- First and for most, keep a positive attitude. We are all human and sometimes have little control over of how things play out especially in a large industry like air travel. Remember to breathe and find the good in a situation. I once was given first class seats by an agent at the gate because I wasn’t bothering her wondering what my seat assignment was. As soon as she called my name and saw my face she said, “I haven’t seen you yet. I think I have some first class seats for you.” Patience is everything.
- Print boarding passes at home by checking-in online. Most airlines allow you to check-in online 24 hours in advance of your flight whether you booked your flight yourself or through a Travel Agent. Head to the airlines website and find the “Check-In” button and follow the instructions. You not only get your boarding pass, but the airline usually makes more seats available giving passengers a chance to obtain a better seat to their liking. This is an easy way to avoid lines at the airport being you already have your boarding pass it allows you to simply check your luggage upon arrival and head to your gate.
- Arrive at the airport early. The general rule is 2 hours early for domestic flights and 3 hours early for international flights. As you can imagine, you and your travel companions are a handful of 1000’s of travelers during the holiday season. Bring books, snacks, music, pillows – whatever will make your relaxation in the airport more enjoyable. It’s more fun to window shop or people watch than to be frantic about getting to your flight on time.
- Have identification ready and easy to retrieve. You will most likely be asked to show your ID about 2-4 times before you even board the plane. Find an easy, non-cumbersome way to have all flight information including tickets, boarding passes, itinerary and identification right at your fingertips, but also secure. This will save you and passengers behind you a lot of time and sometimes frustration.
- Keep gifts unwrapped. If you want your hard to work to stay beautiful, wait to wrap your gifts upon arriving at your final destination. The TSAwill rip them open to see what is inside, so the best idea (and to stay on task with the first tip of a positive attitude) is to just leave them as they are and take care of gift wrapping later.
- Stay Healthy. Drink plenty of water and take Vitamin C to increase your healthy immune system. Remember you are not allowed to take liquids through security so you will either have to buy water once inside the airport security area, or bring an empty water container and fill up at the water fountains saving some money (a lot of money!).
- Review TSA rules and follow them. The security at our airports is sometimes difficult. Make sure you breeze through by being prepared before hand. View this TSA Informative Site for information.
- Pack Light. I know it’s hard to leave behind three of your favorite pairs of shoes or think you need eight pairs of underwear for a three-day trip. Remember where you are going will most likely have a washer and dryer. Save yourself from lugging around a bunch of weight. Go light. You’ll be happy you did in the end.
- Remember Why You’re Traveling. This is a grand time to the year. Have fun and smile a lot, it keeps you positive. Smiling helps release those wonderful things we call endorphins giving us a sense of lightless and bliss. Smile at people you don’t know and remember your patience. Everyone is trying to accomplish the same things: keep customers happy, fellow passengers delightful and arrive wherever you are traveling to safe and sound.
Enjoy your trip and show abundance of love and gratitude for those around you.