It’s no secret that I love to travel. And do it frequently. I will never turn down an opportunity to jump on a plane or in a car to go somewhere, whether it be old or new. And with this ever-present travel bug in my system, that means I’m in airports quite a bit. And while I love airports, most sane people don’t, so I’ve put together my most important tips to make getting through the airport a breeze and less of a pain, take a peak.
+Make an Itinerary
This may just be my Type A personality shining through, but I swear by these things. Why in the world would you have all the info you need scattered throughout emails, websites, and apps when you can put in the extra 10 minutes it takes to put all your information in one place?!
Security is a pain. That’s one thing we can all agree upon. But we still all have to go through it. As I’m approaching security in line I start to prepare to when I can start unloading my things to go through the scanner. I normally don’t take any liquids with my on my carry-on as I usually tend to check my luggage, but I will pull out my laptop, take off my watch and other jewelry, and my jacket or sweater so that once I can reach a bin, I’m ready to go.
+Make a list the night before of all the things you need to remember in the morning
I hate hate HATE forgetting things. Honestly, it kills the whole trip for me because I always think about what I forgot. So, instead I try incredibly hard not to forget anything. And that means lots and lots of lists. And probably the most important list I make is my “Don’t Forget” list for the morning that I leave. This typically includes all of my chargers that have been charging all night, makeup I put on in the morning, and anything else I still need to use before I takeoff, aka the most important stuff the you use everyday. Make a list, save lives.
+Round up all your necessary forms in one place
The great part about using an itinerary is that this step is already done for you! But if you want to give yourself a headache and not use one, at least do this step. Gather all of your confirmations for hotels, excursions, or car rentals ON PAPER (that’s the key!) and put them in a folder that you can stick right next to your laptop for safe keeping. You probably have them all on your phone anyways, but when it unexpectedly crashes and you have no record of your hotel room, you’ll thank yourself for printing them out.
+Take a Scarf. I don’t care if its the middle of summer in the Sahara, pack one.
A scarf will always come in handy. On the plane especially! Bunch it up and use it as a pillow, spread it out and use it as a blanket, use it to cover your shoulders for modesty if you’re visiting a place where your shoulders should be covered. It takes up the least amount of room and you’ll probably end up using it more often than anything else.
+Bring a paper backup of your important travel documents (Passport, Visa, Insurance, etc)
This tip is especially important if you’re going overseas for an extended amount of time (Study Abroad!! woo!). Life happens and sometimes you lose your passport. Make sure there’s a way for you to get back into the country when your time is up. Also, pro tip: email a copy to your emergency contact so they can email it to you if you lose your copy of your copy! Its better to be overly cautious than not at all.
Seriously. Breathe. Yelling, stomping your feet, or breathing down someone’s neck is not going to help you or them move any faster. It will probably only get you a special pat down on the other side of the X-ray machine, thus making everything even slower. Kindness goes a LOOOONG way, especially with the TSA and the airport workers. They honestly have your best interests at heart, your safety, and are just doing their job. Go into it with a positive mindset and you’ll see how much smoother your airport experience is.