1) DON’T COME TO THE AIRPORT UNPREPARED.
You, yeah you single woman who “had no idea her liquids needed to be in a ziplock baggie,” you’re ruining the airport for the rest of us! Unless it’s your first flight ever, there are some things that simply need to be done. For example, weigh your bag before you come, no more of that throwing-things-out-at-the-check-in-counter stuff. Don’t wear a belt, or at least take it off during the long-ass security line. Wear socks and empty your pockets beforehand.
The security line goes like this: bin for laptop (separate bin for other large electronic devices), bin for shoes, phone, purse and scarves (yes, you have to take them off). An empty, metal-free body equals a clean walk through and a fast security line.
2) Try your best to ignore everyone…
Because if you don’t, the Ziploc-baggie lady will not start your travel off well. You’re not on the plane to meet your new best friend or significant other, so keep your trap shut. Plus, everyone on earth is annoying so if you pay attention, you’re sure to be annoyed, just exasperating your already short fuse after a long day.
3) …But don’t be rude
That being said, being a bitch won’t get you anywhere (in the airport as in life) so there’s no need to be rude. Give a quick smile to a neighbor, help someone stow their luggage (unless you’re my height in which case you will definitely not be helping) and, as always, say your pleases and thank you’s!
4) Make a plan of attack before your flight…
Your plan of attack is your sleep schedule. The trick is to base it off of the time zone that you’re flying to. So when I fly to Milan, I know that my sleep schedule is six hours off of my destination’s time. I usually leave in the late afternoon/early evening EST and arrive in Milan anywhere from 7-9:00 a.m. (A.M.!) so if I don’t sleep, it means I’ll be skipping an entire night and will have more trouble getting over the jet lag. Calculate the time difference and plan your flight time activities accordingly.
5) …But don’t freak out if you can’t sleep.
That being said, few people can sleep on planes and no one sleeps well on planes. (If you know someone, bring them to me so I can learn the ways of their voodoo magic.) Like my mamma always says: “Even resting is better than nothing.” On said flight to Milan, I climb aboard, wait until takeoff and pass out (aka, fake sleep), ignoring mealtimes, whether the lights are on or off and the passengers who laugh out loud at private films (see #2)
6) Don’t eat the airplane dinner!
Or lunch or breakfast for that matter. I knoooow I know, it’s freeee and there’s nothing else to do and it’s not that baaaad, right? WRONG. It’s disgusting and created by God-knows-who and made with God-knows-what. Think I’m a snob? Oh well, because my digestive track is calm and my naps aren’t interrupted by stewardesses. Bring snacks instead!
7) Bring toys
Remember how your mom always brought weird magnetic toys or notebooks and crayons to play with on flights as a kid? Well I do, and I loved it. Perhaps you have a daytime flight and won’t be needing any sleep, or perhaps you can’t handle my tip number 5 (we’ve all been there), have a back-up plan because the individual movie screens are broken more often than not and kung-fu panda was only good the first two times. I bring a big-ass book (you know, a travel-sized book, in this case meaning thick enough for hours of air-time) one to two magazines and perhaps an electronic device if I’m feeling feisty.
8) Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride
In essence, this is what it’s all about, because in the end there’s no way to get there faster and hey, a long flight means you’re traveling right? Soon you’ll be at your destination to explore, relax or whatever – and aren’t you lucky!