Saturday, March 11, 2017

Weekend Travel Tips


It's clearly no secret I love to travel. I got my first passport at six months old so I've got quite a bit of mileage under my belt. I've had some crazy Travel mishaps (almost dying in a landfill in Albuquerque during a flood) and some amazing times (cruising with my favorite country bands) and I've experienced a lot of the in between. Since I've got a lot to say about travel (obviously), I'll periodically be sharing some of my tips for having a smooth trip. Today, here are five tips for dealing with the airport situation:

Get TSA Pre Check. Seriously. After seeing outrageous lines at Hartsfield and LAX, it's not worth the stress. You really get your money's worth when you're not freaking out about missing your flight. If you don't want to shell out the $85, get to the airport early. Don't be that person who has to beg to cut everyone in line at security because your gate's doors close in ten minutes.

Check the airport website before you leave or get the Gate Guru app. It really helps to know the layout of your airport in advance and know what it has to offer. Sometimes I'll get to the airport early because they have a special restaurant or exhibit. I've even schedule flights around a layover in certain airports when given the option. The international airport in a city often conveys a lot of that city's culture (for instance, Austin has a Salt Lick BBQ and Nashville has a Tootsie's). Besides, it's definitely more fun to explore than sit around the gate charging your phone! If you're not sure what your gate is yet, check the flights history for the last few days to see where they've been; this is often a good indicator.

Bring layers for the plane. Everyone says it but it's true. Even in the dead of summer, planes get drafty. On the flip side, after schlepping your bags through security, briskly walking through terminals, and basically just moving around the airport, you're going to be warm. It's good to be able to remove a layer or two and throw it back on before you board.

An eye mask is your best friend on a flight. The gross lighting on planes is already bad enough but people moving around and the awkward "reading lights" are just not good ambiance. Even if you're not going to sleep, bring one. And don't get the cheap ones; a good eye mask doesn't have to cost more than $10. This is my favorite one.

Always always always pack a spare change of clothes, some underwear, and all your valuables in your carry-on bag. I haven't had a lost bag in ages (knock on wood) but should it happen, you'll want to be prepared and not get stuck with an I Love Whatever City I'm In hoodie from Walgreens. Even for a super short trip, have spares. I once didn't pack a second pair of pants and after being stuck in a flood, I had to put wet clothes back on the next morning. Not fun! Spares always come in handy. Nothing sucks worse than shopping for things you already have while in vacation! Except maybe running out of clean underwear.

What's the worst mishap you've had when flying or at an airport?
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