Air travel used to be the way to get anywhere. It was exotic and exciting. People chose expensive flights over much cheaper road trips not just because the flight was faster (if you include waiting time at the airport, it often wasn’t) but because…well, it was flying.
Those days are so so over. Today flying is something people actively avoid and with good reason! The security lines are long and the agents who run them seem to make up rules on the spot depending on their moods. Almost all of the airlines now charge passengers extra (and expensive) fees to check their bags which means people are trying to cram ungodly amounts of stuff into the overhead bins. And pretty soon, we’ll all be flying with our noses actually smashed against the seats in front of us.
But what if there were things you could do to make life easier on yourself? What if you could set yourself up to have a smooth traveling experience? Here are some tips to help you do that–and just in time for the holiday season!
Budgeting Is Important
We’ve talked before about the importance of having a budget when you travel. In that post we talked about things like traveler’s checks, insurance and paying with credit cards. Today we’re going to remind you to make space in your budget for those blasted baggage check fees (seriously, you don’t want to have to cart your heavy luggage all over the place yourself) and for things like meals at airports if your flights are delayed, nights spent in hotel rooms if your flights are canceled for reasons not-weather related (airlines only have to pay to put you up if the cancellation is weather related), etc. This way you won’t panic if you get caught having to spend an extra day somewhere unintended.
Choose Your Luggage Wisely
Obviously you want to have a sturdy suitcase that can withstand being tossed around. It’s also important that you have a good carry on bag as well. Do you know who has the best luggage? Pilots and flight attendants have the best luggage because their occupation requires it. It stands to reason then, that the luggage you’ll find in shops for pilots like PilotMall (the Oakley Vertical Messenger, for example, is designed to keep users from having to dig around inside of it for stuff) is better suited for lots of traveling.
Double Up Whenever Possible
This is particularly important if you’re trying to travel with only a carry on bag. Choose convertible clothing so that you can get several outfits out of one thing. A tablet and smartphone can easily do all of the things your mp3 player, eReader and Laptop can do. Really, your smartphone can probably do everything, but lots of people prefer to read on larger screens. Use the space all of those extra charging cables and devices would have taken up to pack a solar charger so that you don’t have to worry about finding outlets when you’re stuck at the airport for a long time.
A Change of Clothing
A lot of people think that “packing a change of clothes” means finding space in the carryon for everything from undergarments to an extra pair of shoes. All you really need to feel better is a set of fresh undergarments and a clean shirt. Pants, skirts and shoes take up way too much space!
These are just some of the things that you can do to have a better traveling experience. So many people believe that smooth travels mean anticipating everything that can go wrong and carrying supplies for that on their backs. That might work in camping. With flying, though, it’s about minimising the amount you have to carry (or stuff into an overhead bin) and making sure you have the money to buy what you need if something goes awry.