There’s nothing more dreaded about the holidays than the traveling process. We’re all exhausted and we’re all just trying to get home. We have to remind ourselves what not to forget, to prepare a comfy outfit and also try not to stress as much as we already are about finals and schedules and everything we have to do.
Due to the unpredictable winter weather, delays and cancellations are always likely and long lines are pretty much inevitable, but stress doesn’t have to be a fact of flying. Here are 15 airport hacks to remember before your next flight so you’ll be prepared for any situation that gets thrown your way.
Look for airline-related websites and download apps.
Based on passenger reviews, Seat Guru tells you which seat you should take. Gate Guru tells you information on shops and restaurants that your airport has so you won’t have to search for the directory.
Always keep Vaseline on hand.
Not only will your lips be hydrated, but it’ll help heal any cuts. If you forgot mascara, you can add it to your lashes for some volume.
Try to avoid public transportation.
You never know if there will be delays, and you’re probably not going to be in the mood to lug around your suitcase in case you have to transfer trains or buses. Uber or Lyft are always quicker alternatives.
Don’t always jump into a long line.
If your flight is delayed or canceled, calling the airline’s 800 number has a higher chance of getting you a quicker answer.
Buy a portable phone charger.
Forget the bulky phone charging case and go for the portable charger. While airports usually have charging stations, they tend to be crowded and will confine you to that space for as long your phone needs charging. Some popular brands include Anker and Mophie, both compatible with the Android and iPhone.
Wear the bulky jacket that won’t fit into your suitcase.
You’ll save weight and space and it’ll ensure you won’t get cold on the plane.
Put an adhesive card holder on your phone.
You’ll have your ID handy so you won’t have to dig through your bag or hold up the line behind you.
Sign up for AAdvantage.
Whenever you fly with American, or select partner airlines, you’ll be able to earn and redeem miles. Whenever you redeem mileage, you’ll have options like flight upgrades, hotel stays, vacation packages, or magazine subscriptions to choose from.
You don’t get what you don’t ask for.
If you’re ever in dire need of something, try the airport’s lost and found. Explain your situation and they might be able to give you what hasn’t been claimed. It may be a long shot, but try boarding the plane last in case there are empty seats and you want to switch.
Since the majority of people are right-handed, they’ll tend to turn right when given the choice. Turn to the left, and you might just have a shorter line.
Tie a ribbon or scarf to the handle of your suitcase.
Let’s be real, everyone owns black suitcases but with the help of this trick, you’ll easily be able to spot it and no one else will mistake it for theirs. Try to stand near the front so you’ll be one of the first to see when your bag comes out.
Load up on fresh fruit and vegetables.
Digesting food can be tricky when you’re miles above sea level. Certain foods have been proven to be beneficial before and during flights. Keep the sodium to a minimum to prevent any bloating mid-air. To prevent any upset stomach episodes, go for yogurt, packed with probiotics to help regulate digestion. As for drinks, drink herbal tea or even smoothies instead of coffee, which can be dehydrating. When it comes to dry foods, stick to lean protein, like almonds.
Remember to pack gum and medicine.
To help curb ear pain during a plane’s descent, chew some gum or take an antihistamine tablet. A painkiller such as paracetamol is also an alternative.
Buy a mini-emergency kit.
A pouch that fits into the palm of your hand, it holds a deodorant towelette, lip balm, hair spray, pain reliever, floss and more.
Take a photo of your passport.
A mistake that may happen more often than you think, save a photo of your passport on your phone in case you forget it amid all the packing chaos. Be on the safe side and download your boarding pass or any maps you might need.