Flying on an airplane for the first time can be so exciting. It will be an adventure in itself, but it can also be extremely stressful.
You want to be confident walking into the airport and know how much it costs to check a bag, what to expect when you go through airport security, and all the other traveling necessitates.
So don’t be nervous to fly for the first time. Follow these 15 tips below to be thoroughly prepared for your first flight.
Know what you’re not allowed to bring on a flight
If you are planning on packing items that are big, weird, or potentially dangerous, make sure to check the TSA site to make sure it’s even allowed on the flight.
Know what terminal you’re going to before you get to the airport
If you’re going to a big airport, the terminals are probably spaced very far apart. Find out what terminal you’re flying out of by checking which airline you’re flying with and look up the corresponding terminal online.
Make sure you get there 2-3 hours before your flight
For domestic flights, it’s suggested to arrive two hours early, and for international flights, it’s three hours. During the holiday season and other peak travel times, you may want to give yourself even more extra time to get through the lines!
Figure out what should be your carry on bag
A carry-on or hand baggage is what you’re allowed to take with you to your seat. Your bag should consist of all of your travel documents, cell phone, wallet, and anything you want to keep close with you. Each airline has its own rules about what you can bring, so make sure you look up the rules before arriving.
Checking in your suitcases
Once you take your luggage to the airline counter, they will weight it before checking it in. It’s a good idea to put a (TSA-approved) lock on your bag. Remember that if you go over the weight limit, you will be charged an extra fee. Also, know that you won’t see that bag again until you get off the plane, so make sure you don’t forget anything important in it.
Make sure to wear something comfy
Don’t worry too much about how you look! If you’re about to sit on a long flight, it’s definitely better to wear comfortable clothing.
Going through the security checkpoint
Know that before going through a metal detector, you’ll have to place your belongings in a tray (belt, cellphone, jewelry) and take your shoes off.
Finding your boarding gate
Your boarding pass will indicate which gate you need to go to. It will also be displayed on several monitors inside the airport since gate assignments sometimes change at the last minute.
When boarding the plane, they’ll ask for your boarding pass and maybe even your passport
Make sure to have your documents in hand so that the whole process will be faster. For domestic flights, you won’t need your passport.
Chewing gum can help during take-off
To release some of the air pressure on take-off and touchdown, pinch your nose with your fingers and try to breathe out. Chewing gum also can help.
Try to get a window seat!
You don’t want to miss the view! If it’s your first time on a plane get a window seat and take some great pics.
Make sure your phone is on airplane mode
Send all of your texts before taking off! The pilot will ask to have all devices on airplane mode.
Invest in a neck pillow!
If you’re going to be spending a lot of hours on a plane, a comfy pillow will make you feel more relaxed and help you fall asleep on the flight.
International flights – filling out forms and going through immigration
If you’re traveling outside the country, the flight attendants will give you a customs form during flight for you to fill out. It usually just asks fundamental questions about your visit. If you didn’t fill it out during your flight, there would be more of those forms at the airport when you arrive.
Make sure you pick up your bags at baggage claim!
Once you’re off your flight, you need to pick up your baggage. There will be a big conveyor belt that brings out all of the bags. Look for the flight number on your boarding pass and check which conveyor belt will your luggage be on. Remember, don’t freak out if you don’t see your bags right away, it takes some time!