, I am an adult professional and not a small child.
- Plan your in-flight entertainment. I always have a back up entertainment option (especially for long flights) in case the plane has no wifi or it’s spotty. My essentials are: a magazine, a book or audiobook, and of course my trusty iPod classic. If nothing else, bring headphones so you can watch the in-flight movie!
What are your best flying hacks?