While for many people taking a flight is rather commonplace, there are many others who have never been on a plane before. If you’re someone who is new to air travel, you likely have a lot of questions and concerns about your first flight. There are a few things that rookies should know about flying for the first time as these tips can make everything go a lot more smoothly.
There are some common mistakes that new airplane travelers often make, and this list is here to help you avoid those mistakes so you can have a more comfortable, less stressful flight.
10 NOT CHOOSING YOUR SEAT
Depending on what kind of ticket you buy, seat selection may or may not be included. If you get the basic economy seat, some airlines won’t let you choose your seat unless you pay an extra fee. However, even if you have to pay an extra twenty dollars or so to pick your seat, it’s definitely worth it. Otherwise, you could get stuck with a middle seat and end up having a miserable flight. If you’re someone who needs the aisle because you get claustrophobic or wants to rest by the window, make sure you pay for an option that allows you to choose your seat.
9 BOOKING A CONNECTION THAT’S CUTTING IT TOO CLOSE
If you’re flying for the first time and planning a connecting flight to get to your final destination, it’s important to be smart about how you plan things. While you might be tempted to just pick the option that is the cheapest, it’s important to give yourself enough time to make your connection. It’s not uncommon for flights to leave late because of weather or other problems. You’ll want to give extra time in case your flight is late taking off. Otherwise, you could end up waiting for hours or even until the next day to make the second leg of your flight.
8 NOT BRINGING FOOD
If your flight is more than a couple of hours, it’s essential that you bring food with you. While airlines usually offer food for purchase, this food is usually overpriced and not very great. While in a pinch buying the airline food as a last resort gets the job done, you’ll be a lot happier if you plan ahead.
You can bring a salad, sandwiches, snacks, or whatever other food will keep well for a few hours. This will keep you from feeling hungry and uncomfortable during your flight and also save you money.
7 KEEPING VALUABLES IN THEIR CHECKED BAG
Depending on where you're going on your flight, you might be taking a checked bag as well as a carry-on. It’s really important to keep most of your valuables with you. Your checked bag could end up getting lost or have something else happen to it. So, it’s essential you have things like electronics, money, and whatever other essential items you’re bringing in your carry-on bag. It’s also a good idea to bring an extra set of clothes on your carry on just in case your bag gets lost.
When going on a flight for the time, it can be easy to pack too many things. If you’re going on vacation you might be tempted to stuff your bag full, but this is going to make traveling uncomfortable. It’s best to pack smart and efficiently as opposed to packing more. Plus, depending on where you're going, you’re likely to buy things while there which manes you’ll need even more room in your suitcases on the way back.
5 NOT ARRIVING AT THE AIRPORT EARLY ENOUGH
One of the most annoying things about air travel these days is how early you need to arrive at the airport. While it’s definitely not the most fun part of air travel, it’s something everyone has to put up with. You’ll want to make sure you arrive at least two hours early if traveling on a domestic flight and at least three hours for international. You never know how long security lines are going to be or how long traffic and parking will take you, so it’s always best to give yourself a little extra time and err on the side of caution.
4 WEARING UNCOMFORTABLE SHOES AND CLOTHES
If you’re traveling for work, you might need to dress more professionally, especially if you’re meeting up with people soon after your flight. However, even if you’re dressing nice, you’ll still want to be comfortable.
Wearing uncomfortable shoes can make even a shorter flight seem miserable. So, whether you’re traveling for work or for pleasure, be sure to wear something that is relatively comfortable to sit in.
3 NOT BEING UP ON THE TSA RULES
One of the most common ways to mess up your flight experience is to end up breaking the rules in security. This can mean it takes you a lot longer to get through, and you could also end up in trouble. Make sure you're aware of the rules for bringing liquids on your carry-on as well as what items you can’t bring with you. This will make getting through security simpler as you won’t have to waste time emptying bottles or throwing toiletries away.
2 FORGETTING TO DOUBLE CHECK THEIR PLANS FOR AFTER THEY LAND
One of the most stressful things about a flight is when you’re not sure who is going to pick you up or where you need to go after you land. While many airlines let you pay for wifi or even get free messaging, not all of them do. So, it’s best to confirm plans for where you’re going or how you’re getting out of the airport before you take off.
1 NOT BRINGING ITEMS TO MAKE THE FLIGHT MORE COMFORTABLE
There are some things you can take with you that will make your flight a lot more comfortable. Depending on your needs and how long the flight is, consider taking items such as a travel pillow, eye mask, ear plugs, etc. You should also make sure you have things to entertain yourself, especially if in-flight entertainment isn’t available, such as books, download movies and podcasts, and more.